In a match-up between two of the biggest rivals in athletics, Navy defeated Army 10-4 in front of 6,148 fans at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Md. The seniors at Navy earned their fourth N-Star for their varsity sweaters as they have beaten Army each of the past four seasons. Senior Adam Borcz stood out for the Midshipmen with four goals. Head Coach Richie Meade commented after the game, “Adam Borcz is a great player. He deserves the success he gets because he is one of the hardest working individuals I’ve ever had…. he stayed after practice and probably shot over 200 balls on Wednesday.” By the way, Borcz’s service selection for next year: nuclear warfare in submarines. Wow.
Navy got the scoring started six minutes into the game with Borcz scoring unassisted. Army quickly answered with Mike Kamon completing a Chris Woods feed. Borcz struck again for Navy unassisted to put the Midshipmen up 2-1.
Navy scored the first goal of the second quarter one minute into it. Eddie McKinnon caught a rebound off Army goalie Dominik Nogic and hit the back of the net. Army midfielder Mike Fernandez had an opportunity to bring Army back within one but he nailed the pipe. Navy took over possession and Michael Cataffo found Mike Sheedy cutting. Sheedy stuck it with not much of an angle. On the following face-off freshman long-pole Bucky Morris got the ground ball, went to goal, and scored. It was his second career goal. Army called time-out then scored thirty-seconds later. Jeff Bryan caught a pass from Tim Pearson and fired a bounce shot past Jon Higdon. Each team scored extra-man goals next. The Midshipmen were first as Dave Pittard found Cataffo open sitting on the crease. Jimmy Vlahakis slid off his defender and finished a pass from Pearson. Navy quickly answered by winning the face and moving the ball to Borcz who ripped an over-hand shot from 12 yards out. The teams traded possessions with both teams playing very aggressive defense. Army was hit with a slashing penalty towards the end of the half and Navy held the ball to avoid a face-off to start the third quarter.
After both teams combined for seven goals in the second quarter, they could only muster up four the rest of the game. Navy could contribute much of that to solid midfield play, particularly in the riding package. Army struggled getting the ball over the midfield line the entire second half. Navy did get a goal three minutes into the half when McKinnon converted a pass from Pittard. Army’s last goal came with 4:44 left in the third quarter on good ball movement off a fast break. Jeff Bryan was the finisher while Pearson was once again the set-up guy. The third quarter closed with the score 8-4.
Navy was able to add some gravy in the final period. McKinnon got his hat trick off a failed clear stemming from another tough Navy ride. Borcz cranked another shot from 12 yards out to close out the scoring and beat Army. Senior Nick Lockwood spoke about the rivalry with Army, “To win four years in a row and never smell defeat…the feeling is indescribable.” Meade refused to make any comments on his team’s chances for the NCAAs, “I don’t feel it would be appropriate. I have great faith in the people on the selection committee and I believe they will make the right decision. The NCAA selection committee has taken enough heat over the past couple of years and that has been inappropriate.” Army Head Coach Jack Emmer explained the difference in the game, “Navy’s ability to ride us after we got the ball in the defensive end of the field.” Emmer also spoke of Borcz, “One of our keys to the game was to contain Borcz and we didn’t do that well. I am looking forward to seeing him at US try-outs.”
Navy’s regular season is done. Army will next face Lafayette at home on Tuesday.