Feb. 17, 2005
After cruising through its inaugural season in Patriot League with an undefeated 7-0 record, the Navy lacrosse team is the favorite to claim the 2005 Patriot League title. In a preseason vote of the Patriot League's coaches and sports information directors, Navy, who is ranked No. 4 in the country according to the Face-Off Magazine/Inside Lacrosse Preseason Poll, received 12 of the 14 first-place votes.
Arch-rival Army finished second in the voting, picking up the remaining two first-place votes. Bucknell is slated to finish third, followed by Lehigh, Colgate, Lafayette and Holy Cross. Last year's second-place team Hobart, which played as a member of the Patriot League in lacrosse since 2000, is now a member of the ECAC Lacrosse League.
Coming off an historic season in which Navy produced a 15-3 record and made its first appearance in the National Championship game since 1975, the Mids have plenty of fire power returning. Six Midshipmen garnered Preseason All-America mention, including Kelley Award Winner and 2004 First-Team All-American Matt Russell (Madison, Conn.) who spearheaded a Navy defensive unit which ranked No. 2 in the country. Also returning is 2004 Honorable Mention All-American and Patriot League Tournament MVP Steve Looney (Silver Spring, Md.) who is Navy's blue collar workhorse. One of the most versatile players on Navy's roster, he can be seen playing offensive midfield, on the wings of face-offs and in the defensive midfield. Meanwhile, 2004 Patriot League Freshman of the Year Billy Looney (Silver Spring, Md.) will look to elevate his play this season as a second-year starter. Looney produced 13 goals and eight assists as a member of Navy's first midfield as a rookie.
Navy opens the 2005 campaign this Saturday in a neutral site contest against Providence at Branford High School in Branford, Conn. Game time is set for 12-Noon. Tickets may be purchased at the game with the cost of admission $7 for adults and $5 for children.