The Midshipmen won a school-record 15 games en route to their National Championship appearance in 2004.
Ray Finnegan's named has been synonymous with Navy lacrosse for better than 20 years. A 1975 Naval Academy graduate who experienced a celebrated lacrosse career, Finnegan is in his 19th year as an assistant coach mentoring Navy's corps of goalkeepers. In addition to his 13 years with Richie Meade, Finnegan also served as an assistant for five years (1988-92) under former Navy coach Bryan Matthews.
Under his guidance, Finnegan has manufactured multiple standout goalkeepers at the Academy. Kevin Farrington garnered Second-Team All-America recognition in 1992, while Finnegan helped groom Mickey Jarboe into the best goalkeeper in America in 1999 and 2000. Ironically, en route to becoming Navy's all-time saves leader, Jarboe erased his mentor from the top-10 saves list at the Academy. Jon Higdon (`02) turned in the nation's second-best goals-against average during his junior campaign and garnered All-America kudos following his senior campaign.
The most recent beneficiary of Finnegan's golden touch is Matt Russell who emerged as a First-Team All-American in 2004 after starting the season as a backup to Seth DiNola. Russell, who was the recipient of the2004 Kelly Award, finished his sophomore season ranked No. 2 in the nation in goals-against average, giving up 6.69 per contest. He also helped lead the Mids to a No. 2 national ranking in scoring defense. The epitome of a Navy keeper, Russell played over a quarter with a broken collarbone against Syracuse in the National Championship game. In 2005, Russell garnered Second-Team All-America accolades, spearheading the top-ranked defensive unit in the country, while in `06 Russell wrapped up his collegiate career by anchoring the top-ranked scoring defense in the nation and picking up his third-consecutive All-America honor. He was the No. 1-ranked keeper in the country, giving up just 5.45 goals per game and setting an NCAA single-season GAA mark. Additionally, he stands as the NCAA's record holder in career GAA, posting a three-year 6.28 GAA.
While at Navy, Finnegan earned Second-Team All-America recognition in 1974 as the Mids' starting goalkeeper. His 152 saves during that season rank as the 18th-most saves in a single season at Navy. He went on to start in the '74 North-South Game and the participated in the College/Club All-Star Classic. Finnegan was a two-time winner of the Stuart Oxnard Memorial Lacrosse Cup, awarded to the player who contributed most to the success of the lacrosse team. Finnegan's 274-career saves rank 11th on Navy's all-time saves leader board.
Upon graduation, Finnegan attended flight school, earning his wings in 1977, and completed two cruises, one on the USS America and one on the USS Independence. Finnegan has continued his flying career as a civilian and is currently employed by US Airways and is based out of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.
Finnegan, who is the father of twins, Kathleen and Colin, married his wife, Grace, in the fall of 1999. Kathleen is a 2006 graduate of American University where she was a standout goalkeeper for the Eagles. She garnered Second-Team All-Patriot League recognition in 2004 en route to leading American to the Patriot League Regular-Season and Tournament Championship, as well as an NCAA Tournament bid.
Colin is a 2007 graduate of the Naval Academy where he was a member of the lacrosse program for four seasons. As a senior, Finnegan earned the starting role between the pipes, leading the Midshipmen to their fourth-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. Finnegan owned a 6.46 GAA, the third lowest in the country, while being ranked 12th in save percentage, stopping 58.8 percent of the shots he faced. In Patriot League action, Finnegan paced the keepers, giving up just 5.22 goals per game.