Navy vs. Providence
February 19, 2005
The Game Story:
BRANFORD, Conn.-- The No. 4-ranked Navy lacrosse team turned in an impressive defensive performance, and Steve Looney (Silver Spring, Md.) scored a career-best five goals to lead Navy to a 9-2 victory over Providence on a cold, windy day at Branford High School.

Navy wasted little time in getting on the scoreboard as Looney netted his first goal of the game with an assist credited to Jon Birsner (Levittown, N.Y.) just 1:52 into the game. After Providence tied the game at one on Dan Giuntini's extra-man goal with 9:49 left in the first quarter, Navy held the Friar attack in check for the rest of the game. The Mids pushed the margin to 3-1 on a pair of goals by Graham Gill (Medford, N.J.) and Ben Horn (Mill Valley, Calif.) just 1:14 apart midway through the first quarter. Navy tacked on one more late in the quarter as Birsner-to-Looney connected again with just 41 seconds left in the first frame.

Navy's defense dominated the second quarter and William Wallace (Bloomfield Village, Mich.) and Looney scored the quarter's only goals. The Navy defense, meanwhile, held Providence to just one shot in the stanza, just four-of-eight on clears and Navy's Chris Pieczonka (Hamburg, N.Y.) won all three face-offs in the quarter. Navy held a 6-1 advantage heading into the halftime break.

Any chance of a Providence rally was snuffed out early in the third quarter as Looney tallied his fourth goal of the game just 48 seconds into the period for a 7-1 cushion. Freshman Nick Mirabito (Binghamton, N.Y.) potted his first career goal at the 7:32 mark and Looney netted his fifth goal six minutes later to give Navy a 9-1 lead into the fourth quarter.

Providence's Giuntini scored his second goal of the game early in the fourth quarter, but that was as close as Providence would get. The story of the game was Navy's defense. The Mids held the Friars to just 14 shots, to clear just 13-of-27 attempts and 5-of-15 on face-offs. Navy also scooped up 32 ground balls to the Friars' 18. Providence was able to stay in the game thanks to a standout goaltending performance by Andrew McMinn. The senior made 11 saves for the Friars, and as a team, three goalies combined to stop 17 Navy shots. Navy outshot Providence, 51-14, on the day. Matt Russell (Madison, Conn.) stopped six shots in the cage for Navy.

The Mids will be in action next weekend, as they travel to Columbus, Ohio, for a noon matchup with 14th-ranked Ohio State. The Buckeyes dropped a 9-7 decision to Penn State in their season opener on Saturday.