Navy vs. Massachusetts
March 9, 2002
The Game Story:
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Despite out-scoring 13th-ranked Massachusetts 8-4 in the second half of Saturday's lacrosse game, No. 12 Navy was out-dueled by the Minutemen, 13-10, at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Md. With the win, UMass is in the driver's seat in the ECAC with a 1-0 conference record, while the Mids are 1-1 in league action.

UMass' Dan Paccione scored the game's first goal at 13:52 in the first period - the first of his game-high four goals. Navy answered a minute later, as sophomore middie Ben Bailey (Memphis, Tenn.) found the net to knot it up at one apiece. UMass, however, reclaimed the momentum as Paccione struck again on a Kevin Leveille assist to give the Minutemen a 2-1 lead after the first stanza.

Navy rookie Graham Gill (Medford, N.J.) scored his first-career goal at 13:10 in the second period to again tie the game at two goals apiece. That would be the Mids' last goal until the 14:09 mark in the third period, as UMass scored seven-unanswered goals in the second to post a 9-2 halftime advantage. Among the flurry of goals by the Minutemen were a pair by Marc Morley, a pair by Kevin Leveille and Paccione scored his third of the afternoon. The first Leveille goal, scored at 1:31, was an extra-man target, while his second goal, the last of the period, was a man-down goal.

With a comfortable lead going into the second half, it appeared Greg Cannella's Minutemen let down their guard. A mistake which proved costly as Navy's Greg Conklin (Syracuse, N.Y.) scored a goal less than a minute into the half - one of six third-period goals for the Mids. While Navy scored two in a row, followed by a pair by UMass, the Mids took control of the third when Conklin scored his second goal of the period and sparked four-consecutive goals by the Mids.

With the lead narrowed to 11-8 going into the fourth period, UMass' Jeff Zywicki gave the Minutemen a four-goal lead with his goal at the 9:37 mark. Navy, though, fought back, as Eddy Holton (Northport, N.Y.) and Dave Pittard (Skaneateles, N.Y.) netted back-to-back goals to get the Mids to within two. But it was Paccione who squelched Navy's comeback bid, scoring a goal with 5:11 to go in the game, sealing the victory for UMass.

A big reason for Navy's success in the second half was its domination of face-offs. The Mids, led by junior long pole Chris Dingman (Deferiet, N.Y.), won 9 of the 14 face-offs in the second half. The Mids also cleared the ball well in the second half (7-of-10), while UMass struggled getting the ball into the offensive box (4-of-9).

Navy goalkeeper Jon Higdon (Edgewater, Md.) posted 12 saves, while giving up all 13 goals, while UMass keeper Rob Schneider warded off five shots and gave up 10 goals.

The Mids return to action next Saturday when they travel to Piscataway, N.J., to face Rutgers in another ECAC battle.