Navy rolls, waits for tourney word

Mids rout Army, 10-4, to finish regular season

Lacrosse

April 28, 2001|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

If, as expected, Navy's lacrosse team misses the NCAA Division I tournament field, at least it will have a fond memory as to how the 2001 season concluded.

The Midshipmen continued their year-long domination of archrival Army last night at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, notching a 10-4 victory that probably still won't be enough to get them into the playoffs.

Navy's players were hoping for some help in future games to enhance their one solid victory over a highly ranked opponent (Georgetown), but coach Richie Meade was willing to place his team's fate in the hands of the selection committee.

"There are a lot of things that are going to happen before it's decided," he said. "I have great faith in the process and the people taking part in it. I think we've got a good team. If we do go, we'll play as hard as we can."

After launching the season with an 0-3 record, the Midshipmen (8-5) won eight of their final 10 with only a one-goal loss to Maryland and a two-goal loss at Johns Hopkins to mar the streak.

"We hope a couple of other results will help us," said senior Adam Borcz [Calvert Hall]. "If Syracuse can beat Massachusetts bad and Georgetown can beat Syracuse - stuff like that. We've played really good since that start."

Borcz poured in four goals for Navy and finished his four-year career with 95, tying him with Rich Wehman for fifth place on the academy's all-time goal list. He has 32 goals this season.

"He's just a great player who deserves every success he gets," said Meade. "He's one of the hardest working players I've ever had. He swims at lunch, watches his diet, and sometimes takes 200 practice shots."

The Midshipmen pulled away with an unanswered, four-goal salvo starting with Borcz's second score near the end of the first period. Goals by Eddie McKinnon (who finished with three), Mike Sheedy and Thomas Morris gave Navy a 5-1 advantage, and Army (6-6) never got closer than three afterward.

"Their pressure in the middle of the field and ability to come up with the loose balls was the difference," said Jack Emmer, the Black Knights' veteran coach. "They put a lot of pressure on the ball, and their ability to ride after we got it was crucial. We probably turned over 50 percent of our clearing tries."

Army was 14-for-26 on clear attempts and scooped up only 29 ground balls to Navy's 48. After halftime, the Black Knights applied very little heat to Midshipmen goalie Jon Higdon.

The win was Navy's fourth straight in the series and its most lopsided since a 19-9 romp 11 years ago. The four goals were the fewest the Black Knights have scored against Navy since 1989.

"After we went 0-3, our guys learned a lot about sticking together. Whether we make the playoffs or not, that is a meaningful thing to all of us," said Meade.

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