Vmi vs. Army
February 16, 2014
The Game Story:
LEXINGTON, Va. -- Despite a hat trick from Mickey Hofmeister and seven caused turnovers by Tyler Prasnicki, the Virginia Military Institute fell in its 2014 home opener at Drill Field #2 by a 15-6 count against the United States Military Academy. In its first game at Drill Field #2 this season, VMI (0-2) got three goals from senior captain Mickey Hofmeister, who added an assist to his day. Sophomore Ben Huger tacked on another two goals for VMI while posting an assist. Freshman Dale Mattice logged his first career goal during the Sunday afternoon game as well. Junior Mike DeBlasio assisted on Hugers second goal of the day, extending DeBlasios scoring streak to nine games with 18 points in that stretch. Hofmeisters hat trick was the first of his career and first multiple-goal game since April 24, 2012 after sitting out 2013 with a lower body injury. The two goals mark the second time in Hugers career he had a multi-point day and first two-goal effort. Defensively, Prasnicki forced seven Army (1-1) turnovers, crediting VMIs high-pressure defensive system with the total. On the day, the Keydets caused 14 turnovers, with freshmen Mitch Wilson forcing three of his own, while four other players logged multiple caused turnovers. Its based around our defense, which is high-pressure, said Prasnicki of the defensive efforts. We want to get out there and put pressure on the ball carrier. Its mainly the defense and the position it puts me in, so I cant take too much credit for that. Armys scoring efforts were paced by John Glesener, who finished with seven points on five assists and two goals. Connor Cook logged a hat trick while Will Mazzone and Alex Newsome each scored twice. Mazzone chipped in with two assists on the afternoon as well. For a second-straight game, VMI got 10 saves from starting keeper Evan Windisch, who made the first two starts of his career against Navy and Army. The junior played for 48 minutes before he was spelled for the final 12 by freshman Michael Hutwelker. The rookie made two saves and did not allow a goal. Opposite Windisch and Hutwelker, Armys Sam Somers made eight saves in his 51 minutes of work, allowing four goals while Bobby Sincero played for the last nine minutes, allowing two goals. The Black Knights, who received votes in the USILA Coaches Preseason Poll, out-shot VMI 46-21, including 15 in the third quarter. Both teams took seven attempts in the first stanza, while VMI was limited to just three in the third frame. Army out-groundballed VMI 37-29, grabbing 10 and 12 in the first and fourth quarters, respectively. The Keydets snared 11 in the final 15 minutes, while winning the faceoff battle 13-24 behind the efforts of Wilson, who went 13-22 on the day. Brad Nardella took two draws for VMI. Armys Alex Daly went 11-22 during the game, which was postponed to Sunday after heavy snowfall along the eastern seaboard. The Black Knight added a goal to his day as well. The Keydets clearing efforts were night and day from its season opener at Navy when it went 15-25 (.600). On Sunday against Army, the Keydets gained the zone on 25 of their 30 attempts (.833), as Army went 22-of-27 (.815). After not committing a penalty last week, VMI was called for four against Army, but held the Black Knight extra man unit in check, letting up just one goal in those three minutes of penalties. VMI had two man-up chances, but could not cash in on the two short, 30 second penalties. The Keydets struck first as Huger potted his first of the season at the 12:05 mark, with Hofmeister on the back side with the assist. The Black Knights scored twice on goals from Cook and Glesener to cap the first period 2-1 in favor of the visitors. Army scored the first goal of the second quarter, but the Keydets answered at the mid-way mark as Hofmeister notched his first of the afternoon to make it 3-2 Army. But the Black Knights reeled off four unanswered goals from four different sources to end the first half with a 7-2 lead. We came out in the first quarter fighting with them, it was 2-1 (Army) at the end of the first quarter, the tempo was good, but they got together a little run of two or three goals and we let it get to our heads a little bit, said Prasnicki. We caught back on later in the game, kept it even, but it was that little run that got us. The Black Knights opened the second half in similar fashion, with another four goals from four different players. But the Keydets scored their first back-to-back goals of the day as Hofmeister and Huger each scored their second goals of the day. Army scored another four goals to finish the third quarter and start the fourth, splitting the gap with two in each quarter. VMI scored the final two goals of the game as Mattice notched his first career marker and Hofmeister capped the hat trick. VMI returns to action next weekend to take on Saint Josephs University. Game time is set for noon at Sean Sweeney Field in Philadelphia, Pa.