• Bragging rights will be on the line this Saturday when Navy (5-5, 3-2 Patriot League) battles arch rival Army (5-6, 2-2) in the Star Game … the 91st edition of the Army-Navy Game is slated for a 12:00 pm faceoff at Michie Stadium in West Point … Saturday’s contest marks the first the Star Game has been played at West Point since 2008, though the two programs did meet at Michie Stadium for the 2010 Patriot League Championship.
• The Mids are looking to end a losing skid that has featured back-to-back losses to top-15 programs Lehigh (9-4) and Maryland (13-6) … Army, meanwhile, looks to have the momentum going into the weekend after stunning 15th-ranked Bucknell, 6-5, in double overtime in Lewisburg.
• General Martin E. Dempsey, the 18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will be in attendance on Saturday.
• Saturday’s Star Game will be televised by CBS Sports Network with Dave Ryan (play by play) and Evan Washburn (analyst) calling the action. Live stats will also be available at NavySports.com.
More on the Black Knights
• In his seventh season as the head coach of the Black Knights, Joe Alberici has directed Army to a 5-6 record, including a 2-2 mark in the Patriot League.
• Picked to finish second in the league this season, Army is in a dog fight with the Mids to grab a spot in this year’s Patriot League Tournament … Army owns league wins over Lafayette and Bucknell, while dropping decisions to Lehigh and Colgate … the Black Knights have games against Navy and Holy Cross over the next two weekends.
• Three of Army’s six losses have been at the hands of nationally-ranked foes Massachusetts (12-9), Syracuse (10-9) and Cornell (18-7), while Lehigh (L, 7-6) was just outside of the top 20 when the two programs met in Bethlehem.
• Averaging 10.45 goals per game, Army’s offensive arsenal is headed up by junior attackman Garrett Thul who leads the team with 34 points on 31 goals and three assists … he is ranked 44th in points per game (3.09) and seventh nationally in goals per game (2.82).
• Rooke midfielder John Glesener presents the best all-around game for the Black Knights, producing his 24 points on 14 goals and 10 assists … meanwhile, senior attackman Conor Hayes has contributed 21 points on 13 goals and eight assists.
• Patriot League Preseason Defensive Player of the Year Tim Henderson spearheads the defense as the Black Knights’ pole … he has recorded 16 caused turnovers and picked up 50 ground balls … junior Brendan Buckley has been a monster on defense, creating 26 turnovers for the opposition … Buckley is ranked No. 6 in the country with his 2.36 caused turnovers per game.
• Senior Zach Palmieri has taken over the keeper duties this season following the graduation of Tom Palesky … Palmieri owns a 9.09 goals-against average and is turning back 50.8 percent of the shots he has faced.
• Senior Derek Sipperly has enjoyed a fine season at the faceoff “x” where he has won 54.9 percent (118-215) of the draws he has taken … he is ranked 23rd nationally … as the team’s leader in ground balls, he is 14th in the country, picking up 5.73 grounders per game.
• Army’s extra-man offense is one of the best in the nation, scoring on 51.9 percent (14-27) of its opportunities … that unit is ranked No. 3.
• The one area Army has struggled this season is in saves per game … the Black Knights are 53rd with 9.18 saves per game.
America’s Most Storied Rivalry: Army vs. Navy
Not just a rivalry played on the gridiron, the Army-Navy lacrosse tradition dates back nearly 90 years. The Academies played the inaugural game on May 31, 1924, with the Mids prevailing, 5-0, at West Point.
Army and Navy battled each other from there out on a yearly basis until 1929 when the series was sidelined for four years because of war times. The series resumed in 1933 with an 8-5 Army victory and has not been interrupted since.
In 2004, Navy joined the Patriot League for lacrosse. With the new conference affiliation, it guaranteed the two service academies would meet at least once a year, and possibly a second time in the Patriot League Tournament.
There have been only six years in which the two programs have met twice in a season, including four of the last seven seasons. In 1978, the Mids earned a 16-13 regular-season victory over the Black Knights in Annapolis. Nearly three weeks later, the fourth-ranked Midshipmen defeated No. 5 Army, 16-15, at home in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.
In 1981, 12th-ranked Army upset the No. 6 Mids on their home field, claiming a 9-8 victory. Navy, however, picked off No. 3 Army at West Point, 16-10, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament a month later.
The two programs played one another twice in 2005, ‘06 ‘07 and ‘10, as Army and Navy met during the regular season, as well as the championship game of the Patriot League Tournament. Navy earned wins in six of the eight games, including the April 16, 2005, matchup in which an Army-Navy record crowd of 12,117 piled into Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium and cheered Navy to a 12-9 win.
The annual Army-Navy Game was played on neutral soil for the first time in the history of the series when the two programs participated in the inaugural Day of Rivals on April 11, 2009, at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Md. Anchored by a three-goal, two-assist effort by Brendan Connors, along with a career-high tying 16-save performance by Smartlink Player of the Game Tommy Phelan, the Mids scored an 8-4 Star Game win over the Black Knights.
The two have played at a neutral site three times total (2006, ‘09, ‘10). Outside of the 2009 and ‘10 Star Games played in Baltimore, the only other time the two have faced each other on netural ground was on April 30, 2006, in a Patriot League Tournament matchup in Hamilton, N.Y.
The Midshipmen lead the overall series, 57-30-3, winning 14 of the last 18 meetings. Navy’s 13-game winning streak, spanning nearly an entire decade (1998-07), is the longest winning streak by either team in the series.
Additionally, Navy owns a 52-29-3 advantage in Star Games, including 10-straight between 1998-07. The Mids have won 14 of the last 19 Star Games.
• Saturday’s contest marks the 91st meeting between Army and Navy on the lacrosse field, meeting for the 80th-consecutive year … it’s the longest continuous lacrosse series between Navy and another team.
• Navy owns a commanding 57-30-3 series advantage that included 13-straight wins by the Midshipmen between 1998 and 2007 … the Mids have won 14 of the last 18 contests in the series.
• The Mids also own a 52-29-3 advantage in Star Games, winning 11 of the last 14.
• Army, however, has won four of the last five games in the series, including each of the last three games overall and two-consecutive Star Games.
• Navy owns a 27-15-2 advantage in games played at West Point, however, Army has won two in a row at Michie Stadium (2008 Star Game, 2010 Patriot League Championship).
• There have been only six times in the 90-game history (dating back to 1924) in which the two programs have battled twice in one season (1978 and 1981 in the NCAA Tournament; 2005, ‘06, ‘07 and ‘10 in the Patriot League Tournament).
• Navy has scored eight or more goals in 21 of the last 23 games against Army … the Mids have held the Black Knights to single digits in eight of the 12 games since joining the league in 2004 … Army has reach double digits just twice in the last eight games against the Mids.
2011 Army-Navy Recap
• Led by attackmen Jeremy Boltus and Garrett Thul who combined to score nine goals, Army outscored Navy 10-2 in the second half to earn a 14-9 victory over the Mids at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
• In a tale of two halves, Navy dominated the opening 30 minutes of play over the Black Knights. The Mids owned an 18-5 advantage in shots, a 15-9 lead in ground balls and held an 8-5 edge in faceoffs.
• After the two teams traded off goals, Navy staged a 4-0 run over the course of eight minutes. Senior Kevin Doyle scored a pair of goals during the run, while freshman attackman Tucker Hull scored a goal and added an assist. Assisting Hull on his goal was senior Andy Warner, who became just the 29th player in program history to reach the 100-point milestone. He finished the game with a pair of assists.
• Navy owned its largest lead of four at the 2:33 mark in the second quarter after junior middie Nikk Davis used a role dodge to punch in his lone goal of the game and gave the Mids a 7-3 advantage.
• Army countered just under a minute later when junior midfielder Devin Lynch scored the first of his two goals running in from the right wing and getting off his shot before falling into the crease. It was a goal that would trigger a five-goal run by the Black Knights, despite a 15-minute halftime break after Lynch’s goal.
• The Black Knights came out like gang busters in the second half, scoring four goals in the first six minutes of action, including two in the first 1:15. Lynch picked up where he left off in the first half, blowing past Navy defensive midfielder Marty Gallagher and scoring off a lefty shot on the run 1:06 into the game. Nine seconds later, long pole Tim Henderson fed Matt Hurley for a 15-yard sidearm shot that squirmed its way past Navy keeper RJ Wickham. Henderson then scored the game-tying goal at 11:30.
• Army took its first lead of the game at the 9:03 mark, when the fantastic attack duo of Boltus and Thul hooked up with Boltus finding Thul on the crease to take an 8-7 lead. Remarkably at that point in the game, Army had scored its eight goals on just 11 shots.
• The Mids scored the equalizer with 3:58 to play in the third quarter when Jay Mann’s pass ricocheted off defenseman Larry LoRusso who was standing on the crease and went into the goal.
• Army, though, wasted little time in answering, as Thul found Boltus who cranked a 10-yard shot from up top at 3:04 to give the Black Knights the lead for good.
• Navy managed just one more goal in the game, as Hull scored his third goal of the game off an assist from fellow freshman Harrison Chaires on extra-man with 7:08 remaining in the contest.
Breaking Down the Rivalry
All-Time Army-Navy Record: Navy Leads, 952-721-39 (56.7)
Navy’s Overall Record vs. Army, Last 16 Yrs.: Navy Leads, 307-181-6 (62.8)
Navy’s Star Game Record vs. Army, Last 16 Yrs.: Navy Leads, 231-112-6 (67.0)
Navy’s 2011-12 Overall Record vs. Army: 18-10 (64.3)
Navy’s 2011-12 Star Game Record vs. Army: 16-4 (80.0)
• In addition to Saturday’s men’s lacrosse game, the Army-Navy men’s tennis match will also take place on Saturday … the two teams battle in Annapolis at 1:00 pm.
• Last Saturday’s dramatic win by the men’s outdoor track team (102.5-100.5) clinched the overall series … tied at 97.5 points apiece, the meet came down to the final event of the day with the Mids’ 4x400m relay edging out the Black Knights (3:18.55 – 3:19.78) … Navy has won the overall series 19 times in the last 20 years.
• Navy, who has dominated the Star Series this season, 16-4, clinched the series for the 16th-straight season when the Mids’ women’s basketball squad captured a 57-50 victory over Army on Feb. 11 at West Point.
2011-12 Star Game Victories Over Army (in chronological order): Men’s Soccer • Golf • Men’s Cross Country • Women’s Cross Country • Women’s Soccer • Sprint Football • Men’s Swimming • Women’s Swimming • Football • Men’s Indoor Track & Field • Women’s Indoor Track & Field • Women’s Basketball • Gymnastics • Wrestling • Men’s Outdoor Track & Field • Women’s Outdoor Track & Field.
Patriot League Tournament in State of Flux
• With two weeks remaining in the regular season and thanks to Army defeating Bucknell and Colgate defeating Lehigh last weekend, the Patriot League Tournament remains in a state of flux.
• Bucknell, Colgate and Lehigh all sit atop the league at 3-1, while Navy stands fourth at 3-2, Army at 2-2, Lafayette at 1-3 and Holy Cross at 0-5.
• If Navy defeats Army on Saturday, the Mids are in the tournament … should Navy lose, it would still have a glimmer of hope to get in, but a number of things would have to happen over the next two weeks.
• Also in is the winner of Saturday’s Bucknell-Lehigh game.
• If Bucknell, Colgate and Navy all win on Saturday, all three of those teams would qualify for the tournament, as would Lehigh … if Navy loses and Colgate wins, Lehigh also gets in.
Remaining Patriot League Schedule
Saturday, April 14
• Navy at Army 12:00 pm
• Lafayette at Colgate 1:00 pm
• Bucknell at Lehigh 7:00 pm
• Holy Cross at Providence 7:00 pm
Friday, April 20
• Colgate at Bucknell 7:00 pm
Saturday, April 21
• Holy Cross at Army 12:00 pm
• Johns Hopkins at Navy 12:00 pm
• Lehigh at Lafayette 2:00 pm
Taking the Field In …
10 Navy has lost just five games (51-5) when scoring 10 or more goals since the start of the 2004 season … Navy is 5-0 this season when reaching 10 goals … Army, meanwhile, is 3-1 in games in which it has produced 10 goals.
9 Senior attackman Taylor Reynolds owns nine-career multi-point contests, including 2-plus points in six of the last eight games.
8 Tucker Hull is one of only three players in program history to post three eight-point games in a season – 6-2 vs. VMI, 3-5 at Lafayette and 3-5 vs. Holy Cross … he joins Mike Buzzell (1978) and Dennis Nealon (1990) … no Navy player has ever recorded four eight-point games in a season.
7 Sophomore long pole Pat Kiernan has produced nine points on seven goals and two assists over his career … the seven goals are tied as the most by a defenseman in school history, along with Bucky Morris (2001-04) and Zack Schroeder (2007-10).
6 Since 2004, Navy owns an amazing 54-2 record when holding its opponents to six or fewer goals, including a 12-1 mark in the last four seasons combined … Army is 1-1 this season when being held to six goals, including a 6-5 win in double overtime against Bucknell last week.
5 Tucker Hull is ranked No. 5 in the country in points per game, averaging 4.60 … his is also ranked fifth in assists per game (2.30) and 24th in goals per game (2.30).
4 Navy has won four in a row when leading after the third quarter and stand 5-1 on the year when achieving that feat.
3 Navy is one of four teams who have captured three Patriot League wins this season … Bucknell, Colgate and Lehigh are 3-1, while the Mids are 3-2 … a win by the Mids on Saturday would clinch a playoff berth for Navy.
2 Navy has been outscored 13-1 in the second half of its last two contests (Lehigh, Maryland) … in last year’s Army battle, the Black Knights rallied in the second half to outscore the Mids, 10-2, en route to a 14-9 win.
1 Over the last four seasons, 24 (10-14) of the Mids’ 70 contests have been decided by one goal … Navy had lost five-straight one-goal games prior to its 12-11 victory over No. 12 Colgate on March 24 … 21 of the 90 games in the Army-Navy series have been decided by one goal, including the 2010 Star Game in which the Mids won, 7-6.
On The Road Again
• Navy will play half of its 12-game slate away from its home venue, Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, this season. Five of the six are true road games, while the sixth is a neutral site contest against Jacksonville which was played at EverBank Stadium, the home of the Jacksonville Jaguars, on Feb. 19.
• Navy stands 3-1 on the road this season with wins over Lafayette (3-10), Towson (3-13) and Colgate (3-24) … the Mids dropped their first road game of the year last Friday at 12th-ranked Maryland (13-6).
• Since the beginning of the 2004 campaign, Navy has lost 22 of its 51 road games (neutral sites not included).
• Last year, Navy produced a 1-6 record in games played away from Annapolis … its lone road victory was an 8-3 decision over Holy Cross on March 19.
Patriot League Boasts Nation’s Top Scorers
• Three of the nation’s top-six point producers hail from Patriot League institutions according to this week’s NCAA statistics report.
• Colgate junior Peter Baum, who owns the nation’s seventh-leading scoring streak at 38-consecutive games, is No. 2 in the country with his 5.18 points per game, while Bucknell senior Billy Eisenreich stands No. 6 on the list, scoring at a 4.50 point per game clip. Navy sophomore attackman Tucker Hull stands No. 5, averaging 4.60 points per contest.
• Hull has produced a point in every game this season and has registered hat tricks in five of the 10 contests.
• Hull, who possesses one of the most balanced games in the country, is ranked No. 5 in assists per game (2.30) and 24th in goals per game (2.30).
• Hull is one of three players in the country ranked in the top 25 in points, goals and assists, joining Massachusetts’ Will Manny (1st pts, 5th goals, 7th assists) and Siena’s Bryan Neufeld (4th pts, 9th goals, 10th, assists).
Rivalries in the Spotlight
• With one of the nation’s richest traditions in the sport of lacrosse, Navy plays three rivalry games each year that stand among the nation’s longest.
• Army and Navy have met 90 times, marking the sixth-longest rivalry in college lacrosse. The two will play for the 91st time this Saturday at West Point.
• Meanwhile, the Mids have played Maryland 87 times, which is tied as the ninth-longest rivalry, and the Navy-Johns Hopkins series runs 85 games, which is 12th on the list.
• Cornell-Hobart is the longest-running series in college lacrosse with the two teams meeting 133 times. Hobart was a Div. III program prior to 1995, but continue their series today.
Longest Rivalries in College Lacrosse
1. 133 Cornell v. Hobart postponed, 2-25
2. 107 Johns Hopkins v. Maryland April 14
3. 97 Hobart v. Syracuse April 17
97 Cornell v. Syracuse Cornell, 12-6
5. 93 Princeton v. Yale Princeton, 10-9 (5OT)
6. 90 Army v. Navy April 14
90 Princeton v. Rutgers Princeton, 13-4
8. 88 Maryland v. Virginia Virginia, 12-8
9. 87 Maryland v. Navy Maryland, 13-6
87 Cornell v. Penn Cornell, 16-11
11. 86 Harvard v. Cornell Cornell, 14-10
12. 85 Johns Hopkins v. Navy April 2