Navy men rally to defeat Towson, 14-11

  • Host Navy's Andy Warner, center, fights off a double team by Towson goalie Travis Love, left, and Sean Sheehe to score Navy's 14th and final goal of the game during the fourth quarter.
Host Navy's Andy Warner, center, fights off a double team… (Baltimore Sun photo by Kenneth…)
March 16, 2011|By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun

The Towson and Navy men's lacrosse teams may have found the perfect relief for their ailing offenses: each other.

The two squads combined for 25 goals, as the host Midshipmen escaped with a 14-11 win before an announced 1,028 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis Tuesday night.

Navy's output was just one shy of its season high in a nine-goal rout of Lafayette last Saturday, but it was enough to help the Midshipmen improve to 3-4 and win two games in a row for the first time this season.

Nine of Navy's goals were assisted, with senior midfielder Andy Warner leading the way with six assists.

"I think we're very good, very unselfish," Warner said. "There's not a single person on our team that wants every single point. They're dodging to score, but in the back of their minds, they're thinking, 'If someone's going to slide, I'm moving the ball.' It's been clicking since Day One for the most part. These last two games have really shown that we're a pretty good offense."

The Midshipmen never led in the contest until 10 minutes, 6 seconds remained in the fourth quarter. That's when Warner slipped past Tigers senior short-stick defensive midfielder Peter Mezzanotte at the top of the box and bounced a shot past senior goalkeeper Travis Love into the left side of the net to give Navy a 12-11 lead.

Sophomore midfielder Jay Mann extended that advantage to two with a blast from the left point with 3:55 left. Towson freshman midfielder Andrew Hodgson was then assessed a pair of one-minute penalties for slashing, and Warner added his second goal with 1:28 left.

The Tigers had few answers for Warner, who became the first Navy player to record eight points since March 19, 2005 when Jon Birsner assisted on eight goals against Colgate.

"I think Andy Warner just adds so much being up in front of the goal," coach Richie Meade said, referring to Warner's shift to midfield from attack. "He can do a lot of different things, and I just think they're playing pretty well together. We've got to keep doing that."

Junior midfielder Nikk Davis registered two goals and two assists, and freshman attackman Tucker Hull posted two goals and one assist. Junior Logan West won 19 faceoffs, which was one shy of the school record shared by Chris Pieczonka in 2004 and Dan Sullivan in 1995.

Sophomore attackman Matt Hughes paced Towson (1-4) with three goals, but the Tigers, who tied a season high with 11 goals, could not preserve a trio of three-goal leads. They led 3-0 with 4:19 left in the first quarter, 7-4 with 4:58 left in the second period, and 11-8 with 3:04 left in the third quarter.

The 14 goals surrendered by Towson was a season high and dwarfed the defense's average of 6.0 per game. Afterwards, coach Tony Seaman was critical of the defense's performance.

"I don't understand why we were sliding and creating doubles when we didn't have to," he said. "No one was getting beat. We slid, and that was right in their alley. That's what they wanted. They moved the ball great, found the open man, and he put the ball away. We know that Navy can shoot well. I think they're limited on who they can beat, and their offense is not set up to dodge and beat you, but we made it that kind of an offense tonight. It's very, very disappointing from our end of the bargain."

Notes: Tigers senior attackman Tim Stratton, who ranked third on the team in both points and goals last season but had compiled just three assists thus far, was moved to midfield. According to the official box score, he did play, but he did not record a single stat. Seaman was unsure whether Stratton would stay in the midfield for Saturday's home contest against No. 4 Stony Brook, adding, "I really don't have any comment on him tonight." … Navy senior midfielder Brian Striffler, who had posted four goals and one assist, has shifted to short-stick defensive midfielder.

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