Navy-North Carolina Lacrosse Battle Set for Thursday Under the Lights
Senior attackman Brendan Connors scored a pair of goals and added an assist in last year's game.
Feb. 24, 2010
• Hoping to overcome not only an 8-7 overtime loss against 15th-ranked Loyola a week ago, but also the loss of All-American Tim Paul, 16th-ranked Navy will look to knock off No. 4 North Carolina when the Midshipmen play host to the Tar Heels Thursday evening ... the 25th edition of the Navy-Carolina series is set for a 7:00 pm faceoff at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
• The Mids are coming off a disappointing overtime loss against nationally-ranked Loyola in what was the first meeting between the two teams since the 1993 NCAA Tournament ... midfielder Patrick Moran produced his second straight hat trick, while attackman Andy Warner scored a pair of goals and added an assist ... defensively sophomore goalkeeper RJ Wickham earned Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Week kudos after posting a career-high 19 saves in the losing effort.
• Carolina is off to a 3-0 start to its season and is being led by some new faces ... Michael Burns (19-31, 61.3) takes over the faceoff duties full-time from the nation’s second-ranked specialist, while junior Chris Madalon is the man between the pipes (4.87 GAA, 54.8 sv%) ... meanwhile, sophomore attackman Thomas Wood has gotten it done on the offensive end for the Tar Heels, pacing the team with 12 points on seven goals and five assists.
• Thursday’s contest will be televised by CBS College Sports with Dave Ryan (play by play) and former Duke standout Matt Danowski (analyst) calling he action.
• Additionally, the game will be broadcast over the radio waves by WNAV 1430 AM with Pete Medhurst handling the call, beginning with the Navy lacrosse pregame show at 6:45 pm ... the game will also be streamed online via Navy All-Access with live stats available at NavySports.com.
Carolina On My Mind
• Navy head coach Richie Meade is a 1976 graduate of North Carolina where he played lacrosse for current UNC associate athletic director Willie Scroggs ... Scroggs hired Meade as an assistant in 1979 and again in 1989-90.
• Second-year North Carolina head coach Joe Breschi was a two-time All-American for the Tar Heels’ defense in 1989 and ‘90, the same seasons Meade spent as an assistant coach in Chapel Hill.
• Carolina junior attackman Billy Bitter is the younger brother of former Navy lacrosse standout and 2009 graduate Matt Bitter.
Taking the Field In ...
10 - Navy has reached the 10-win marker in each of the last six seasons, a program record.
9 - Over the last 10 Navy-Carolina meetings, the winning teams has scored nine or more goals nine times with the exception being the 2008 NCAA Tournament contest Navy won, 8-7.
8 - Opponents have scored double digits against the Mids just eight times in games played on their home field over the last seven seasons (45 gms).
7 - Seven of the last 11 Navy-North Carolina games have been decided by one goal, including each of the last two.
6 - Six of Navy’s 2010 opponents are ranked in this week’s USILA Preseason Coaches Poll - North Carolina (4), Johns Hopkins (5), Maryland (6), Loyola (10), Georgetown (12), Bucknell (15).
5 - Navy (71) is one of just five programs to win 70 games since the start of 2004, joining Duke (79), Virginia (74), Johns Hopkins (73) and Cornell (70).
4 - Navy owns a 11-15 all-time record against teams ranked fourth ... its most recent matchup was a 10-4 loss against No. 4 Johns Hopkins on May 17, 2008, in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament.
3 - Patrick Moran has punched in three goals in each of the last two games and has four-career hat tricks.
2 - Since 2004, Navy has lost just two games (40-2) when scoring 10 or more goals since 2004.
1 - Navy’s man-down unit was ranked No. 1 in the nation a year ago after giving up just six extra-man goals in 40 opportunities (.850).
Previewing North Carolina
• Former North Carolina standout and second-year Tar Heel head coach Joe Breschi has his squad off to a 3-0 record, scoring wins over Jacksonville (11-5), Bryant (5-4) and Lehigh (17-5).
• The Tar Heels are averaging 11 goals per game, while their defense is holding their foes to just 20 shots per game and under five goals per contest.
• After combining for just eight points (2-6) a year ago, sophomore Thomas Wood has already put up more points in his three games this season ... he is pacing the team with 12 points on a team-best seven goals and five assists ... he has scored his seven goals on nine shots on goal.
• All-American Billy Bitter, whose brother Matt graduated from the Naval Academy last spring, has also gotten off to a strong start, producing three goals and dealing out six assists ... he’s also one of the team leaders in ground balls, scooping up 15.
• One of the biggest voids left in the lineup was the graduation of faceoff specialist Shane Walterhoefer, who was ranked No. 2 in the nation a year ago, while as a team North Carolina was the nation’s best ... junior Michael Burns, however, has filled in nicely winning 61.3 percent (19-31) of his draws this year.
• Junior Chris Madalon has taken over the goalkeeping duties for the Tar Heels ... he has recorded a 54.8 save percentage, turning away 17 shots on goal, while giving up 14 goals (4.87).
Navy vs. The ACC
• The Midshipmen own a 100-90-1 record (.526) against the four-member Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC).
• Navy has faced all four teams multiple times, including long-standing rivalries with Maryland and North Carolina.
• Navy, whose series against North Carolina is knotted at 12 wins apiece, has faced the Tar Heels every year since 1996 ... the series first began in 1975.
• The Mids, who battle Maryland on April 10, have faced the Terps 84 times and have played one another every year since 1946 ... the series first began in 1924.
• Though Navy and Virginia met in the NCAA Quarterfinals in 2005, the two programs haven’t met on a regular basis since 1995 ... Virginia owns a 31-18 advantage.
• While Navy leads the series with Duke, 24-10, the two programs met last season for the first time since the 1999 campaign ... the Blue Devils blew out the Mids, 14-5, in the opening game of the NCAA Tournament.
• The series stands at 12 wins apiece after North Carolina scored a 9-8 come-from-behind victory over the visiting Midshipmen at Fetzer Field in Chapel Hill, N.C. last February.
• Seven of the last 11 games in the series have been decided by one goal ... a break down of the games during the Richie Meade era (1996-present) are listed above.
• Navy and North Carolina have traded wins in the last four meetings with each owning an NCAA Tournament victory over one another in the last three seasons (12-8 Carolina in 2007, 8-7 Navy in 2008).
• The two teams had met during the regular season every year since 1996, however a scheduling glitch in ‘08 prevented Navy and North Carolina from their annual contest ... ironically, the two teams would end up meeting in the NCAA Tournament with the Mids scoring an 8-7 win ... in terms of regular-season meetings, Navy has won five of the last six, including a 19-8 rout over the Tar Heels in ‘07 which was the last game played in Annapolis.
• Navy owns an 8-3 advantage in games played on its home field, including wins in each of the last three.
Wickham Picks Up Patriot League Honor
• Navy sophomore goalkeeper RJ Wickham garnered Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Week honors on Tuesday after producing 31 saves (15.5 sv/gm), registering a 70.5 save percentage and posting a 6.30 goals-against average in the first two weeks of action.
• Wickham opened the 2010 season with a 12-save effort against Loyola, holding the Greyhounds to five goals.
• In Navy’s OT loss against Loyola last week, Wickham turned away 19 of the Greyhounds’ 27 shots on goal, including making 10 saves in the second quarter alone.
• His 19-save performance was the best by a Navy keeper since former Navy team captain Seth DiNola turned away 21 shots on goal in a losing effort against Penn State (5-4) on April 12, 2003.
• This is the second time Wickham has been honored, as he received a tip of the cap from the conference last March.
Home Field Advantage
• Navy owns a 33-11 record (.750) in games played at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium since the start of the 2004 campaign, outscoring its foes, 472-293.
• This is the 49th season Navy has played at least one game at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
• Having played at least a game a year at the stadium for 42 consecutive years, Navy stepped away in 2003, allowing for state-of-the-art renovations to take place, including the astroplay surface and two video boards ... Navy has played all of its home games at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium since the beginning of the 2004 campaign.
• Navy had won 20 consecutive home games against Patriot League foes before dropping a 10-9 decision to Colgate last spring.
• Opponents have scored double digits against the Mids just eight times in games played on their home field over the last six seasons ... Navy has held 18 of its 45 opponents to five or fewer goals since 2004 in games played at home (includes 2010 game vs. VMI played at Rip Miller Field).
• Navy owns a 73-33 (.689) record at home under the direction of head coach Richie Meade ... the Mids have reached four wins at home every season Meade has been the head coach ... Navy has recorded five or more wins at home in six of Meade’s 16 seasons, including seven wins in 2004, ‘05, ‘06 and ‘07.
Upon Further Review
• Loyola senior attackman Cooper MacDonnell punched in his sixth goal of the game with just nine ticks left in overtime to lead the 15th-ranked Greyhounds over Navy, 8-7 OT, last Saturday at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
• In what marked the first matchup between the two programs since Loyola upset Navy in the opening round of the 1993 NCAA Tournament, the Greyhounds dominated the Mids throughout the game.
• After the Mids opened up a 1-0 lead off an Andy Warner-to-Brendan Connors doorstep goal three minutes into the contest, Loyola went on to score three straight goals and held onto the lead until early in the fourth quarter.
• Despite goals by Warner and Patrick Moran to knot the game, it was Loyola who would score the game-winner.
• All seven Navy goals were scored by its offensive starters with the lone points coming from senior Evan Sullivan off assists on extra-man.
• Starting middie Patrick Moran recorded his second hat trick in as many games to lead the Mids.
• Faceoff specialists Robby Battle and Logan West combined to win 12 of the 19 draws ... Battle was 9 for 15, while West was 3 for 4.
• Second-year goalie RJ Wickham turned away 19 shots, making it the best performance by a Navy keeper since former Navy team captain Seth DiNola turned away 21 shots on goal in a losing effort against Penn State (5-4) on April 12, 2003.
• Since the start of 2004, 39 Navy lacrosse games have been televised.
• Navy will make at minimum six appearances on TV this season, including four nationally-televised contests on CBS College Sports.
• CBS College Sports will carry Navy home games against North Carolina (Feb. 25 @ 7 pm), Bucknell (March 6 @ 3 pm), Georgetown (April 2 @ 7 pm) and Johns Hopkins (April 24 @ 12 pm).
• Additionally, CBS College Sports will air both Patriot League Tournament Semifinal Games (April 30), along with the Patriot League Championship on May 2.
• ESPNU will televise the Navy-Maryland contest on April 10 (12 pm) and the following week’s Day of Rivals event at M&T Bank Stadium featuring Army vs. Navy (4 pm) and Maryland vs. Johns Hopkins (6:30 pm).
• Last spring, CBS College Sports aired Navy’s 10-4 upset victory over No. 8 Maryland from Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium ... more than 15,000 fans were on hand to watch the Mids hand Maryland the largest margin of defeat in the series since 1992.
• ESPNU carried the 2009 Army-Navy Star Game as a part of the Day of Rivals event at M&T Bank Stadium where better than 20,000 saw Navy earn an 8-4 win.
• Lacrosse fans tuned in to CBS College Sports to watch Navy claim its fifth Patriot League Tournament with wins over Colgate and Bucknell last spring.
• The Mids own a 20-19 (.513) record when their games are televised ... Navy is 12-8 on CBS College Sports all-time and 6-9 on the ESPN family of networks ... the Mids are also 1-0 on local Baltimore station WMAR and 1-2 on MASN.
• The Mids own a 51-8 record in games that have not been televised since the start of 2004.
• Dating back to last season, at least one Navy player has turned in a hat trick in eight of the last nine games (did not vs. Duke), including Patrick Moran, who has produced hat tricks in both games this season, and Andy Warner, who scored a trio of goals in Navy’s win over VMI.
• A year ago, Patrick Moran and Evan Sullivan were responsible for a combined 12 of the Mids’ 15 extra-man goals ... Moran has scored all three of the Mids’ man-up goals this season, while Sullivan fed him twice in last week’s loss to Loyola.
• Senior midfielder Joe Lennon owns the team’s longest current point producing streak, turning in a point in five consecutive games ... the last game he did not score a goal or deliver an assist was last year’s Johns Hopkins contest.
• After leading the Midshipmen in goals a year ago with 21, senior attackman Brendan Connors has scored just one goal in the first two games ... perhaps the more surprising stat is the fact he has taken only one shot.
• Since 2004, Navy owns an amazing 49-1 record when holding its opponents to six or fewer goals, including a 7-0 mark in the last two seasons combined.
• Sophomore keeper RJ Wickham’s 19-save effort against Loyola was the best by a Navy keeper since former Navy team captain Seth DiNola turned away 21 shots on goal in a losing effort against Penn State (5-4) on April 12, 2003 ... Wickham recorded 42 saves (7.00 sv/gm) in six games a year ago and two games into 2010 he has turned back 31 shots on goal (15.5 sv/gm).
• After leading the nation a year ago, Navy’s man-down defense has given up four goals on 12 attempts (.667) ... last season the Mids surrendered six goals on 40 attempts.
• Navy owns a 40-2 record when scoring 10 or more goals since 2004, including a 7-0 mark in 2009 and ‘10.
• The Mids have won 15 in a row when leading at the half, including a 7-0 mark over the last two seasons ... Navy has won 17 straight when leading after three quarters.