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Navy opens lacrosse season with blowout win over VMI

Posted on 09 February 2014 by WNST Staff

ANNAPOLIS, Md. —  Call it a coincidence or call it months of pent up frustration.  Whatever it is, senior attack man Sam Jones (Annapolis, Md.) has had VMI in his crosshairs in each of the last fours, including Saturday afternoon when he scored a career-high 10 points on four goals and six assists to lead the Navy men’s lacrosse team to an 18-5 victory in its 2014 season opener against the Keydets at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.

“I think it’s a coincidence,” said Jones with a laugh when what it is about VMI that lends itself to his success.  “I think it’s the first game after sitting on that last loss from a year ago.  We’ve been working hard over the last six or seven months and I just came out fired up.”

Jones, who has produced an amazing 27 points on 16 goals and 11 assists in his four appearances against the Keydets, played a role in 10 of the Mids’ 18 goals on Saturday.  He provided assists on five of the Mids’ first six goals before getting in on the scoring act with a goal that was made for the highlight reels in the second quarter.  Stumbling backwards, he took a pass from fellow attack Tucker Hull (Charlotte, N.C.) and threw the ball over his head with his back to the goal as he fell to the ground, making contact with the back of the net.

Jones went on to score three second half goals and tacked on an assist as his 10-point performance marked the most points by a Navy player since Dennis Nealon produced 12 points (4G, 8A) against Washington College on March 20, 1991.  It’s tied as the fifth most points and he becomes one of just six different players in the program’s 107-year history to reach double figure points in a single game.

Navy’s opening-day success, however, wasn’t just about Jones.  Eleven different players punched in goals for the Midshipmen, including three first-time scorers – junior attack Jack Hinderland (Webster, N.Y.), junior middie Tim Roy(Flemington, N.J.) and freshman faceoff specialist Brady Dove (Stevensville, Md).

In addition to Jones, Hull and midfielders Pat Durkin (Germantown, Md.) and Austin Heneveld (East Hampton, N.Y.) each contributed multiple goals.  Hull recorded his 12th collegiate hat trick and added a pair of assists for a five-point game, as he moved up on the career leader boards.  Hull is 23rd on the career scoring list with 111 points, one behind 2001 graduate Adam Borcz and Jones, while pushing up to 16th on the assists list with 49 over his four seasons.

Navy generated a number of its goals in transition, including goals by Heneveld and Hull in the second quarter off forced turnovers by the defense.  VMI had 21 turnovers in the contest and Navy was credited with nine caused turnovers.  Leading the way was the school’s all-time leader in the category, co-captain Pat Kiernan (Ridgewood, N.J.), who had three takeaways.

Navy’s defense, which started freshmen Chris Fennell (Milford, N.J.) and Matt Rees (Sykesville, Md.), as well as first-year starting keeper John Connors (Bellmore, N.Y.) in goal, surrendered just five goals, the fewest in the series since 2010 when Navy beat the Keydets, 16-5.  It’s also the fewest goals Navy has allowed in a game since turning in an 8-2 victory over nationally-ranked Johns Hopkins on Feb. 21, 2012.

Meanwhile, Navy’s offense also had the luxury of having the ball in its sticks thanks to the outstanding play of its faceoff unit.  Overall, Navy won 21 of the 27 draws and was led by Dove, who claimed 16 of the 21 faceoffs he took.  Additionally, long pole Pat Menezes (Wading River, N.Y.) won three of four and sophomore Sean Reilly (Doylestown, Pa.) won both of his draws.

Navy opened up a 4-0 lead after the first quarter and led 10-0 with just under a minute to play in the half when VMI finally got on the scoreboard.  The Mids outscored the Keydets 8-4 in the second half.

The veteran attack combo of Micky Hofmeister and Mike DeBlasio combined to score all five of VMI’s goals, as well as dealing out both assists.

The Mids return to action next Saturday when they play host to Georgetown at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium beginning at 12:00 pm .

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Navy lacrosse season begins Saturday against VMI

Posted on 07 February 2014 by WNST Staff

2014 Navy Men’s Lacrosse Game Specifics
Game 1 Navy (0-0, 0-0 PL) vs. VMI (0-0)
Date and Faceoff Feb. 8 at 12:00 pm ET
Location Annapolis, Md. | Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium (34,000)
Television None
Video Streaming Navy All-Access/PatriotLeague.TV

Game Preview
• Navy opens up its 107th season of men’s lacrosse on Saturday afternoon when it plays host to VMI … action is set for 12:00 pm at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
• Saturday’s contest will be streamed online for FREE via PatriotLeague.TV and NavySports.com.  Live stats will also be available at NavySports.com.
• The Navy-VMI tilt is one of 12 games slated for Saturday in what marks the second weekend of action among the Div. I ranks … Delaware captured a 10-3 victory over High Point last Saturday, while Lehigh scored a 13-6 win over Furman to officially kick off the season.
• Entering his 15th season as a collegiate head coach, Rick Sowell is in his third season leading the Midshipmen.  He directed Navy to a 6-6 record in his inaugural season which featured a 12-11 upset on the road against #12 Colgate and an 8-2 rout over sixth-ranked Johns Hopkins in Annapolis.  Meanwhile, last year Navy produced a 3-10 record that featured three one-goal losses.
• Navy returns six starters off last year’s team, including its top three scorers, senior attack men Tucker Hull and Sam Jones and junior midfielder Gabe Voumard.  Jones paced the team with 33 points on 21 goals and 12 assists, while Hull chipped in 21 points on 13 goals and 8 assists.  Voumard anchored the midfield with 20 points on 15 goals and 5 assists.
• Also returning to the lineup are second-year attack T.J. Hanzsche and senior midfielder Pat Durkin.  Durkin scored 11 goals and 2 assists, while Hanzsche started eight of the 10 games in which he played and finished with 10 goals and 1 assist.
• Preseason All-American Pat Kiernan returns for his senior season as one of the nation’s best long stick midfielders.  A year ago he led the Mids in ground balls with 68 and was second in caused turnovers with 26.  He ranked 12th nationally in caused turnovers (2.00) and 32nd in ground balls (5.23).
• Navy’s defense will no doubt have a new look this season.  Senior Nik Mullen, who contributed 13 caused turnovers and 22 ground balls last year returns, however, he will be joined by freshmen Chris Fennell and Matt Rees.  SophomoreJules Godino has been slowed by an injury, but is expected to return to the playing field this season.
• Taking over the goalkeeping duties this year is sophomore John Connors who saw a combined 52 minutes in five games a year ago.  He owned a 6.92 goals against average and a 60.0 save percentage.
• Also new to the lineup is rookie faceoff specialist Brady Dove, who hails from nearby Stevensville.  Dove has been solid in the Mids’ two scrimmages to date, but he will be supported by sophomores Sean Reilly and Pat Menezes, along with Kiernan.

Scouting the Keydets
• VMI head coach Brian Anken enters his fourth season hoping a more home-friendly schedule will help an exceptionally young program.  After playing just four home games a year ago that did not see VMI play at home until the seventh game of the season, the Keydets have seven games slated to be played at home this spring.  In fact, four of their first six games are at home.
• The Keydets, who posted a 1-12 record a year ago, return six of their 10 starters, however four of their top six scorers.  Junior attack Mike DeBlasio, who scored 12 goals and dealt out 5 assists is the team’s top returning scorer, while second-year midfielder Gage Snowbarger returns after netting 10 goals and adding three assists.
• VMI will have a new player in goal this spring after Matt Lindemann graduated with a 14.54 goals against average and a 51.6 save percentage.  Senior Evan Windisch is the only upperclass goalkeeper on the roster and he saw action in a pair of games a year ago.
• Traditionally a strong faceoff unit, VMI’s top two faceoff men from a year ago are gone, leaving Pat Hine who took just 23 of the 329 draws last spring.

2013 Navy-VMI Recap
• Erik Hoffstadt and Sam Jones scored hat tricks, while then-attack Austin Heneveld produced a career-high six-point effort to lead Navy to a 20-7 victory over VMI in both teams’ season opener at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
• Twelve different players scored goals for Navy, including five first-time goal scorers in what marked the Mids’ largest scoring output since dealing Holy Cross a 23-4 loss on April 18, 2004.   Meanwhile the 13-goal win was Navy’s largest margin of victory since beating Holy Cross 16-3 on March 15, 2008.
• Navy jumped out to a 4-0 lead with goals by four different players, including Jones who scored the game’s first goal and his first of three goals on the day at the 11:10 mark.
• The Mids surrendered their first goal of the game with 55.5 seconds left when attack Bernie Mowbray set up behind the goal and found rookie attack Alex Henthorn cutting and he punched it in from seven yards out.
• Navy, though, would score the next seven goals to take an 11-1 lead going into the half.  Among those goals, Jones would secure his hat trick with a pair including a shot that had absolutely no angle from the left wing with 3:47 left in the half.  Jones now has 12 goals and five assists in the three games that he has played against VMI.
• The Mids opened up the second half much like they left off, scoring three in a row, including a sensational transition goal by defensive middie Cade Norris off one of a career-high four assists by Heneveld.
• Riding a 14-1 advantage with roughly eight minutes to play in the third quarter, head coach Rick Sowell began substituting freely on both ends of the field.  By game’s end, he played 47 of the 52 players on the roster (five players were not dressed due to injury), including all three goalkeepers.
• Meanwhile, Navy was hoping to improve in the faceoff department and found some success in newcomer Sean Reilly.  Reilly won 13 of the 18 draws he took, while senior Evan McGoogan who started the game was 3-for-6.
• Navy’s defense was stout, giving up just one goal in the first 37-plus minutes of action, including keeping the Keydets off the scoreboard the entire second period and half of the third.  Seniors Austin Miller and Jay Christopher were joined by freshman Jules Godino in the starting lineup with Godino producing two of the Mids’ 13 caused turnovers.  Junior long pole Pat Kiernan also caused a pair of turnovers and paced the Mids with six ground balls on the afternoon.

Navy vs. VMI – The Series
• Having met one another in the season opener in each of the last six seasons, Navy holds a 6-0 series advantage against VMI.  All six games have been played in Annapolis.
• The Midshipmen have scored double digits against the Keydets in each of the six previous meetings, while holding VMI to single digits in all six contests.
• VMI has held an advantage in the faceoff column in four of the last five meetings … after winning just 10 of 25 two years ago, Navy won the battle at the “x” last spring, 17-13.

Navy Vs. the Atlantic Sun
• The Mids own a 6-1 record (85.7) against the six-member Atlantic Sun, a newly-formed conference that includes start-up programs Furman and Richmond.  Navy’s lone loss against an Atlantic Sun foe was a 13-7 setback to Jacksonville in 2012.
• Navy’s contest against VMI on Saturday marks the 10th straight season the Mids have faced a team either currently in the MAAC or had previously been part of the MAAC at the time of the contest.  The Mids and Keydets have battled one another in the season opener in each of the last five years, this being the sixth.
• In 2005, Navy faced Providence who is now a member of the Big East, while in 2006 and ‘07 the Mids battled Saint Joseph’s who is now part of the Colonial Athletic Association.

For Openers
• Navy owns an 89-15-1 record in season openers, including wins in each of its last 12 dating back to a 16-2 win over Saint Joseph’s in 2002 … the Mids have outscored their foes 160-45 (13.3-3.8) during that stretch of 12 wins.
• The Mids have played 10 of their last 14 openers at home, including each of the last seven … Navy played its 2004, ‘05 and ‘06 openers on the road.
• Last year, Navy’s Erik Hoffstadt and Sam Jones produced hat tricks, while Austin Heneveld turned in a career-best six-point performance on two goals and four assists in a 20-7 win over VMI.

Fallen Hero Not Forgotten
• For the fourth consecutive year, Navy will honor the memory of fallen Navy SEAL and former Navy lacrosse player Lt. Brendan Looney (‘04), who was killed in Afghanistan on Sept. 21, 2010.
• Marty Gallagher wore the No. 40 jersey as Navy’s team captain in 2011.
• In each of the last three years, Navy’s players voted who among his teammates best represented what Looney stood for as a man, a warrior and a teammate.
• Senior co-captain Pat Kiernan has been selected by his peers to honor Looney by wearing jersey No. 40 this spring.

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Navy opens home slate Saturday against VMI

Posted on 21 September 2012 by WNST Staff

Game 3 Navy (0-2) vs. VMI (1-2)
Date and Kickoff Sept. 22, 2012 at 3:30 pm ET
Location Annapolis, Md. | Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium (34,000)
Television CBS Sports Network
TV Talent Grant Boone (play-by-play), Todd Christensen (analyst), Sheehan Stanwick Burch (sideline)

Setting the Stage
• Navy and VMI will meet for the ninth time on the gridiron when they square off at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium (34,000) in Annapolis, Md. on Saturday.  Kickoff is set for 3:30 pm and the game is presented by USAA.
• Navy leads the all-time series, 8-0, over the Keydets in a series that dates back to 1898.  The last meeting came in 2003 when the Mids won, 37-10, in Annapolis.
• The game will be televised nationally by CBS Sports Network with Grant Boone, Todd Christensen and Sheehan Stanwick Burch calling the action.

Game Day Festivities
• Pregame festivites will get underway at approximately 1:00 pm with the Navy Football Team Walk.  Originating at the Blue Angel in the southwest corner of the stadium, the team will make its way down the sidewalk and through NavyFest before walking up the drive to the stadium.  Fans are encouraged to line up on both sides of the sidewalk to cheer for the team.
• The March-On of the Brigade of Midshipmen will take place at 3:09 pm.  The march-on will be broadcast live for free on Navy All-Access.
• Saturday’s fly-over will take place at 3:31:10 pm and will consist of  two FA-18 Hornets from Oceana, Va.  The pilots will be Lt. Tony Kopp (`07) and Lt. Adam Kyle (`07).
• Between the first and second quarter, the Naval Academy will be recognized for winning the 2012 Patriot League President’s Cup.  Head coaches or representatives from the following Patriot League championship teams will be recognized:  men’s cross country, women’s cross country, men’s swimming & diving, women’s swimming & diving, women’s basketball, women’s lacrosse, men’s tennis, women’s tennis, golf and women’s outdoor track & field.
• The Naval Academy Drum and Bugle Corps will perform at halftime.
• Following the game, both teams’ alma maters will be played.

Scouting VMI
•    The Keydets are 1-2 on the year, losing to Delaware State (17-10) and Richmond (47-6) and defeating Chowan (24-17).
• David Turner leads VMI in rushing with 113 yards and two touchdowns on 31 carries.
•    Quarterback Eric Kordenbrock has completed 64 of his 107 pass attempts (59.8 pct.) for 646 yards with two touchdowns and five interceptions.  His favorite target is James Rogers, who has 11 catches for 111 yards.
•    Linebacker Ty Garvin has recorded 24 tackles, two tackles for a loss and a sack.
•    Punt returner James Fruchan is 18th in the FCS in punt returns, averaging 11.4 yards per return.

The Last Time … 
Navy 37, VMI 10    Aug. 3, 2003 | Annapolis, Md.
•     Fullback Kyle Eckel rushed for a career-high 129 yards and two touchdowns, while quarterback Craig Candeto added two touchdowns as Navy routed VMI, 37-10, in front of 30,129 fans at newly-refurbished Jack Stephens Field at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.  The win for Navy was its first at home since Nov. 13, 1999, when the Mids defeated Tulane.
• Navy jumped out to a 28-0 halftime lead thanks to an efficient offense and a stout defense.  After going three and out on its first series, the offense scored on four straight possessions.
• Tony Lane got the Mids on the board when he scored from 18 yards out on a fourth-and-three play with 7:05 left in the first.
• The Mids scored three times in the second quarter as Eckel scored on touchdown runs of three and two yards and Candeto scored from three yards out.
• The defense played one of its best halves in recent memory, holding VMI to 109 yards of total offense, including 25 yards on the ground.
• After a sloppy third quarter and a 58-minute delay due to lightning, the Mids put the game away early in the fourth quarter as Candeto scored on a two-yard touchdown run and Geoff Blumenfeld made a 42-yard field goal.
• Junior slot back Eric Roberts added 52 yards rushing on four carries, while Lane had 50 yards rushing on three carries.
• Candeto completed seven of his 16 pass attempts for 161 yards.  Freshman Jason Tomlinson and junior Amir Jenkins had three catches apiece.
• Jeff Vanak led the Navy defense with seven tackles, 2.5 tackles for a loss and a key forced fumble in the third quarter that was recovered by Josh Smith.  Smith led the Mids with 11 tackles.

Navy Versus The Big South
•    Navy is 8-0 (1.000) all-time against teams currently in the Big South.  VMI is the only school Navy has played from the conference.
• Other schools that make up the Big South include Charleston Southern, Coastal Carolina, Gardner-Webb, Liberty, Presbyterian and Stony Brook (who plays Army next week and nearly knocked off Syracuse last week).

Old Dominion State
•    Navy has just five players hailing from the state of Virginia.
• Junior wide receiver Matt Aiken (Roanoke), sophomore kicker Colin Amerau (Alexandria), freshman kicker Austin Grebe (Stafford), freshman wide receiver Marc Meier (Chesapeake) and freshman corner Edward Robinson(Chesapeake).
•    Aiken is a starter that has missed the first two games with a knee injury. He is questionable for Saturday’s game against the Keydets.
• Amerau has handled Navy’s kickoffs this fall.

Navy Nuggets
•    Navy is 0-2 for the first time since 2005 when the Mids started 0-2 with losses to Maryland and Stanford.  That Navy team went on to finish 8-4, win the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy and defeat Colorado State, 51-30, in the Poinsettia Bowl.  The Mids have not started 0-3 since 2001 when Navy finished 0-10.
•    Playing Notre Dame in Dublin and Penn State at State College has been arguably the toughest first two games in school history.
• In the last 40 years, Navy has started the year with two FBS opponents just eight times and only twice (2005 and 1982) did Navy go on to have a winning record.
• Navy lost to Maryland in Baltimore and at home against Stanford to start the 2005 season and finished 8-4; lost to Virginia and at Boston College in 1992 and finished 1-10; beat Virginia and lost at Indiana in 1986 and finished 3-8; won at North Carolina and lost to Virginia in 1984 and finished 4-6-1; lost at Virginia and to Mississippi State at home to start the year in 1983 and finished 3-8; beat Virginia and lost to Arkansas in Little Rock in 1982 and finished 6-5; beat Virginia and won at Penn State in 1974 and finished 4-7.
•    Navy has been outscored 84-17 to start the season.  It’s the Mids’ largest combined two-game deficit (-67 points) since 2001 when Navy opened the season with a 45-26 loss to Temple and then lost to Georgia Tech, 70-7 (82 combined points).
•    The Mids have been shut out in the first quarter in seven of the last 10 games dating back to last year and have not scored a touchdown in the first quarter in nine of the last 11 games.
•    Navy owns a 15-6 (.714) record in games played at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium under Ken Niumataloloand is 17-17 (.500) away from home.
•    Navy has already turned the ball over eight times this year after committing just 15 turnovers in 2011.  The Mids have lost six fumbles in the first two games after losing just nine fumbles all of last year.
•    The Mids have not scored a touchdown in the first half in consecutive games for the first time since 2001 (Temple and Georgia Tech).
•    Navy led the country in fewest penalties last year with just 28. However, it has already committed nine penalties this year, including seven against Penn State.
• In Navy’s last five wins it has outscored the opposition, 105-31, in the first half, including 43-0 in the first quarter.  In Navy’s 32 wins under Niumatalolo, the Mids have outscored the opposition 506-308 in the first half, including 255-105 in the first quarter
• In the Mids’ last nine losses, Navy has been outscored, 199-69, in the first half, including 86-10 in the first quarter.  In Navy’s 23 losses under Niumatalolo, the Mids have been outscored 444-218 in the first half, including 202-71  in the first quarter.
• Under Niumatalolo, the Mids are 21-3 (.875) when leading after the first quarter and 11-20 (.355) when trailing or tied after the first stanza.
• Navy has been held below 300 yards rushing in eight of its last 14 games and is just 1-7 (.125) in those games (Army is the lone win).
• The Mids are 17-5 (.773) under Niumatalolo when rushing for 300 yards or more and 15-18 (.455) when the offense is held under 300 yards rushing.
• Navy is 27-4 (.870) under Niumatalolo when scoring first and 5-19 (.208) when the opponent scores first. Navy has lost the last nine games (over the last three years) when the opposition scores first.  Navy’s last win after an opponent scores first was on Oct. 16, 2010, when Navy fell behind SMU, 14-0, before rallying for a 28-21 victory.
• An opposing running back has rushed for over 100 yards in a game against Navy in nine of the last 14 contests.  In the previous 40 games, Navy surrendered only nine 100-yard rushing games to opposing running backs.
• This is the latest home opener for the Mids since 1995 when Navy played host to Wake Forest on Sept. 23.
• Navy is 4-0 under head coach Ken Niumatalolo in home openers with victories over Towson, Louisiana Tech, Georgia Southern and Delaware.

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