March 28, 2014
#20 Army vs. Bucknell Game Notes
WEST POINT, N.Y. - Army (5-3, 3-1 Patriot League) jumped into the USILA Coaches Poll at No. 20 this week and hosts Patriot League foe Bucknell (5-4, 3-2) Saturday at noon. In what marks the Black Knights' second-straight home game, the contest is a rematch of last season's Patriot League Tournament semifinal bout in which Bucknell eliminated Army with a 12-9 triumph. In a hotly contested series that dates back to 1979, the teams have played in 13 one-goal decisions since 2000.
HOW TO FOLLOW THE ACTION
Radio: 1390 WEOK-AM, 1340 WALL-AM throughout the Hudson Valley. 92.5 WBLR-FM in Watertown, N.Y. (Fort Drum).
Web: Knight Vision will carry Saturday's game for a subscription fee. Visit the lacrosse schedule page of www.goARMYsports.com to access the link.
Live Stats: Visit the lacrosse schedule page of www.goARMYsports.com to access the GameTracker link.
Twitter: Follow @Army_Lacrosse for in-game scoring updates.
BIG DAY AT MICHIE
With a crowd hovering around 2,000 fans expected, Michie Stadium will be buzzing all morning with a bevy of activities available to include pregame chalk talks, youth team games and a boot camp in Army's state-of-the-art indoor facility, Foley Athletic Center. It is also Scout Day, as Army welcomes all local boy scouts.
ON THE DEFENSIVE
For the better part of 2014, the Black Knights have represented the NCAA's top defense, holding opponents to an average of 5.5 goals per game. Seniors John Burk and Pat Hart join sophomore Austin Schultz in making up a veteran-laden Army close defense. Junior goalkeeper Sam Somers anchors the defense and entered this week atop the national statistics with a 5.36 goals-against average and ranks third in the NCAA with a .617 save percentage. The Black Knights have surrendered double-digit goals just twice since the 2013 season (L, 10-6 vs. Lehigh; L, 12-9 vs. Bucknell) and held two opponents to three goals or less in 2014.
Army has played in four one-goal games in 2014, and for the first time last week, it resulted in a victory. The Black Knights rallied from a 5-3 fourth-quarter deficit to defeat then-nationally ranked Lehigh, 6-5, at Michie Stadium. All thee of Army's losses this season have come by a single goal - 6-5 vs. Massachusetts (Feb. 8), 9-8 (OT) vs. Rutgers (March 4) and 7-6 at current No. 1/1 Loyola (March 15).
LEFTOVERS FROM ARMY VS. LEHIGH
• Army collected its first win against a nationally ranked opponent this season when the Black Knights rallied from 3-0 and 5-3 deficits to defeat No. 17/20 Lehigh last Saturday at Michie Stadium. Following the win, Army jumped into the USILA Coaches Poll at No. 20, while Lehigh dropped out of both national polls.
• Army got two huge fourth-quarter goals from senior midfielder David Tarsa and freshman attackman Henry White. Tarsa's tied the game at 5-5 and marked his first of the year, while White's first career goal proved to be the EMO game-winner.
• Sophomore face-off specialist Alex Daly won 12-of-15 face-offs, including all four bouts in the fourth quarter.
• Junior attackman John Glesener extended his point-scoring streak to 23 games with a team-high two goals.
• Senior close defenseman John Burk notched three ground balls for the second game in a row, while causing a season-high two Lehigh turnovers.
The Patriot League got a boost when this week's national polls were released on Monday, as Loyola sits at No. 1 in both listings. The Greyhounds are alone atop the league standings at 8-1 overall and 4-0 in conference games. Army and Colgate (7-2, 3-1), the league's two other nationally ranked clubs, are tied for second place, while Lehigh (6-3, 3-2) and Bucknell (5-4, 3-2) sit tied for fourth place. Navy (2-3), Boston University (1-3), Lafayette (1-4) and Holy Cross (0-4) follow in order. Lehigh continues to receive votes in both national polls.
HOME SWEET MICHIE
Saturday marks the fifth of six home games for the Black Knights this season. Only 15 Football Bowl Subdivision stadiums, and just six east of the Mississippi River, are older than fabled Michie Stadium. The venue has played host to the NCAA Men's Lacrosse Tournament seven times, most recently in 2001. Army is 75-39 in Michie Stadium over the last 16 years, including a 6-1 mark in 2010 when the Black Knights defeated rival Navy to win the Patriot League title. The Black Knights also went 6-1 at home in 2005 and defeated three nationally ranked opponents at Michie. Army's final home game of the season, Senior Night, will take place on April 12 vs. rival Navy.
SCOUTING THE BISON
Bucknell (5-4, 3-2) enters this weekend tied with Lehigh for fourth place in the Patriot League standings after collecting an 7-3 win over Boston University last Saturday in Lewisburg, Pa. Based on their standout efforts against the Terriers, junior Sam Grinberg (Goalie of the Week) and sophomore LSM Alex Spring (Defensive Player of the Week) earned Patriot League honors on Monday. Saturday's win improved the Bison to 4-1 at home, while the team is 1-3 when playing on the road.
Bucknell's offense is averaging 8.56 goals per game. Sophomore attackman Sean Doyle, the 2013 Patriot League Rookie of the Year, leads the way with 27 points (14G, 13A). Junior attackman David Dickson follows in a close second with 21 points (10G, 11A). Senior attackman Todd Heritage and sophomore middie Thomas Flibotte own 16 and 14 points, respectively.
Grinberg, who ranks ninth nationally with a .580 save percentage, anchors a Bucknell defense that is giving up 8.78 goals per game. Senior defenseman Jackson Place tops the NCAA with 3.13 caused turnovers per game.
• Army sophomore close defenseman Austin Schultz, who has started all eight games this season, played his first collegiate lacrosse at Bucknell in the 2011 season. After earning Patriot League Academic Honor Roll plaudits that season, Schultz took a year off to travel before earning an appointment to West Point. The Lancaster, Pa., native will have two years of NCAA eligibility left following the 2014 season.
• Bucknell fans will notice a familiar name when looking at the Army lacrosse roster, as rookie defenseman Reaves Klipstein is the younger brother of Ryan Klipstein. The elder Klipstein was an All-Patriot League lacrosse player from 2007-11 and is currently an assistant coach at Penn.
• Army rookie Ray Horgan and Bucknell sophomore Thomas Flibotte both played high school lacrosse together at Deerfield Academy (Mass.). The same can be said for Army sophomore Brendan Madarasz and Bucknell junior Ryan Joseph for Smithtown West (N.Y.).
THE LAST MEETING: ARMY VS. BUCKNELL
April 26, 2013 | Patriot League Tournament Semifinal
BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Rookie midfielder Alex Daly went 20-of-24 on face-offs and classmate Will Mazzone recorded his first career hat trick, but 20 turnovers and three Bucknell man-up goals plagued No. 3 Army as it fell to second-seeded Bison in the Patriot League Tournament’s first semifinal match-up on Friday at top-seeded Lehigh’s Ulrich Sports Complex.
The first half was a game of runs as Bucknell held a slight 6-5 halftime advantage. The Bison proceeded to score the first five goals of the second half, which extended its lead to 11-5 with less than eight minutes to play in the game and put the contest out of Army’s reach. The Black Knights scored the final three goals of the game, as attackmen John Glesener, Garrett Thul and Mazzone each found the back of the net over the final 2:24. The surge was not enough, however, as Army got ousted in the semifinal round of the Patriot League Tournament presented by Rockin’ Refuel for the third-straight year.
Army (8-5) owned a 42-41 edge in shots, which included 17 in the fourth quarter, and a 34-27 advantage in ground balls. Daly amassed a career-best 12 ground balls in the setback. Bucknell (12-3) forced 14 of Army’s 20 turnovers and was 3-of-4 man-up as it punched its ticket to Sunday’s Patriot League Championship.
Mazzone’s three goals paced the Black Knights offense, while Thul and Glesener tallied two goals apiece. Glesener added a pair of assists and tied Mazzone (3G, 1A) with a team-high four points.
The Army defense surrendered double-digit goals for the third time this season. Sophomore Michael Larrabee totaled three caused turnovers while sophomore goalkeeper Sam Somers recorded 12 saves.
HIT ME WITH YOUR BEST SHOT
Army has out-shot all eight of its opponents in the 2014 season thus far. The Black Knights held Massachusetts (20 shots), Furman (18) and Lafayette (16) to 20 shots or less. Army is averaging 41.6 shots per game, while holding opponents to 23.9 shots per contest.
Army's man-down unit has proven to be formidable through eight games this season. The Black Knights have surrendered just three EMO goals, as opponents are 3-for-17. With a .824 kill percentage, Army's man-down unit ranked second nationally heading into Saturday's showdown.
Junior goalkeeper Sam Somers has been one of the nation's top goalies over the last two seasons, finishing last year atop the NCAA in goals-against average. He currently holds that same position midway through 2014 as well with a 5.36 GAA. Somers currently lands third in save percentage (.617) and was named an Inside Lacrosse second team Midseason All-American. The Wilton, Conn., native finished 2013 with a 7.18 goals-against average and picked up All-Patriot League second team honors. He won Army's starting goalkeeper position following a stellar performance at nationally ranked Syracuse on Feb. 24, 2013, at the Carrier Dome. Somers recorded a career-high 18 saves and held the vaunted Orange attack to six goals. Somers has gone on to reach double-digit saves eight times, most recently with a season-high 16-save performance at current No. 1/1 Loyola on March 15.
With the expansion of the Patriot League to nine teams in 2014, the league's tournament will feature a new format this spring. In the past, the league's top four teams battled it out in a single weekend (semifinals and championship) for the Patriot League's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. This year, the top six teams will make the tournament field with the top two teams earning a bye. First-round games are slated to take place Tuesday, April 22, on the campus of the higher seed. The semifinals and championship will be played the following weekend, April 25 and 27, at the site of the highest seed.
Army visits Patriot League newcomer Boston University next Saturday, April 5. The historic first meeting is set to face-off at noon at BU's Nickerson Field. Fans can watch the game free online through the Patriot League Network or follow along with GameTracker (live statistics). Links for both outlets can be found on the lacrosse schedule page of www.goARMYsports.com. In addition, periodic scoring updates will be posted to @Army_Lacrosse on Twitter.