Navy goes on attack, turns back Penn, 10-6 O'Leary's 3 goals help Mids rebound from UNC defeat

March 10, 1996|By Steven Kivinski | Steven Kivinski,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

For a short time yesterday, Pennsylvania's men's lacrosse team looked as if it finally would end years of frustration against Navy. The visiting Quakers, who hadn't beaten the Midshipmen since 1988, ran out to a two-goal lead in the first quarter and again in the second quarter.

But the Mids, trying desperately to put last week's 17-goal loss North Carolina behind them, rallied for three goals in the middle quarters and held the Quakers scoreless in the fourth to notch a 10-6 victory at Rip Miller Field.

"Coming off of last week's game, we really did a nice job of bouncing back and we played much better defensively today," said Navy coach Richie Meade, referring to last Saturday's 24-7 loss to the Tar Heels. "This was a good game for us,maturity-wise. It's going to give us some confidence."

Navy's young attack came up huge. Freshman attackman James O'Leary led the way for the Mids with three goals, and freshman J. L. Reppert (Loyola) added a goal and an assist.

Andy Ross, a junior midfielder, put Navy (3-1) on the scoreboard just under two minutes into the game.

John Ward and Vern Briggs, who accounted for all of the Quakers' goals and assists, put Penn out front 3-1 with 3: 32 left in the first quarter, but a late goal by O'Leary cut the lead back to one.

Ward found the net again 50 seconds into the second quarter, only to see Navy reel off three straight for a 5-4 lead at the half.

"I thought we played a little passive defensively early on and guys got shots from places where they shouldn't," said Meade. "But after that we tightened up and were much more aggressive."

Ward solved Navy's defense twice in the third quarter and his second goal of the period pulled the Quakers (1-2) within 8-6 at the 3: 08 mark, but Penn would get no closer.

"Coming off the big loss last weekend, we really had to soul-search a little bit and bring everyone back together again," said Navy midfielder Chris Golini, who had a goal and an assist. "We weren't communicating well at the beginning of the game and we had to get back into our game defensively. We picked up the communication in the second half and that was the key."

Navy senior goalie Garrett Luebker finished with 12 saves and he would have had a chance to make a few more had the Quakers not struggled so much with the fundamentals.

"We just killed ourselves with unforced errors," said Penn coach Terry Corcoran. "We have 16 freshmen but still, it's just basic catching and throwing. We force the ball and we turn it over. We got people standing on lines, going offsides, not backing up goals and throwing to guys that are covered. We just don't use good lacrosse sense."

Pub Date: 3/10/96

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