Fennell and Kern Receive Patriot League Laurels
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — Navy senior men’s lacrosse standout Chris Fennell (Milford, N.J.) has been selected as the Corvias Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week, while freshman Ryan Kern (Middletown, Del.) has been named both the Corvias Patriot League Faceoff Specialist of the Week and Rookie of the Week it was announced Monday afternoon by the Patriot League. Kern was also named the Naval Academy Athletic Association Athlete of the Week on Monday.
The Navy defense played one of its best games this season when it held Army to a pair of 18-plus minute scoreless droughts en route to the Mids’ 10-6 Star Game victory over the Black Knights Saturday afternoon at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. The Mids built a 2-0 lead after holding Army scoreless for the first 22 minutes of the contest. The defense clamped down in the second half, as well, keeping the Black Knights off the scoreboard for the final 18-and-a-half minutes while Navy went on a 7-0 run to close out the game.
Fennell, the 2015 and ‘16 Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year, matched up against Cole Johnson. He held the All-Patriot League attackman without a shot in the opening half before Johnson was able to use a pick to switch defenders and score Army’s final goal of the game at the 3:32 mark in the third quarter. Johnson also turned the ball over twice thanks to Fennell and Co.’s smothering defense. Fennell also played a pivotal role on offense where he would run the transition game to perfection midway through the third quarter and feed teammate Dave Little (Jr / Vienna, Va.) for what would prove to be the game-winning goal (7-6). It’s the third time Fennell has won the honor in his four seasons and the first this season.
Only the fourth Navy freshman goalkeeper to start an Army-Navy game, Kern played the best game of his career in directing a defense that held Army to a season-low (tying) six goals. The rookie produced a career-high 17 saves that included 10 stops on 15 shots in the fourth quarter. The 17-save performance put him over the 100-save mark for the season as he became one of only four freshman goalkeepers in program history to reach the century mark. His 114 saves this season are the most by a Navy freshman goalkeeper since Mickey Jarboe amassed 179 in 1997. Kern has been selected as the goalkeeper of the week twice this season, however, is a first-time rookie of the week pick. He is Navy’s first rookie of the week honoree since Jack Ray was selected on March 23, 2015.
In addition to Fennell and Kern, Boston University’s Cal Dearth (offense) and Bucknell’s Jarett Witzal (faceoff) were among those players recognized by the league office on Monday as players of the week at their respective positions. Meanwhile, Navy’s Brady Dove (Sr / FO / Stevensville, Md.) was an honorable mention selection after winning 8 of the 11 draws in the second half to help spark the Mids.
Navy’s win over Army has assured the Mids a spot in the six-team Patriot League Tournament slated to begin a week from Tuesday on April 25. The 4-4 Mids have a bye this week and will await the final results of games played on Friday to find who and where they will play in the quarters.
### Go Navy ###