Feb. 28, 2013
Army vs. Michigan Game Notes
MIAMI, Fla. - Coming off a 6-2 loss at nationally ranked Syracuse last Sunday, Army (2-2) looks to get back on the winning track and do so in the Sunshine State as it takes on Michigan in the first meeting between the two programs. The game is being played as a part of the Orange Bowl Lacrosse Classic and will face-off at 7:30 p.m. at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Fla. In its second season as a Division I program, Michigan (0-3) heads into the game in the hunt for its first win of the season. Saturday's game will air on a tape delayed basis to the Florida market on Sun Sports.
HOW TO FOLLOW THE ACTION
Television: Saturday's game will air locally on Sun Sports, an affiliate of Fox Sports Florida. It will be aired on a tape-delayed basis on Sunday, March 3, at 5:30 p.m.
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.
ORANGE BOWL LACROSSE CLASSIC
Army will meet Michigan for the first time in program history this Saturday, March 2, in Miami, Fla. The pairing is the marquee match-up of the Orange Bowl Lacrosse Classic at Sun Life Stadium. Army-Michigan will be preceded by Florida vs. Syracuse in a highly anticipated rematch of the NCAA Women's Lacrosse Division I semifinal in 2012. Face-off for Army vs. Michigan is set for 7:30 p.m. in a game that will air in Florida on Sun Sports.
RACE FOR THE RECORD
Senior attackman Garrett Thul is just six goals away from tying the program's 35-year-old career goals record. After scoring a career-high seven goals in a 14-8 win over VMI on Feb. 16, the All-American brought his career total to 134. He was held scoreless for just the second time in his storied career last Sunday at nationally ranked Syracuse. Thul is chasing former All-American Scott Finlay, who totaled 140 goals from 1975-78. His 134 goals rank third in league history and are second among active players in the NCAA. Thul also ranks 10th in Army history with 152 career points.
LEFTOVERS FROM SYRACUSE
• Army suffered its second road loss of the season to a nationally ranked opponent last Sunday. The Black Knights came up on the short end of a 6-2 defensive struggle at then-No. 18/18 Syracuse at the Carrier Dome.
• Sophomore goalkeeper Sam Somers recorded a career-high 18 saves in 60 minutes of work. He was named Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Week for his standout efforts. Somers saw 24 shots on goal and allowed just six goals.
• The Black Knights' defense held Syracuse to six goals, marking the fewest goals Army has allowed all season.
• Junior midfielder Tyler Kamide and sophomore attackman John Glesener scored Army's two goals - the fewest by an Army team since a 17-2 loss at No. 8 Hofstra on March 30, 2010.
• Senior attackman Garrett Thul saw the nation's longest goal-scoring streak come to an end. He had scored in 42-straight games prior to Sunday when he was held scoreless for just the second time in his career.
• Senior defenseman Brendan Buckley picked up a career-high four ground balls against the Orange.
• Freshman middie Alex Daly took all 12 face-offs for Army, winning six of them.
ARMY ON THE BIG STAGE
Army is no stranger to playing on a large stage like it will on Saturday at Sun Life Stadium. The Black Knights routinely play in big stadiums, including its own Michie Stadium with a capacity of 38,000.
In terms of playing in professional football venues, Army has experience playing in M&T Bank Stadium (Baltimore, Md.) twice in head coach Joe Alberici's tenure. Both contests were a part of the Smartlink Day of Rivals and featured the annual Army-Navy showdowns in 2009 and 2010.
M&T Bank Stadium is the home of the Super Bowl XLVII champion Baltimore Ravens, while Sun Life Stadium is the home of the Miami Dolphins and hosted the 2013 BCS National Championship.
In search of its first win of 2013, Michigan is coming off an 18-7 loss at then-No. 4/4 Johns Hopkins last Saturday. The Wolverines have also played Penn State (L, 11-6) and Bellarmine (L, 12-6) in 2013. Freshman midfielder Kyle Jackson leads the team with six goals and one assist. Jackson tallied a pair of goals against Johns Hopkins. Freshman attackman Peter Kraus also added two goals against the Blue Jays last week. Kraus is one of three players - to include Thomas Paras and David McCormack - with three goals on the season. The Wolverines' special teams have struggled, as the team is just 3-of-11 on man-up chances and 18-of-70 in the face-off "x." Freshman Gerard Logan has started all three games in the cage and owns a 13.38 goals-against average and a .552 save percentage. Michigan is in its second year as a Division I program and is just behind Army with one of the youngest rosters in the country.
NOTHING BUT CLASS
Army senior close defenseman Brendan Buckley is one of 20 NCAA Division I lacrosse student-athletes who excel both on and off the field and are candidates for the 2013 Senior CLASS Award. The candidates must be a senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
Buckley, a team tri-captain, carries a 3.987 cumulative grade-point average and ranks 18th in his class of 1,079 cadets. He posted a 4.0 GPA in the fall semester and was a first team Academic All-American last spring. The reigning Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year and two-time all-league honoree, Buckley has been named to the Dean's List all seven semesters at West Point and has been honored with the Distinguished Cadet Award and Superintendent's Award for Excellence. An Engineering major, Buckley will enter the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and posted with the 173rd Airborne Brigade in Schweinfurt, Germany.
NEW KID ON THE BLOCK
Sophomore midfielder Alex Newsome showed flashes of talent with a two-goal freshman campaign, but the Richmond, Va., native has had a breakout beginning to 2013. Starting all four games on the Black Knights' first midfield line, he is the team's third leading scorer with 12 points (8G, 4A). Newsome posted back-to-back hat tricks in Army's two victories, which included a career-high four goals and two assists in a 14-8 win over VMI (Feb. 16). Of Newsome's 20 shots taken, 12 have been on cage and eight have resulted in goals (shooting a team-high .400). He played in five games as a freshman.
ALL GOOD THINGS MUST COME TO AN END
The nation's longest goal-scoring streak ended last Sunday as senior attackman Garrett Thul was held scoreless for just the second time in his career at No. 18/18 Syracuse. He has made a career of gaudy numbers and a knack for serious goal-scoring ability, which the streak demonstrated from April 3, 2010 until Feb. 16, 2013. Ironically, the final game of the streak was a career afternoon for Thul, who scored a career-best seven goals in a 14-8 win over VMI at Michie Stadium. He scored 116 goals during the impressive streak.
While the Patriot League continues to grow its national prominence, it is hard to argue bigger heavy hitters than seniors Garrett Thul (Army) and Peter Baum (Colgate). The duo will go down as two of the top offensive players to play in the league and have quite the race ahead of them. The reigning Tewaaraton Award winner, Baum broke the Patriot League's career goals record last weekend with 139. Not far behind, Thul ranks third with 134 goals during an impressive career. Baum and Thul also rank as the nation's top two hat trick men with 29 and 25, respectively. While Baum is already Colgate's all-time leading scorer, Thul is just seven goals away from breaking the Army career mark, which has stood for 35 years. Army and Colgate meet on March 31 in Hamilton, N.Y.
GLESENER GETS IT DONE
Sophomore John Glesener, who moved from the midfield to Army's attack this season, has proven that shift to be a brilliant one thus far in 2013. Glesener posted his second career hat trick in the Black Knights' opener at No. 12 UMass on Feb. 10 and is second on the team with 14 points (6G, 8A). 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.
Plenty of rookies have been thrown into the fire over the first three games, and several have stepped up to the challenge. Attackman Connor Cook has started all four games as the Black Knights' third attackman and scored at least one point in three of those contests. Also impressive in the early going, middie Alex Daly has taken the majority of Army's face-offs and is 27-of-52 in the "x."
AGAINST THE BEST
Army wasted no time cracking into its long list of nationally ranked opponents in the early going. The team opened at No. 5/7 UMass on Feb. 10 and met No. 18/18 Syracuse two weeks later. The Black Knights will go up against five opponents currently ranked in the top 20 of both national polls. Of those contests, two are of the non-conference variety and also includes perennial powerhouse and current No. 3/3 Johns Hopkins on May 3.
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, road trip roommates, bus activities and lunch table dynamics.
BETWEEN THE PIPES
Head coach Joe Alberici faces a new challenge as the 2013 season gets under way -- that of tabbing a starting goalkeeper. Army had a tradition of churning out All-American 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 thus far are sophomore Sam Somers and junior Bobby Sincero, each of whom have earned starting nods in 2013. Somers has made three starts and is coming off a stellar performance at nationally ranked Syracuse on Sunday afternoon. He played all 60 minutes, made a career-high 18 saves and was named Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Week. Sincero earned his only start in a 14-8 win over Manhattan on Feb. 13 and has played 129 minutes in the cage. The pair combined for just 47 minutes of work 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.
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.
Army completes a three-game road swing next Saturday, March 9, at Rutgers. Face-off is set for 1 p.m. in Piscataway, N.J. The Black Knights own a 56-18-1 lead in the all-time series and have won five-straight games against the Scarlet Knights.