Bucknell vs. Navy
March 7, 2011
The Game Story:
LEWISBURG, Pa. — Bucknell freshman attackman Todd Heritage took a feed from Billy Eisenreich and tucked it past Navy keeper RJ Wickham (Penn Yan, N.Y.) to lead the Bison men’s lacrosse team (3-1, 1-0 Patriot League) to a dramatic 12-11 double-overtime victory over Navy (1-4, 0-2 PL) Monday evening at Christy Mathewson Stadium in Lewisburg, Pa. The Midshipmen scored four goals in the final 3:47 of regulation, including two in the final 18 seconds to send the game into extra minutes.

“There were a handful of times that we could have packed it in and we didn’t,” said Navy head coach Richie Meade. “I was proud of the fact that they fought through it.

“Eleven goals should be enough for us to win a game, so we are going to have to go back to the drawing board and keep working on our defense. We pretty much dominated both overtimes, but you don’t give yourself a chance to win when you throw the ball away. At times we played really well, at times we had some letdowns. We need to keep our poise and look to this weekend’s game.”

Monday’s contest marked the fifth-straight game between the two programs that has been decided by one goal and the seventh in the 11-game history. It also marked the fourth game in the series to be decided in overtime, but the first to enter into multiple overtime frames.

The 23-combined goals marked the second most in series history, behind Navy’s 17-7 rout over the Bison in 1997.

After Navy junior midfielder Nikk Davis (Cockeysville, Md.) scored the game’s opening goal at the 12:49 mark in the first period, Bucknell went on a four-goal scoring spree that featured three goals in just over a minute (7:46, 7:14, 6:29). The Mids, however, fought their way back, thanks in part to winning a handful of faceoffs. In fact, an extra-man goal by freshman Sam Jones (Annapolis, Md.), followed by a nicely set up play by Jones to fellow rookie Tucker Hull (Charlotte, N.C.) pulled Navy to within one by the end of the first quarter.

Navy tied the game up at 4-4 just over two minutes into the second quarter when Jones found senior midfielder Brian Striffler (Virginia Beach, Va.) cutting up the middle for his fourth goal of the year. Over the next six minutes the two teams traded goals, but back-to-back goals by Bison senior attackman Ryan Klipstein gave Bucknell 7-5 advantage heading into the halftime break.

Bucknell pushed its lead to four at 9-5 with back-to-back goals to open the third stanza. Heritage scored just 44 seconds into the second half, while Eisenreich gave the Bison their largest lead of the game with a 10-yard shot up the gut with 12:41 remaining in the third.

The pesky Mids climbed back into the game when Hull scored his third and fourth goals of the game. The second of the two was generated by a save from Wickham who brought the ball up the field and into the offensive box. Wickham found Jones who then passed it off to short stick defensive middie Jordan Seivold (Minnetonka, Minn.) who quickly sent the outlet to Hull who cranked it in and got the Mids to within two once again at 9-7.

Navy’s defense played a solid third period and into the fourth, keeping the Bison off the scoreboard for nearly 20 minutes. At approximately the 10:30 mark in the fourth, defensive midfielder Brye French (Deatsville, Ala.) attempted to throw his clearing pass across the field, but instead threw it right into the stick of Bucknell middie Charlie Streep at the top of the offensive box. With the goal left vacated by Wickham who was on the right wing of the box, Streep sent a shot to the wide open goal. However, Navy senior defenseman Michael Hirsch (Schwenksville, Pa.) made a spectacular play, diving at the shot and deflecting it away in what would have been a sure goal for the Bison.

Senior middie Mike Danylyshyn gave Bucknell its first goal since the 12:41 mark in the third period when he used a roll dodge to break free of Navy defensive midfielder Marty Gallagher (Wayne, Pa.) to give the Bison a three-goal cushion with 7:54 to play in regulation.

Navy simply would not quit, however, as it ralled over the final four minutes to force overtime. Senior midfielder Andy Warner (Corning, N.Y.) sent a hard shot with nearly no angle that caught the inside of the pipe at the 3:47 mark. With 1:59 left, Warner found Jones cutting to the goal with Jones sticking the shot to bring the Mids to within one (10-9).

However, a push by sophomore midfielder Jay Mann (Cockeysville, Md.) would prove costly for the Mids, as Navy surrendered an extra-man goal to Bucknell’s Chase Bailey with 1:15 to go.

An unlikely candidate stood tall for the Mids, however, as they continued their gutsy comeback in the last minute. Junior draw specialist Logan West (Berlin, Md.), who has struggled mightily over the last few weeks, won back-to-back faceoffs to put the ball in the Mids’ hands. In fact, in the fourth quarter he won five of the seven draws.

With 18 seconds remaining, Warner sent a high pass to Davis who was forced to make an acrobatic catch and then punched it in over the head of Bucknell keeper Kyle Feeney. West won the ensuing faceoff and the Mids went racing down the field where Hull found Davis for the game-tying goal with just seven ticks left on the clock to send the game into extra minutes.

Navy had as good of an opportunity as one could ask for in the first overtime period with Hull getting an open look from seven yards out, but Feeney was able to turn it aside. Navy would get the ball back in the final seconds of OT, but could not get organized enough to get a shot off.

West continued to own the “x” coming up with the faceoff again, but an errant pass between Davis and Warner put the ball back into Bucknell’s hands. The Bison brought the ball down the field and worked it around. Navy’s defense slid and left Heritage wide open on the crease for the game-winner.

Hull led the way for the Mids with a career-high four goals and two assists for the first six-point performance by a Navy player since last year’s Georgetown contest in which Warner produced a career-high four assists to go along with his two goals. Meanwhile, Hull is the second different freshman to score four goals in a game for Navy this season. Jones scored four goals in Navy’s opener against VMI and in last week’s Patriot League loss to Lehigh.

Davis added a career-high three goals, while Warner scored one goal and dealt out four assists and Jones scored a pair and added two helpers.

As previously mentioned, West came out of his faceoff slump, winning 11 of the 19 draws he took. In doing so, he jumped from 14th to 12th on Navy’s career faceoff wins list where he has now won 96 of the 206 draws he has taken over the last three seasons.

Wickham made 10 saves between the pipes and he moved from 14th to a tie for 12th on the Mids’ career saves list with 274 for his career.

After playing four-straight games on the road, Navy will finally have the opportunity to play on its home field when it plays host to Patriot League foe Lafayette on Saturday. Game time is slated for 12:00 pm at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.