Army vs. Lafayette
April 29, 2003
The Game Story:
WEST POINT, N.Y. - Jeff Bryan broke a school record and John Walker tied another as Army trounced visiting Lafayette, 20-6, Tuesday night at West Point's Shea Stadium to clinch the Patriot League Lacrosse Championship and earn a postseason berth to the 2003 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Tournament.

The Black Knights broke open a 4-2 contest after one period of play with eight goals in the second quarter and six more in the third, taking command in a must-win situation. The victory tied Army (8-6/5-1 Patriot League) with Bucknell for the league's regular-season title. However, the Black Knights earned the Patriot League's automatic bid to the NCAAs based on their 10-9 win over the Bison earlier this year.

It is the 10th Patriot League championship for Army in the league's 13-year history and the 13th NCAA Tournament berth in school history. The Black Knights last qualified for the postseason in 1996. Jack Emmer will be making his sixth appearance in the NCAAs as Army's head coach and 13th overall. Jeff Bryan led all scorers with five points on the evening. He finished with one goal and four assists, breaking a 21-year old record on the books at West Point. Bryan's helper on Mike Kamon's extra-man goal at 8:13 of the third quarter was the junior's 43rd assist of the season, surpassing Paul Cino's mark set in 1982 and tied by former teammate Tim Pearson last spring.

John Walker scored three goals for the Black Knights, extending his streak of hat tricks to five games. In the process, the plebe tied Bob Betchley's mark for goals by a freshman at the Academy. The Dix Hills, N.Y., native has scored 31 times in his first collegiate campaign.

After Army's Jim Wagner, who finished with four points, including a hat trick of his own, opened the scoring over one minute into the contest, things settled down until the 5:16 mark when the hosts rattled the Lafayette cage three times in the next 1:15. The Leopards showed some resilience, bouncing back with consecutive markers by Robert McLean, one coming with a man advantage, to close out the first quarter.

Sensing the importance of the tilt, Army tallied three times in the next five minutes to take a 7-2 lead. Lafayette narrowed the margin by one on Pat Lennon's extra-man goal 2:48 before halftime. But the Black Knights blitzed the Leopards with nine consecutive goals over the next 17 minutes that bulged the advantage to 18-3 after three periods of play.

Army goalkeeper Matt Darak earned his seventh win of the season in the cage with four saves in the first half. Senior Scott Alpaugh tended the goal in the third quarter, registering four saves as well, while junior Tom LeRoux finished in the fourth with two saves to his credit. Lafayette goalies Michael Koch and Kevin DeVito combined on 15 saves for the Leopards. Army's Brandt Germann, Ben Harrow and Erik Nerdalen each scored their first career goals in the contest. All 38 members of the Black Knights, who dressed on Tuesday night, saw game action. McLean led Lafayette with three goals. Drew Weisman had two assists.

Army's season-high 20 goals were the most scored in a single game since a 23-3 win over Holy Cross in 2000. The Black Knights' eight goals in the second quarter were also a season high for the club this year. Army was nearly flawless in the clearing game, successfully advancing the ball into Lafayette's zone on 20 of 21 occasions. Conversely, the Leopards only cleared the ball successfully 12 of 22 times. Mike Kamon, Marko Kostovic and Walker each registered extra-man goals for the Black Knights, who finished 3-for-5 with the man advantage. The Black Knights conclude their 2003 regular season Saturday afternoon at home against Ivy League foe Yale at Shea Stadium. Faceoff on Senior Day is set for 1:30 p.m.

The 2003 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Selection Show can be seen on ESPNEWS, Sun., May 4 at 8 p.m. Eastern. ESPNEWS is located on DirecTV channel 207 and on DishNetwork's channel 142. Time Warner Cable subscribers with digital cable can view ESPNEWS on channel 106.