Hofstra sinks Navy, 15-7

Flying Dutchmen to meet Hopkins next

May 16, 1999|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,SUN STAFF

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Navy hadn't competed in an NCAA Division I men's lacrosse tournament game in five years. Some could argue yesterday that it's now been six.

The surprise selection of the playoffs, the unseeded Midshipmen only shocked the crowd of 4,450 by not surfacing until the second half, falling hard to No. 7 Hofstra, 15-7, in a first-round game at Brown Stadium.

The Flying Dutchmen (13-2) cranked out six consecutive goals in the second half to easily extend the nation's longest win streak to 13 games and advance to Saturday's quarterfinals, where they will play host to No. 2 Johns Hopkins. Navy (7-7), which didn't score against a Hofstra defense at full strength until midway through the third quarter, added onto a streak itself, but losing its fourth straight tournament game won't prompt many Midshipmen to brag.

After watching Hofstra sputter to a 3-0 advantage, Navy's J.L. Reppert converted on extra man with 47 seconds left in the first quarter. For Midshipmen fans, now it's time to turn away until halftime.

The Flying Dutchmen forced the Navy defenders on their heels and targeted the openings on goalkeeper Mickey Jarboe, scoring six times on 11 shots for a 9-1 halftime lead. The Midshipmen, who haven't won a postseason game since 1989, matched that run with a scoreless drought of 22 1/2 minutes and never lowered the deficit below six the rest of the way.

"Hofstra's greatest asset is that they're extremely unselfish," Navy coach Richie Meade said. "Offensively, they're always on the same page. It's difficult to cover a team that's making all the right decisions."

Freshman Scott Dooley opened the second quarter by wheeling past two Navy defensemen for a close-range look on the right side of the crease. Dooley followed with a shot that nicked the end of Jarboe's stick and caromed into the goal on a possession kept alive by controlling a loose ball.

The margin became 6-1 only 5: 21 into the period, when Jacob Rogers picked up another ground ball on the offensive end and fed Joe Kostolansky for a man-up goal.

After a brief lull, the Flying Dutchmen finished off Navy with three scores in the last 3 1/2 minutes of the first half. Dooley one-timed a high pass from Michael Tierney, Michael Laurano zipped a shot past Jarboe's right ear, Chad Eisenhart pounded in a high-hopper and the Navy defense had already allowed one more goal than its per-game average.

"I don't think we were playing poorly defensively," Meade said. "I give a lot of credit to Hofstra's execution. They found the open man. We made some very slight defensive errors that they took advantage of."

The Flying Dutchmen, who haven't lost since March 13, consistently capitalized on those errors to move into the quarterfinals for the first time in six years.

When the Midshipmen double-teamed early, Hofstra would sneak an attackman to the backside or bang it out top for a straight-on shot. If Navy failed to slide, the Flying Dutchmen turned the corners on the defenders.

"I was surprised, but you could almost see it coming," Rogers said. "We've been getting better and better every game."

Navy played even with Hofstra after halftime and seemed more active despite minimal results. The Midshipmen's best offensive sequence came early in the fourth quarter, when Ed McKinnon and Jamie O'Leary scored to pull Navy to 12-6 with 12 1/2 minutes left.

But Hofstra held Navy in check for the rest of the game and tacked on unassisted goals by Tom Kessler and Brad Obloj to squash any thoughts of a comeback.

"I thought if we made it 12-7, then maybe it's a dogfight," Meade said. "But that didn't happen. I thought that may have been the difference. But they wouldn't let us do it."

Navy 1 0 3 3 -- 7

Hofstra 3 6 3 3 -- 15

Goals: N--Reppert 3, Meehan, McKinnon, O'Leary, Ad. Borcz; H--Dooley 3, Laurano 2, Kostolansky 2, Parrinelli 2, Eisenhart, Barile, Rogers, Rogler, Kessler, Obloj. Assists: N--McKinnon, Roesgen, Orr, Gilroy; H--Rogers 2, Shanahan 2, Tierney 2, Laurano, Obloj. Saves: N--Jarboe 15, Silcox 0; H--Demeo 10.

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