Navy Lax Looks to Avenge Patriot League Tournament Loss Vs. Colgate
March 19, 2009
Navy's (6-2, 3-1 Patriot League) quest to win a share of its sixth consecutive Patriot League regular-season title continues Saturday when the 15th-ranked Midshipmen play host to Colgate (3-3, 1-0 PL), who spoiled Navy's Patriot League Tournament hopes a year ago by bouncing them from the tournament in the semifinals ... Saturday's faceoff is slated for 12:00 pm at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
After opening the season with a pair of home games, the Mids have played five of their last six games on the road, including trips to three different states (Pennsylvania twice) ... including Saturday's game, Navy will play two of its remaining five regular season games in Annapolis.
For the second straight game, Navy was forced to overcome a deficit to claim victory ... last Saturday, the Mids utilized a 7-0 run in the fourth quarter to earn a 10-5 win over Holy Cross in just the second trip in school history to Worcester, Mass ... junior attackman Tim Paul scored Navy's only two goals in the first 40 minutes of play, while All-Patriot League midfielder Patrick Moran scored back-to-back goals in the final period of action, including the game-winner.
Colgate held on to squeeze out a 13-12 victory over Fairfield last Saturday ... in the final minute of the contest, the Stags scored back-to-back goals just 27 seconds apart, but it was too little too late ... Colgate's Zack Craumer, Nick Monastero and Ian Murphy each turned in hat tricks to lead the Raiders.
The game will be broadcast over the radio waves by (WNAV 1430 AM, WFED 1050 AM | 820 AM | 1050 AM) with Pete Medhurst handling the call, beginning with the Navy lacrosse pregame show at 11:45 am ... in addition, the game will be streamed online (audio AND video) with live stats available at NavySports.com.
Meet The Mids
Navy will hold its annual "Meet the Mids" upon conclusion of Saturday's contest against 2008 NCAA Tournament qualifier Colgate.
Members of the 15th-ranked 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.
In addition, Navy's 2009 lacrosse poster and an autograph card will be available, while prizes will also be handed out.
A Win Over Colgate Would ...
extend the Mids' winning streak to five straight games.
push Navy's series lead to 9-2 against Colgate.
give the Mids a 4-1 record in Patriot League action with just one remaining conference game, the April 11 battle against Army at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.
improve Navy's record to 40-5 against opponents from the conference and 32-4 in Patriot League contests.
give Navy seven wins for the season and mark the 11th time in Richie Meade's 15 seasons his Midshipmen have won seven or more games.
Don't let Colgate's .500 record (3-3) fool you, nor its lack of a national ranking ... the Raiders have played a challenging schedule.
After opening the season with a 15-11 win over Canisius, Colgate played its next three games on the road and against nationally-ranked foes ... the Raiders dropped a one-goal contest to Duke and two days later were tripped up by two goals against North Carolina ... the following week, UMBC outlasted the Raiders, 13-9, in Baltimore.
Colgate managed to snap its losing streak by man-handling Holy Cross, 22-9, at home before holding on to defeat Fairfield last weekend on the road.
The Raiders have multiple scoring weapons, fielding one of the most experienced offensive units in the league ... the senior attack duo of Brandon Corp and Kevin Colleluori is as good as there gets in the country ... Corp, a two-time Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year, is pacing the team with 28 points on 16 goals and 12 assists, while Colleluori owns a team-best 17 goals.
Senior midfielder Nick Monastero has found his niche, pumping in 12 goals, including four extra-man markers.
And while the Raiders are averaging over 12 goals per game (12.7), they've shown they are vulnerable on the defensive end, giving up better than 10 goals per game (10.8) ... junior Tim Harrington is giving up 10.52 goals per game, while stopping 50 percent of the shots put on goal.
Colgate has missed the advantage Chris Eck gave it at the faceoff "x" ... without the All-Patriot League draw specialist, the Raiders are winning 56.9 percent of their faceoffs led by sophomore Jim Carroll, who tips the scales at 52 percent.
Navy vs. Colgate -- The Series
Navy leads the all-time series with Colgate, 8-2, including last year's 8-3 regular-season win in Hamilton, N.Y.
However, Colgate turned back the Mids at West Point last spring in the Patriot League Tournament Semifinals, 12-9 ... it marked the first loss by Navy in league tournament play as the Midshipmen owned a flawless 8-0 record that led them to four straight tournament crowns.
Since joining the Patriot League in 2004, the Mids have suffered just five losses against Patriot League foes (39-5 ... 31-4 regular season, 8-1 in postseason) ... the Mids dropped their first decision in 2005 to Bucknell, followed by an `06 loss to Colgate ... last spring, the Mids were tripped up by their arch rival Army for the first time since 1997 and two weeks later suffered their tournament loss against Colgate ... Bucknell got the best of the Mids earlier this season on a buzzer beater by rookie Charlie Streep.
The two teams have met eight times since the Midshipmen joined the Patriot League ... during that span, Navy has produced a 6-2 record and outscored Colgate, 97-57 ... Navy and Colgate have twice faced one another in the Patriot League Tournament and have been met with split results ... in 2007, the Mids claimed a 15-9 win over the Raiders in the championship game, before dropping last year's 12-9 decision in the semis.
Navy has held Colgate to six or fewer goals in seven of the 10 previous matchups, while the Mids have reached double digits seven times.
The Last Time
Colgate went on a seven-goal run midway through the opening quarter and into the second to take a lead it would not relinquish, as the unranked Raiders dealt No. 14 Navy a 12-9 loss in the semifinals of the Patriot League Tournament held at West Point, N.Y.
It was the first time since Navy joined the league in 2004, that the Mids had suffered a loss in the tournament (8-1).
The Mids got off to a quick start, scoring the opening three goals in a span of less than four minutes. Sophomore Tim Paul gave Navy a 1-0 lead just 28 seconds into the game on an unassisted tally, sending a shot from a tight angle over Tim Harrington's shoulder.
Colgate's Kevin Colleluori scored the first of his two goals on the evening at 9:52 in the first quarter, sparking a seven-goal run by the Raiders. Four of the seven goals were scored by two-time Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year Brandon Corp, including the last three.
The Mids fought back to within one by scored three in a row, including a goal by senior Nick Mirabito with just seven seconds left before the half.
On the same play that Mirabito scored, Colgate was whistled for a slash and came out of halftime a man down. Navy made the most of it as defenseman Andy Tormey cued up a transition goal which All-Patriot League midfielder Patrick Moran sent whizzing past Harrington.
With 6:23 remaining in the third quarter, junior Shane Durkin scored the first of his career-high four goals to put the Mids within one at 7-6.
Navy had the opportunity to tie the game up, but junior Sean Standen's shot clanked off the the pipe and gave Colgate a transition goal with 4:14 left in the quarter. It was the first of three-straight goals for the Raiders, stretching their lead to 10-7.
Navy and Colgate traded goals over the next quarter and a half, but it was the Raiders who would prevail.
Statistically, Navy outshot (42-35), won more ground balls (25-22), won more faceoffs (14-12) and turned the ball over fewer times (11-16).
The Hot Hand
Midfielder Patrick Moran has scored a goal in every game this season, including four in the last two contests.
Sophomore Andy Warner has provided a point in all eight games (goals in seven), while Tim Paul (Mount St. Mary's) and Brendan Connors (Holy Cross) have been held without a point just once each.
Second-line midfielders Brian Striffler and Michael Beggins have pitched in recently ... Striffler, who scored one goal a year ago, has six this season and one in each of the last four games ... Beggins has scored a goal in three straight games and added an assist in a fourth.
Senior Shane Durkin has provided points in each of the last three games ... in last year's Patriot League Tournament matchup against Colgate, he led the Mids with four goals.
Rookie Nikk Davis has scored goals in each of the last two games, but has yet to post a point at home.
Sixteen different players have scored goals for the Mids this season, including 12 who have turned in multiple goals.
Additionally senior defensive midfielder Geoff Leone, senior midfielder Matt Bitter and junior draw specialist Frankie Coppola have each dealt out a pair of helpers.
All told, 19 different players have contributed points for the Mids this season.
Last spring, 21 players scored goals for the Mids, while another five posted assists, bringing the total to 26 different players having a role in Navy's scoring.
Navy was one of just four schools (Duke, Hobart, Dartmouth) to have 26 or more players produce a point.
Last year, seven different players accounted for Navy's 10 game-winners ... Navy is well on its way to a similar result this season as five players have been responsible for the Mids' six game-winning goals.
Navy has scored seven goals in a quarter in each of its last two contests - at Lehigh last Tuesday and at Holy Cross last Saturday.
The Mids pumped in seven in the third against Lehigh and seven in the fourth against the Crusaders, as Navy found itself down in both contests and in need of a boost.
Though seven goals sounds like a lot, it was just a year ago that Navy punched in seven goals en route to a 16-3 win over Holy Cross in Texas.
Tale of Two Halves
Navy has not been sharp to start its games this season and seemingly it's not until the later stages of the game before it has felt some sense of urgency.
Navy has outscored its opponents by a narrow 33-31 margin in the first half, but comes out a much different team in the second where it owns a 43-21 advantage.
In the fourth quarter alone, the Mids own a 21-8 scoring advantage, including a 15-5 mark in league play.
Ironically, Navy has scored the first goal in exactly half the games with Patrick Moran and Joe Lennon each scoring two of the four goals.
Meanwhile, Navy has shot just 52 times in the opening quarter, while turning in 81, 85 and 79 shots in the remaining three periods respectively.