March 22, 2014

Army Shares Ball in Win Over Lehigh

from Press Release

WEST POINT, N.Y. - In a game that featured two of the nation's top defenses, a low-scoring affair came as no surprise. Five different Army players found the back of the net and the Black Knights held No. 17/20 Lehigh to just one second-half tally in a 6-5 come-from-behind victory on Saturday afternoon at Michie Stadium.

Lehigh led 3-0 early in the second quarter and held a 4-3 halftime edge. A staunch Black Knights defense, which ranked No. 1 in Monday's NCAA statistical listing, held the Mountain Hawks to a single second-half goal as Army prevailed for its first win over a nationally ranked opponent this season.

With the victory, Army (5-3, 3-1 Patriot League) moves into second-place tie with Colgate in the Patriot League standings. Two-time defending champion Lehigh dropped to 6-3 overall and 3-2 in conference contests.

Freshman attackman Henry White picked the perfect time to score his first collegiate goal, netting the EMO game-winner with 7:54 remaining in the fourth. Senior third-line middie David Tarsa notched the equalizer four minutes prior, which marked his first of the season and helped set up Army's comeback bid. Sophomore attackman Connor Cook tied a career-high with four points on the day. The California, Md., native tallied one goal and matched a career-best three assists. Junior attackman John Glesenerscored twice, while sophomore attackman Will Mazzone added a goal and two assists.

"This was a terrific team effort," said Army head coach Joe Alberici following the win. "Henry White and Dave Tarsa came up huge for us today. We're always talking about the Army Lacrosse Family and how everyone plays a huge role. Their effort today is a perfect example of that.

"Lehigh is tremendously well coached and a great defensive team," Alberici added. "We knew this was going to be a defensive battle, so every goal was magnified. I was disappointed giving up four in the first half, but to lock them down in the second half was an outstanding defensive effort from our guys."

Sophomore Alex Daly won 12-of-15 face-offs and all four during the Black Knights' decisive fourth quarter. He scooped a game-high nine ground balls, while junior long stick middie Jimbo D'Aprile added four on the day. Senior close defenseman John Burk totaled three ground balls and a game-high two caused turnovers.

Army junior goalkeeper Sam Somers, who entered the game leading the nation in goals-against average, totaled seven saves and three ground balls.

Preseason Patriot League Goalie of the Year Matt Poillon of Lehigh registered nine saves and suffered his third loss of the year. Junior attackman Dan Taylor led all players with three goals.

Lehigh scored the first three goals of the game, stretching the first and second quarters. Facing a 3-0 deficit, the Black Knights got going when Mazzone fed Cook on the doorstep to get Army on the board at 8:56 of the second. Back-to-back Glesener goals, scored over the next three-plus minutes and on assists from Cook and Mazzone, leveled the score at 3-3 with 5:42 on the clock. Glesener's first strike came from the left side and his second marked the Black Knights' first of two extra-man goals of the contest. The Mountain Hawks won the ensuing faceoff and turned it into the go-ahead goal just 12 seconds later as the visitors took a 4-3 lead into halftime.

Lehigh netted the lone goal in the third quarter, an Alex Eaton rip with a flag down at 7:25. Eaton's goal pushed the Mountain Hawks' lead to 5-3 midway through the third, but it proved to be their final goal of the afternoon.

The Black Knights came out gunning in the final frame, tallying all three fourth-quarter goals courtesy of Cook, Tarsa and White in order. Mazzone hit Cook in stride to open the scoring and pull Army within 5-4 1:07 into the final frame. Two minutes later, Tarsa's rocket beat Poillon high at 11:52 and tied the score at 6-all. Midway through the fourth, White's first career goal, a 15-yarder with 7:54 remaining, proved to be the game-winner for the extra-man specialist.

Army remains at Michie Stadium to host Patriot League foe Bucknell next Saturday, March 29, at noon. The Bison are off to a 5-4 start to the year, including a 3-2 mark in Patriot League action following a 7-3 win over Boston University on Saturday afternoon in Lewisburg, Pa.

Fans can watch the game online via Knight Vision (www.goARMYsports.com) or follow along with GameTracker (live statistics). Links for both outlets can be found on the lacrosse schedule page of www.goARMYsports.com. In addition, periodic scoring updates will be posted to @Army_Lacrosse on Twitter. The game can also be heard on radio via 1340 WALL-AM, 1390 WEOK-AM (Hudson Valley) and 92.5 WBLR-FM (Watertown).

"Every game is a new life," Alberici said. "We're starting 0-0 against Bucknell. There will be some momentum, but we're not counting on it. Our momentum is going to come from a great week of practice."

Game Notes: Army improved to 21-6 all-time against Lehigh ... the win was Army's first over Lehigh since 2011... John Glesener stretched his point-scoring streak to 23 games ... Sam Somers held a ninth-straight opponent to single-digit goals ... Army faced a nationally ranked opponent for the second-straight game, coming off a 7-6 setback at No. 2/2 Loyola last Saturday ... senior Nate Gustafson led the team out of the tunnel with the American flag ... the game marked Army's fourth one-goal game of 2014 and first win ... Army's last win over a nationally ranked opponent was a 6-5 double-overtime triumph at then-No. 15 Bucknell on April 7, 2012.


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