Navy to Play Host to Two Fall Lacrosse Tournaments
Sept. 2, 2009
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- The nationally-ranked Navy men's lacrosse program will play host to a pair of fall ball tournaments on back-to-back weekends in October that will feature the reigning NCAA Men's Lacrosse Champions, the Syracuse Orange, as well as the U.S. Men's Lacrosse National Training Team.
The Naval Academy will be the host site of a six-team tournament slated for October 10 with three games being played simultaneously at 12:00 pm and again at 2:30 pm. Games will be played at Rip Miller Field, as well as the grass and turf playing surfaces at Farragut Field. Joining Navy in the tournament will be Georgetown, Harvard, Hobart, Penn State and Syracuse.
On tap for the Midshipmen are a pair of teams they don't see often during the regular season, however, both will provide a challenge and give head coach Richie Meade a first-hand look at how his team has progressed. Navy opens the tournament by playing arguably the most talented team among the field, Syracuse. The Orange staged an amazing comeback in the final four minutes of the 2009 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship to earn a 10-9 overtime win against Cornell. Syracuse finished the year with a 16-2 record, but returns several of its offensive arsenals this season including attackman Stephen Keogh, Chris Daniello and Cody Jamieson.
In the second game, the Mids will battle Penn State who used to be a regular on Navy's schedule when the two were part of the ECAC Lacrosse League in the early 2000s. The Nittany Lions are coming off a 9-5 season that saw them win each of their last six games, including overtime victories against St. John's and Georgetown. Meanwhile, four of Penn State's five losses were by one goal, including a 9-8 loss to NCAA-bound Massachusetts.
Navy returns its entire starting offensive unit (attack and midfield), including its top five scorers from a team that finished 11-5 last spring and made the program's sixth-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. Among those returning is All-American attackman Tim Paul (Parkton, Md.), who paced Navy with 32 points on 18 goals and 14 assists despite missing two full games and seeing minimal time in three others after suffering an ankle injury. Meanwhile, fellow attackman Brendan Connors (Bellmore, N.Y.) returns for his senior season after emerging as the Mids' top goal scorer in 2009 with 21, while All-Patriot League midfielder Patrick Moran (Annapolis, Md.) will anchor an experienced midfield. Meade will rely upon sophomore Matt Vernam (Shoreham, N.Y.) to play a leadership role on the defensive end of the field, while long poles Zack Schroeder (Deer Park, N.Y.) and Jaren Woeppel (Camillus, N.Y.) will be stalwarts in helping carry on the storied tradition at the Academy.
Oct. 10 Navy Tournament Schedule Game 1 - 12:00 pm Navy vs. Syracuse Rip Miller Field Harvard vs. Hobart Farragut Field - Turf Penn State vs. Georgetown Farragut Field - Grass
Game 2 - 2:30 pm Navy vs. Penn State Rip Miller Field Harvard vs. Syracuse Farragut Field - Turf Georgetown vs. Hobart Farragut Field - Grass
The following weekend, October 18, Navy welcomes Maryland, Virginia and the U.S. Men's Lacrosse National Training Team which will be split into two competitive squads. Navy's first game will be against one of the U.S. National Training Teams, while it will conclude the day by playing Virginia.
The U.S. Men's Lacrosse National Training Team is currently comprised of 40 players who will be vying for one of the FIL-mandated 23 roster spots. The weekend of Oct. 18 is the second of three training weekends this fall for the team before it is cut to its mandatory size in preparation for the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) World Championship in Manchester, England from July 10-24, 2010. The U.S. Men's Lacrosse National Training Team will also be taking part in training weekends at the United States Military Academy (Sept. 25-26) and at Stony Brook (Oct. 30-31).
"I'm grateful to my longtime friend Richie Meade for allowing our National Team to come to the Academy for what will be a competitive tournament," said U.S. Men's Lacrosse National Team head coach Mike Pressler, who is also the the head coach at Bryant University. "I think it is a tremendous opportunity and a great day of lacrosse for the average lacrosse fan to take in a weekend that features Team USA, Navy, Maryland and Virginia.
"I can't thank Richie and his staff enough, as well as the Naval Academy, for making their facilities available to us and our training. Additionally, I'm grateful to Dave Cottle of Maryland and Dom Starsia of Virginia for their efforts in helping make this a tremendous event. All three programs are helping their country's National Team by participating."
Among the players vying for one of the roster spots is former Navy standout and two-time Ens. C. Markland Kelly Award winner Mickey Jarboe. A product of Calvert Hall High School in Baltimore, Jarboe enjoyed an illustrious career at the Naval Academy that resulted in twice being named an All-American (1999, 2000), while also receiving the highest honor bestowed upon a college goalkeeper. Jarboe, who is Navy's career saves leader with 701, won the Kelly Award in 1999 and again in 2000 as the nation's best netminder. He is one of 12 players all-time to win the Kelly Award multiple times over the 61 years it has been handed out and is the last player to win it in back-to-back seasons. Additionally, he is one of seven different Navy players to claim the award and joins Dennis Wedekind (1963, `65) as the lone two-time winners from the Academy.
Having served his country the last nine years as a helicopter pilot based out of San Diego, Jarboe returned to the game of lacrosse in the summer of 2007. Picked up by the now-defunct Los Angeles Riptide, he led the team to a Major League Lacrosse Championship appearance in 2007. A two-time MLL All-Star, Jarboe was named the MLL's 2008 Warrior Goalkeeper of the Year after pacing the league with just over a 12.00 goals-against average, while leading the Riptide back championship weekend for a second straight year.
"Having the opportunity to compete against Team USA, Syracuse, Virginia and Penn State will be a tremendous experience for our players here at the Naval Academy," said Meade, who is entering his 16th season as Navy's head coach. "It will give us ample opportunity to learn what our strengths and weaknesses are as we move forward and grow as a team. I'm really excited about hosting both tournaments and see it as a great challenge for our team and a great opportunity for fans alike to watch some great lacrosse here at the Naval Academy."
Oct. 18 Navy Tournament Schedule Game 1 - 10:00 am Navy vs. Team USA Blue Rip Miller Field Maryland vs. Team USA White Farragut Field - Turf
Game 2 - 12:30 pm Navy vs. Virginia Rip Miller Field Maryland vs. Team USA Blue Farragut Field - Turf
Game 3 - 3:00 pm Virginia vs. Team USA White Rip Miller Field
As a reminder, only cars with Department of Defense (DoD) stickers are allowed to drive onto the Naval Academy grounds. Fans are encouraged to either park at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium ($5 charge to park) and take the free shuttle service over to the Naval Academy or park outside of the Academy gates and walk onto the grounds. All visitors are required to have a picture I.D. to gain access to the grounds.