Navy Lax Looks to Extend Winning Streak Saturday at Johns Hopkins
April 16, 2009
• Riding a three-game winning streak that includes an 8-4 win over Academy rival Army, 11th-ranked Navy (9-3, 4-2 Patriot League) has high hopes of snapping a 35-game losing streak to rival Johns Hopkins (5-4) when the two programs battle on Saturday ... the 83rd installment of the Navy-Hopkins game is slated for a 2:00 pm faceoff at Homewood Field in Baltimore.
• Smartlink Player of the Game Tommy Phelan helped stymie the Army attack with a career-high tying 16-save effort, while attackman Brendan Connors scored three goals and added a pair of assists to lead the Mids to an 8-4 victory over Army last Saturday in the opening contest of the Day of Rivals event played at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Md.
• Navy has now won 14 of the last 15 contests in the series, including 11 of the last 12 Star Games ... with better than 20,000 fans in attendance, the contest marked just the second neutral site meeting between the two programs and the first time the Star Game has been contested on neutral ground.
• Junior keeper Mike Gvozden played an instrumental role in Johns Hopkins earning a 10-9 win in its storied rivalry against Maryland in the second game of the Day of Rivals ... Gvozden posted his sixth save of the fourth quarter and 12th of the day as time expired to help secure the win by the Blue Jays.
• Saturday’s game will be televised by ESPNU and locally by WMAR (Ch. 2) with Scott Garceau (play by play) and Mark Dixon (analyst) calling the action.
• Additionally, the contest 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 1:45 pm ... the game will be streamed online (audio only) with live stats available at NavySports.com.
A Win Over Johns Hopkins Would ...
• snap a 35-game losing streak to Johns Hopkins, the longest active losing streak in Div. I men’s lacrosse.
• give Navy wins over Maryland, Army and Hopkins for the first time since 1965 ... all told, the Mids have beaten all three of their rivals in a single season just six times - 1965-64-62-60-54-43.
• give Navy its 10th win of 2009, marking the sixth consecutive season in which head coach Richie Meade has led his Mids to double digit wins.
• push Navy’s record to 3-1 vs. ranked opponents in ‘09.
• give the Mids their second win over a top-10 ranked team this spring.
Previewing Johns Hopkins
• Under the direction of ninth-year head coach Dave Pietramala, Johns Hopkins enters Saturday’s contest with a 5-4 record and a two-game winning streak .
• After dropping three in a row, including back-to-back one-goal decisions to No. 1 Virginia and No. 12 North Carolina, the Blue Jays have bounced back with wins over Albany (14-9) and Maryland (10-9).
• While defense has not been Hopkins’ forte this spring, a high-powered offense has been the cornerstone to its success ... ranked No. 8 in country, the Blue Jays are averaging 11.56 goals per game, while its 18.44 points per game average is also the eighth-best in the nation.
• The attack combination of Kyle Wharton and Chris Boland has paid dividends for Hopkins ... Wharton owns 29 points (20-9), while Boland is on his heels with 28 points (19-9) ... meanwhile middie Michael Kimmel has turned in 13 goals and 13 assists this spring.
• The Blue Jays defensive unit is surrendering 10.33 goals per game and is ranked 45th out of 59 teams nationally ... their man-down team is 40th, stopping 62.5 percent of the extra-man chances they’ve faced.
• Keeper Mike Gvozden owns a 48.6 save percentage through the nine games and is giving up 10.39 goals per game ... a year ago he stopped nearly 60 percent of the shots he faced (.598) and allowed 8.10 goals per game.
• Matt Dolente has inherited the faceoff duties from one of the best, Stephen Peyser, and is winning 50.3 percent (75-149) of the draws he has taken.
Navy vs. Johns Hopkins — The Series
• Saturday’s contest marks the 83rd meeting between Navy and Johns Hopkins ... it’s the 60th-consecutive year the two programs have battled and it is the third-longest continuous series between Navy and another team on the lax field.
• The Blue Jays own a commanding 56-25-1 advantage in the series, including an amazing 35-game winning streak that dates back to May 10, 1975, when Hopkins defeated Navy, 16-11, in Baltimore.
• The last time Navy walked away the victor was May 4, 1974, by way of a 13-12 decision in Annapolis ... Navy All-American Ray Finnegan, who has served as the Mids’ keeper coach for 19 seasons, was in goal that afternoon.
• Johns Hopkins owns a 25-7 record in games played on its home field, which includes 17 straight wins ... the last time the Mids beat the Blue Jays in Baltimore was May 10, 1969 (9-6).
• Six of the last 10 games between Navy and Johns Hopkins have been decided by one goal, including four of the last six ... three of the six one-goal games have gone into extra minutes.
• Last year the Mids and Blue Jays were matched up in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament ... though both programs have made at least 25 trips to the dance, it marked the first time the two teams have met in postseason play ... Hopkins turned in a 10-4 decision over the Mids to earn a trip to the NCAA semis.
The Last Time
• An NCAA Quarterfinals-record crowd of 17,017 watched Navy's season come to a close as Johns Hopkins' Steven Boyle and Paul Rabil each scored three goals to lead the fifth-seeded Blue Jays to a 10-4 victory over the Mids at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
• Hopkins scored less than three minutes into the game when Tewaaraton Trophy finalist Paul Rabil split a pair of Navy defenders and punched a three-yard shot.
• Navy would have several possessions after the Hopkins goal, but four of them were cut short by turnovers. The Mids finally made good on their eighth possession when midfielder Michael Beggins fired off a high-to-low shot that made its way past Blue Jays keeper Michael Gvozden with 6:17 remaining in the quarter.
• The Mids took their first lead of the game when senior attackman Nick Mirabito scored on a tight angled-shot that managed to thread its way between Gvozden and the near post.
• Hopkins' Boyle scored the first of his three goals with 59 seconds left in the opening quarter to knot the score at two apiece. Boyle ran in from the left wing where he dove to avoid the crease.
• Senior faceoff specialist Mikelis Visgauss won the ensuing draw and fired in his second goal of the season, giving the Mids what would be their last lead at 3-2. The Visgauss goal came just five seconds after Boyle's equalizer. It is the third-quickest consecutive goals scored by opposing teams in NCAA history.
• Navy would hold its lead until the 9:08 mark in the second quarter when Boyle scored off an assist from Rabil. It was the first of six consecutive goals for the Blue Jays, three each in the second and third quarters.
• Johns Hopkins held the Mids scoreless for better than 33 minutes before midfielder Evan Sullivan found an open Gregory Clement who scored Navy's only goal in the final three quarters of play at 12:42 in the fourth.
• The Blue Jays salted the game away with two goals in the final 4:25, including an open goal score by Brian Christopher with under a minute to play.
• Navy led or matched the Blue Jays in nearly every category - shots 35-23, ground balls 28-20, faceoff wins 11-7, turnovers 22-22.
Patriot League Tournament Field Remains Unclear
• While either Bucknell or Colgate will walk away with the Patriot League regular-season title, the field for the Patriot League Tournament isn’t as cut and dry.
• The winner of the Bucknell-Colgate game, slated for Saturday at 1:00 pm in Hamilton, N.Y., will earn the No. 1 seed and the right to host the four-team tournament.
• Meanwhile, Navy clinched the No. 3 seed after defeating Army last Saturday in Baltimore, 8-4.
• If Lehigh beats Lafayette on Saturday night, Lehigh will take the final spot in the tournament.
• If Lafayette beats Lehigh by two or more, Lafayette will earn the No. 4 seed.
• If Lafayette wins by one, there would be a three-way tie between Army, Lafayette and Lehigh ... the tie would be broken by goal differential among all of its Patriot League games and Army would find itself in the tournament.
• Semifinal games will be played next Friday, April 24 at 3:00 (1 vs. 4) and 5:45 pm (2 vs. 3), while the championship game is set for Sunday, April 26 at 3:00 pm ... all three contests will be aired live on CBS College Sports.
• The tournament winner will receive an automatic bid to play in the NCAA Tournament ... Navy won the first four Patriot League Tournaments held, while Colgate took the title a year ago.
A Dominant Stretch: 2004-present
• Navy is in the midst of one of its most dominant six-year runs in school history ... since the start of the 2004 season, Navy owns a 68-24 record (.739).
• Navy’s 68 wins over the last six years are the fourth most in the country, while its .739 winning percentage is the fifth best.
• During that same stretch, Navy is 27-19 (.587) against ranked teams and 41-5 (.891) against unranked foes.
• Since the start of the 2004 season, Navy owns a 10-10 (.500) record against teams ranked higher than it in the USILA Coaches Poll ... against lower ranked or unranked teams, Navy is 57-14 (.803).
• The Mids have posted a 33-10 (.767) record at home, outscoring their foes, 465-285, during that span ... just eight teams have reached double digits on Navy’s home field during that stretch.
• The Mids are also respectable on road, owning a 25-10 record (.725) in true road affairs over the last six years and defeating 13 ranked teams in the process ... three of Navy’s 10 road losses have come against unranked Patriot League opponents.
• Over the last six seasons, the Mids have produced the top-three win totals in school history ... in 2004, Navy won 15 games en route to its NCAA Championship game appearance and in 2005, the Mids produced 12 wins in earning their second-consecutive NCAA Tournament berth ... Navy won 11 games in 2006 and ‘07.
• The Class of 2007 became the winningest class in school history on March 21, 2007, when it claimed its 45th win in 56 contests ... the Class of ‘07 won 49 of its 64 contests (.766).
• Navy has won 10 or more games in a program-record five straight seasons (15 in 2004, 12 in 2005, 11 in 2006 and ‘07 and 10 in 2008).
Tormey Named Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award Finalist
• Navy senior close defenseman Andy Tormey has been named one of 10 finalists for the 2009 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award.
• The finalists were selected from a pool of 30 candidates named during the month of March.
• To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as a Div. I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: Classroom, Character, Community and Competition.
• An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages those leaders to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact on their circle of influence.
• This marks the third year for the men’s lacrosse division of the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award. Syracuse’s Mike Leveille took home the award in 2008, while Cornell ‘s Matt McMonagle was the inaugural winner in 2007.
• A 2009 Preseason Second-Team All-American, Tormey is a two-year starter for the Mids and was voted by his teammates to serve as team captain this season ... additionally, he has been named to the 2009 Tewaaraton Award Preseason Watch List.
• Tormey boasts a 2.77 grade-point average in American Politics and Law and was named to the Commandant’s List this past fall ... upon graduation in May, he will join the surface warfare community.
• Fans can vote for Tormey by logging on to http://www.seniorclassaward.com/votelist.aspx ... additionally, fans can text their vote for Tormey by texting LAX9 to 839863 (fees do apply).
• Second-line midfielder Brian Striffler owns the team’s longest active point-scoring streak having produced a goal or an assist in each of the last eight contests.
• Junior middie Patrick Moran and junior attackman Brenddan Connors have produced points in 11 of the 12 games this season ... Moran had his 10-game goal-scoring streak snapped by Maryland, while Connors was stymied by Holy Cross (3-14).
• Junior attackman Tim Paul has added points in 10 of the 11 games he has played ... he was held without a point against Mount St. Mary’s (3-3).
• Five different Navy players have produced hat tricks this season ... a Mid has punched in three goals in each of the last three contests, including Brendan Connors who turned in his first career hat trick in the win over Georgetown and two games later against Army ... senior Bruce Nechanicky matched his career high with three goals in the win over Maryland (4-3).
• Patrick Moran and Evan Sullivan are responsible for a combined 10 of the Mids’ 13 extra-man goals in ‘09.
• Junior midfielder Evan Sullivan has produced nine points (6-3) this season with eight of those nine (5-3) having been recorded during extra-man opportunities.
• Tim Paul has scored multiple points in 23 contests during his three-year career at Navy, however, the Bucknell game (2-28) marked the first time the multiple points didn’t come from the goals column ... he scored one goal and added a pair of assists ... the other 22 games he has had multiple points, he has also scored multiple goals.
• With its come-from-behind win at Holy Cross (3-14), Navy managed to snap a 65-game losing streak when trailing after three quarters of play.
• Navy has outscored its opponents by a narrow 49-42 (+7) margin in the first half, but comes out a much different team in the second where it owns a 64-36 (+28) advantage.
• Senior Tommy Phelan has put together back-to-back-to-back career-high save days over the last three weeks ... he has made 47 saves in the last three games, more than either of the other Navy keepers who have played at least as many games (Matt Coughlin, 19 in 3 gms) or twice the number (RJ Wickham, 42 in 6 gms) ... he stopped 15 shots against Georgetown and turned away 16 shots against both Maryland and Army.
• It was the best save day by a Navy player against Maryland since Mickey Jarboe made 17 saves in 1999 ... Phelan’s 16 saves against Army are the most by a Mid since Jarboe turned back 19 shots en route to a 10-8 win over the Black Knights in 2000 at West Point.
• Meanwhile, it’s the most saves by a Navy player since Seth DiNola stopped 21 shots by Penn State in ‘03.
• Navy improved to an amazing 48-1 when holding its opponents to six or fewer goals since 2004.
• Navy owns a 39-2 record when scoring 10 or more goals since 2004, including a 6-0 mark this season.
• The Mids have won 14 in a row when leading at the half, including a 6-0 mark this season ... Navy has won 16 straight when leading after three quarters, including an 8-0 mark this spring.
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 three weeks ago 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 has been the spark the Mids needed, as the Mids have picked up wins against Georgetown, Maryland and Army for the first time since the memorable 2004 campaign when the Mids played in the National Championship.
• Phelan was stout in goal against the Hoyas, making a then 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.
• Phelan followed up by making 16 saves to hold Maryland to a season-low four goals ... it was the most saves by a Navy keeper in the annual meeting with the Terps since Mickey Jarboe turned away 17 in 1999.
• And last Saturday, Phelan was selected as the Smartlink Player of the Game after matching his career high in saves ... it was the most saves by a Navy keeper in the Star Game since Mickey Jarboe waived off 19 shots in 2000.
• Phelan has stopped 47 shots in his three games in goal (15.67) and owns a 74.6 save percentage.
• The Navy senior has been rewarded by being selected the Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Week in each of the last two weeks ... additionally, he’s been the top vote-getter on Inside Lacrosse’s fan poll for the player of the week ... IL’s Geoff Shannon also tipped his hat to Phelan as the lone keeper on his team of the week.
• 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.