May 3, 2012
BALTIMORE, Md. -
With the Patriot League Tournament in the rear view mirror, the Army lacrosse team closes out the regular season at Johns Hopkins on Saturday afternoon in what will likely be the team's final game of 2012.
SETTING THE STAGE
The third-seeded Black Knights fell to No. 2 Lehigh, 13-7, in last Friday night's Patriot League Tournament semifinal bout. The Mountain Hawks went on to win the 2012 Patriot League title and secure an NCAA Tournament berth. While Army received votes in both national polls this week, Johns Hopkins comes into the weekend ranked No. 8 in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll. The Blue Jays are fresh off a 10-9 upset of previously undefeated Loyola (Md.), ranked No. 1 in the nation heading into the game, last weekend.
HOW TO FOLLOW THE ACTION
Television: Saturday's game will air live on ESPNU. Mike Corey will handle the play-by-play duties and Matt Ward will serve as the color analyst.
Web: ITT Exelis Knight Vision will carry an audio only broadcast of the game. Visit
www.goARMYsports.com to subscribe.
Live Stats: Live statistics will be available for the game. Visit the lacrosse schedule page of www.goARMYsports.com to access the link.
LIVE BLOG: Visit www.goARMYsports.com approximately 15 minutes prior to face-off to follow along with a live blog.
Twitter: Search @ArmyAthletics for in-game scoring updates.
After meeting on an annual basis throughout much of Army's 95-year history, the Army-Johns Hopkins series resumed in 2011 after a 14-year hiatus. In a series that dates back to Army's second year of lacrosse in 1921, the Blue Jays hold a 54-13 lead.
Two of the most storied programs on the national stage, Army has been crowned a national champion eight times, while Johns Hopkins has captured the title nine times. Two of just seven programs across the country with at least 700 victories, the Blue Jays are the winningest program with a 922-297-15 record. The Black Knights are 732-351-7 in their 95 years of lacrosse competition. Army last played at historic Homewood Field in 1995.
ALBERICI TABBED TO COACH USILA/LAX WORLD SENIOR ALL-STAR NORTH TEAM
Army head coach Joe Alberici will add another bullet to his resume as the USILA (United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association) tabbed him to serve in that same capacity for the 71st annual USILA/Lax World Division I-II North-South Senior All-Star game, set for Friday, May 25, at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. Alberici will coach the North Team, while current Lehigh head coach Kevin Cassese will coach the South Team. The game event will serve as a precursor to the NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship, which will commence with the Final Four at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., over Memorial Day weekend.
Senior long stick midfielder Tim Henderson was named the 2012 Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year last week. Junior defenseman Brendan Buckley picked up Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors a day later.
Senior Derek Sipperly has won face-offs at a 66.4 percent success rate since Patriot League play began in March. He ranks 14th nationally with a 58.7 win percentage this season. Mike Poppleton of Johns Hopkins lands 13th winning at a 59.3 percent rate.
Saturday's game marks Army's longest bus trip of the season. The Black Knights took a flight to Houston, Texas, to take on rival Air Force for its longest overall trip of the year.
Seniors Derek Sipperly and Conor Hayes were named to the 2012 Patriot League All-Tournament Team.
Senior long stick midfielder Tim Henderson garnered Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year honors and was one of five Army lacrosse players named to the 2012 Patriot League All-League Teams last Tuesday afternoon. Seniors Devin Lynch and Derek Sipperly, along with juniors Garrett Thul and Brendan Buckley, joined Henderson among the Black Knights' honorees. Henderson is the fifth player from Army to nab Defensive Player of the Year honors and third in a row, while also taking first team all-league status for the third-straight season. Thul, also a three-time all-league performer, landed on the first team for the second-straight season. Lynch, Sipperly and Buckley are all first-time honorees.
On the hinges of a breakout season for the Army lacrosse team and a near-perfect grade-point average in the classroom, junior close defenseman Brendan Buckley was named the 2012 Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year last Wednesday afternoon. Buckley was also one of 14 players, a group which included teammates Andrew Boyd and James MacGibbon, to earn Academic All-Patriot League honors as well. Buckley and Boyd scored a spot on the Academic All-Patriot League Team for the second year in a row, while MacGibbon garnered recognition for the first time. Buckley is the fifth Army player to be named Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year, joining Dominic Nogic (2001), Mike Kamon (2003), Scott Rosenshein (2008 and 2009) and Andrew Maisano (2010). Four of the last five honorees in lacrosse have come from West Point.
THUL ONE OF 25 TEWAARATON AWARD FINALISTS
With the NCAA Men's Lacrosse Tournament in sight, the Tewaaraton Award Watch List was trimmed down to 25 finalists last Wednesday. Among the elite group was Army junior attackman Garrett Thul. The prestigious Tewaaraton Award is recognized as the preeminent lacrosse award honoring the nation's top male and female collegiate lacrosse players. Thul will be looking to follow in the footsteps of All-Americans Jeremy Boltus (West Point `11) and John Walker (West Point `06), who represented Army among the five national finalists for the Tewaaraton Award in 2011 and 2005, respectively.
BLACK KNIGHT REWIND: #2 LEHIGH 13, #3 ARMY 7
Friday, April 27, 2012 | Colgate University | Andy Kerr Stadium
HAMILTON, N.Y. - Senior attackman Conor Hayes scored four points (2G, 2A) and junior midfielder Alex Van Krevel netted a pair of goals, but it was not enough as No. 2 Lehigh topped No. 3 Army, 13-7, in Friday night's second semifinal of the 2012 Patriot League Tournament at Andy Kerr Stadium.The loss eliminated Army (7-7) from the conference tournament, while Lehigh (13-2) moved on to face top-seed and host Colgate in Sunday's championship game. The Mountain Hawks came out victorious, 16-14.
The Mountain Hawks jumped out to an early 5-1 lead late in the first quarter and never looked back. The Black Knights scattered single goals through the remainder of the game, but never strung together more than one as Lehigh punched its ticket to the title game.
Senior Derek Sipperly shined once again on the face-off, winning 18-of-24 battles. Aside from Hayes and Van Krevel, junior attackman Garrett Thul, senior attackman John Adair and sophomore attackman Alex Carros each chipped in with single goals. Sipperly connected with Hayes for a goal late in the fourth quarter to earn his seventh assist of the season. Freshman midfielder John Glesener was held scoreless for the first time in his collegiate career.
Sipperly and Hayes were named to the 2012 Patriot League All-Tournament Team for their efforts.
SCOUTING JOHNS HOPKINS
Fresh off upsetting the No. 1 team in the nation and handing Loyola (Md.) its first loss of the year, Johns Hopkins moved into No. 10/8 in the national polls on Monday afternoon. The Blue Jays won their first six games of the season, but have lost three of their last five contests (North Carolina, Maryland, Navy) to see its record fall to 10-3 on the year. The winningest program in NCAA men's lacrosse history, Johns Hopkins comes in ranked fifth nationally surrendering just 7.08 goals per game. Since head coach Dave Pietramala took over the program 10 years ago, defense has been its mainstay. Three-year starter and second team All-America selection a year go, Pierce Bassett has started all 13 games in goal and ranks seventh nationally with a 7.14 goals-against average.
Offensively, eight players have scored at least 14 points this season. Junior attackman Zach Palmer leads the balanced attack with 39 points (18G, 21A), while sophomore attackman Brandon Benn's 22 goals top the team. Sophomore midfielder Rob Guida, the team's third-leading scorer with 23 points (16G, 7A), punched in the overtime game-winner against Loyola (Md.) last Saturday.
TAKE A SIP OF THIS
Not only has senior midfielder Derek Sipperly, a second team All-Patriot League honoree this season, taken all but two of Army's face-offs since Patriot League play began and has done so with great success. Sipperly has won 97 of his 146 decisions, resulting in a 66.4 win percentage. In addition to scoring eight points (1G, 7A) this year, he currently leads the Patriot League and ranks 14th nationally with a 58.7 win percentage on the season. Sipperly's 93 ground balls this year are tied for fifth on Army's single-season ledger. Rob Koehler holds the record with 105 set in 1985. Sipperly's older brother, Trever, faced-off for both Notre Dame (three years) and Bryant (one year), playing in the national title game for the Fighting Irish in 2010. Sipperly's younger brother, Dan, is a starting attackman at Bryant as a sophomore.
Senior midfielder Devin Lynch has made a career of coming up big with the game on the line. He has totaled seven career game-winning goals, including the winning tally in Army's historic 9-8 double-overtime win at Syracuse in the 2010 NCAA Tournament. This season, he scored the overtime game-winner in a 6-5 victory at Bucknell and came up big again against rival Navy in a 9-6 victory two weeks ago at Michie Stadium. Lynch picked up first team All-Patriot League honors for the first time last week. A native of Skaneateles, N.Y., he is the team's fourth-leading scorer this season with 25 points (19G, 6A).
THE BUCK STOPS HERE
Close defenseman Brendan Buckley has enjoyed nothing short of a breakout junior season. The 2012 Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year and first team all-league honoree leads the team and ranks 10th in the country averaging 2.0 caused turnovers per game. Buckley has marked some of the top players in the country, including the 2011 USILA Player of the Year Rob Pannell of Cornell, current national scoring leader Peter Baum of Colgate, Billy Eisenreich of Bucknell and most recently Navy's Tucker Hull. A two-year starter on the Black Knights' close defense, Buckley held Eisenreich to two points (1G, 1A) and recorded a career-high five caused turnovers three weeks ago en route to his first-ever Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week nod. The following week, he held Hull scoreless in a 9-6 win over the Midshipmen. A member of the 2012 Patriot League All-Academic Team, Buckley ranks 16th in the West Point Class of 2013.
Half of one of the most prolific scoring duos in Army lacrosse history returns in junior attackman Garrett Thul. The Flemington, N.J., native spent his first two seasons at Army playing alongside one of the top feeders in program history - Jeremy Boltus (West Point '11). Thul, a 6-3 lefty, made up half of the one-two punch, but has continued to make a name for himself as one of the most decorated goal-scorers in program history. Here's a brief look at Thul's career in a nutshell ...
Two goals away from recording a third-straight 40-goal season, which would make him the first player in Army's 95-year history to reach that feat
Three-time All-Patriot League performer
121 career goals ranks fifth on Army's career goal-scoring list, sixth in Patriot League history and seventh among active players in Division I
Currently riding a 38-game goal-scoring streak, which dates back to April 3, 2010. It is the second-longest active streak among Division I players
23 career hat tricks is tied for sixth among active Division I players
15 career goals scored against rival Navy, including a career-high five in each of the last two meetings
29th player in Army's 95-year history to reach 100 points
One of 25 Tewaaraton Award finalists
First team All-Patriot League
Inside Lacrosse Face-Off Yearbook third team preseason All-America
Named to Tewaaraton Award Watch List
Nation's fifth-leading goal scorer averaging 2.85 per game
First team All-Patriot League
Top 25 Tewaaraton Award finalist
USILA Honorable Mention All-American
Led Army and finished the season ranked third in the nation, averaging 2.80 goals per game
Inside Lacrosse National Rookie of the Year
Surpassed three-time All-American John Walker's (West Point '06) freshman-record point (42) and goal (34) totals with 50 points and 41 goals
Finished the year ranked third in the Patriot League and 17th among the country's top goal scorers with a 2.41 goals per game average
NO COMPROMISING THE COMPETITION
Notorious for playing one of the toughest schedules in the nation, Army will go up against its seventh nationally ranked opponent of the year on Saturday at No. 10/8 Johns Hopkins. The Black Knights, who received votes in both national polls this week, have already faced six nationally ranked teams to include current No. 1/1 Massachusetts (L, 12-9), No. 7/7 Lehigh (L, 7-6; L, 13-7), No. 11/10 Colgate (L, 15-13), No. 13/13 Cornell (L, 18-7), No. 20/RV Bucknell (W, 6-5) and No. RV/18 Syracuse (L, 10-9). Bucknell was ranked No. 15/13 when the Black Knights defeated the Bison in overtime on April 7.
THE MAGIC STICK
Already drafted to the Rochester Rattlers of Major League Lacrosse, senior long stick midfielder Tim Henderson continues to be lauded as one of the best long stick middies in the country. A second team preseason All-America selection, Henderson added 2012 Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year and first team all-conference honors to his resume last week. The Tully, N.Y., native is second on the team with 56 ground balls, while also contributing six points (3G, 3A) in 2012. His 195 career ground balls rank eighth in Army history. Henderson is a four-time All-Patriot League performer, including first team honors in each of his final three seasons. Henderson's older brother, 2nd Lt. Bill Henderson (West Point '11), was the 2011 Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year after a standout season anchoring Army's close defense.