Feb. 12, 2013
Army vs. Manhattan Game Notes
WEST POINT, N.Y. - Army and Manhattan meet for the first time in program history on Wednesday at Michie Stadium. It will be the second game of 2013 for both teams and also serve as the Black Knights' home opener. The Black Knights are coming off a 16-9 loss at No. 12 UMass on Sunday in a game that was delayed a day due to severe winter weather. The Jaspers also lifted the lid on 2013 on Sunday and fell 15-6 at Rutgers.
HOW TO FOLLOW WEDNESDAY'S ACTION
Radio: 1390-AM, 1340-AM throughout the Hudson Valley.
Web: Knight Vision will carry the game via webcast. Fans can find the "watch" link on the schedule page of www.goARMYsports.com.
Live Stats: Live statistics will be available for the game. Visit the lacrosse schedule page of www.goARMYsports.com to access the GameTracker link.
Twitter: Follow @Army_Lacrosse for in-game scoring updates.
Season tickets start at just $19 for youth, students and senior citizens. An adult season ticket can be purchased for $25. Single-game tickets are $4 for youth, students, senior citizens and groups of 10 or more, while adults can be purchased for $6. Prices increase to $6 and $10 for the same contingents, respectively, for the May 3 meeting with Johns Hopkins. The Army ticket office is open for walk-up sales on game day and is located at Gate 3 of Michie Stadium.
Army hits the ground running to start 2013, continuing a busy stretch of three games in a seven-day span on Wednesday against Manhattan. The Black Knights opened against UMass on Sunday, Feb. 13, and cap the stretch with a home tilt against VMI this Saturday, Feb. 16, at Michie Stadium.
ALBERICI SOUND BITES: THE MANHATTAN GAME
(Ref.: scouting Manhattan)
"Manhattan has a new coach and things have really changed for them. This early in the season, we typically like to go back and watch film from last year, but that's out the door. We had the opportunity to scout the Rutgers game, which they were very competitive in. It was 7-5 in the third quarter. They have a couple veteran attackmen back and like to initiate quite a bit through the midfield."
(Ref.: schedule changes after the snow last weekend)
"It was a strange week this week after our schedule change at UMass from Saturday to Sunday. We had to give the guys Monday off, which gives us one day to prepare for Manhattan as opposed to five in most of our other games. We know Manhattan is in the same situation, so this game will come down to us doing what we do well and doing it better than we did up at UMass on Sunday."
(Ref.: improvements he would like to see on Wednesday)
"For us, it is all about ball security. We were really loose with the ball against UMass. We had some unforced turnovers and issues in our clearing game. We have to clean those things up and put the ball in our offense's hand. Every possession needs to end in a quality shot. If we're able to do that, I think we'll be successful."
OH CAPTAIN(S), MY CAPTAIN(S)
Seniors Andrew Boyd, Brendan Buckley and Garrett Thul were selected to serve as team tri-captains for the 2013 season. Buckley and Thul are both preseason All-America selections and returning All-Patriot League players, while Boyd started 13 games and scored a career-best 15 points in 2012.
FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING
When the Black Knights host Manhattan on Wednesday afternoon, it will mark the first of two new series for the program this season. Army will also play Michigan, which made the transition to Division I status a year ago, on March 2 in Miami, Fla. The game will be the second of a doubleheader at Sun Life Stadium and will be preceded by a Syracuse and Florida women's contest.
Predicted to finish seventh in the MAAC preseason poll, Manhattan got the 2013 season underway with a 15-6 loss at Rutgers on Sunday in Piscataway, N.J. The Jaspers are coming off a 5-9 campaign last spring, but are now under the direction of first-year head coach Steve Manitta. Manhattan graduated its top two leading scorers from a year ago in Brian McGrath and Brandan Rogers. That leaves senior midfielder Tyler Jarvis, a 20-point scorer a season ago, to increase his production. He paced Manhattan with two goals in the Rutgers loss. Sophomore goalkeeper Michael Wiatrak played all 60 minutes and made 17 saves against the Scarlet Knights. Wiatrak split starting duty with Rich Akapnitis last season.
HURRY UP OFFENSE
Army scored off the opening face-off twice last season and did so again in its 2013 season opener at UMass on Feb. 10. Freshman midfielder Alex Daly won the opening face-off against the Minutemen and quickly fed sophomore attackman John Glesener for the score with 14:54 on the clock. The goal tied Army's record for the fastest goal to start a game, matching Chad Allen's goal six seconds into the Army-Navy game on April 6, 1991.
Along with receiving votes in the 2013 Preseason USILA Coaches' Poll, the Army lacrosse team was tabbed third in the Patriot League Preseason Poll. Coming off a 7-8 season during which they made a seventh-straight Patriot League Tournament appearance under current head coach Joe Alberici, the Black Knights garnered 48 points to land third in the preseason poll. With 69 points and nine first-place votes, Lehigh is predicted to defend its Patriot League title. Colgate followed in second place with 65 points and the remaining five first-place votes. Following Army in order are Bucknell (43 points), Navy (35), Holy Cross (20) and Lafayette (14). The poll is determined by votes of the league's head coaches and sports information directors.
A trio of Black Knights have already garnered plenty of attention before the 2013 season even gets underway. Seniors Garrett Thul and Brendan Buckley, along with sophomore John Glesener, earned a spot on the inaugural Preseason All-Patriot League Team in late January. In addition, all three grabbed Face-Off Yearbook Preseason All-America plaudits. Thul and Glesener earned second and third team honors, respectively, while Buckley was tabbed with honorable mention status.
GLESENER GETS IT DONE
Sophomore John Glesener, who moved from the midfield to Army's attack this season, showed he was right at home around the cage as he posted his second career hat trick in the Black Knights' season opener at No. 12 UMass on Sunday. Glesener's three goals paced Army offensively, while he tied a career-high five points (3G, 2A) on the afternoon. The Camillus, N.Y., native returns as Army's second-leading scorer from a year ago, having tallied 33 points (16G, 17A) as a freshman.
Leadership is inherent at West Point, and this season's roster will rely heavily on nine seniors to serve as the example for a young roster. The Black Knights' list 16 rookies and 14 sophomores, making up the fifth-youngest roster in the nation with 30 underclassmen. Those ranked above Army include Delaware (33), Holy Cross (33), Syracuse (32) and Air Force (31). Maryland ties Army with 30 underclassmen on its 2013 ledger.
Eight rookies earned playing time in the team's season-opening loss at No. 12 UMass on Sunday. Attackman Connor Cook started his first collegiate game and tallied his first career goal, while middie Alex Daly took the majority of the Black Knights' face-offs and collected an assist. Daly led the team with four ground balls and helped out on Army's first goal of the game, scoring on the face-off just six seconds into the contest. Daly went 9-of-18 in the "x" on the afternoon. Also making their collegiate debuts were Will Mazzone, Mike Perettine, Luke Poulos, Austin Schultz, Tim Coll and A.J. Canara.
Senior attackman Garrett Thul has made a career of gaudy numbers and a knack for serious goal-scoring ability. Perhaps one of the most impressive numbers of all is his current 40-game goal scoring streak, which stands as the longest of any player in the country. Thul has scored 105 goals during the 40-game span, which dates back to April 3, 2010. Mount St. Mary's senior Brett Schmidt lists second on the list with a 28-game streak. Thul's 23 hat tricks are also listed second amongst national leaders.
AGAINST THE BEST
Army wasted no time cracking into its long list of nationally ranked opponents last Sunday, as the team opened at No. 12/13 UMass. Widely known for playing one of the toughest schedules in the country each season, the Black Knights will go up against six opponents currently ranked in the top 20 of both national polls. Of those six games, three are of the non-conference variety and also include perennial powerhouses Syracuse and Johns Hopkins.
Junior long stick midfielder Kevin Epp began giving Army fans an inside look at the 2013 team with his blog, "Epp-ic Thoughts," at the start of the season. A native of Naperville, Ill., Epp will continue his weekly blog throughout the 2013 campaign. Topics covered thus far include the team's lunch box tradition, player nicknames and road trip roommates. Click here to read the latest installment.
The Black Knights' midweek game against Manhattan this Wednesday is the only non-weekend contest of the season for Army. The remaining 13 regular-season contests will be played on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday.
NOTABLE NUMBER CHANGES
Several Army players opted to change uniform numbers this season. Perhaps one of the most noticeable will be preseason All-Patriot League sophomore John Glesener, who changed from No. 40 to No. 21 for 2013. Fans will remember former All-America long stick midfielder Tim Henderson '12 owning No. 21 for the previous four seasons. Also making a switch is sophomore goalkeeper Sam Somers, who went from No. 42 to No. 2, which was previously worn by All-American and Tewaaraton Award finalist Jeremy Boltus'10.
BETWEEN THE PIPES
Head coach Joe Alberici faces a new challenge as the 2013 season gets underway -- that of tabbing a starting goalkeeper. Army had a tradition of churning out All-America keepers during Alberici's first six seasons, including Adam Fullerton '08 and Tom Palesky '10. Last year, a fairly inexperienced Zach Palmieri '12, who is currently serving as the team's athletic intern, stepped in and started all 15 games. This season's starting goalkeeper position remains up for grabs. Leading the pack of contenders are junior Bobby Sincero and sophomore Sam Somers, both of whom played in the season opener at UMass. Somers got the starting nod before Sincero relieved him midway through the second quarter. The pair combined for 47 minutes in the cage last season. Senior Evan Danahy and junior Zeric Butters provide two additional options for Alberici and his staff.
FOLLOWING THE LEADER
Fans won't miss a minute of Army lacrosse action if they take the lead and follow @Army_Lacrosse on Twitter, a feed that provides in-game score updates, links to feature stories and more. In addition, fans can follow head coach Joe Alberici at the handle @ArmyLaxCoach.
ARMY ON T.V.
Army lacrosse fans around the country will have the opportunity to watch the Black Knights on national television at least three times this spring. Thanks to an extensive Patriot League television package, the highly anticipated 96th meeting between Army and Navy, the Black Knights' visit to Colgate, and Army's regular-season home finale against perennial powerhouse Johns Hopkins in May will air live on CBS Sports Network. In addition, the 2013 Patriot League Lacrosse Tournament will be carried by CBSSN in its entirety.
MAY I HAVE YOUR ATTENDANCE, PLEASE?
It's no secret that lacrosse is fastest growing sport among youth in the United States. That was highly evident last season with an increased interest in Army lacrosse. The Black Knights ranked as high as fifth in the nation in attendance last spring and finished the year second amongst Patriot League schools with an average of 2,293 fans per home game.