Holy Cross vs. Navy
March 15, 2008
The Game Story:
IRVING, Texas -- Surrendering just two shots in the opening half, the 11th-ranked Navy men's lacrosse team jumped out to a 10-0 halftime lead and went on to capture a 16-3 victory over Holy Cross (3-3, 0-3 Patriot League) Saturday afternoon at Texas Stadium. Eleven different players scored for the Midshipmen including senior Nick Mirabito (Binghamton, N.Y.) who turned in his second consecutive six-point performance that featured two goals and four assists.

Dubbed the 2008 Ford Patriot Cup, the Navy-Holy Cross was the second of four men's lacrosse games scheduled for Saturday at Texas Stadium. St. Mary's High School in Annapolis opened the day's festivities with a 15-5 victory over the Episcopal School of Dallas, followed by Navy's big 16-3 win against the Crusaders. Army and Rutgers battled at 3:00 pm, while Highland Park concluded the day with a 5:30 battle against Memphis University High School out of Tennessee.

Mirabito served as the team's catalyst from the opening whistle, as he had a hand in each of the Mids' first five goals. Navy scored the game's first goal five minutes into the contest when Mirabito found fellow attack Tim Paul (Parkton, Md.)standing on the crease and Paul punched in the first of his team-leading three goals in the game.

Three minutes later, the Midshipmen executed its first of two extra-man opportunities as Mirabito's pass sliced through the crowd of players and sophomore midfielder Patrick Moran (Annapolis, Md.) swiftly picked up the ball and shot it past Holy Cross keeper Jimmy Harrison.

Navy held a 3-0 lead by the end of the first quarter when Mirabito scooped up a saved shot taken by teammate Joe Lennon (Westminster) and fired it in at 5:45.

The Mids went on to score a season-high seven goals in the second quarter, including an athletic play by Mirabito with 11:22 remaining. Holy Cross was attempting to clear the ball when Mirabito intercepted the pass just shy of mid-field. Mirabito was off to the races, beating a long pole, as well as Harrison who came out of the goal to assist with the clearing play. Mirabito scored his second goal from seven yards out into an empty goal.

After he had his earlier shot in the game turned away, Lennon pushed the Navy lead to 11-0 just 54 seconds into the second half when he muscled a shot past Harrison.

Holy Cross finally got on the scoreboard when Toby Banta fed John Marino who struck with a five-yarder from the left side of the cage at 12:03. The Crusaders put a second goal on the board at 9:22 when Luke Marchand set up from 12 yards out, shooting the ball hard and over Navy keeper Matt Coughlin's (Brightwaters, N.Y.) left shoulder.

Navy, though, would get score the quarter's final goal with Lennon firing in his second goal of the day with 2:15 remaining.

The Midshipmen scored four of the game's final five goals, including a marker at 13:51 by senior Evan Boyle (Wilbraham, Mass.) who scored his first collegiate goal. Also scoring his first collegiate goal was rookie Kevin Doyle (Towson, Md.) who finished with a pair of goals, including his first in the second period and second in the final stanza.

Navy won the faceoff war (13-22) with senior Dan Decker (Randallstown, Md.) claiming seven of the 11 draws he took, along with Mikelis Visgauss (Setauket, N.Y.) (4-6), Frankie Coppola (Bethesda, Md.) (1-2) and Brian Striffler (Virginia Beach, Va.) (1-3).

The Midshipmen return to action next Wednesday when they play host to Bucknell who owns a five-game winning streak and is coming off a 9-7 victoryhttp://www.collegesports.com/online/netitor/index.html over Patriot League foe Lafayette on Saturday in Lewisburg, Pa. Wednesday game is slated for 4 pm at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.