Navy doubled up by Army in annual rivalry battle

April 13, 2014 | WNST Staff

WEST POINT, N.Y. —  Navy senior attackman Sam Jones (Annapolis, Md.) and junior middie Gabe Voumard (Cape May, N.J.) scored two goals each but it would not be enough as the high-powered Army offense (8-3, 6-1 Patriot League) outmuscled the Mids and scored a 14-7 victory over the Navy men’s lacrosse team (4-7, 3-5 PL) Saturday afternoon at Michie Stadium in West Point, N.Y.

“I have to take my hat off to Army.  They played an all-around great game,” said third-year Navy head coach Rick Sowell.  “They were hot early on in the game and while we were able to cut into the lead a number of times, we could never get back to within one.  They took our punch, if you will, and were able to counter almost every time.”

Army wasted little time in making a statement in the game, scoring its first goal just six seconds into the contest.  In a mirror image of last year’s contest, sophomore faceoff specialist Alex Daly won the draw and fed All-American attackman John Glesener who fired in his shot from 10 yards out on the left wing.

Navy, though, answered just 51 seconds later when Jones ducked under his defender and sent his diving shot from the left crease past Army keeper Bobby Sincero.  Sincero was inserted into the starting grid after an injury sidelined Sam Somers.  Somers has been the cornerstone of Army’s defense this season and stands No. 1 in the country in goals-against average and No. 2 in save percentage.

Jones’ goal, however, would be the last for the Mids until late in the second quarter as Army put together a 5-0 run that featured five different scorers.

After nearly a 28-minute scoring drought, Navy punched in a goal with 1:14 left in the half when Jones found classmateAustin Heneveld (East Hampton, N.Y.) who split a pair of defenders and sent an eight-yarder past Sincero.

Just nine seconds later, however, Army midfielder Michael Larrabee answered to again put the Black Knights up by five.

Navy, though, would get the final say in the half as co-captain Pat Kiernan (Ridgewood, N.J.) intercepted an Army pass and ran the length of the field to find Jones for the transition goal and trim Army’s lead to four (7-3) at the break.

The Mids, who were outshot 21-8 in the opening half, scored two of the first three goals to start the second half with senior Tucker Hull (Charlotte, N.C.) and Gabe Voumard (Cape May, N.J.) sticking shots.

Army again put together a 3-0 run with three goals scored by three different players to gain its largest lead of the game at six (11-5) with 3:13 to play in the third.

Navy long pole Ben Sampson (Doylestown, Pa.) picked up the loose ball on the ensuing faceoff and drilled his first goal of the season and second of his career to get Navy within five (11-6) with 3:01 to play in the third.

The Mids, however, could get no closer than five, as Army scored three of the game’s final four goals to deal Navy its sixth straight loss in the series.

“I think we started to loosen up a bit to start the second half, but they were able to counter.  When they went on their little run, it really made it tough for us to gain any momentum.”

Nine different players scored goals for the Black Knights, including starting attackmen Connor Cook (3), John Glesener (3) and Will Mazzone (2) who combined to score eight goals.  Cook played a hand in six of Army’s 14 goals, as he added a team-best three assists.

Sincero played a fine game in what was just his fifth appearance in between the pipes this season, making eight saves.

Meanwhile, Daly won 14 of the 25 draws for the Black Knights and picked up six ground balls.

“I know Army was without Sam Somers, who is an outstanding goalkeeper, but they have an awfully good defense in front of whomever is in goal,” added Sowell.  “They also have a great faceoff guy who was able stir up some transition plays for them and lead to some goals.  They are just a good all-around team.

“That said, I’m certainly proud of my guys and how hard they played.  Today’s game got away from us, but we will continue to work hard and prepare for the games ahead of us.”

Both Jones and Voumard paced the Mids with three points on two goals and an assist, while Kiernan turned in three caused turnovers and four ground balls.

While Army secured a bye in the Patriot League Tournament due to start Tuesday, April 22, the Mids also claimed one of the six playoff spots thanks to wins by Bucknell over Lafayette and Colgate over Holy Cross this weekend.

The Mids will be back in action next Friday when they play host to nationally-ranked Johns Hopkins in what will be the final home game for Navy’s 13 seniors.  Faceoff is slated for 7:00 pm at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium and will be televised live by CBS Sports Network.

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