Built on respect

day of rivals army vs. navy

April 10, 2009|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,edward.lee@baltsun.com

Win-loss marks don't define the Army-Navy series. It's about who can leave the last mark.

One of the biggest rivalries in sports, the Army-Navy series includes big hits, long streaks and simmering emotions. But in one of the more gentlemanly aspects of the rivalries, both sides will stand and salute each program's school song.

"Our rivalry is a unique rivalry because we are going to depend on each other as soon as we graduate," said former Navy defenseman and three-time All-American Chad Donnelly (class of 2000). "It's a unique experience because not only are you trying to kill the guy on the other side of the ball, but you also have the utmost respect for the guy on the other side of the ball."

Memorable games

* On April 12, 1982, Army clung to an 11-10 lead until Navy's Pat Greene sprinted from the midfield line, dodged three Black Knights defenders, and scored with 11 seconds left to send the game into overtime. Billy Anderson scored in overtime to give the Midshipmen a 12-11 victory.

* Army returned the favor April 6, 1991, when Eric Waltz ran the length of the field and scored with four seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 10. After a scoreless first overtime, Jim Gorman scored with 1:05 left in the second extra period to help the Black Knights end a five-game losing streak.

* Army stopped another skid April 12, 2008, ending a 13-game losing streak to Navy with a 9-6 win. In honor of the Army's 230th birthday two months later, ESPNU aired the victory as one of the 10 most memorable athletic events in the school's recent history.

Quotable

* "On the tops of buildings [at the West Point campus] are signs that say, 'Beat Navy.' It's ingrained in them. They hear it every day of the year, which allows it to stand apart from any other rivalry." - Former Army coach and current ESPN analyst Jack Emmer

* "I know my freshman year [2006], Steve Looney broke his collarbone, and I thought it was kind of a cheap shot because the kid hit him from behind and fell on him. Billy [Steve's younger brother] came out in the second half and drained three [of his four] goals in the second half. That was the first time that I kind of realized that he took it so personal that this was the Army-Navy game and that he'd be damned if his brother getting knocked out of the game would cause us to lose." - Navy senior Geoff Leone.

* "That day, I was playing for two people, not just one." - Former Navy midfielder Billy Looney (2007)

* "In my senior year, we fell one game short of making it to the NCAA tournament that year. But the silver lining was beating Navy that year. You tend to forget about your final ranking and all of the other games, but the one that you can remember over the years is beating Navy." - Former Army midfielder Ross Yastrzemsky (1997)

* "The three-star general and superintendent of schools here, Gen. [Franklin L.] Hagenbeck, spent the whole game on the sidelines in the substitution box. I'm not sure there are too many programs that have the presidents of their schools watching the whole lacrosse game from the sidelines." - Army coach Joe Alberici on last year's victory

* "For 10 years, we were the hunted. Now we are the hunters. We had to feel that pain every day for the last year." - Navy coach Richie Meade on the school's loss to Army last year

the facts

* Series lead: Navy, 56-27-3

* First meeting: May 31, 1924 (Navy, 5-0)

* Current winning streak: Army, 1

* Longest Army winning streak: 3 (1940-42 and 1950-52)

* Longest Navy winning streak: 13 (1998-2007)

ARMY (5-6)

VS. NO. 12 NAVY (8-3)

11:30 a.m.,

M&T Bank Stadium TV: ESPNU

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