Colgate's Stifling Defense Stops Mids, 5-4
Senior defenseman Michael Hirsch recorded a career-high six caused turnovers against the Raiders.
March 26, 2011
ANNAPOLIS, Md. —The Navy men’s lacrosse team (4-5, 2-3 Patriot League) scored the game’s first-two goals, but scoreless lulls of 21 and 31 minutes in the first and second halves, respectively, allowed Colgate (6-3, 2-0 Patriot League) to score a 5-4 win over the Mids and snap Navy’s three-game winning streak. Colgate, the only Patriot League foe who has beaten the Mids on their home field since Navy joined the league in 2004, has now won two in a row against the Mids at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
Navy jumped out to a 2-0 lead with back-to-back goals within a minute of one another by senior midfielder Kevin Doyle (Towson, Md.) (8:09), followed by a speed dodge goal by Nikk Davis (Cockeysville, Md.) (7:15).
While the Mids looked to have the game well in hand, they were dealt a blow when senior midfielder Andy Warner (Corning, N.Y.) got tangled up with a Colgate player and Warner suffered a blow to the head. For precautionary reasons, Warner was held out of competition for roughly 15 minutes of game play. Although Warner did return to the game midway through the second quarter, Navy’s offense never seemed to get the swagger back in its step.
In fact, Colgate rattled off three-straight goals to take a 3-2 advantage with 5:15 to play in the opening half. Rookie midfielder Jimmy Ryan kicked off the run with a left alley dodge past Navy defensive midfielder Jordan Seivold (Minnetonka, Minn.), sending his shot from 10 yards out past Navy keeper RJ Wickham (Penn Yan, N.Y.) with 47 seconds left in the first quarter. Faceoff specialist Jim Carroll won the faceoff to open the second frame and found the nation’s sixth-ranked goal scorer Peter Baum for the equalizer at 14:54. The Raiders took the lead with 5:15 remaining in the second when Warner’s errant pass was picked up by Colgate defenseman Greg Perkins and off to the races they went. The Navy turnover led to one of three transition goals by Colgate, this one by long pole Dave Tucciarone.
The Mids finally got themselves back on the scoreboard when Warner found freshman attackman Tucker Hull (Charlotte, N.C.) for a five-yard shot just to the right of the goal at the 1:12 mark. The assist by Warner extended his point scoring streak to 21-straight games dating back to last year’s Lehigh contest.
Navy’s efforts were short-lived, however, as Carroll won the ensuing faceoff for the Raiders and got the ball to senior middie Rob Bosco. Filling the middle, Bosco passed the ball off to Baum on the left wing, who fired off a shot that appeared to hit defenseman Michael Hirsch (Schwenksville, Pa.) before taking a hop and finding its way into the goal with 1:01 left to take a 3-2 advantage going into halftime.
The third quarter featured several shots that would never find the back of the net until the 4:30 mark when the Raiders perfectly executed their transition game that resulted in a Ben McCabe goal from roughly seven yards out and extended their lead to 5-3.
After barraging Colgate keeper Jared Madison with 11 shots over the final 2:19 of the game, the Mids finally were able to get within one. But the eight-yard unassisted goal by junior attackman Taylor Reynolds (Babylon, N.Y.) came too late for the Mids, as he scored with just two ticks left in the contest.
The stats were virtually even from category to category with Navy outshooting the Raiders, 31-26 and holding a 30-28 advantage in ground balls. Colgate won seven faceoffs to Navy’s six, while Navy turned the ball over 17 times and Colgate recorded 14 turnovers.
Navy’s defensive put together what Meade called its best effort of the year on the heels of just a three-goal effort by Holy Cross a week ago. Remarkably, it’s just the second time in the last eight seasons that Navy has been tripped up when holding an opponent to six or fewer goals (53-2).
Wickham, who had a solid performance between the pipes for the Mids with nine stops, became just the 12th player in program history to reach the 300-save milestone. He stands 12th on the Mids’ all-time saves list with 306.
Hirsch played a spectacular game where he was paired up against Baum. While Baum did score two goals, both were off unsettled situations following faceoff wins by the Raiders. Hirsch closed out the game with a career-high six caused turnovers.
“I’m encouraged that we played so well defensively, but I’m also disappointed because our defense was stellar and our offense could not match that performance today,” said Navy head coach Richie Meade. “Offensively we just didn’t get the job done. We had opportunities to shoot and didn’t. Colgate did a good job of packing it in and did a good job inside of tying us up. But it wasn’t anything we weren’t expecting. We talked about it all week. we were in position to shoot a bunch of times and didn’t pull the trigger.”
On the flip side, Colgate’s defense held Navy, one of the most proficient and prolific offensive units in the country this season, to a season-low four goals. The Mids came into the contest averaging 11.00 goals per game and were ranked fifth nationally in shot percentage.
“It was the first time this year that I thought our offense played young,” added Meade. “I’m in no way making an excuse for us, but we just made poor decisions at times and we really needed someone to step up. I thought we played extremely tight. Perhaps Andy getting hurt early put us out of sync, but at the end of the day we just didn’t shoot.”
Navy returns to action next Friday when it travels to the nation’s capital to face Georgetown. Game time is slated for 7:00 pm. Fans unable to make the game can tune in to 1430 WNAV and catch the game with Pete Medhurst calling the action.
### Go Navy ###