|EASTON, Pa. - In its Patriot League debut, the Navy lacrosse team crushed Lafayette in both teams' season and league opener Saturday, as the Mids topped the Leopards, 14-1, at Rappolt Field in Easton, Pa. Navy's 14 goals marked the largest scoring output by the Mids since their 16-2 victory over St. Joseph's in the 2002 season opener.
The Mids jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in the first quarter as seniors Joe Bossi (Skaneateles, N.Y.) and Adam Reel (Hampstead, N.H.) connected to score Navy's first goal of the season less than six minutes into the contest.
The Mids tacked on five goals in the second quarter, including a pair by sophomore attack Ian Dingman (Deferiet, N.Y.).
Navy opened up the third period with an extra-man goal by Bossi, one of five extra-man goals by the Mids on the afternoon.
Lafayette finally got on the scoreboard two minutes into the third period when middie Drew Weisman found senior attack Robert McLean to wipe out the Navy shutout.
The Mids went on to score three more goals in the third, all of which included Dingman. Twice he scored goals with assists from fellow sophomore Jon Birsner (Levittown, N.Y.), including an extra-man score at the 7:04 mark. Meanwhile, Dingman sent Dan Eddy (Tully, N.Y.) a pass in turn he fired past junior keeper Michael Koch.
Navy's final-two goals of the came on extra-man opportunities. Both junior Dwayne Osgood (Penn Yann, N.Y.) and rookie Billy Looney (Silver Spring, Md.) scored their first-career goals in the fourth quarter to lift the Mids to the win.
"I was really impressed with how patient we were offensively," said Navy head coach Richie Meade. "Equally impressive was us giving up just one goal. Scoring 14 goals is great, but allowing just one goal is something to talk about.
"Lafayette was more athletic than I had anticipated and they have definitely improved over last season. I thought defensively, they played extremely well early and were able to hold onto the ball. They started two freshmen on defense, but as a group they defended well."
Dingman, who led the Mids in scoring last season as a freshman, led all players with five goals and an assist, while Birsner dealt out a team-high four assists. Bossi, meanwhile, scored his three goals on three shots.
In the face-off circle, Navy junior Chris Pieczonka (Hamburg, N.Y.) and freshman William Wallace (Bloomfield Village, Mich.) each won 5-of-6 face-offs, while rookie Tommy Wallin (Mountain Lakes, N.J.) was 2-for-4 and Steve Looney (Silver Spring, Md.) was 1-for-2.
Junior Seth DiNola (Ballston Lake, N.Y.) and sophomore Matt Russell (Madison, Conn.) split time in the cage for the Mids. DiNola started the game and recorded three saves on the four shots he faced. Russell, meanwhile, gave up the Leopards' goal, while also collecting three goals and eight shots.
The Mids were 5-for-6 in the extra-man column, equalling the total number of extra-man goals it had the entire 2003 campaign (5-for-35).
"We played much better on extra-man today," said Meade. "John (Tillman) has done a good job gathering the guys and setting up the offense. They have a good feel for one another and that has been evident over the last couple of weeks."
Navy now owns an 84-12-1 record in season openers and is 8-2 under Meade's direction.
Navy (1-0) returns to action next Saturday when it plays host to Ohio State (0-1, lost 5-4 vs. Penn State) at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Action is slated for 12-Noon.