March 19, 2011
WORCESTER, Mass. — The Navy men’s lacrosse team (4-4, 2-2 Patriot League) used a crippling defense and took advantage of 10 Holy Cross penalties to post an 8-3 victory over the Crusaders (0-7, 0-2 Patriot League) Saturday afternoon at Hart Turf Field in Worcester, Mass. The Mids have now won three-consecutive games after dropping four in a row on the road.
“Holy Cross really slowed it down and their defense packed it in tight and played zone,” said Navy head Coach Richie Meade, who has never lost to Holy Cross in his 17 years at the Academy. “It was a little sloppy out there early, but we settled in played our game.”
The story of the game came down to possession. Not only did junior faceoff specialist Logan West (Berlin, Md.) control 11 of the 14 draws in the game, Navy also possessed the ball a great deal of the contest due to Holy Cross racking up nearly 10 minutes of penalty time. Navy scored goals on five of its 10 extra-man opportunities, including the game’s first goal at the 2:23 mark in the opening period. Freshmen attackmen Tucker Hull (Charlotte, N.C.) and Harrison Chaires (Ellicott City, Md.) worked together to put the Mids on the the scoreboard in what would be a lead they’d not relinquish.
Chaires punched in his second of three extra-man goals at 12:29 in the second quarter with Jay Mann (Cockeysville, Md.) finding him for a nifty shot.
Hull, who was named the Patriot League Rookie of the Week earlier in the week, then put Navy up 4-0 with back-to-back goals, including his first man-up goal of the year at the 10:26 mark,
Navy’s defense smothered Holy Cross the entire first half and after nearly 35 minutes of scoreless play, the Crusaders got on the board thanks to an unassisted goal by junior midfielder Andrew Morici.
Navy, though, went on to score three unanswered goals in the span of two minutes. The run began when junior attackman Taylor Reynolds (Babylon, N.Y.) found senior middie Andy Warner (Corning, N.Y.) for the goal at the 8:03 mark. It was one of only three even-strength goals by the Mids in the contest. A minute later, at the 7:05 mark, Warner pumped in an unassisted extra-man goal. Meanwhile, Chaires turned in his first-collegiate hat trick with his third man-up goal of the afternoon off an assist from Hull.
Chaires is the first Navy player to score three extra-man goals in a single game since All-American Adam Borcz talled three against Penn State on April 14, 2001.
The Mids were not done, however, extending their lead to 8-1 on a Brian Striffler (Virginia Beach, Va.)-to-Sam Jones (Annapolis, Md.) goal at the 4:30 mark.
Navy made a change between the pipes following Jones’ goal, giving senior Mike Haas (Blue Bell, Pa.) just his second-career appearance in goal. Haas would give up a pair of goals in the final four-plus minutes, including a garbage goal with 17 seconds remaining in the game to senior attackman Colin Flood.
The three goals are the fewest the Mids’ defense have surrendered since last year’s Navy-Holy Cross tilt in which the Mids won, 12-3, in Annapolis. Ironically, it’s also the last time Navy held an opponent scoreless for a half. In last year’s game, Navy jumped out to a 4-0 halftime lead before the crusaders scored in the 39th minute.
“I thought we really played great defense today,” added Meade. “It was probably the best one-on-one defense we’ve played this season. Jordan Seivold played probably his best and our two senior shorties Brian Striffler and Marty Gallagher were both enforcers out there.”
With his two-goal, one-assist effort against the Crusaders, Warner extended his point streak to 20-consecutive games which is tied as the 18th-longest streak in the country. Meanwhile, he is just four points shy of becomming only the 29th player in program history to score 100 points in a career. The last player to join the list was Nick Mirabito who amassed 158 points from 2005-08.
Meanwhile, West continues to roll at the “x.” Over the last three games, he has won 46 of the 66 draws (.697) he has taken. During the Mids’ four-game slied, he won 20 of the 53 faceoffs (.377) he took.
The Mids return to action next Saturday when they play host to Patriot League foe Colgate. Action is slated for 12:00 pm at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium and will be aired live on Navy All-Access, as well as 1430 WNAV with Pete Medhurst calling the action. Additionally, Navy will hold its annual “Meet the Mids” event following the conclusion of the game. Members of the Navy men’s lacrosse team will be available for autographs on the Blue Concourse, with the first 300 kids in line for the postgame autograph session receiving a Navy lacrosse “Meet the Mids” t-shirt, compliments of Chick-fil-A and Beach Boys Papa John’s. In addition, Navy’s 2011 lacrosse poster and an autograph card will be available, while prizes will also be handed out.
### Go Navy ###