It's a cliche, but you truly can throw away the season rankings when these two squads meet up because pride is on the line. As would be expected, it was an extremely violent affair with plenty of great hits. Forget man-ball on a day like today, it was more like man-man. The ball was secondary as players looked to leave their mark on opponents.
Mickey Jarboe was the hero for Navy once again as he made 18 saves. Again, Nogic stepped up to match Jarboe, but the story for the Cadets was co-captain Alex Fyfe. He had a goal and four assists, but the way he did it was most impressive. We can sum it up in one play he made today. He must have been studying World War II recently because he made a Kamikaze rush towards the net that would make the Japanese proud. With Navy up 3-2 Fyfe started from the midfield line and ran straight at the goal. In the face of oncoming defenders he only increased his speed and just before the point of impact, about seven yards from the goal, he jumped and launched a shot an instant before getting crushed. The shot beat Jarboe and Fyfe picked himself up and played big the rest of the day.
The first quarter started with Jarboe showing what he's all about. Army longpole, Ryan Hanrahan, came down off a face-off and took a dangerous shot that Jarboe gobbled up. Then he hit Eddie McKinnon with the breakout pass. Big deal right, well the big deal is McKinnon is an attackman who was standing about ten yards away from Army's goal line. Things slowed down and teams played conservative defense, but Navy broke the deadlock when Adam Borcz took a Perry Taylor feed and ripped an overhand shot that tipped off Nogic's stick into the net, 1-0. The rest of the quarter featured great saves by both goalies and ended with Navy's McKinnon decking Nogic after a clearing pass. Usually players let up in those situations, but this was Army-Navy.
The second quarter started even slower than the first as Army didn't get on the board until there was only 4:05 left. After a fierce battle for a loose ball outside Navy's restraining line, Army Picked it up and moved it quickly to Lee Dingman who got his first of four, 1-1. This started a flurry of scoring. Jarboe stoned Jimmy Vlakis and Navy marched the other way for Jon Brianas to score, 2-1. At 2:22 Dingman got another for Army before Brenden Power put Navy back on top, 3-2. Then Fyfe got his previously mentioned tally to go into the half tied, 3-3.
Army went man-down less then 10 seconds into the second half when Alex Garn was called for a trip. However, Army got the best opportunity when Dingman fed Tim Pearson on a break -- but guess who stoned him? Army killed the penalty, but at 11:55 McKinnon fed Andy Beal on the backside to put Navy up 4-3. Army longpole, Hanrahan, tried his luck again when he fired a laser from the restraining line. This time, he beat Jarboe to tie it at 4-4. Borcz answered for Navy when he received a cross crease feed and split two sliding defenders to sneak one past Nogic, 5-4. The Midshipmen then went up by two when they cleared the ball down the right side until it was behind goal line extended and Power fed the ball back against the grain to a cutting Bart Orr who finished, 6-4. Later, there was great defensive play as Navy defender Chad Donnelly threw the book at Tim Pearson. A sucession of three great checks dislodged the ball. Later, on the other end, Army longpole Justin Charise did a similiar job on Eddie McKinnon. The ball was thrown out of bounds by both teams on their respective possessions. The game completly broke down with sloppy play in the middle before Navy got a good chance. Nogic made a poor decision, coming all the way out to the restraining line to make a hit. Navy held onto the ball and Jon Brianas came out of the pile for the empty netter, 7-4. Again, with Army man-down they got a better opportunity than Navy. This time they capatalized when Dingman fed Pearson behind his back and Pearson beat Jarboe one on one, 7-5.
Navy had one more quarter to hold onto a lead that they built up. On a great timing play Dingman converted again. With both players being covered closely they managed to get the shot off. John Ryan snapped the feed and Dingman got the shot off before checks could be thrown, 7-6. Like Navy had done all day, however, they scored 20 seconds later on a turnover at midfield. The break was actually botched, but lonstick Tali Burton trailed the play and picked up the loose ball to bounce it in, 8-6. Navy got two more goals to make it 10-6 on shots by Beal and Power. They went into a stall offense after that, but Army fought back on goals set up by Fyfe, which were scored by Dingman and John Fernandez. Army had possesion with a minute to go at the sideline. Navy called timeout before the ball was put into play. Army came out of the timeout with only five players and Pearson tried to beat two and lost the ball. Navy ran out the clock on the other side.