Friday Night Lacrosse Classic: Navy vs. Maryland
April 1, 2009
Fresh off its 10-8 win over Georgetown, 17th-ranked Navy (7-3) will be back in action Friday night under the lights when it battles longtime rival Maryland (6-3) ... the Navy-Maryland showdown, sponsored by STX, is slated for a 7:06 pm faceoff at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
Friday's game will be the fifth and final regular-season home game for the Mids' 13 seniors ... there will be a pregame ceremony honoring the senior players and their parents.
Anchored by a 15-save effort by senior Tommy Phelan, Navy held off a mounting comeback by Georgetown to snap a five game losing streak to the Hoyas ... junior attackman Tim Paul had a hand in each of the Mids' last four goals (2G, 2A) of the game, while fellow attackman Brendan Connors turned in his first collegiate hat trick.
Maryland, meanwhile, suffered a heart-wrenching loss to top-ranked Virginia in a 10-9 seven-overtime marathon contest in Charlottesville Saturday ... the Terps owned a 6-9 lead with 13:32 to play in the game, but they gave up three straight goals over the course of one minute to allow the Cavaliers to knot the game up ... UVA's Brian Carroll scored the equalizer with 4:39 to play in regulation and sealed the win with an unassisted score in the seventh overtime..
Friday's game will be televised by CBS College with Major League Lacrosse Director of Broadcast Content Jason Chandler (play by play) and former Syracuse All-American Paul Carcaterra (analyst) calling the action.
Additionally, the contest will be broadcast over the radio waves by (WNAV 1430 AM, WFED 1050 AM) with Pete Medhurst handling the call, beginning with the Navy lacrosse pregame show at 6:45 pm ... in addition, the game will be streamed online (audio AND video) with live stats available at NavySports.com.
Eighth-year head coach Dave Cottle has led his Terrapins to a 6-3 record, featuring wins over ACC foes Duke and North Carolina ... meanwhile the three losses have been at the hands of Georgetown, UMBC and Virginia.
The Terps are trying to brush off a 10-9 loss against top-ranked Virginia last weekend in what was the longest collegiate lacrosse game in NCAA history, an amazing seven overtimes ... it lasted one more extra period than Navy's 2002 loss to North Carolina in Chapel Hill.
Maryland owned a 6-9 lead with 13:32 to play in the game, but the Terps gave up three straight goals over the course of one minute to allow the Cavaliers to knot the game up ... UVA's Brian Carroll scored the equalizer and sealed the win with an unassisted score in OT.
Maryland sophomore attackman Grant Catalino seems to do it all for the Terps ... he is the team's leader in points (33), goals (18) and assists (15) ... he is the only Maryland player who has turned in multiple game-winners and also has punched in three extra-man scores.
Notre Dame transfer Will Yeatman has a balanced attack with 11 goals and 13 assists, while sophomore Ryan Young has gunned in 14 goals for the Terps.
Junior Bryn Holmes has gotten it done from the faceoff "x", winning 60.7 percent (65-107) of his draws.
Brian Phipps and Jason Carter have split the starting duties between the pipes ... Phipps has started four games and owns a 7.66 GAA and 57.5 save percentaged, while Carter has turned away 54.5 percent of the shots and yields a 6.54 GAA in five starts.
Navy vs. Maryland -- The Series
On Friday night, Navy and Maryland will meet for the 64th-consecutive year ... it's the second-longest continuous lacrosse series between Navy and another opponent ... only Army has played Navy longer (next week is the 77th-straight year the two have met).
Maryland leads the series, 50-32-1, however, the Midshipmen have won four of the last five contests, including last year's 5-4 victory by Navy at Byrd Stadium in College Park.
Eight of the last 10 games played between the two teams have been decided by one goal, including each of the last four meetings.
The Terrapins own a 27-19-1 advantage in games played in Annapolis, including wins in nine of the last 10 contests played in the state's capital ... Navy's 9-8 win over Maryland at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium was its first at home since 1985.
Only four Navy players on this year's roster have scored goals against Maryland -- Tim Paul has scored two goals in both his meetings against the Terps, while junior midfielders Patrick Moran and Joe Lennon each pumped in a goal in last year's Navy win ... meanwhile, junior middie Basil Daratsos scored twice against Maryland in the 2007 contest.
Joining junior Tim Paul on Navy's starting attack are junior Brendan Connors and sophomore Andy Warner ... Connors played in last year's game, but did not record a shot, while Warner has never played against the Terps.
Navy's 9-6 win over Maryland in 2004 is the only document win over a No. 1-ranked opponent in program history.
The Last Time
Anchored by a stingy defense that kept third-ranked Maryland scoreless for the first 41 minutes of the contest, No. 9 Navy held off a furious comeback by the Terps to earn a 5-4 victory at Byrd Stadium in College Park.
The first quarter featured a combined 14 turnovers between the two teams and 12 shots, including a 10-yarder by midfielder Patrick Moran that managed to find its way through Maryland keeper Brian Phipps' legs to give the Mids a 1-0 lead seven minutes into the contest.
Navy's offense flourished in the second quarter, as the Mids put 10 of their 14 shots on goal, scoring four goals by quarter's end. The first was a bouncer by middie Joe Lennon from 13 yards out at the 11:47 mark.
The Mids scored back-to-back goals a minute apart, including an extra-man strike by attack Tim Paul from Moran at 4:41. A minute later, attack Gregory Clement sat on the crease and converted a Matt Bitter pass to push the Mids' lead to 4-0. With just 44 seconds remaining in the half, defensive midfielder Geoff Leone penetrated up the middle before giving the ball up to Paul for his second goal.
With no goals at the break, it was the first time the Terps have been held scoreless since April 2, 2005, when Virginia defeated Maryland 10-2.
Navy's defense continued to smother the Terps early on in the second half, but a busted assignment left rookie Ryan Young alone behind the cage and he was easily able to loop his pass to senior Drew Evans to end Maryland's scoreless streak at 4:03 in the third. Maryland put up a second goal when it executed its first of two extra-man goals, as Max Ritz found Dan Groot who produced his ninth goal of the year straight up the gut.
Maryland scored a pair of goals less than two minutes apart in the fourth quarter to narrow Navy's lead to one.
Navy, who saw several quality shots either gobbled up by keeper Jason Carter or clang off the pipe, was held scoreless in the second half, marking its first scoreless half since dropping an 11-1 decision to Johns Hopkins in 1999.
With under a minute to play, Navy worked the ball to the offensive end of the field, but Paul was stripped and Maryland grabbed the ball and rushed down the field. Junior Jeff Reynolds eventually got his feet set and cranked a shot that was broken up by a Navy defenseman and sailed above the goal and out of play.
Navy's Tommy Phelan enjoyed a strong night in goal for the Mids where he made 11 saves, five in the first half and six in the second. Navy's defense, ranked No. 1 in the country, held Maryland to just four goals, its lowest goal output since its 10-2 loss at Virginia in April of 2005. The Terps entered the game ranked seventh in the country by averaging 12.2 goals per game.
The Nation's Future Leaders
Each year head coach Richie Meade looks to his senior class to provide leadership for his team ... the Class of 2009 has been a part of one of the most successful periods in Navy lacrosse history.
In four years, the Class of 2009 has amassed a 39-17 (.696) overall record, including a 19-4 Patriot League mark (.826).
It has earned a share of three regular-season Patriot League crowns.
It has captured two Patriot League Tournament titles.
It has made three-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances with the possibility of a fourth.
It has turned in 10-plus wins in three-straight years.
It has produced a 6-1 record against Army, winning two N-Stars.
On Friday evening, Navy will honor its 13 senior players and their families in a pregame ceremony.
Home Field Advantage
Navy owns a 32-10 record (.762) in games played at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium since the start of the 2004 campaign, outscoring its foes, 455-281.
This is the 48th 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 Saturday. .
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 16 of its 41 opponents to five or fewer goals since 2004 in games played at home.
Navy owns a 71-32 (.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 15 seasons, including seven wins in 2004, `05, `06 and `07.
Defense Strikes Offensive Paydirt
Navy's defensive midfield, poles and shorties, has been sensational in the transition game this season.
Six of Navy's goals have been scored by defensive midfielders, while seven assists have been provided by the traditionally non-offensive minded group.
Scoring their first collegiate goals this season were Bobby Lennon against Lafayette (3-7) and Marty Gallagher against Holy Cross (3-14).
Meanwhile, long pole Zack Schroeder has scored a pair of goals off faceoff wins and added three assists and short stick Geoff Leone is coming off a two-goal effort against Georgetown.
The Saga Between the Pipes
In his 15 years as Navy's head coach, Richie Meade has never been put in a situation of changing goalkeepers out of necessity three times ... until this year.
When Meade called upon Tommy Phelan last Saturday against Georgetown, it marked Navy's third different starter in goal this year.
Senior Matt Coughlin got the call to start the year, and after a 2-1 start that included a one-goal loss to North Carolina, Meade looked to rookie RJ Wickham on Feb. 28 in the Mids' league opener against Bucknell ... after six games that featured a pair of one-goal losses to PL foes Bucknell and Colgate, Meade inserted Phelan.
Phelan was stout in goal against the Hoyas, making a career-high 15 saves including eight in the third quarter ... it was the most saves by a Navy keeper since Seth DiNola stopped 21 Penn State shots in 2003.
There have been four previous years that Meade has started two goalkeepers (2008, `04, `01, `95), but never has he called upon three keepers.
There have been five previous years that Meade has played three keepers (2004, `02, `00, `96, `95), however the third keeper has played in just one contest.
Man Down No Problem For Mids
Ranked No. 1 in the country, Navy is 24-for-28 (.857) on man-down defense this season.
The Mids were 6-for-6 (VMI 2-2, Ohio State 3-3, North Carolina 1-1) before Bucknell scored on the first of its three man-up chances ... ironically, first-year starter RJ Wickham saved the shot, however, the ball's momentum kicked up and actually ricocheted into the goal.
Last year, Navy was tied for 17th in the nation, stopping its opponents on 26 of the 35 chances (74.3).
Friday's contest against Maryland should be a dogfight, as the Terps are ranked No. 6 in extra-man offense, scoring goals on 14 of their 29 opportunities (48.3).