Army Visits Rutgers For Final Test Before League Play Opens

Tri-captain Andy Boyd

Tri-captain Andy Boyd

March 8, 2013

Army vs. Rutgers Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Looking to carry momentum from a 12-1 win over Michigan in Miami, Fla., last weekend, the Army lacrosse team concludes a three-game road swing with a short trip to Piscataway, N.J., to face Rutgers on Saturday. Face-off is set for 1 p.m. at the RU Stadium Complex.

Army enters the weekend sporting a 3-2 record, while Rutgers sits at 2-4 after a 9-8 loss to Holy Cross on Tuesday night. The Black Knights edged the Scarlet Knights 9-8 in last season's meeting at Michie Stadium, extending their win streak to five-straight over Rutgers. In a series that dates back to 1923, Saturday marks the 66th consecutive year the teams will do battle (every year since 1947).

The Last Meeting
March 6, 2012
West Point, N.Y.
Thul, Glesener Lead Army Past Rutgers, 9-8
Junior attackman Garrett Thul scored his 100th career goal and freshman midfielder John Glesener completed his first career hat trick as the Army lacrosse team outlasted visiting Rutgers, 9-8, on a chilly Tuesday night at Michie Stadium.

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Live Stats: Live statistics will be available for the game. Visit the lacrosse schedule page of to access the GameTracker link.
Twitter: Follow @Army_Lacrosse for in-game scoring updates.

Senior attackman Garrett Thul is now Army's all-time leading goal scorer with 141 tallies. The Flemington, N.J., native broke the 35-year-old career goals record when he tied a career-best seven goals in a 12-1 win over Michigan last Saturday at Sun Life Stadium (Miami, Fla.). Thul, who now has 141 career goals and passed Scott Finlay (1975-78), was named the Orange Bowl Lacrosse Classic MVP and also picked up his second Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week this season on Monday. Coming off that stellar performance, he now stands as the current career goals leader on the Patriot League books and also the nation's active goal scorers list. He passed reigning Tewaaraton Award winner Peter Baum of Colgate on both ledgers.

(Ref.: Reflecting back to the team's trip to Florida to take on Michigan)
"We traveled well down to Miami. We had a mission and were focused all the way through. The guys came out and played very well on both sides of the ball against Michigan."

(Ref.: Garrett Thul becoming the program's career goals leader)
"It's a great honor for Garrett. This is a very storied program with eight national championships and over 100 first team All-Americans, so to stand alone as the all-time leading goal scorer is very special. It's a real tribute to him and the great players he's had around him throughout his four years"

(Ref.: Looking ahead to the Rugters game on Saturday)
"Rutgers is a young team and has had some success in the early season. They're a very balanced team and are getting excellent goaltending from a freshman in Kris Alleyne. They are also very strong at the face-off, so anytime you see that in a program, it's very scary. You want to be strong up the middle in our sport - facing off and goaltending does that and Rutgers has it. It's going to be a difficult test. It's a long academic week as we move into spring break next week, so we need to be focused in the locker room and attentive to scouting Rutgers this week."

Rutgers suffered its fourth loss of the season on Tuesday night, a 9-8 setback against Holy Cross at the RU Stadium Complex. Junior attackman Scott Klimchak led the way with four goals, bringing his season total to a team-best 18 goals. Fellow junior attackman Nick Depaolera tops the team with 24 points (12G, 12A). Despite the 2-4 start to the season, Rutgers presents plenty of challenges for Army. The Scarlet Knights boasts the nation's third-best face-off percentage (.664) with sophomore middie Joseph Nardella landing fourth in the NCAA with a .613 individual mark. Freshman goalkeeper Kris Alleyne ranks eight in the nation with a .613 save percentage. Rutgers' two wins came against Manhattan (15-6) and Wagner (20-10).

In the previous three meetings against Rutgers, the following Army players have recorded at least one point:

• Senior attackman Garrett Thul - 7G
• Senior midfielder Pat Brennan - 1G
• Senior midfielder Andrew Boyd - 1G
• Junior midfielder Tyler Kamide - 1A
• Freshman attackman John Glesener - 3G, 2A

• Army won its third game of the season, downing Michigan, 12-1, in the first meeting between the two programs last Saturday at the second Orange Bowl Classic at Sun Life Stadium.
• Senior attackman Garrett Thul earned the game's MVP trophy and broke the Academy's career goals record with 141. He tied a career best seven goals on the night. • Sophomore goalkeeper Sam Somers recorded a career-high 12 saves.
• The Black Knights' defense held Michigan to one goals, marking the fewest goals Army has allowed since a 14-1 win over Wagner on March 13, 2011.
• Senior tri-captain Andrew Boyd tallied a season-high two points (1G, 1A), while Alex Newsome (2G) and John Glesener (1G, 4A) finished with two and five points, respectively. Glesener's four assists marked a career high.
• Sophomore defensive midfielder Al DeStefano led all players with a career-high four ground balls.

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 branched Field Aritllery and posted with the 173rd Airborne Brigade in Schweinfurt, Germany.

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 five games on the Black Knights' first midfield line, he is the team's third leading scorer with 14 points (10G, 4A). Newsome posted back-to-back hat tricks in Army victories over Manhattan (Feb. 13) and VMI (Feb. 16), which included a career-high four goals and two assists in a 14-8 win over the Keydets. Of Newsome's 24 shots taken, 15 have been on cage and 10 have resulted in goals (shooting a team-high .417). He played in five games as a freshman.

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 two weekends ago with 139, but the duo is now tied atop the conference record book with 141. Baum and Thul also rank as the nation's top two hat trick men with 29 and 26, respectively. Both became their program's all-time leading goal scorers this season. Army and Colgate meet on March 31 in Hamilton, N.Y.

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 19 points (7G, 12A). He is coming off a career-high four assists in the Black Knights' 12-1 win over Michigan (March 2). 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 from the start, and several have stepped up to the challenge. Attackman Connor Cook has started all five games as the Black Knights' third attackman and scored at least one point in four of those contests. Also impressive in the early going, middie Alex Daly has taken the majority of Army's face-offs and is 32-of-63 in the "x."

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.

Head coach Joe Alberici faced a new challenge as the 2013 season got 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 remained up for grabs to start the year, but has shifted more in the favor of sophomore Sam Somers over the last two games. He has allowed a combined seven goals in those two starts, boasts a .686 save percentage on the season and was named Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Week on Feb. Feb. 25. Junior Bobby Sincero made one start and owns a .489 save percentage. He has played in all but one game. 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.

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.

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.

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 gets Patriot League play underway next weekend as the Black Knights host No. 19/17 Lehigh on Saturday, March 16, at noon. The game will be a rematch of last year's Patriot League Tournament semifinal game, which the Mountain Hawks won, 13-7. Lehigh, which edged Army 7-6 during the regular season last spring, went on to win the 2012 Patriot League Championship.

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