Army vs. Wagner
February 15, 2012
The Game Story:
WEST POINT, N.Y. - Army meets Wagner for the second time in program history and second consecutive year at Michie Stadium on Wednesday afternoon. Army handled the Seahawks a year ago, as 10 different players scored in a 14-1 victory. The Black Knights, who received votes in both preseason national polls, are looking to rebound from a 12-9 loss to No. 11/13 UMass in the season opener for both teams last Friday, Feb. 10. Wednesday's game at Michie Stadium marks the Seahawks' lid-lifter.

Television: None

Radio: The Army Sports Network will broadcast Wednesday's game. It can be heard in the Hudson Valley on WALL (1340-AM, Middletown) and WEOK (1390-AM, Poughkeepsie). Rick Johnston will call all the action.

Web: ITT Exelis Knight Vision will have a video stream of Friday's game. Subscription fees apply.

Live Stats: GameTracker will carry live statistics on Visit the lacrosse schedule page to access.

Twitter Updates: Search @ArmyAthletics for in-game scoring updates.

Including last Friday's season-opening game against nationally ranked UMass, the Black Knights hit the ground running to start the season. Army plays its first three games in a busy eight-day span with all three being played at home. Following Wednesday's contest against Wagner, the Black Knights welcome VMI to the banks of the Hudson on Saturday, Feb. 18, for a noon start.

Junior attackman Garrett Thul tied for a team-high two goals in Army's season-opening loss to nationally ranked UMass last Friday. With the two goals, Thul sits on 97 career points heading into Wednesday's game against Wagner. Twenty-eight players in Army's 95-year history have reached the 100-point mark. Thul's 85 career goals rank 15 on Army's all-time goals list.

Seniors Tim Henderson, Brian LoRusso and Devin Lynch were selected to serve as team tri-captains for the 2012 season. Henderson and LoRusso follow a family tradition of serving as a captain. Henderson's older brother, Bill (West Point '11) is the only two-time captain in the 95-year history of Army lacrosse. LoRusso's older brother, Kevin (West Point '09), was a team captain in 2009.

Already drafted to the Rochester Rattlers of Major League Lacrosse, senior long stick midfielder Tim Henderson has been lauded with multiple preseason accolades as one of the long stick middies in the country. A second team preseason All-America selection, Henderson added 2012 Patriot League Preseason Defensive Player of the Year honors, as voted on by the conference's head coaches and sports information directors. The Tully, N.Y., native picked up right where he left off last season in last Friday's opener, tallying two points (1G, 1A) in the Black Knights' 12-9 loss to UMass. Henderson is a three-time All-Patriot League performer, including first team honors in each of the last two years. Henderson's older brother, 2nd Lt. Bill Henderson (West Point '11), was the 2011 Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year after a standout season anchoring Army's close defense.

This season marks the 89th year that Michie Stadium has served as the "home" of Army football and lacrosse. Only 15 Football Bowl Subdivision stadiums, and just six east of the Mississippi River, are older than the fabled venue. Michie Stadium has hosted NCAA Men's Lacrosse Tournament games seven times, while the Black Knights have authored a 65-33 record at home over the last 13 years.

Since head coach Joe Alberici arrived in 2006, Army has depended on All-America keepers between the pipes. Adam Fullerton (West Point '08) and Tom Palesky (West Point '11) held court in goal for a span of six years combined. This year, the starting spot belonged to senior Zach Palmieri in the Black Knights' season opener against UMass last Friday. Prior to 2012, Palmieri drew action in nine games and totaled 50:22 minutes in the cage. In Friday's opener, he played all 60 minutes and made a career-high 10 saves against the nationally ranked Minutemen. The Black Knights also have junior Evan Danahy, sophomore Bobby Sincero and rookie Sam Somers in the wings.

(Ref.: Scouting Wagner)
"They have a brand new coaching staff and nearly half the team is new, along with this being their first game, there's not a ton we can do. We've been focused on ourselves, getting after each other strength vs. strength in practice. We are trying to improve upon the things that we didn't do as well as we would have liked in the UMass game."

(Ref.: Thoughts on the team's performance in the opener against UMass)
"We've really focused on the things we did well last Friday. We were extremely pleased defensively in our alertness on the perimeter and how we helped with our hedge and buff game. We were a little disappointed in the unsettled game defensively. They (UMass) took advantage of those small mistakes. On the offensive end, it was a solid nine-goal effort. However, we felt like we came away with empty possessions or a key turnover at the wrong time. UMass is a great team, so things get magnified and you remember those mistakes a little bit longer."

(Ref.: Success in the "x" against UMass last Friday)
"Derek (Sipperly) was the game MVP for us after winning 13 of 23 face-off against all three of UMass' face-off guys. He created in transition and led directly to scores. We were pleased because that was a big match-up for him."

Wagner opens the 2012 season on Wednesday at Army and does so with a plethora of new faces both on the field and on the sidelines. With first-year head coach Matt Poskay headlining a whole new coaching staff, the Seahawks are looking to turn the corner in 2012. A former All-American who played on two National Championship teams at Virginia, Poskay helped lead the Boston Cannons of Major League Lacrosse to back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012. Thirteen of Wagner's 31 players are freshmen. The Seahawks have lost 15 games in a row, as their last win was an 8-7 overtime victory at VMI on April 24, 2010. Wagner graduated its top point scorer from a year ago, Cody Isdaner (45 points), but returns double-digit goal scorers junior midfielder Colin O'Rourke (18G, 7A), sophomore Sam Morrissey (15G, 5A) and senior Mike Hurley (12G, 4A) on attack. Sophomore Nicholas Gabaldi enters his second season as the Seahawks' starting goalkeeper. He recorded a .443 save percentage as a rookie.

While Army received votes in both preseason national polls, the Black Knights will go up against plenty of teams listed in the top 20 before the year is out. Army will face two teams out of the preseason top five - No. 2/3 Johns Hopkins (May 5) and No. 3/4 Cornell (March 3). The Black Knights also visit perennial power Syracuse (Feb. 26), which landed No. 8/9, at the end of the month. All three games will be played on the road. In all, Army will face six teams the were ranked in the preseason top 20 this spring.

Considering the graduation of one of the most decorated classes in recent memory last May, head coach Joe Alberici will rely on a strong crop of freshmen to challenge for playing time. Expected to top the list out of the gate will be John Glesener, a highly touted midfielder out of Camillus, N.Y. The West Genessee graduate spent 2010-11 at the USMA Prep School and was named No. 1 on Inside Lacrosse's Post-Graduate Top 10 Recruits list at the start of the summer. He scored two goals against nationally ranked UMass in his first collegiate game on Feb. 10.

Senior Derek Sipperly returns as Army's primary face-off specialist for the third year in a row. Sipperly won the job midway through his sophomore season and has remained in that role ever since. Not only does the Greenwich, N.Y., native play a key role in the Black Knights' gaining possessions, but he also emerged as an offensive threat with seven points (2G, 5A) last season. Sipperly picked up right where he left off with an assist in the Black Knights' 2012 season opener against UMass. Sipperly was also a stellar 13-of-23 in the "x" against the Minutemen, while picking up a career-high eight ground balls to lead all players. He is 233-494 (.472) in the "x" during his career. Sipperly's older brother, Trever, faced-off for both Notre Dame (three years) and Bryant (one year), winning a national title with the Fighting Irish in 2010. Sipperly's younger brother, Dan, is a sophomore attackman at Bryant.

Injuries are a part of the game, but this season Army welcomes back a handful of players who spent much of the 2011 season on the sidelines. Head coach Joe Alberici and his staff are happy to welcome back seniors Brian LoRusso and James MacGibbon, along with sophomore Tyler Kamide to the depth chart this season. LoRusso, a short stick defensive middie and tri-captain, played in the final game of the 2011 season against Johns Hopkins, but sat out the previous 14 contests recovering from surgery. MacGibbon did not see the field at all in 2011, while Kamide played in nine games - albeit the final half sparingly. All three players earned significant time in the Black Knights' 2012 opener against UMass. Kamide tallied a career-high two assists against the Minutemen.

The 2012 Army lacrosse team sports two pairs of brothers, as seniors Larry and Brian LoRusso are joined by rookies John and Dan Glesener. Both sets of brothers are a year apart, but entered the Academy as a part of the same class after attending the USMA Prep School. While the Gleseners are the first from their family to attend West Point, the LoRussos come from a long-standing tradition of playing Army lacrosse. Their older brother, Kevin LoRusso, was a two-time all-conference midfielder for the Black Knights before graduating in 2009. He is recently finished a tour in Afghanistan and is currently stationed in Germany. The oldest of the four LoRusso brothers, Nick LoRusso, was a back-up goaltender at West Point from 2004-07 and will deploy for his second tour in Afghanistan with the 10th Mountain Division at the end of February.