Navy Men Open Lacrosse Season Saturday vs. VMI

PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG Senior Matt Coughlin earned his first collegiate starting nod in last year's Navy-VMI contest.
PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG
Senior Matt Coughlin earned his first collegiate starting nod in last year's Navy-VMI contest.
PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG

Feb. 6, 2009

Navy-VMI Lacrosse Game Notes

 

Game Preview
• Eleventh-ranked Navy will open up its 102nd year 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.
• The Navy-VMI tilt is one of four games slated for Saturday in what is the earliest opening game in NCAA men’s lacrosse history ... also kicking off their seasons are Robert Morris at North Carolina (12:00 pm), Detroit Mercy at Ohio State (12:00 pm) and Saint Joseph’s at Delaware (1:00 pm).
• The game will be broadcast over the radio waves by WNAV (1430 AM, Annapolis; wnav.com) with Pete Medhurst handling the call, beginning with the Navy lacrosse pregame show at 11:45 am. In addition, the game will be audio-streamed online with live stats at NavySports.com.

Storylines
10 - Navy was won 10 or more games in each of the last five seasons, a school record.
9 - The Mids have lost just nine games (29-9) at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium since the start of the 2004 season.
8 - Eight different players accounted for the Mids’ 10 goals in last year’s 10-2 win over VMI in the inaugural meeting between the two programs.
7 - The Midshipmen have won seven consecutive season openers, outscoring their foes 83-13 (11.9 - 1.9) during that streak.
6 - Six of Navy’s 16 games a year ago were decided by one goal (4-2).
5 - Junior midfielder Patrick Moran paced Navy with five extra-man goals a year ago.
4 - Navy has four Inside Lacrosse Preseason All-Americans on its roster — Geoff Leone (1st), Andy Tormey (2nd), Tim Paul (HM) and Jaren Woeppel (HM).
3 - Navy head coach Richie Meade needs three wins to reach 150 wins over what is his 19th season as a collegiate head coach.
2 - Junior Tim Paul has scored two or more goals in 15 of the 31 games during his career, including in 10 of the 16 contests last spring.
1 - Since the start of the 2004 campaign, Navy has lost just one game (42-1) when holding its opponents to six or fewer goals.

Navy Notebook
• Opening the chapter on his 19th season as a collegiate head coach and his 15th season at Navy is Richie Meade who is ranked 36th all-time in wins (147-98), while he stands 12th among the nation’s active coaches.
• Meade is just three wins away from joining the 150-win club.
• Meanwhile, Meade welcomes back six starters and 30 letterwinners off last year’s squad that turned in a 10-6 record, including a 5-1 Patriot League mark that gave the Mids a share of their fifth consecutive Patriot League regular-season title.
• After winning its 10th game of the season in dramatic fashion over North Carolina in the NCAA Tournament, Navy has now reached double digit wins in each of the last five seasons, a school record.
• Having earned its way into the NCAA Tournament in each of the last five years, the Mids will look to stretch it to a sixth this spring.  The last time the Mids earned five consecutive NCAA Tournament berths was in the ‘70s when Navy played in each of the first 12 NCAA Tournaments (1971-82).
• Though Navy will be without the services of 2008 All-Americans Jordan DiNola on defense and Nick Mirabito on offense, it will have the luxury of bringing back its top goal producer in Tim Paul, as well as its entire midfield line ... Paul paced the offense with 26 goals, while adding five assists for 31 points.
• Five of the nine players who garnered All-Patriot League recognition return to the lineup, including senior defensive midfielder Geoff Leone, who picked up Preseason First-Team All-America kudos by Inside Lacrosse ...also returning are first-team member Patrick Moran at midfield, along with Tim Paul on attack, Basil Daratsos (2x) at midfield and long stick defensive midfielder Jaren Woeppel who were named to the second team.
• All eyes will likely be on the Mids’ defensive unit which has traditionally been one of the best in the country, but lost two all-league starters in Jordan DiNola and Brendan Teague.  Team captain Andy Tormey will anchor the lineup in his second season as a starter and will be joined by senior Thomas Zimmerman and long stick-turned close defenseman Jake Brosnan.

Saturday’s Opponent - VMI
• Former Maryland standout Jeff Shirk (8-22) begins his third season at the helm of the Keydet program after leading VMI to a 6-10 record a year ago.
• Shirk is more than familiar with the Navy lacrosse program.  Not only did he play against the Mids for four years while a Terp, he served as the head coach at the Naval Academy Prep School for three years (2002-04).
• Though the No. 4 seed in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament, VMI earned its way into the league’s championship contest after knocking off top-seeded Providence in overtime, 9-8.  It was the program’s first postseason conference appearance.
• Despite beginning their season 1-5, the Keydets continued to improve and by the middle of the season had earned wins over Marist, Wagner, Saint Joseph’s and Siena.   
• Six of VMI’s 10 starters return, including junior midfielder Tim Moran who is coming off a sensational season.  Moran was the team’s second-leading scorer with 43 points on 25 goals and 18 assists.  
• Meanwhile, Laurel, Md., native Brett Leonard returns for his junior campaign after turning in 21 goals and 11 assists as a member of both the midfield and attack lines.  
• Defensively, Shirk will look to returning starter Sean McCoy to stand watch in goal. As a sophomore a year ago, McCoy surrendered 173 goals for a 10.84 goals-against average, while making stops on 46.6 percent of the shots he faced.  He posted 151 saves on the year.


 

 

Navy vs. VMI — The Series
• Navy won last year’s inaugural meeting with the Keydets at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Staidum in Annapolis.
• A balanced attack and a stifling defense led 12th-ranked Navy to a 10-2 victory over VMI last February 9 in what was the earliest start date for a Div. I men’s lacrosse contest in NCAA history.
• The Mids’ balanced offensive attack  featured eight different players scoring Navy’s 10 goals, including four first-time scorers. Tim Paul paced the Mids with a pair of goals, while 2008 All-American Nick Mirabito scored a pair of goals and assisted on another.
• Navy’s defense forced 21 Keydet turnovers, including 13 in the first half.  Meanwhile, it held VMI to just 21 shots.

Navy vs. the MAAC
• The Midshipmen are undefeated against nine-member Metro-Atlantic Athletic Conference.
• Navy owns a 13-0 record vs. MAAC members and is on tap to play two foes in 2009 affiliated with the conference — VMI on Saturday and at Mount St. Mary’s on March 3.

The Last Time
• A balanced attack and a stifling defense led 12th-ranked Navy (1-0) to a 10-2 victory over VMI (0-1) in Annapolis.  It was the earliest Navy has played a season-opener and the first game on tap this season in Div. I lacrosse.
• The Mids’ balanced offensive attack  featured eight different players scoring Navy’s 10 goals, including four first-time scorers.
• Navy opened up a 3-0 lead after the first 15 minutes of play with sophomore attack Tim Paul punching in the season’s first goal for the Mids at the 8:27 mark.  The play was cued by first-year starting keeper Matt Coughlin whose outlet pass to mid-field field set up the goal.  A few quick one-timers around and rookie attack Andy Warner saw Paul cutting to the crease and Paul popped it in over VMI keeper Sean McCoy’s shoulder.
• Navy’s next two goals were near mirror images of one another as sophomore middie Patrick Moran rippled the back of the next from 10 yards out at 7:20, followed by junior midfielder Shane Durkin’s first-collegiate goal from just outside of 10 yards.
• VMI finally got on the board when Hill made a sensational move curling around the backside of the goal and shooting the ball as he left his feet.  Horizontal to the goal, Hill somehow threaded the ball between the defender and Coughlin to narrow the margin to two (3-1) with more than 10:30 remaining in the second quarter.
• While Navy would go on to get just one goal in the second stanza, the marker by sophomore midfielder Joe Lennon, his first, at 5:30 would be the first of seven consecutive goals for the Midshipmen.
• Navy pushed its lead to 8-1 after three quarters with goals from senior Nick Mirabito, Sean Standen, Warner and Bobby Lennon.  Warner, meanwhile, scored his first collegiate goal when senior midfielder Terence Higgins intercepted a pass at mid-field and got it to Mirabito who then fed Warner.  Additionally, the elder Lennon, Bobby, also scored his first collegiate goal, as senior attack Matt Guido sent him the ball with 1:02 remaining in the third quarter.
• Paul scored his second goal off Mirabito’s second assist at 9:19, while Standen turned in his second collegiate multi-goal game when he punched in his second with 7:43 remaining in the game to give Navy a 10-1 lead.
• The Keydets stopped the Navy run at 6:06 when Tim Moran fed Brett Leonard for the score with 6:06 to go in the contest.
• Navy’s defense forced 21 Keydet turnovers, including 13 in the first half.  Meanwhile, it held VMI to just 21 shots.

For Openers
• Navy owns an 85-15-1 record in season openers and has won seven in a row dating back to its 16-2 win over Saint Joseph’s in 2002. 
• Under 15th-year head coach Richie Meade, the Mids own a 12-2 record in season openers, dropping decisions twice to UMBC in 1999 (9-3) and 2001 (9-8, OT).
• For just the second straight year and the third time in the last six seasons, Navy will open its season at home ... in ‘07, Navy defeated Saint Joseph’s, 10-3, in Annapolis to kick off the season with an eight-game winning streak, while in ‘08, the Mids turned back VMI, 10-2 in what was the inaugural meeting between the two programs.


### Go Navy ###