Navy Trounces Tar Heels 19-8

Navy Trounces Tar Heels 19-8

Navy Trounces Tar Heels 19-8

Navy Trounces Tar Heels 19-8

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Seventeen different Midshipmen produced a goal or an assist to lead the 12th-ranked Navy men's lacrosse team (3-0) to a 19-8 route over No. 5 North Carolina (3-1) Friday evening at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. It's the most goals scored by Navy against a nationally-ranked team since handing 18th-ranked Army a 19-9 setback on April 7, 1990.

The Mids' 19 goals are the most they have scored in the 21-game series, improving upon the previous record of 16 set in 1978. Additionally, the 11-goal win is Navy's largest margin of victory in the series, bettering last year's eight-goal decision in Chapel Hill. The Mids now own a one-game advantage in the series, leading 11-10, while Navy's five-game winning streak against the Tar Heels is the longest in the series by the Midshipmen.

"We knew that North Carolina was a good team, but we realized that we needed to take away what they do well," said Navy junior attack Nick Mirabito (Binghamton, N.Y.), who extended his consecutive games streak with a goal or an assist to 34.

"We played with a lot of intensity from the beginning and I thought we were very prepared on both sides of the field," said Navy head coach Richie Meade, a Carolina graduate. "We had a number of people tell us that North Carolina is great in transition and that was probably a good assessment, but I felt like we could run. We did a good job of running the field and our midfield was good tonight.

"This is a tough place to play," added Meade. "We play in what I believe is the finest lacrosse facility in the country and we have great support from the community and the student-body. Once you get behind in this kind of atmosphere, sometimes the game just gets away from you. I feel good for our players with the result tonight."

Attackmen Ian Dingman (Deferiet, N.Y.) and Mirabito paced the Mids with their second hat tricks of the season, while Mirabito tacked on an assist to lead the team with four points. Rookies Basil Daratsos (Niskayuna, N.Y.), Patrick Moran (Annapolis, Md.) and Tim Paul (Parkton, Md.), along with senior middie Tommy Wallin (Mountain Lakes, N.J.) each pitched in a pair of goals for the Mids, while additional players recorded goals on the evening. Leading the way for North Carolina was sophomore midfielder Ben Hunt who scored three first-half goals, while freshman middie Sean Burke turned in a pair of goals and assists to pace the Tar Heels.

The Mids scored back-to-back goals just 47 seconds apart to take an early 2-0 lead 5:08 into the contest and never looked back as Navy never trailed in the game. The Tar Heels closed to within one on three different occasions, including by junior midfielder Brian Connors with just 11 ticks remaining in the opening period. Navy, though, dashed any momentum North Carolina had gained, as a Wallin fired in his second goal of the game off an assist from junior Matt Guido (North Caldwell, N.J.) with just one second left in the period.

The Mids and Tar Heels traded goals early in the second period, but Daratsos' unassisted marker at 7:54 sparked a 5-0 run for the Mids. Daratsos and Paul scored just 43 seconds apart in the third quarter, while Mirabito and Dingman battered Carolina keeper Grant Zimmerman with back-to-back scores just 16 seconds apart in the third quarter.

North Carolina finally stopped the Mids' run at the 6:27 mark in the third with a Nick Tintle-to-Bart Wagner score. However, Mirabito's third goal of the game at the 3:43 mark once again ignited a Navy run that pushed the Mids' lead to 18-6 and featured first-career goals by senior long stick defensive midfielder Victor Barger (Clifton Park, N.Y.), freshman attack Kyle Kapron (Chandler, Ariz.) and back-to-back goals by Moran.

Carolina scored a pair of goals in the final two minutes of the game, while Greg Clement (Dallas, Texas) put one last goal up on the board for the Mids with 51 seconds remaining in Navy's win.

One of the reasons Navy was put in goal-scoring position was because of the play of its face-off team. Six different players took draws for the Mids, including junior Mikelis Visgauss (Setauket,, N.Y.) who won 11 of the 15 face-offs he took, while senior William Wallace (Bloomfield Village, Mich.) won four and Dan Decker (Randallstown, Md.) grabbed three.

Senior Colin Finnegan (Arnold, Md.) played a fantastic game in goal for the Midshipmen, making a career-high 14 saves, while giving up seven of the eight goals. Second-year keeper Matt Coughlin (Brightwaters, N.Y.) came in to play the final 2:35 of the game where he made one save and gave up the game's final goal with two seconds left. The Navy defense held North Carolina under its 12.3 goals per game average and for the 17th time in the last 18 games, it has held its opponent under double digits.

It was this game just four years ago that turned around the career of 2006 grad Matt Russell in goal, as well as the 2004 campaign that sent the Midshipmen to the National Championship game. Finnegan's performance was certainly a confidence builder.

"I thought tonight was the chance for our defense to step up and prove that we can play against a top team like North Carolina," said Finnegan. If you give North Carolina an uncontested shot, they are going to score because they are great shooters. Our defense did a great job of getting at their hands. I had confidence coming into the game, but there's no doubt that tonight has helped my confidence, as well."

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Time For A Coaching Change At Carolina?
    by (#136419) on 3/04/07 @3:09PM
Things are not looking good for the Tarheels at all. I know I sound like a broken record, because I have posted this on many boards. However, something is serious wrong down at Chapel Hill. UNC should be as easy a sell as UVA for getting the great players. When Haus got to Carolina in 2001, people were hoping that he would bring that program back to prominence. However, that has not happened. Is it bad coaching? Is it bad recruiting? Or could it be a combination of both?

I don't think Haus is a bad coach. He went to Washington College in 1994 when they were down and brought them back big time. In 1996 and 1997, they lost in overtime in the Division III title game against Nazareth, and in 1998, they got revenge and beat Nazareth to win the title. He did a good job in his 2 years as head coach at Hopkins, leading them to the Semifinals both years.

Don't get me wrong-I would love to see Haus be able to turn things around. However, if he can't soon, I think it may be time to make a change.

P.S.-Take nothing away from Navy, though! They played awesome and are going to be a team to watch this year.

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    by (#131429) on 3/04/07 @10:52PM
unc seems to be a mystery lately. lets face it they havent really been a force since the mid 90's or so and i agree with you it seems like an easy sell, but living in md it seems to me that typically they get a lot of what are considered the most talented players coming out of the MIAA , def more so than even maryland but yet maryland has consistently been a better team the last 10 years so either these guys never reach their potential or you gotta take a look at the coach
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    by (#1248) on 3/05/07 @1:55PM
They were 4-10 last year, this program is in shambles. I agree UNC should be the easiest sell in the country. Along with Duke, they are the southern most D1 programs in the country. The campuses are beautiful, as are the women, the academics are top notch, great social scene. Really UNC like UVA and Duke are the ideal places to play lacrosse in this country. Considering the tradition they have there, someone should be able to bring them back to respectability. It certainly appears that is not Haus. I loved the senior on that team last year from Severna Park that never got to play his entire career until his last 3 games and put up 12 points. Apparently Haus just didn't like the kid so he never played him until it was too late.
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The Great Willie Scroggs' Days At Carolina!
    by (#136419) on 3/05/07 @3:50PM
Willie Scroggs took over a Carolina Lacrosse program in the late 70's that was nothing. A few years later, they started having awesome teams. They won back-to-back national titles in 1981 and 1982 with such great players as attackman Michael Burnette, John Haus(he was one of the greatest defenders in that program's history), and awesome goalie Tommy Sears. Those were some of the best teams ever in college lacrosse!

In 1986, UNC had a good, but not great team. Going into the playoffs, they had 4 losses, including 3 in a row to Maryland, Hopkins(by a score of 17-4), and Virginia. However, Carolina peaked at the right time, and defeated those 3 teams in the same order to win the title. The semifinal against Hopkins and the final against UVA both went into overtime. To this point, that 1986 Carolina team is probably the weakest team to have won it thus far. That was, without a doubt, Willie's best coaching job throughout his career, and very possibly the best coaching job by any college lacrosse coach ever.

After recruiting a lot more great players and going to a few more final fours, Willie called it quits after the 1990 season to take a job in the athletic department at UNC. He is still working there today. Willie is still a big lacrosse follower, however, and does commentary for lacrosse games on television sometimes. I have heard him do a couple of games, and his knowledge of the sport is incredible.

Of course, after Willie resigned, Willie's longtime top assistant Dave Klarmann took over. He inherited an incredible amount of talent from Willie and went undefeated and won a national title in his first year. After reaching the Final Four in 1992 and being runner-up in 1993, Carolina's program started going downhill. Klarmann couldn't recruit the players. From 1994-2000, Carolina only made the tournament only 2 years. Their 1998 appearance was a fluke-Harvard got robbed!

Klarmann resigned after the 2000 season, and people thoughout that Haus would come in and build Carolina back up again. However, it hasn't happened. The Tarheels have only made the tournament once-in 2004, and they got handled by Hopkins in the quarterfinals.

After back to back losing seasons and another one very possible coming this year, I think it is time to bring in someone who can be somewhat like Willie Scroggs. Or at least someone who can recruit well and be decent as a head coach.

Willie is one of the best all-around coaches ever in the game. He was a genius as a game coach, as an x&o coach, and was also one of the best recruiters ever. When you have that type of a coach who is at a school that should be an easy sell for talent, it is scary. Supposedly, when he was the coach, the unity among the coaches, players, families, and fans was incredible. I heard that some of their postgame tailgates were awesome!

4 people I think Carolina should go after are Gary Gait(Maryland should have hired him!), Virginia Associate Head Coach Marc Van Arsdale, Princeton Associate Head Coach Dave Metzbower, and Navy Top Assistant John Tillman. Anyone else?

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    by (#1248) on 3/05/07 @11:04PM
Kevin Corrigan from Notre Dame? He's interviewed for a few jobs back east. He's done a great job building the ND program and he has great ACC connection being a UVA graduate and his father was the ACC Commissioner.
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North Carolina beat Notre Dame!
    by (#136419) on 3/10/07 @9:24PM
The Tar Heels beat them on 03/10/07. That was a good win for the Heels, but they have several teams left on their schedule which are much tougher than Notre Dame. They face Duke next weekend, and Duke is talented, on fire, and hungry to make a point!
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Too Bad Navy Stadium Isn't A Tad Bigger
    by (#136419) on 3/04/07 @3:36PM
If it were, they could have the Final Four in Annapolis. That would be an awesome town to have it in, because, since it is a small town, everybody would be all together when they went out on the town. I think that Navy Stadium could hold around 40,000 max. A few years back, that would have been more than enough!

IMHO, there is not a better place to watch a lacrosse game.
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    by (#154810) on 3/10/07 @8:18PM
who cares about size's of stadiums?
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I know, a lot of people don't!
    by (#136419) on 3/10/07 @9:17PM
You are right about that, but still, I think that Navy Stadium not being big enough would be the main reason why they couldn't have the Final Four in Annapolis.
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    by (#142750) on 3/14/07 @5:59PM
if u try to accomidate 70000 or more people theres goin tro be some angry people wanting tickets
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    by (#142750) on 3/14/07 @5:56PM
i love the atmophere there. it feels so good espessaly at the navy hopkins homecomings when the weathers nice.
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    by (#154289) on 3/04/07 @10:35PM
is it me or is it that navys facemask are goldish thats sick
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You're right
    by (#114179) on 3/08/07 @8:54AM
The old gold face masks are bad ass!!!! Can you special order colored face masks?
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