Playoff Implications Loom As Army Visits Holy Cross Saturday

Sam Somers

Sam Somers

April 18, 2013

Army at Holy Cross Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

WORCESTER, Mass. - Plenty of playoff implications lay in the balance as Army (7-4, 3-2 Patriot League) heads to Holy Cross (6-7, 2-3) on Saturday, April 20, at 6 p.m. The Black Knights are coming off an emotional 14-7 win at rival Navy last Saturday and can clinch a spot in the Patriot League Tournament for an unprecedented eighth-straight year with a win in Worcester, Mass. In the midst of their most successful league season in program history, the Crusaders have dropped two non-league games in a row and have wins over Lafayette and Navy this season. Army is 22-0 all-time against Holy Cross.

The Last Meeting
Holy Cross6
April 21, 2012
West Point, N.Y.
No. 20 Army Pounds Holy Cross, 15-6, On Senior Day
Twelve different players scored a goal and senior Derek Sipperly won 12-of-14 face-offs in the second half as the No. 20 Army lacrosse team turned a 5-4 halftime deficit into a 15-6 rout of Holy Cross in the Patriot League regular-season finale on Saturday afternoon at Michie Stadium.

Television: None.
Radio: None.
Web: Holy Cross will offer a webcast of Saturday's game. Visit the lacrosse schedule page of to access the link.
Live Stats: Live statistics will be available for the game. Visit the lacrosse schedule page of to access the link.
Twitter: Follow @Army_Lacrosse for in-game scoring updates.

Lehigh clinched the regular-season title and will host the 2013 Patriot League Tournament, April 26 and 28, in Bethlehem, Pa. Bucknell and Colgate have also secured berths with the fourth spot up for grabs between Army and Holy Cross. Aside from Lehigh serving as the No. 1 seed, order of the remaining three seeds will be determined after this weekend's games. Colgate hosts Bucknell on Saturday at noon and should the Raiders win, the winner of Army-Holy Cross will qualify for the Patriot League Tournament. If Bucknell wins, Holy Cross would need to defeat Army by at least eight goals to oust the Black Knights from postseason play. All three Patriot League Tournament games will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network and played at Lehigh's Ulrich Sports Complex.

Freshman middie Alex Daly turned in his best performance of the season in the biggest game of the year last week. Daly went 19-of-22 in the face-off "x" in a 14-7 win at archrival Navy on Saturday. The New Market, Md., native also tallied career highs in assists (two) and ground balls (nine) on his way to three major honors in the days following his standout effort. Daly earned Patriot League Rookie of the Week plaudits, along with being named the national Cascade Rookie of the Week and the Army Athletic Association Athlete of the Week.

Following the victory, eighth-year head coach Joe Alberici said, "Unquestionably, the key to the game was our dominance in the face-off. I've never had a freshman play such a large role in the Army-Navy game as Alex Daly did today. He was phenomenal in there."

Daly is approaching his 100th face-off win, sitting at 97-of-179 (.542) on the season. He is 58-of-99 (586) in five Patriot League games.

Army is going for its fifth win away from West Point this season on Saturday at Holy Cross. The Black Knights defeated Rutgers, Colgate and Navy on their respective home fields, while also downing Michigan in the second Orange Bowl Lacrosse Classic at Sun Life Stadium.

• Army scored the first four goals of the game, including the ice breaker six seconds into the action, led 5-3 at halftime and went on to defeat Navy for an unprecedented fifth-straight game.
• The Class of 2013 is the only class in program history to beat Navy five times.
• Nine different players scored a goal and a total of 11 tallied at least one point.
• Senior attackman Garrett Thul led all players with four goals, giving him a series record 19 goals scored in five Army-Navy games.
• Sophomore attackman John Glesener continued his offensive exploits with a game-high seven points on three goals and four assists. It marked his sixth hat trick of the year.
• Freshman midfielder Alex Daly went 19-of-22 in the face-off "x" and won the first 12 draws of the game.
• Army played in front of a season-high 12,103 spectators at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
• Senior Kip Haddock scored his first career goal, while juniors Alex Carros and David Tarsa netted their first goals of the season.

Holy Cross enters Saturday's game with a chance to secure at Patriot League Tournament berth for the first time in program history. Under the direction of third-year head coach Jim Morrissey, the Crusaders have authored a 6-7 overall mark and are 2-3 against league foes. Holy Cross is winless in 22 meetings against Army, including a 15-6 loss last season at West Point. Senior captain James Kennedy has recorded 20 goals and leads the team in assists (16) and points (36). Named to the Tewaaraton Award watch list, Kennedy has tallied three game-winning goals this year and is the focal point of the Crusaders' attack. Sophomore attackman Clay Haarmann leads the team with 24 goals. Senior long stick midfielder Matt Ward paces the team with 38 ground balls and 25 caused turnovers, while freshman goalkeeper Michael Ortlieb leads the league averaging 11.22 saves per game.

Having given up double-digit goals just once this season (L, 10-6 vs. Lehigh), Army ranks fifth nationally in scoring defense. The Black Knights surrendering 7.55 goals per game through 11 contests. The Black Knights land 11th nationally in caused turnovers (9.09 per game) and 10th in ground balls (33.27 per game). See page 2 for a complete listing of all national statistics.

Army senior close defenseman Brendan Buckley is one of 10 NCAA Division I lacrosse student-athletes who excel both on and off the field and are finalists 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 11th 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 Artillery and posted with the 173rd Airborne Brigade in Schweinfurt, Germany.

Army's last Senior CLASS Award finalist in lacrosse was Andrew Maisano, who won the award following the Black Knights' 2010 Patriot League championship season.

With just 10 career starts under his belt, sophomore goalkeeper Sam Somers has established himself as one of the top goalies in the league. After a bit of a battle to start the season, Somers won the starting job after a career-high 18-save performance at nationally ranked Syracuse on Feb. 24. The Wilton, Conn., native has been in the cage for all but 15 minutes since that game and currently leads the NCAA with a 6.73 goals-against average. His .594 save percentage lands sixth among NCAA Division I goalkeepers. Both statistics top the Patriot League. Somers recorded 13 saves in a 10-4 win over Colgate on March 31, marking his most saves in a win this season.

Sophomore John Glesener, who moved from the midfield to Army's attack this season, has proven that shift to be a brilliant one. Glesener has posted a hat trick in five of the last six games and stands as the Black Knights' points leader with 51 (26G, 25A). He punched in a career-high five goals in Army's 10-4 win at Colgate on Easter Sunday and six of seven career hat tricks have occured this season (at UMass, at Rutgers, vs. Lehigh, vs. Lafayette, at Colgate, at Navy). The Camillus, N.Y., native leads the Patriot League and ranks fifth in the NCAA, averaging 4.64 points per game.

Senior attackman Garrett Thul is now Army's all-time leading goal scorer with 158 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 on March 2 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Fla. Thul passed Scott Finlay (1975-78), was named the Orange Bowl Lacrosse Classic Most Valuable Player and also picked up his second Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week award this season on March 5. He now stands second to Colgate senior Peter Baum, the reigning Tewaaraton Award winner, on the Patriot League's career goals list and is second among the nation's active goal scorers.

Sophomore midfielder Alex Newsome showed flashes of talent with a two-goal freshman campaign, but the Richmond, Va., native has had a breakout 2013 season. Starting all 11 games on the Black Knights' first midfield line, he is the team's third leading scorer with 21 points (15G, 6A). 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. He played in five games as a freshman.

Freshman Will Mazzone and classmate Connor Cook have split time starting as Army's third attackman this season. The duo measures 5-6 and 5-5, respectively, but prove that good things can come in small packages. Mazzone posted a career-high four-points (2G, 2A) against Bucknell on April 6 and has 13 points (7G, 6A) on the season. Cook started the first seven games of the season and owns nine points (3G, 9A).

Army scored off the opening face-off twice last season and has done so twice so far this year as well. Both 2013 goals have come as rookie Alex Daly won the face-off and fed sophomore attackman John Glesener for the score. The duo scored six seconds into the game against both UMass and Navy, tying Army's record for the fastest goal to start a game. The efforts matched Chad Allen's goal six seconds into the Army-Navy game on April 6, 1991.

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.

The Black Knights head into the Holy Cross game hoping to clinch a berth in the 2013 Patriot League Tournament for an eighth year in a row. Should Army qualify for the four-team event, semifinals are slated for 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 26, with the championship game set for 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 28. All three games will be played at Lehigh's Ulrich Sports Complex and air live on CBS Sports Network.

Lacrosse fans around the region have a new challenge - March to Michie. The initiative is an effort to set the Michie Stadium attendance standard for lacrosse when Army hosts perennial powerhouse Johns Hopkins on Friday, May 3. Along with the Black Knights facing off in their regular-season finale at 7:30 p.m., there will be a bevy of fan activities and events surrounding the highly anticipated contest. Click here for more information.

Army set its current attendance record of 10,192 for last season's Army-Navy game on April 14. The Black Knights currently sit 11th in the nation, averaging 1,447 spectators over five home games. Army beat rival Navy, 14-7, in front of a season-high 12,103 onlookers last Saturday at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.

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