Navy Lax Opens Patriot League Play Saturday Against Bucknell

March 03, 2012 | WNST Staff

2012 Navy Men’s Lacrosse Game Specifics
Game 4 Navy (1-2, 0-0 PL) vs. Bucknell (0-3, 0-0 PL)
Date and Faceoff March 3, 2012 at 12:00 pm ET
Location Annapolis, Md. | Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium (34,000)

Game Preview
• Navy will look to snap its two-game losing skid on Saturday when the Midshipmen open Patriot League action against Bucknell … it marks the first time in program history that Navy will open Patriot League play at home, playing its previous eight openers on the road … meeting for just the 12th time in series history, the two will face off at 12:00 pm at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
• The Mids are coming off a disappointing 9-8 loss to fourth-ranked North Carolina last Saturday in Annapolis that saw Navy hold a comfortable lead early in the game … the Mids held a held a 3-0 advantage after the first and maintained it’s three-goal advantage with a 6-3 lead at the half … the Tar Heels rallied in the fourth, outscoring the Mids 4-0, to squeeze past Navy … meanwhile, the stat of the game for a second-straight year was Carolina winning 18 of the 20 draws … in the last two games against the Tar Heels, Navy has won just six of the 42 faceoffs.
• Bucknell is coming off its second overtime loss of the season, a 13-12 decision on the road against No. 9 Villanova … the Bison were down by as many as three goals in the first half, but a goal by Todd Heritage with 1:22 to play in the game sent it into extra minutes … Villanova capitalized on an early penalty by Bucknell in the extra frame to win the game.

Taking the Field In …
10    Navy has lost just five games (47-5) when scoring 10 or more goals since the start of the 2004 season … Navy is 1-0 this season when achieving that feat.
9    Nikk Davis (3), Tucker Hull (4) and Sam Jones (2) combined to score nine of Navy’s 12 goals in last year’s overtime loss to the Bison … in four games, Davis has scored three goals and added five assists against the Bison.
8    Eight different players have provided points for the Mids this season, including Sam Jones and Pat Durkin who have scored goals in all three contests.
7    Sophomore attackman Sam Jones pushed his point-scoring streak to seven-straight games after his one-goal, two-assist effort against North Carolina last Saturday … he opened the season with  a remarkable nine-point (5-4) effort against VMI … it’s the most points scored by a Navy player since Dennis Nealon produced 12 points against Washington College  on March 20, 1991.
6    Sophomore attackman Tucker Hull has recorded six hat tricks in his 16-game Navy career, including two this season … he led the Mids with six goals against VMI in the opener on Feb. 11 … it’s the most goals by a Navy player since Taylor Harris scored six against Holy Cross on March 26, 2006.
5    Each of the last five games between Navy and Bucknell have been decided by one goal … the Mids are 3-2 in those contests
4    In the fourth quarter this season, the Mids have been held to just three goals … they have been outscored 7-3 in the final quarter this season with that four-goal margin coming in last week’s loss to No. 4 North Carolina.
3    Three of Navy’s 2012 opponents are ranked in the 2012 USILA Coaches Poll – Johns Hopkins (2), North Carolina (4) and Maryland (5) – while Army and Colgate are receiving votes.
2    Senior midfielder Nikk Davis scored two goals in the final 18 seconds (0:18, 0:07) of last year’s Bucknell game to send the contest into extra minutes.
1    Over the last four seasons, 23 (9-14) of the Mids’ 63 contests have been decided by one goal … Navy has lost five-straight one-goal games.

More on the Bison
• It’s been heartbreak city for the Bison this season, dropping three games by a combined four goals, including overtime losses to nationally-ranked Delaware (11-10) and Villanova (13-12).
• Seventh-year head coach Frank Fedorjaka has put together a tough early-season schedule for the Bison, playing three of their first four games on the road … Saturday’s contest against the Mids marks the third-straight road game for Bucknell.
• The Bison turned in a 14-3 record a year ago and claimed the Patriot League Regular-Season and Tournament crowns.
• Fedorjaka returns seven starters from last year’s team, including First-Team All-Patriot League Billy Eisenreich who has moved from the midfield to attack this season … the senior is pacing the team with 11 points on six goals and a team-high tying five assists.
• Attackman Todd Heritage was one of the team’s top rookies a year ago and has returned to form this season where he has scored a team-best seven goals … meanwhile, rookie midfielder David Dickson has recorded nine points on four goals and five assists for the Bison this season … Dickson picked up Patriot League Rookie of the Week honors this past Monday after a two-goal, three-assist effort against Villanova.
• Junior Kyle Feeney has returned to the goal where he has surrendered 34 goals (11.29), while making 39 saves (53.4).
• Junior Ryan Gutkowski has taken over the faceoff duties this season, winning 28 of his 56 draws (50.0), while picking up a team-high 13 ground balls … his backup, rookie Gavin Sullivan, has won seven of 18 (38.9) draws.

Series History
• Saturday’s contest between Navy and Bucknell marks the 12th game in a series that began in 1996 … Navy holds a 7-4 advantage, including wins in five of the last seven contests.
• Navy had won three straight in the series before rookie Charlie Streep’s goal as time expired snapped the Mids’ winning streak in 2009 during the regular season.
• However, the Mids got sweet revenge on Bucknell’s home field when they scored a 9-8 win in the 2009 Patriot League Championship Game to earn an automatic bid to play in the NCAA Tournament.
• Seven of the 11 games in the series have been decided by one goal, including each of the last five … three of the seven one-goal contests have entered into extra minutes, including each of the last two … in 2010, midfielder Patrick Moran stuck his shot 1:20 into overtime to lead the Mids to an 8-7 OT win … meanwhile, last year scored four goals in the fourth, including a pair by Nikk Davis in the final 18 seconds of the game to send it into overtime … rookie Todd Heritage, however, found an opening and scored the game-winner for the Bison.
• Navy holds a 4-1 advantage in games played in Annapolis, including wins in each of the last four … the only game the Mids have dropped to Bucknell in Annapolis was the series’ inaugural game on April 3, 1996 … no surprise, the Bison edged the Mids by one goal, 6-5.

2011 Navy-Bucknell Recap
• Bucknell attackman Todd Heritage took a feed from Billy Eisenreich and tucked it past Navy keeper RJ Wickham to lead the Bison to a dramatic 12-11 double-overtime victory over Navy at Christy Mathewson Stadium.  The Mids scored four goals in the final 3:47 of regulation, including two in the final 18 seconds to send the game into OT.
• After Navy midfielder Nikk Davis scored the game’s opening goal at the 12:49 mark in the first period, Bucknell went on a four-goal scoring spree that featured three goals in just over a minute (7:46, 7:14, 6:29). The Mids, however, fought their way back, thanks in part to winning a handful of faceoffs.  In fact, an extra-man goal by freshman Sam Jones, followed by a nicely set up play by Jones to fellow rookie Tucker Hull pulled Navy to within one by the end of the first quarter.
• Navy tied the game at 4-4 just over two minutes into the second quarter when Jones found Brian Striffler cutting up the middle.  Over the next six minutes the two teams traded goals, but back-to-back goals by Bison senior Ryan Klipstein gave Bucknell 7-5 advantage heading into halftime.
• Bucknell pushed its lead to four at 9-5 with back-to-back goals to open the third stanza.  Heritage scored just 44 seconds into the second half, while Eisenreich gave the Bison their largest lead of the game with a 10-yard shot up the gut with 12:41 remaining in the third.
• The Mids climbed back into the game when Hull scored his third and fourth goals of the game.  The second of the two was generated by a save from Wickham who brought the ball up the field.  Wickham found Jones who then passed it off to short stick defensive middie Jordan Seivold who quickly sent the outlet to Hull who then cranked it in and got the Mids to within two once again at 9-7.
• Navy’s defense played a solid in the second half, keeping the Bison off the scoreboard for nearly 20 minutes.  At the 10:30 mark in the fourth, defensive midfielder Brye French attempted to throw his clearing pass across the field, but instead threw it right into the stick of Bucknell’s Charlie Streep at the top of the offensive box.  With the goal left vacated by Wickham, Streep sent a shot to the wide open goal.  Navy defenseman Michael Hirsch, however, made a spectacular play, diving at the shot and deflecting it away in what would have been a sure goal for the Bison.
• Mike Danylyshyn gave Bucknell its first goal since the 12:41 mark in the third period when he used a roll dodge to break free of Navy defensive midfielder Marty Gallagher to give the Bison a three-goal cushion with 7:54 to play in regulation.
• Navy simply would not quit, as it ralled over the final four minutes to force overtime.  Senior midfielder Andy Warner sent a hard shot with nearly no angle that caught the inside of the pipe at the 3:47 mark.  With 1:59 left, Warner found Jones cutting to the goal with Jones sticking the shot to bring the Mids to within one (10-9).
• However, a push by midfielder Jay Mann would prove costly for the Mids, as Navy surrendered an extra-man goal to Bucknell’s Chase Bailey with 1:15 to go.
•Draw specialist Logan West, who had struggled mightily over the previous few weeks, won back-to-back faceoffs to put the ball in the Mids’ hands.  In fact, in the fourth quarter he won five of the seven draws.
• With 18 seconds remaining, Warner sent a high pass to Davis who was forced to make an acrobatic catch and then punched it in for the goal.  West won the ensuing faceoff and the Mids went racing down the field where Hull found Davis for the game-tying goal with just seven ticks left on the clock.
• West continued to own the “x” coming up with the faceoff again, but an errant pass between Davis and Warner put the ball back into Bucknell’s hands. The Bison brought the ball down the field and worked it around.  Navy’s defense slid and left Heritage wide open on the crease for the game-winner.

League Openers
• Navy heads into its ninth season as a member of the Patriot League where it has put together a 38-11 (77.6) record.
• The Mids own a 5-3 record in Patriot League openers, including a 1-2 mark against Bucknell.
• Remarkably, Saturday’s contest marks the first time Navy has opened its Patriot League season at home … the Mids have played seven openers on the road and one, vs. Bucknell, in San Diego.

Patriot League Success
• Since joining the Patriot League in 2004, Navy is 49-13 (79.0) against conference members, which includes an 11-2 mark in the Patriot League Tournament … the Mids are 38-11 in regular-season action.
• The Mids have lost regular-season contests to …
Army (3)    2008, ‘10, ‘11
Bucknell (3)    2005, ‘09, ‘11
Colgate (3)    2006, ‘09, ‘11
Lafayette (1)    2010
Lehigh (1)    2011
… and dropped the program’s first Patriot League Tournament contest at the 2008 semifinals against eventual champion Colgate and its second to Army in the 2010 championship contest.
• Ten of the 13 losses were in games played either at the opponent’s field or at a neutral site.
• Navy owns a 26-3 record at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium against Patriot League competition since joining the conference in 2004 … the Mids are 20-3 during the regular season – dropping a 10-9 decision to Colgate in 2009, a 5-4 loss to the Raiders in 2011 and a 14-9 decision to arch rival Army in ‘11 – and 6-0 in the conference tournament.
• The Mids have produced undefeated marks in conference action twice, 7-0 in 2004 and 6-0 in ‘07.
• Navy has won at least a share of the Patriot League regular-season title in five (2004-05-06-07-08) of the seven years it has been a member of the league.
• Additionally, the Mids have claimed the league’s tournament crown five times (2004-05-06-07-09).
• 31 different Midshipmen have garnered All-Patriot League recognition, while 19 of the 31 have earned honors multiple times.
• In 2008, three-time All-American Jordan DiNola was selected as the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year … though Navy has fielded the nation’s top-ranked scoring defense five times since joining the league, DiNola was the first Mid to be named the league’s top defensive player.

Meet the Mids
• Navy will hold its annual “Meet the Mids” event on Saturday, March 17, following its game against Holy Cross (12:00 pm) at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
• Members of the Navy men’s lacrosse team will be available for autographs on the Blue Concourse, with the first 300 kids in line for the postgame autograph session receiving a Navy lacrosse “Meet the Mids” t-shirt, compliments of Beach Boys Papa John’s and Chick-fil-A.