Colgate vs. Navy
March 23, 2008
The Game Story:
HAMILTON, N.Y. -- Making 13 saves in his first collegiate start, junior keeper Tommy Phelan (Towson, Md.) anchored a Navy defense that held Colgate scoreless for nearly 54 minutes en route to earning an 8-3 victory over the Raiders on Easter Sunday in Hamilton, N.Y. Phelan, who played the final minutes of Wednesday's 4-3 overtime win over Bucknell, was inserted into the starting lineup after starting net minder Matt Coughlin (Brightwaters, N.Y.) suffered a leg injury in the fourth quarter of the Bucknell contest.

Navy's starting attack accounted for five of the Mids' eight goals, including a hat trick by senior Nick Mirabito (Binghamton, N.Y.), who hails from just down the road in Binghamton. Meanwhile, sophomore Tim Paul (Parkton, Md. who punched in the game-winner for the Mids against Bucknell, ended the game with a pair of goals and an assist.

Colgate scored the game's first goal when senior middie Matt Lalli settled in on the right side behind the cage where he backed up Navy second-year pole Jake Brosnan (Chester, Md.) enough to get some separation between he and Phelan for the score at 9:16.

Navy countered three minutes later when Paul picked up a loose ball on a failed clearing attempt by the Raiders and went top shelf on Colgate keeper Tim Harrington from seven yards out. Paul's goal at 6:19 in the first triggered an 8-0 run by the Midshipmen that was capped off by an unassisted goal by junior defensive midfielder Geoff Leone (Massapequa, N.Y.) off a Colgate turnover with 4:42 remaining in the game.

Navy scored three goals in the second stanza, including an extra-man goal by sophomore midfielder Patrick Moran (Annapolis, Md.) who was fed by classmate Basil Daratsos (Niskayuna, N.Y.) to give the Mids' a 4-1 advantage at the half.

The Mids scored the first three goals in the second half, scoring the trio of goals in 1:45. Mirabito scored two of the three, including a marker that began with sophomore long pole midfielder Zack Schroeder (Deer Park, N.Y.) who caused a Colgate turnover, quickly picked up the loose ball and scampered to the box where he found Mirabito for the goal.

With the game well in hand, Navy let down its guard a bit in the closing minute of the game, giving up a pair of goals in the final 54 seconds. Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year Brandon Corp nearly had his lengthy scoring streak come to a halt, but was able to convert on a Navy turnover, sending the ball over Phelan's left shoulder. After winning the ensuing draw, senior faceoff specialist Mikelis Visgauss (Setauket, N.Y.) overthrew his teammate, turning the ball back over to Colgate with under 35 seconds to go.

Lalli would end up with the ball on his knees and his back to the goal, flinging the ball over his right shoulder and finding the back of the net from just outside of the crease with 26 seconds remaining.

"I felt like we were complacent at the end of the game," said Navy head coach Richie Meade. "But to Colgate's credit, they took advantage of us being on our heels. The biggest thing I need to stress to my team is that if you take all of the mistakes we made in the last two minutes, it will eventually come back and cost you a game. That's what happened in the Cornell game. We cannot afford to make those mistakes against our remaining opponents and expect to win."

Though Visgauss made the mistake at the end of the game, it was his play at the faceoff "x" that helped spark the Mids' offense. After losing the first three draws of the game, he came back to win seven of the last 12, including three of four in the third quarter.

"I think the key in the second half was the faceoff," said Meade. "Mikelis struggled in the first half, but I think he was able to wear down Eck. Our transition game began with him winning the draw."

Navy's defense gave up 26 shots in the game, 12 of which were taken by the Raiders in the fourth quarter. Nearly all 13 of Phelan's saves were made within 5-7 yards of the goal, making key stops with under a minute to go in each of the first three quarters.

"I was pleased for Tommy," added Meade. "We've known that he was a good goalkeeper and he really made the most of his opportunity.

"I also felt like Jordan DiNola played an outstanding game against Brandon Corp. He, along with Tommy, held him in check until the final minute when we didn't slide and he was able to get off a good shot."

In its five Patriot League games this season, Navy has surrendered just 17 goals, holding each of its last four foes to three goals.

The Midshipmen will be back in action next Saturday when it takes a step away from Patriot League play and plays host to 10th-ranked Georgetown next Saturday. Game time is slated for 5:00 pm at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium and will be televised live by CBS College Sports Network with Jason Chandler and Paul Carcaterra calling the action. Fans can also tune in to 1430 WNAV to hear the Voice of Navy Lacrosse Pete Medhurst.