May 14, 2005
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Matt Russell made 13 saves and Nick Mirabito recorded a hat trick to lead fifth-seeded Navy men's lacrosse to a 9-7 win over Delaware in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. The Midshipmen will take on the winner of Saturday night's Albany-Virginia game in the quarterfinals on Saturday, May 21 at Johns Hopkins University at a time to be determined.
Navy is no stranger to NCAA Tournament success. Head coach Richie Meade's 2004 squad advanced all the way to the 2004 championship game. The Mids (12-3) have now won 12 games for the second consecutive season, and the second time in program history.
A 6-0 run from the 9:36 mark of the second quarter to the 9:11 mark in the third broke open what was a close contest. Delaware (11-6) would score five of the final six goals on the afternoon, but time eventually ran out on the Fightin' Blue Hens' season.
Delaware also had two goals waved off during the game, the first for a crease violation and the second because a timeout was called prior to the shot.
The game-within-the-game centered on the faceoff battle between Navy's Chris Pieczonka and Delaware's Alex Smith, two of the top faceoff specialists in the nation. The Blue finished with an 11-9 edge in the faceoff matchup.
Russell earned the victory in goal, while Delaware's Chris Collins made 12 saves in a losing effort.
Offensively, William Wallace added one goal and two assists to the Navy cause, while Ben Horn chipped in a goal and an assist.
For Delaware, Drew Turner had two goals and Dan Hechtkopf had a goal and two assists.
The Patriot League is back in action in the first round of NCAAs on Sunday, when Army (11-5) travels to take on sixth-seeded Georgetown (9-4) at noon in the nation's capital.