Army Dominates Navy, Wins Fifth Straight Rivalry Meeting
from press release
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Army sophomore midfielder John Glesener scored a game-high seven points on three goals and four assists while senior attackman Garrett Thul added four goals to lead the Black Knights to a 14-7 road victory over Navy in the 92nd meeting between the rivals. In a game aired live on CBS Sports Network, it marked an unprecedented fifth-straight star win in the storied series for Army.
"I'm really proud of the way our guys played today," said eighth-year head coach Joe Alberici. "They really battled on the ground, which I thought was a key part of this victory. So many guys stepped up and contributed to this one, which is exactly what we needed to happen. It was a great team effort all-around and our guys stayed true to who we are all day."
Freshman midfielder Alex Daly won 19-of-22 face-offs, including 12-straight to start the contest, scooped a game-high nine ground balls and added two assists in front of 12,103 spectators at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Daly's 19 wins tie for fourth on Army's single-game list and was the most by an Army player in 10 years.
"Unquestionably, the key to the game was our dominance in the face-off," Alberici continued. "I've never had a freshman play such a big role in the Army-Navy game as Alex Daly did today. He was phenomenal in there."
While Glesener and Thul carried most of the offensive load, seniors Pat Brennan and Kip Haddock, juniors David Tarsa and Alex Carros, sophomore Alex Newsome and rookies Tim Coll and Will Mazzone each netted single goals.
The win improved Army to 7-4 overall and 3-2 in Patriot League play. The Black Knights can clinch a Patriot League Tournament berth with a win at Holy Cross next Saturday. Out of playoff contention, Navy dropped to 3-9 overall and 1-5 in league play.
Scoring goals in bunches all afternoon, the Black Knights used a key 7-2 run spanning the second and third quarters to turn a 5-3 edge into a 12-5 lopsided affair after 45 minutes of play.
Army held a 40-38 edge in shots and held a 37-21 advantage in ground balls. The Black Knights' extra-man unit went 3-of-5 and sophomore goalkeeper Sam Somers made eight saves on the other end in his sixth win of the season. The Wilton, Conn., native added four ground balls, while freshman defensive middie Shea Mullins came up with three.
Wasting no time getting on the board, Army scored off the opening face-off for the second time this season and proceeded to net the first four goals of the game. Daly won the face-off and pitched it to Glesener at 14:54 for the ice breaker, which tied the Academy record for fastest goal to open a game. Glesener later created for himself, curling around his defender for Army's second goal at 10:35. Thul punched in the Black Knights' next two goals on back-to-back possessions at 6:58 and 5:47, respectively. The All-American's second goal of the afternoon was a 12-yard rocket scored extra man on a pass from Glesener.
Navy got on the board at 4:03, closing the gap to 4-1 before the end of the opening quarter.
The Mids quickly sliced the deficit to 4-3 over the opening 5:32 of the second quarter, netting back-to-back goals for the first time of the game. The Black Knights exploded to score the ensuing three goals unanswered to take a 7-3 halftime lead. Army's three goals came from three different players and two were scored during man-up chances. Haddock picked an ideal time for his first career goal, punching in the team's fifth goal at 5:25.
Holding a 5-3 edge, a pair of consecutive scores over the final 1:35 gave Army a four-goal cushion at intermission. Glesener laced a pass to Newsome for a goal just outside the crease at the 1:35 mark. Daly later won its 12th face-off of the afternoon and assisted on Thul on the run just five seconds later. The goal completed Thul's 29th career hat trick.
Army began the second half man-down due to a penalty incurred during the waning seconds of the first half. The Black Knights killed it, but Navy scored soon after things evened up. A Mids goal at 14:00 pulled them within 7-4. Navy proceeded to win the ensuing face-off, its first of the day, and it turned into another goal at 13:30.
Thul got one back on the Black Knights' next possession, spinning around his defender for his fourth goal of the game at 13:02 and giving Army an 8-5 lead.
The Black Knights' defense then stood tall as Navy went two men-up for a minute starting at 9:57. Army did not surrender a goal and soon after pushed its lead to 9-5 as Brennan blew through the Navy defense for a goal at 7:57. Freshman Jimbo Moore recorded his first career point as he hit Mazzone for a goal at 5:35 and gave Army its 10th goal of the game. Army went on to score twice more over the final three minutes of the third quarter, matching its largest lead of the game at 12-5. Carros scored his first goal of the season at 2:55, while Glesener completed his hat trick after scooping up a ground ball and scoring unsettled at 2:28.
Both teams scored twice in the fourth quarter, but the damage had already been done for the home Midshipmen. Coll (10:18) and Tarsa (8:13) accounted for the Black Knights' goals, while Navy's Tucker Hull snuck his third goal of the game in just as time expired.
Hull led the Mids in goals, while Sam Jones added a goal and two assists.
Army remains on the road to close out its Patriot League regular-season slate at Holy Cross next Saturday, April 20, at 6 p.m. A Black Knights victory would clinch them Patriot League Tournament berth a spot in the Patriot League Tournament for the ninth-straight season. With a win over Bucknell on Friday night, Lehigh clinched the regular season title and will host the four-team playoff, April 26 and 28, in Bethlehem, Pa.
Game Notes: Senior tri-captain Brendan Buckley led the team onto the field carrying the American flag ... junior close defenseman Pat Hart returned to the starting lineup ... playing in his final Army-Navy game, senior goalkeeper Evan Danahy played the final 2:28 of the game ... the Class of 2013 is the only team in program history to beat Navy five times ... senior Garrett Thul finishes his career with 19 goals and two assists in five games against the Midshipmen.