Mids’ Comeback Bid Falls Short at Lafayette
EASTON, Pa. — Despite outscoring Lafayette 3-0 and outshooting it 15-1 over the final 15 minutes, the Navy men’s lacrosse team’s (2-5, 1-2 Patriot League) fourth-quarter rally fell short in a 9-8 loss to the Leopards (1-5, 1-2 PL) Saturday afternoon at Fisher Stadium in Easton, Pa.
“A very disappointing performance today,” said sixth-year Navy head coach Rick Sowell. “I’m not sure why, but we just did not show up ready to play. Once again we find it in ourselves to battle back and give ourselves a chance to win, only to come up short in the end. With no mid-week game this week, it gives us some much-needed time to regroup and prepare for a talented Loyola team.”
The Leopards led from wire to wire, outscoring the Mids in each of the first three quarters - 3-1, 3-1, 3-1.
Junior attackman Luke Smith, who had not scored in his four previous appearances on the year, paced the Leopards with a hat trick which included two goals in the opening quarter that gave them a 3-1 lead.
Navy would trim the lead to one twice (3-2, 4-3) on goals by midfielder Greyson Torain (So / Glen Burnie, Md.) and Colin Flounlacker (Sr / Stevensville, Md.), but Lafayette scored twice in the final 1:29 of the first half to take a 6-3 lead into the break.
The Mids came out of the locker room and scored quickly with Torain dodging his way through a pair of defenders before dancing his way along the crease to get within two just two minutes into the second half.
Lafayette, however, pushed its lead to a game-high four with back-to-back goals including an extra-man strike by second-year middie Connar Dehnert with 3:31 to go in the third quarter.
Navy answered just eight seconds later when attackman Drew Smiley (So / Shrewsbury, Mass.) sent his pass across the field to fellow attackman Chris Hill (Jr / Novato, Calif.) who poked in his first goal of the day from the crease.
The Leopards got the final word, though, as senior middie Keegan Hickey scored in transition with 51 ticks left in the quarter to push Lafayette’s lead back to four (9-5).
Navy’s defense clamped down over the final 15 minutes of action and the offense began to gel as the Mids scored three straight over a three-minute span. Second-year midifelder Ian Burgoyne (Darien, Conn.) sparked the run when his use of misdirection allowed him to get free with his left hand for an unassisted goal at 10:20.
Hill scored just 40 seconds later when he was Johnny-on-the-Spot and picked up the ground ball off a Flounlacker shot that ricocheted off the cross bar and Hill punched it in from 8 yards out.
Navy’s final goal of the run was scored at the 7:43 mark when first-year starting attackman Ryan Wade (Coronado, Calif.) beat his defender from the left alleyway and swept through the middle of the field for a six-yard shot.
Navy’s best shot at knotting the game came at the 5:54 mark when the Mids were a man up and Lafayette goalkeeper Jonathan Anastos made a spectacular save on a shot by Hill from point-blank range. Meanwhile, with under a minute to go in the game, Torain had a shot that hit the pipe before being corralled by the Leopards.
Hill, Flounlacker and Torain all pitched in two goals, while Hill added an assist to lead the Mids on an afternoon that saw Navy outshoot the Leopards, 37-35.
Senior Brady Dove (Stevensville, Md.) (6-11) and junior Joe Varello (Kings Park, N.Y.) (7-10) combined to win 13 of the 21 draws, while the Navy defense was led between the pipes by rookie Ryan Kern (Middletown, Del.) who turned in 10 saves.
Six different players scored for the Leopards, including Smith who had three and Scott McAvoy with a pair. Anastos made 11 saves, including six in the fourth quarter.
The Mids return to action next Saturday when they make the short trip to Baltimore to battle #12 Loyola. Game time is slated for 1:00 pm. A free live video stream will be available on PatriotLeague.TV while Pete Medhurst will have the call on 1430 AM / 99.9 FM WNAV beginning at 12:45 pm.
### Go Navy ###