With final 3 goals, Mids close out Army

No. 8 Navy 12 Army 9

April 15, 2007|By Mike Preston | Mike Preston,Sun reporter

Navy had lost two games in a row, by a goal each to Georgetown and Maryland. If there was a time for a "must" win, it was yesterday with archrival Army coming to town.

Despite being on the verge of blowing the Black Knights out several times yesterday, No. 8 Navy had to score three unanswered goals in the final 8:31 to pull out a 12-9 victory at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.

Army scored five goals in the third quarter and tied the game at 9 on a goal by Kevin LoRusso with 10:43 remaining. But Navy got a terrific one-on-one effort from senior midfielder Tommy Wallin to go ahead 10-9 with 8:31 left. Senior attackman Ian Dingman followed with a high 15-yard shot for a goal about four minutes later, and senior midfielder Billy Looney closed out the scoring with an empty-net goal with 2:01 left.

Dingman led Navy with three goals, and Looney and fellow midfielder William Wallace and attackman Nick Mirabito each had two. It wasn't a pretty effort by the Mids, but Navy coach Richie Meade didn't care.

"When you're the coach of the Navy lacrosse team and you beat Army, you're relieved, not happy, and that's what I am."

Meade knew that if his team lost to Army, the Mids (9-2) might be heading for mission impossible next weekend against Johns Hopkins. But that's not a concern any longer. The next step is getting Navy ready to play another emotional game.

The one yesterday was a typical Army-Navy game. There were vicious hits, minor scraps and borderline cheap shots. Even when Navy went ahead 8-3 after two straight goals with 12:41 left in the third quarter, there was never a sense that the Mids were going to finish off the Black Knights (6-5).

The Mids tried, possibly too hard. Four straight turnovers led to four straight Army goals in the third quarter.

"When it got to 8-4, if we would have been able to stretch it a little bit more, maybe the game would have unfolded differently," Meade said. "We got a little impatient offensively, had some younger guys press a little bit too much. We were trying too hard to put the game away."

Army scored five straight goals to tie the game at 8 at the end of the third quarter. Two were fluke goals, on which the Black Knights put back caroms off saves by goalie Colin Finnegan. Another goal came off a fast break.

Meade never sweated, and the Mids held their poise.

"You don't know what to tell them in the huddle," Finnegan said of the fluke goals. "You tell them: `Don't worry about it. Those were fluke goals, and let's keep playing hard, and keep your confidence.'"

Meade said: "It was a big shift in momentum, but, to be honest with you, I never thought they could pull away from us. When it was 9-9, you need some experience and poise, and fortunately we have that."

Dingman lost his composure momentarily after his goal that put Navy up 11-9 with 4:15 remaining. Seconds before, Dingman had set a hard pick at the top of the restraining box. After his goal, he exchanged words with an Army player who had put a stick in his back after the goal. Dingman got a one-minute penalty, and an animated Meade jumped in his face as he approached the sideline.

Meade declined to talk about their conversation but laughed about it later.

"I do teach boxing," Meade said, smiling. "I was very close to demonstrating a right cross to the head. Ian isn't that type of player. I do think he got hit late. I think the Army kid said something to him. I don't fault the Army kid for that. I do fault Ian for retaliating, and I discussed that with him.

"Would you say that's what happened?" said Meade, looking at Dingman. "You see, he agrees with me."


Army 1 2 5 1 - 9

Navy 4 2 2 4 - 12

Goals: A-Korvin 2, Wigdzinski 2, Peyer 2, Bokmeyer, K. LoRusso, Rhoads. N-Dingman 3, Looney 2, Wallace 2, Mirabito 2, Wallin, Daratsos, Barger. Assists: A-Bokmeyer, Butler. N-Wallin 3, Looney 2, Daratsos, Higgins, Paul. Saves: A-Fullerton 10, N. LoRusso 0. N-Finnegan 6.

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