Moran's OT Goal Leads Mids to Win Over Bucknell
Middie Nikk Davis dealt out a career-high three assists, including the helper on the game-winner.
March 6, 2010
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Navy senior midfielder Patrick Moran (Annapolis, Md.) took a Nikk Davis (Cockeysville, Md.) pass and stuck it past Bucknell rookie goalkeeper Kyle Feeney 1:20 into overtime to lead the Navy men's lacrosse team (3-2, 2-0 Patriot League) to an 8-7 victory over 13th-ranked Bucknell (2-2, 0-1 PL) Saturday afternoon at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Bucknell used a five-goal fourth quarter to get back into the game, including Ryan Klipstein's game-tying goal, but Navy sophomore keeper RJ Wickham (Penn Yan, N.Y.) turned away a shot by Chris Palmer as time expired to force extra minutes and what would end in a Navy win.
"This is a huge win, a season-maker," said Moran, who has now been a part of four one-goal games against Bucknell, three wins and one loss. "I had a chance to score a goal for us in overtime against Loyola earlier this year and I didn't catch the ball. I couldn't let that happen again and so when I got this chance, I knew this time exactly what I was going to do and played it out in my head.
"Bucknell is one of the best teams we are going to face this year, so this was an important game for us to win."
"This was a really big win for our program and it turned out to be a typical Navy-Bucknell game," said Navy head coach Richie Meade. "I thought we controlled the pace of the game for most of the game.
"I have to give credit to Bucknell for how hard they fought to come back, but I was proud of our guys who did a good job of maintaining their composure."
An aggressive offensive unit showed up for the Mids on what was a beautiful afternoon in Annapolis. Senior attackman Brendan Connors (Bellmore, N.Y.) gave Navy the early advantage as he was on the receiving end of a Davis pass and pumped in the game's first goal just two minutes into the contest.
After a see-saw affair for much of the rest of the quarter, Bucknell answered when Klipstein scored the first of his three goals on a tight angle that just caught the top right corner of the goal. The goal was scored with just 44 seconds remaining in the opening quarter, the fourth goal this season the Mids have given up with under a minute to play in the quarter.
The Bison took their only lead of the game, 2-1, less that three minutes into the second quarter when rookie attackman Billy Mattimore set up on the crease and sent an ankle biter past Wickham on an extra-man opportunity.
Navy senior Joe Lennon (Westminster, Md.) answered a short time later as he fought through a crowd of Bison defenders, dodging his way for a seven-yarder to knot the game up. The goal was the first of five consecutive goals for the Midshipmen, as Navy opened up a 6-2 lead after three quarters of play.
Lennon's goal was followed by a sidewinder by Moran at 6:50 in the second, giving the Mids a 3-2 advantage at the half.
Junior attackman Andy Warner (Corning, N.Y.) pushed the Mids' lead to two, 4-2, when he stood on the crease and was on the receiving end of a Moran pass on extra man.
Connors got the award for the craziest goal scored in the game. Set up on the left wing, Warner attempted to thread the ball into a crowd of players. With the ball on the ground, several players tried to get a stick on it, but it was Connors, who, with his back to the goal, literally batted the ball between his legs and into the back of the net.
The final score of the Mids' five-goal run was long overhand shot by Moran, who sent a hard shot from 15 yards out with 1:07 remaining in the third quarter.
Though Bucknell trailed by four goals heading into the final quarter of play, it was not unfamiliar territory for the Bison. In fact, Bucknell used a five-goal fourth quarter to secure an 11-5 win against Ohio State and last week the Bison scored six goals in the fourth to defeat Towson on the road, 13-9.
Klipstein anchored the comeback with 13:20 remaining in the contest with an unassisted goal from the left wing that caught the inside of the right post. At roughly the 8:46 mark, 2010 Patriot League Preseason Offensive Player of the Year Austin Winter beat a defender from behind the goal and bounced his shot under the crossbar. To add salt to the Mids' wound, Navy defensive midfielder Marty Gallagher (Wayne, Pa.) was flagged for a late hit on Winter following the goal, and on the ensuing extra-man possession, Charlie Streep scored off an assist from leading scorer Tim Brandau.
With the lead trimmed to just one at 6-5, Navy finally got possession on the offensive end of the field and sophomore attackman Ryan O'Leary (East Meadow, N.Y.) caught a pass on the run and punched in his second goal of the year from the crease.
Navy's two-goal lead, however, would be short-lived as an errant Streep pass was picked up by converted attackman Mike Danylyshyn right in front of the goal and he made good on the one-on-one shot against Wickham.
Following a Navy turnover with under two minutes to go, Klipstein tied the game at 7-7 with a hard shot from the left side.
After Bucknell came up with the loose ball off the faceoff, Streep carried the ball behind the goal, winding down the clock. It was déjà vu, as last year Streep ran the ball in from out of bounds to beat the Mids with a buzzer beater in Lewisburg against Wickham, who made his debut in goal. With 2010 Patriot League Preseason Defensive Player of the Year Jaren Woeppel (Camillus, N.Y.) defending him, Streep made his move to the goal, but his shot sailed wide. Winter, though, was there to grab the loose ball and fed Chris Palmer for a quick catch-and-shoot attempt right in front of the goal. Wickham, however, caught the ball with the inside of his left arm and dove to cover it as time expired.
"I try not to think about the past, but last year Streep scored on me with no time left on the clock, and I have to admit that I had flashes of that image at the end of today's game," said Wickham, who last year became the first Navy freshman keeper to start since Mickey Jarboe in 1997. "That was not going to happen this year. The last play they made was a good play, but I made a better play.
"The defense made it easy for me today. We stuck to the game plan and though we had to face some adversity in the fourth quarter, we did a good job of standing our ground."
After starting faceoff man Robby Battle (Herndon, Va.) struggled throughout the day, the Navy coaching staff sent sophomore Logan West (Berlin, Md.) onto the field to take the most important draw of the game. West came out the victor and after working the ball around, O'Leary set a nice pick to open things up and Davis caught Moran as he was curling around the goal and Moran drilled the shot.
Moran led the Mids with three goals and an assist, marking the third time this season he has chipped in a hat trick. Meanwhile, Connors scored a pair of goals and Davis dealt out a career-high three assists.
Wickham was fearless in goal, turning back 18 shots which was the second most of his career. He has now produced double-digit saves in four of the five games this season, and was just one shy of double figures against Lehigh on tuesday evening. Wickham, however, was credited with an unusual four turnovers, as he tried to push the momentum through his clearing passes.
"RJ is the anchor of our team," said Moran. "He was the MVP of the game today."
West, meanwhile, won five of the seven draws he took and grabbed a career-high four ground balls.
The Midshipmen will be back in action next Friday when they travel back to the Lehigh Valley for a second straight week to battle 20th-ranked Lafayette. The 4-0 Leopards are led by Preseason All-American attackman Tom Perini who has anchored wins this season over Fairfield, Binghamton, Penn and Wagner. Faceoff for Friday's contest is set for 7:00 pm at Rappolt Field in Easton, Pa. Due to facility restraints, there will be NO radio coverage of the game, nor will there be live stats.