ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Anchored by sophomore T.J. Hanzsche’s (Berwyn, Pa.) career-high six-goal performance, the Navy men’s lacrosse team (2-2, 1-1 Patriot League) cruised to a 21-12 victory over Holy Cross (0-4, 0-2 PL) Saturday afternoon at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
Eight different players combined to score the 21 goals for the Mids which were the most scored by Navy since it dealt Holy Cross a 23-5 loss on April 18, 2004. Navy’s starting attack combined to score 14 of the 21 goals in what was its largest margin of victory over a Patriot League team since its 12-3 win over the Crusaders in 2010. Meanwhile, the 33 combined goals are the most since second-ranked Virginia delivered a 24-13 blow to the Mids in Charlottesville on March 4, 1995.
“This was a good win,” said Navy third-year head coach Rick Sowell. “We’ve been knocking on that door this season, but we’ve come up a bit short. We know we are capable of putting points on the board and today we were able to put all of the pieces together. Wins are hard to come by, but it was nice to see the hard work that the players and staff have been putting in is paying off.
“The next game is always our biggest game,” added Sowell. “We had lost two in a row, lost a conference game and throw in the fact that we lost to them (Holy Cross) a year ago and there was plenty of motivation to go out and win this game.”
Similar to a week ago at Bucknell, the Mids dominated the first quarter by opening up a 2-0 lead on goals by senior midfielder Pat Durkin (Germantown, Md.) and senior attack Sam Jones (Annapolis, Md.). Then second-year attackPatrick Keena (Vienna, Va.) fed senior attack Tucker Hull (Charlotte, N.C.) from behind the cage and Hull’s shot found the back of the net less than two minutes into the second quarter to give Navy a 3-0 advantage.
Freshman attack Kevin Lux was able to provide a spark for the Crusaders, however, as he scored a pair of goals and added an assist in a 3-1 run by Holy Cross that got it to within one goal at 4-3 with 7:58 to play.
The Mids were able to regroup and put together a 7-0 run to close the half with an 11-3 advantage. Five of the seven goals during the run were scored by seniors, including Jones who produced three goals and an assist.
The last time Navy scored nine goals in a quarter was in its 23-5 win over Holy Cross in 2004 when the Mids scored nine goals not once, but twice in the game (first and third quarters).
“I was really proud of the guys who remained composed when Holy Cross made a little run in the second quarter,” said Sowell. “I took a timeout after they got to within one and said lets put the hammer down.”
Navy opened the third quarter with back-to-back goals by junior midfielder Gabe Voumard (Cape May, N.J.) and Durkin to push its lead to 10 at 13-3, but to Holy Cross’ credit, the Crusaders would continue to fight. In fact, Holy Cross outscored Navy 6-5 in the third quarter and got to within six goals, but could never get any closer. The Mids scored four in a row in the fourth quarter to push its lead back to 10 at 21-11, but an unassisted goal by junior midfielder Jamie Ward with 23 seconds remaining kept the loss to single digits.
Hanzsche, who extended his point and goal-scoring streak to 10 consecutive games, registered just his fourth career multi-goal performance. Meanwhile, the six goals are the most scored by a Navy player since Hull scored six against VMI on Feb. 11, 2012. It’s also tied as the most goals scored by a Navy player in a Patriot League game. Taylor Harrisput up six against Holy Cross in a 17-3 win on March 26, 2006. Hazsche, Hull and Harris are the only three Navy players to score six or more goals in a game since the beginning of the 1991 campaign.
Jones finished the day with six points on five goals and one assist to jump from 20th to 17th on Navy’s career scoring list with 122 points. Additionally, he joined Navy’s all-time goals scored list where he stands 17th with 74 goals and is tied for 17th on the career assists list with 48.
Hull turned in his team-best 13th career hat trick with three goals in the victory. He is now tied with Jamie O’Leary (1996-99) for 20th on Navy’s career points list and has produced a point in seven straight contests.
Keena had his best day in a Navy uniform, posting four points on a goal and a career-best three assists, while Voumard also finished with four points on two goals and two assists.
Meanwhile, Navy freshman faceoff specialist Brady Dove (Stevensville, Md), who came into the contest ranked 17th nationally in winning percentage, claimed 19 of the 34 draws he took (.556) and picked up a team-high seven ground balls.
Defensively, Navy played well with the exception of its third-quarter lull where it gave up six goals, the same number of goals it gave up in the other three quarters combined. Senior co-captain Pat Kiernan (Ridgewood, N.J.) caused a team-high two turnovers and grabed five grounds balls to lead the way.
Eight different players scored for the Crusaders, including Terry McKenna who finished with four points on three goals and one assist while Sean Wilkinson had four points on one goal and three assists.
The Mids return to action next Friday when they play host to Lafayette at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium beginning at 7:00 pm.