Navy vs. Lafayette
March 12, 2011
The Game Story:
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The Navy men's lacrosse team (2-4, 1-2 Patriot League) jumped out to an 8-0 lead early in the second quarter and never looked back as the Mids dealt Patriot League foe Lafayette (2-3, 0-1 Patriot League) a 15-6 loss Saturday afternoon at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.

It was a pleasant return home for the Midshipmen, who, after opening their season on Feb. 12 at home, had played four-straight games on the road. Along the way, heartbreak had set in as Navy dropped a pair of one-goal decisions to nationally-ranked Loyola and Bucknell, while top-10 ranked North Carolina ousted the Mids by two.

That heartbreak, however, was erased Saturday when Navy put together its most complete game to date, playing to near perfection at every phase of the game. One of the most troubling stats of the season for the Mids has been their lack of success at the faceoff “x” which snowballed into various other deficiencies. And while Navy’s faceoff corps would once again face a formidable foe in all-league performer Cesar Munoz, Navy junior Logan West (Berlin, Md.) was perhaps the biggest difference maker in the Mids’ win over the Leopards.

West, who began to turn his game around in the fourth quarter of last Monday’s Bucknell contest, dominated the “x” on Saturday, winning 16 of the 23 draws he took and in turn, put the ball in the offensive players’ hands.

“I think confidence is what I had been missing,” said West, who came into the game having won just 43.7 percent of his draws. “In the opener I played pretty well, but then it started to go downhill for me in the second half of the Loyola game and I found myself in a slump. I couldn’t seem to get into any rhythm.

“I think our wing play today was probably the best I’ve seen it all year. I couldn’t have done it without them.”

There is certainly a correlation that can be made between faceoff possession and Navy goals. The Mids won six draws in the opening quarter and scored seven goals, while in the third quarter Navy claimed seven faceoffs and in turn stuck five goals.

Navy opened the game on an 8-0 run, featuring a 7-0 advantage after the first quarter of play. Junior Nikk Davis (Cockeysville, Md.), who scored a pair of goals in the final 18 seconds of play to force overtime at Bucknell, punched in the game’s first goal less than two minutes into the contest. The flood gates opened from there and continued into the second quarter where sophomore middie Jay Mann (Cockeysville, Md.) scored 52 seconds into the second frame with a 10-yarder from the right wing to cap the 8-0 run.

Lafayette finally got on the scoreboard with 11:42 to go in the second quarter when all-league attackman Tom Perini capitalized on an extra-man opportunity, sending a hard-driven shot past Navy keeper RJ Wickham (Penn Yan, N.Y.) from 10 yards out. Just 36 seconds later, Navy defenseman Peter Rogers (San Diego, Calif.) got caught up in the netting and Lafayette midfielder Will Heffernan capitalized by curling around and sticking his shot.

After nearly 10 minutes without a goal, Navy senior middie Andy Warner send his 12-yard shot top shelf to give the Mids a 9-2 advantage with 5:03 to go in the opening half.

The Leopards put together a run to close out the half with Heffernan scoring his second of the day, beating Navy defenseman Michael Hirsch (Schwenksville, Pa.) on the crease, followed by an unassisted goal by Doug Prusoff who bullied his way past defensive middie Jordan Seivold (Minnetonka, Minn.) and somehow threaded his shot past Wickham.

Senior midfielder Franklin Floyd trimmed the Mids’ lead to four at 9-5 just minutes into the third period when he cleared the ball and waltzed into the box untouched.

The Mids would gain control, however, scoring back-to-back goals just 22 seconds apart, including a strike by senior pole Tom Mansfield (Port Washington, N.Y.), who, racing down the field in transition, scored his first-collegiate goal.

A roll dodge by Prusoff midway through the third period resulted in a Lafayette goal, but Navy’s defense would keep the Leopards off the scoreboard for the final 22 minutes of the game to preserve the win.