*Note: Each week I will be taking a look at how teach of the two future DII teams that will be moving up to DI next season are looking.*
Merrimack and LIU Post will be coming up from DII to DI next season. Merrimack is moving their entire athletic department up to DI, while LIU Post is combining athletic departments with LIU Brooklyn who is already DI.
LIU Post got their 2019 campaign started off on February 16th with a 28-8 win over American International, while Merrimack got their 2019 season started this past weekend.
Coming into this weekend Merrimack was ranked #1 and LIU Post was ranked #5.
The defending DII National Champions started their 2019 season off with a dominating 20-13 victory at home against NYIT. Merrimack dominated in the first half as they got out to a 13-4 lead heading into the half. A four goal run from NYIT that lasted from late in the third and into the fourth made things just a bit closer. Merrimack was in full control and subdued any kind of comeback that NYIT may have had in them.
Charlie Bertrand led the way with 8 points (6G,2A), while Sean Black also had 8 points (4G,4A). Max Morrill contributed heavily as well with 7 points (4G,3A). On the defensive end of the field the Warriors were led by Alex Marceau who scooped up 2 ground balls and caused 1 turnover. In goal for Merrimack Peter Brown started the game and played the majority of minutes. Cory Lyons got some time in cage as well. Brown made 4 saves in the win.
Merrimack will be back in action on March 3rd when they travel to Lake Erie. The Warriors should still be ranked as the #1 team in DII heading into that matchup next week.
LIU Post (2-0)
After defeating American International 28-8 to open up the season at home the Pioneers continued the winning trend with a 15-10 win over number 14 St. Anselm. The Pioneers were able to dominate the first quarter as they got out to a 6-1 lead. A St. Anselm run in the second cut the LIU Post lead to 7-4 at the half. While the second half was pretty tight, a 4-goal run from late in the third though late in the fourth helped the Pioneer seal the deal and get the 15-10 win.
Thomas Liantonio and Jake Gillis led the way for the Pioneers on the offensive end. Liantonio tallied 6 points (1G,5A) and Gillis had 5 points (4G,1A) in the win. Connor Farrell dominated the faceoff dot as he won 25-28 draws for the Pioneers. Nick Grassa helped lead on the defensive end as he caused 3 turnovers and scooped up 1 ground ball. In goal for the Pioneers Bryan Ochs made 18 saves in the Pioneers win.
Next up for LIU Post is a home contest against Pace on Saturday, March 2nd. This should be at least a top 20 matchup with both expected to be ranked in the top 20 or 15 again this week.