Army Uses 10-Goal Second Half to Defeat Mids
April 16, 2011
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Led by attackmen Jeremy Boltus and Garrett Thul who combined to score nine goals on the afternoon, Army outscored Navy 10-2 in the second half to earn a 14-9 victory over the Midshipmen in men’s lacrosse action Saturday afternoon at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
In a tale of two halves, Navy dominated the opening 30 minutes of play over the Black Knights. The Mids owned an 18-5 advantage in shots, a 15-9 lead in ground balls and held an 8-5 edge in faceoffs.
After the two teams traded off goals, Navy staged a 4-0 run over the course of eight minutes. Senior midfielder Kevin Doyle (Towson, Md.) scored a pair of goals during the run, while freshman attackman Tucker Hull (Charlotte, N.C.) scored a goal and added an assist. Assisting Hull on his goal was senior midfielder Andy Warner (Corning, N.Y.), who became just the 29th player in program history to reach the 100-point milestone. He finished the game with a pair of assists.
Navy owned its largest lead of four at the 2:33 mark in the second quarter after junior middie Nikk Davis (Cockeysville, Md.) used a role dodge to punch in his lone goal of the game and gave the Mids a 7-3 advantage.
Army countered just under a minute later when junior midfielder Devin Lynch scored the first of his two goals running in from the right wing and getting off his shot before falling into the crease. It was a goal that would trigger a five-goal run by the Black Knights, despite a 15-minute halftime break after Lynch’s goal.
The Black Knights came out like gang busters in the second half, scoring four goals in the first six minutes of action, including two in the first 1:15. Lynch picked up where he left off in the first half, blowing past Navy defensive midfielder Marty Gallagher (Wayne, Pa.) and scoring off a lefty shot on the run 1:06 into the game. Nine seconds later, long pole Tim Henderson fed midfielder Matt Hurley for a 15-yard sidearm shot that squirmed its way past Navy keeper RJ Wickham (Penn Yan, N.Y.). Henderson then scored the game-tying goal at the 11:30 mark off a high velocity shot that when top shelf.
Army took its first lead of the game at the 9:03 mark, when the fantastic attack duo of Boltus and Thul hooked up with Boltus finding Thul on the crease to take an 8-7 lead. Remarkably at that point in the game, Army had scored its eight goals on just 11 shots.
The Mids scored the equalizer with 3:58 to play in the third quarter when Jay Mann’s (Cockeysville, Md.) pass ricocheted off defenseman Larry LoRusso who was standing on the crease and went into the goal.
Army, though, wasted little time in answering, as Thul found Boltus who cranked a 10-yard shot from up top at 3:04 to give the Black Knights the lead for good.
Navy managed just one more goal in the game, as Hull scored his third goal of the game off an assist from fellow freshman Harrison Chaires (Ellitcott City, Md.) on extra-man with 7:08 remaining in the contest.
“If we prevent the goal at the end of the first half and we score off that first possession of the second, it’s all of a sudden an 8-3 game and we have things well in hand,” said Navy head coach Richie Meade. “I’m proud of our guys. They did everything that we anticipated we needed to do, but Army overcame it. This is difficult!
“We had some great opportunities that just didn’t work out. Whether we hit the post, hit Palesky or he made a stop, we just couldn’t put the ball away when we needed to. I give Army a lot of credit for turning the tables on us when it looked like we had control of the game.”
Navy led Army in almost every statistical category - 40-21 in shots, 37-22 in ground balls, 15-12 in faceoffs - except one that played out to be the most stunning, saves. Army’s Tom Palesky finished the contest with 11 saves, posting nine of them in the second half of play. Meanwhile, Wickham, a 2010 Honorable Mention All-American, managed just one save in the game for the Mids and was yanked after the third quarter. He was replaced by senior Mike Haas (Blue Bell, Pa.), who had seen action in just three career games coming into his final contest at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Haas gave up four goals and made no saves.
“I’m not prone to changing goalkeepers,” added Meade. “But after the third quarter, we felt like we had to do something. RJ had a tough day.”
“Losing to Army in our stadium is emotional,” said senior defenseman Michael Hirsch (Schwenksville, Pa.). “It’s frustrating. But we are all brothers at the end of the day. I went up to Jeremy Boltus after the game to congratulate him and we both said how much we respected the heck out of the other.”
The Mids will play their season finale next Saturday when they make the short trip to Baltimore to battle nationally-ranked Johns Hopkins. Game time is set for 8:00 pm at Homewood Field in a nationally-televised contest broadcast on ESPNU.
### Go Navy ###