ANNAPOLIS, Md. — T.J. Hanzsche (Fr./Berwyn, Pa.), Sam Jones (Jr./Annapolis, Md.) and Gabe Voumard (So./Cape May, N.J.) pitched in hat tricks for the Mids, while long pole Pat Kiernan (Jr./Ridgewood, N.J.) posted a career-high seven caused turnovers and picked up seven ground balls to lead the Navy men’s lacrosse team to a 12-11 victory over Patriot League foe Lafayette Saturday afternoon at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. The Midshipmen are now 54-5 when scoring 10 or more goals since the start of the 2004 season, including 8-0 over the last two seasons.
The win snapped a three-game skid by the Mids that featured a pair of one-goal losses to Fairfield and Georgetown. Meanwhile it also extended Navy’s home-game winning streak to four in a row dating back to last year’s regular-season finale against Johns Hopkins.
The game featured multiple runs by both teams as the see-saw affair was highlighted by six ties.
“We tried to get away from them several times, but just couldn’t shake them,” said second-year Navy head coach Rick Sowell. “Jim Rogalski is doing a heck of a job with his team. Their attack is tough, but we felt confident we could match up well.”
The Mids opened the game scoring back-to-back goals just 37 seconds apart, including the game’s first goal at 12:40 by Hanzsche. The rookie attackman received his first collegiate starting nod and became the 16th different Navy player to score a goal this season.
“We weren’t looking for T.J. to be the answer, but we were hoping he’d be part of the solution for us. He played calm and within himself and definitely took advantage of the opportunities he was presented with. I think he’s a dynamic player.”
Lafayette evened the score by the end of the quarter with sophomore attackman Brian Bock scoring the first of his game-high four goals and rookie attackman Kevin Wanke punching in his first of four goals with an extra-man strike.
Navy and Lafayette exchanged goals in the second quarter, however a turnover on a failed clear attempt by Sonny Round was converted into the go-ahead goal by the Mids when short stick defensive middie Cade Norris (Sr./Honeoye Falls, N.Y.) found Jones to give the Mids a 4-3 halftime advantage.
Navy took a two-goal lead when Voumard found a seam on the left wing just 1:13 into the second half.
Lafayette responded with three straight goals over a one-minute, 14-second span to take its first lead in the game at 6-5 with 10:51 to go in the third quarter. Bock scored the first two goals, including a near point blank shot after a turnover by Navy defenseman Nik Mullen (Jr./Wading River, N.Y.) in front of the Navy goal, while Bock provided the assist on the third goal in the run.
The Mids stunted the Leopards’ run at 8:52 when attackman Tucker Hull (Jr./Charlotte, N.C.) came around the left side of the goal and Jones found him to knot the game at 6-6.
Lafayette came right back two minutes later with rookie middie Brendan Dunlap scoring from 15 yards out on a 5-on-3 advantage and giving Lafayette the lead once again.
Navy, though, would score the final two goals of the third quarter, both by Hanzsche, to regain the lead by quarter’s end. The second of Hanzsche’s goals was scored off a heads-up play by midfielder Jay Mann (Sr./Cockeysville, Md.). After an offside call against Lafayette with four seconds remaining in the period, Navy took advantage of the quick whistle and Mann found Hanzsche just outside of the crease for a buzzer beater.
While Bock’s extra-man goal at 13:16 in the fourth quarter once again tied the game (8-8), Navy went on to score four of the next five goals to take a lead it would not relinquish.
The Midshipmen held a comfortable 12-9 lead with 2:18 remaining, but a disciplined Lafayette team scored twice in the final 17 seconds which included its fourth extra-man goal of the game against the nation’s top-ranked man-down squad. The Mids came into the contest having given up just two goals in 24 extra-man opportunities, but surrendered the four goals on Lafayette’s six attempts.
Hanzsche, Jones and Voumard paced Navy with each scoring three goals and adding an assist, while Hull is now just one point shy of the 100-point list after posting a pair of goals in Saturday’s win. Midfielder Bryce Dabbs (Sr./Damascus, Md.) also scored a goal and dealt out an assist.
Kiernan played a nearly flawless game as he caused seven of Lafayette’s 17 turnovers, while contributing a team-high tying seven ground balls. Close defenseman Austin Miller (Sr./North Bethesda, Md.) also picked up seven ground balls in a solid defensive effort by the Mids. Senior keeper Nolan Hickey (Garden City, N.Y.) finished the game with 13 saves, including nine in the opening half.
Navy just edged Lafayette in the faceoff battle, taking wins on 14 of the 26 draws. Rookie Sean Reilly (Doylestown, Pa.) won 11 of the 21 for the Mids, while pole Pat Menezes (Fr./Wading River, N.Y.) was 2 for 3 in his first appearance at the “x” and Evan McGoogan (Sr./Cranberry Township, Pa.) was 1-for-2.
Lafayette was anchored by its starting attack which accounted for eight of the 11 goals, including four each by Bock and Wanke.
The Midshipmen return to action on Tuesday when they play host to Towson at 7:00 pm at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.