Despite owning nearly every statistical category, Navy needed second half goals and a well-rounded offense to get past a Bucknell squad that had repeat on their mind (Bucknell upset Navy last year early in the season, 8-7). Bucknell refused to go away despite scooping up 14 groundballs less and allowing more than twice the amount of shots they took (37 allowed to 15 taken). The story of the game, however, was the play of midfielder William Wallace. The Navy junior, whose name sounds familiar thanks to the movie Braveheart, was nearly perfect at the face-off circle (16 of 17). As for his one loss…he actually didn’t lose so much as he gave it away. Having controlled the direction of the draw, Wallace stumbled when going for the groundball, over-running the ball leaving it for Bucknell to scoop up, ending his streak. Navy had a very balanced scoring act, as five Midshipmen contributed some combination for three points apiece. Bucknell, playing a controlled slow-down offense, needed two goals from Nick Marks and solo shots by three other Bison.
Interview with Navy Head Coach Richie Meade
“It was great. We were excited to come here and play a game in San Diego. Kind of in front of the fleet. A lot of people that obviously want to support the Naval Academy but also to have a chance to represent the Navy and Marine Corps in one of the cities that is prominent in our organization. We were very appreciative of the captain of the USS Nimitz.”
“Well actually lacrosse is starting to get very big in the state of CA. One of the reason all the manufacturers are here is that it’s the third largest market in lacrosse right now and it’s growing exponentially. Excuse me, one of the reasons that we wanted to play here is because of the recruiting value and all the quality of play in the local high schools here. There’s a lot of kids that are playing in this area right now that have military backgrounds, in particular navy backgrounds. This was a good place for us to play.”
“They approached us and it worked out for both schools. Bucknell agreed to play. It obviously worked out well. A very hard fought game. I thought Bucknell played very hard and played tough like they usually do. I thought it was good for us. Offensively, if we had shot the ball a little better, we might have scored a little bit more, but I was pleased with our defense. They got two goals on us right away, then I think from the middle of the first quarter to the end of the game, they only scored three goals. So I thought that was pretty good defensively. Offensively, we controlled the ball and took a lot of good shots, I thought their goalie played pretty well. Obviously we had the ball because William Wallace did a very good job of getting the face-offs. I thought we played very tough on the groundballs. So it was a hard-fought game and we were pleased to win.
“We have a lot of ex players here, guys that have played in our program. A lot of our alumni. Some of the players from the great era of the 60s. One of our greatest players of all time, a guy named Jim Campbell, who was a decorated fighter pilot, passed away, he was buried today in Arizona. A lot of the great players from that era went to Jim’s service and then came here. He was in our thoughts. We talked about Jim and his contribution to the Naval Academy and the Navy and dedicated the game to him and his family, so I was very pleased to be able to do that and play in front of a lot of old friends and alumni.”
“I think it would be good for us to play here. It’s unlike most other schools. Half the guys that graduate from the Naval Academy, men and women, either go to San Diego or pretty much end up on the East Coast in Norfolk. This is obviously a place we would like to come and play if we can work it out in the future.”
Keys of the Game
“Well we thought it was going to be a hard fought game and it was. Bucknell plays very hard and plays very tough, so we knew it would be a physical game. Defensively, we knew they would do some things to try to counteract some things that we do in particular, playing Ian Dingman a certain way and playing some different types of defenses. I think we handled that pretty well. Defensively we did a good job of not letting them score. That was a combination of us keeping possession of the ball. I thought we won the groundball war, obviously we took a lot of shots. Had we hit four or five more shots, the score would have been a lot different. I thought offensively we executed what we wanted to do, I’m not sure we threw the ball and caught it as well as we would have liked. Some of that is a credit to Bucknell and the way they play defense. Some of it is the conditions that we played in, although we were a little tentative. I think both teams were.”
“I don’t think either team played probably their best game, but I thought both teams played very, very hard. So if we continue to play hard I think we’ll be okay. I thought on extra-man we did a good job, we got a couple of goals there. Our man-down defense was pretty solid after their first possession they scored a goal on it, it was a nice play. It wasn’t like a mistake that we made, it was something that they did well. I’m not sure at the beginning of the game they got a couple of goals right away and I thought they were very excited and that kind of set the tempo for the first half and then the second half they only scored one goal. You know we scored four and they scored one. I think we could have scored a lot more, I’m not sure they could have. What we have to improve on is maybe score a few more goals, but I was really pleased with our effort and you can do a lot with that.”
|Nick Marks||(2, 0)|
|John Togneri||(1, 0)|
|Perry Menzies||(1, 0)|
|Steve Case||(1, 0)|
|Tommy Moore||(0, 1)|
|Matt Baran||7 (0.438)|