LEWISBURG, Pa. — A scoreless second quarter by the Navy men’s lacrosse team (1-2, 0-1 Patriot League) opened the door for Bucknell (2-1, 1-0 PL), as the Bison used a four-quarter second period to take a lead it would not relinquish en route to posting a 9-6 victory over the Mids Saturday afternoon at Christy Mathewson Stadium in Lewisburg, Pa.
Both teams looked to have the early-season hiccups as the two programs had trouble settling into their offense. Navy scored the opening goal at 9:23 as senior midfielder Pat Durkin (Germantown, Md.) fed classmate Austin Heneveld (East Hampton, N.Y.) who punched in his first of two goals on the afternoon from seven yards. The Mids tacked on to their lead when senior midfielder Erik Hoffstadt’s (Dover, Del.) hard right-hander rippled the net from 10 yards out on the left wing at the 2:42 mark. It was Hoffstadt’s first goal of the 2014 campaign.
Navy’s defense stymied the Bison in the opening quarter, but it would be the Mids who would come up empty in the second quarter for the first time this season.
All-Patriot League midfielder Thomas Flibotte sparked what would be a 4-0 Bucknell run when he sent his runner from the left wing past Navy keeper John Connors (Bellmore, N.Y.) just 1:34 into the second period. Sophomore attack Sean Doyle gave Bucknell the lead at 3-2 when he notched back-to-back goals, including a goal off a rebound in which he picked up a loose ball and danced his way around the left crease. Bucknell closed out the half by coming out of a timeout with four ticks left on the clock and Flibotte won a foot race and scored as time expired, giving Bucknell a 4-2 advantage at the break.
Navy trimmed the lead to one (4-3) when senior attack Tucker Hull (Charlotte, N.C.) alertly threw his pass in on a quick restart to Heneveld who stood in front of a goalie-less cage. However, less than a minute later Bucknell midfielder Kyle Shanahan answered to push the lead back to two.
Sixty seconds later, Navy sophomore attack T.J. Hanzsche (Berwyn, Pa.) curled around the right side of the goal and managed to thread his fifth goal of the year through a scrum of players. The goal extended Hanzsche’s goal-scoring streak to nine straight games.
Once again, Bucknell answered as Doyle secured his hat trick and gave the Bison a 6-4 lead.
Bucknell scored three of the first four goals of the final period to post its largest lead of the day at four (9-5) with just over two minutes remaining in the contest.
Bucknell would be flagged for its first penalty of the game with 1:37 to go and Hull went on to connect on the extra-man goal off an assist from junior Gabe Voumard (Cape May, N.J.) as Navy could get no closer than the final margin of three.
Navy was oushot 41-29 in the contest after struggling to keep hold of the ball. The Mids were credited with 15 turnovers, including 10 that were unforced errors.
“Ultimately today it was another hard-fought battle,” said third-year Navy head coach Rick Sowell. “We are making far too many mistakes, especially in these tight games. I really thought the defense did a great job of holding Bucknell to nine goals considering the possession time. We have to figure things out on the offensive end and cut out the unforced turnovers.
“We are doing some really good things, especially when you look at this game a year ago,” added Sowell. “I’m proud of our effort, no doubt, but we aren’t in it to show up and play hard. This team wants to win and right now we are searching to find the answers.”
Heneveld led the way for the Mids with two goals, while Hanzsche, Hull and Voumard each pitched in a goal and an assist. Meanwhile senior Sam Jones (Annapolis, Md.), who came into the game as Navy’s leading scorer with 14 points on seven goals and seven assists, was held scoreless for only the sixth time in the 41 games he has played in during his career.
Freshman faceoff specialist Brady Dove (Stevensville, Md.) did a fine job, winning 12 of the 18 draws he took. He has now won 36 faceoffs in his first three games and stands 18th on Navy’s career faceoff wins list and fourth on the Mids’ rookie list.
Defensively Connors made 13 saves, including six stops in the second quarter. Defensemen Nik Mullen (Wading River, N.Y.) and Matt Rees (Sykesville, Md.), along with short stick defensive midfielder John Trainor (Northport, N.Y.) and Dove were all credited with a caused turnover. Dove led Navy with six ground balls.
The Mids return home next Saturday when they play host to Holy Cross at 11:00 am.