Navy Lax Lets Game Slip Away, Topped by Loyola 9-8
Feb. 19, 2011
BALTIMORE, Md. — The 14th-ranked Loyola men’s lacrosse team overcame a five-goal deficit to earn a 9-8 victory over Navy Saturday afternoon at the Ridley Athletic Complex in Baltimore. A goal by sophomore attackman Patrick Fanshaw with 1:08 remaining in the contest sealed the win for the Greyhounds, who earned a one-goal victory over the Mids for the second-straight year.
It’s the first time Navy has let a five-goal lead slip away for a loss since March 4, 2000, when the Mids owned a 7-2 advantage over North Carolina in the second quarter and were tripped up in overtime, 11-10.
Described by Navy head coach Richie Meade as “a tale of two halves,” the game came down to one simple word - possession. Navy took 17 of its 24 shots in the opening half and scored seven goals. Meanwhile, in the second half, Navy lost nine of the 10 faceoffs and managed just seven shots in the entire half. In the third quarter alone, Loyola outshot the Mids, 16-1, and owned a 10-1 ground ball advantage.
The first half was all Navy as it jumped out to a 3-0 lead after the first quarter of play and a 4-0 advantage just over a minute into the second stanza. Navy senior midfielder Andy Warner (Corning, N.Y.) put the Mids on the scoreboard at the 11:11 mark curling from left to right and firing in a 10-yard shot.
Loyola finally cut into the Mids’ lead when second-year attackman Mike Sawyer took a pass from Chris Basler at the 11:20 mark in the second quarter and sidearmed a shot in from eight yards out on the first of two extra-man goals by the Greyhounds. After winning the ensuing faceoff, senior attackman D.J. Comer beat Navy wingman Brye French (Deatsville, Ala.) as he swung around the left side of the cage and scored to get Loyola to within two at 4-2.
Navy would maintain its composure, scoring three-straight goals over the next two minutes and 25 seconds. Junior attackman Taylor Reynolds (Babylon, N.Y.) kicked off the scoring spree at 8:18 when he took advantage of an open alley and sent his six-yard shot top shelf against Loyola keeper Jake Hagelin. Less than a minute later, freshman Sam Jones (Annapolis, Md.) curled around the cage and poked in his shot from the crease. Navy extened its lead to a game-high five goals at the 5:53 mark when Tucker Hull (Charlotte, N.C.) fed Cade Norris (Honeoye Falls, N.Y.) for a one-on-one shot against Hagelin following a restart.
A goal by Comer with 34.3 seconds left in the opening half trimmed Navy’s lead to four at 7-3 to give the Greyhounds the momentum at the break.
The second half began with both teams getting plenty of good looks at the goal, but nothing fell until the 6:46 mark when Sawyer sank the second of his game-high three goals. With Navy defenseman Peter Rogers (San Diego, Calif.) face-guarding him, Sawyer ran the left to right arc and sent his 10-yard shot on the run past Navy keeper RJ Wickham (Penn Yan, N.Y.). The goal sparked a four-goal run by the Greyhounds in the third quarter and was capped by a goal by Fanshaw with 3.7 seconds left in the period that would knot the game at seven apiece.
Loyola draw specialist John Schiavone deserved a tip of the cap from his teammates as he won all five faceoffs in the third quarter to keep the ball out of Navy’s hands. In fact, Navy got off just one shot in the third quarter while throwing the ball away five times.
Navy nearly went 15 minutes without getting a shot off, as its only shot in the third was at 10:55 and it managed a shot just seconds before Sawyer gave Loyola its first lead of the day.
The Mids fought their way back and after more than 28 minutes of being held scoreless, Jones found sophomore midfielder Jay Mann (Cockeysville, Md.) who unleashed a long bounce shot that snuck its way in at 7:48.
The game would remained deadlocked at 8-8 for nearly seven minutes before Basler would find Fanshaw who exposed a missed switch by Navy and stuck a lefty shot past Wickham for the game-winner (1:08).
Navy did have one last shot with five seconds to go in the game, but a shot by Warner was snatched out of the air by Hagelin to preserve the win.
After splitting the faceoffs in the first half with six apiece, Navy’s Logan West (Berlin, Md.) won just one draw in the second as Loyola owned a 14-7 advantage by game’s end.
“It wasn’t that our faceoff man was struggling, it was the fact that their wings out-winged us,” said Meade. “That led to possessions which led to them chipping away at the lead throughout the third quarter. The third quarter was definitely when it began changing, but I thought it was gradual. I think we started losing our composure when it got down to a two-goal game”
Defensively, Wickham made two fantastic saves for the Mids at the end of the game and in his usual dramatic fashion, he made the clear on his own. But both were negated as the first was called back because the Mids were offside and the second was an illegal pick that was committed near the crease but was not called back until after Wickham had crossed mid-field.
Navy’s offense showed great promise throughout the day. The Mids not only were patient, they shared the ball as well as any Navy team in recent memory. Eight different players scored the eight goals with Hull, Jones and Warner pacing the Mids with two points each. Warner and Jones each scored a goal and added an assist while Hull dealt out a pair of helpers.
The Midshipmen will be back in action next Friday when they travel to Chapel Hill to face third-ranked North Carolina, who is coming off a surprising 13-8 loss to Ohio State in Columbus. Friday’s game is slated for a 7:30 pm faceoff at Fetzer Field.
### Go Navy ###