ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Army attackmen John Glesener and Garrett Thul combined to score 11 points to lead the Black Knights (7-4, 3-2 Patriot League) to a 14-7 victory over the Navy men’s lacrosse team (3-9, 1-4 PL) Saturday afternoon at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. It was Army’s fifth straight win in a series that Navy leads, 57-32-3.
“There’s no amount of words to make you understand how it feels to lose to Army,” said Navy junior attackman Sam Jones (Annapolis, Md.). “You play to win this game. I love how hard my teammates play. We just have to keep fighting, but playing hard isn’t a consolation for winning.”
“I congratulate Army,” said Navy second-year head coach Rick Sowell. “They played on heck of a game. We didn’t have an answer for some of the individual matchups.
“Great players can supercede good schemes and they certainly did that today.”
The story of the game from the get-go was possession. Army nominated the faceoff category, taking 19 of the 23 draws on the afternoon. Rookie Alex Daly was responsible for all but one faceoff as he single-handedly won the majority of the draws and keyed a pair of Black Knight goals including the game’s first goal which was scored just six seconds in. That goal, the first of three goals by John Glesener, sparked a four-goal run by the Black Knights.
“We threw everything but the kitchen sink out there to find something that would work, but we just had no answer,” said Sowell regarding the Mids’ faceoff woes.
Navy finally got on the scoreboard with 4:03 remaining in the opening quarter when freshman Patrick Keena (Vienna, Va.) fed junior attackman Tucker Hull (Charlotte, N.C.), who faked Army keeper Sam Somers high, then low and back high for the first of his three goals.
The Mids trimmed Army’s lead to one at 4-3 scoring the first two goals of the second period. Jones found a wide-openT.J. Hanzsche (Berwyn, Pa.) standing on the crease for an extra-man strike at 11:09 and two minutes later Jones came up with a loose ball and fired in the first of his two goals on the afternoon. Hanzsche has now scored a goal in each of the last five contests for the Mids.
Army, however, put together its own run that featured a pair of extra-man goals including senior attackman Kip Haddock’s first goal of the season. Meanwhile, five seconds after Army’s second extra-man goal in the run, Daly won another faceoff and fed Garrett Thul for a goal to put the Black Knights up 7-3 at the end of the half.
Navy came out of the locker room with the hot hand and rallied, scoring a pair of goals in the first 90 seconds of the game and just 30 seconds apart. Hull slipped defenseman John Burk and threaded the needle past Somers at the 14:00 minute mark. Junior middie Pat Durkin (Germantown, Md.) took advantage of rookie iddie Shea Mullins losing his footing and fired in his 11th goal of the season to get Navy within two at 7-5.
The Black Knights answered quickly when Thul, the nation’s second-leading goal scorer, sent a highlight reel wrap-around shot past two defenseman which triggered a five-goal run by Army to take a 12-5 lead into the final quarter.
Each team scored a pair of goals in the final quarter of play for the final, 14-6.
Hull paced the Mids with his 11th career hat trick and second of the season as he moved into 24th on Navy’s all-time scoring list with 105 points. he now trails 23rd-place Matt Pawlikowski (1990-93) by just one point. Meanwhile, Jones joined Hull among Navy’s 100-point scorers as he registered a pair of goals and an assist. It’s just the fourth time in program history that classmates have reached 100 points – Brendan Schneck and Mike Hannan from the Class of ‘78, Mike Herger and Brian Keith from the Class of ‘90 and Ian Dingman and Billy Looney from the class of ‘07.
Jones is the 31st player in Navy’s 106-year history of lacrosse to score 100 points and is just the 14th to score 100 points in three seasons. With 102 points, he stands 26th on Navy’s all-time scoring list.
Senior captain Nolan Hickey (Chaminade, N.Y.) played his final game on his home field and gave an admirable effort with 15 saves. It was his seventh double-digit save performance of his career and the fifth game with 15 or more saves.
Glesener guided the Black Knights with seven points on three goals and four assists, while Thul punched in a team-best four goals. Seven players were responsible for the remaining seven goals.
Navy will play its season finale next Saturday when it pays a visit to Homewood Field to face longtime rival Johns Hopkins. Game time is slated for 4:00 pm and will be nationally televised by ESPNU with Quint Kessenich and Mark Dixon calling the action.