While the football teams continue their march towards bowl eligibility and into the thick of the CIC race, there is a whole lot more going on at our service academies beyond the gridiron.
This brings us to another installment of Around the Yard (or Post, or Flightline, or whatever else you wanna call it): Yes, we have football updates, but we’ve also got ranked soccer teams, army-navy matchups, hockey underway, and more!
Volleyball: The Army volleyball team is having a pretty solid season this year, and currently sits in third place in the Patriot League standings with a 14-6 record overall and a 5-2 record in league play. They have only lost to the two teams in front of them in the standings this year, dropping 3-1 matches to both Colgate and American, and having secured a Star against Navy earlier in the season. They are coming off of three straight wins in the last week, defeating Bucknell, Lehigh, and Lafayette. Next up for the Black Knights will be hosting Loyola before three straight road matchups (American, Navy, Colgate) that will more than likely go a long way in determining their seeding for the Patriot League tournament!
Hockey: The men’s hockey team at West Point is off to a terrific start this year, notching victories in their first two outings on the ice. They defeated Union College, which was a team receiving votes in the preseason coaches poll, 3-2, during a come from behind victory in the third period after falling behind 2-1. Colin Bilek scored the game winning goal for the Black Knights in the contest. They followed that victory up with a win against UConn on the road in Storrs, CT. This gave them two victories against non-conference opponents to start the season for the first time since 1989! Up next is a pair of games against Robert Morris this weekend at home, a team that is coming off a 2-0 start in conference play after defeating Bentley twice last week!
Hockey: Though they weren’t able to pull out a victory over the weekend, Falcons fans can take solace in the fact that they took the #8 team in the country in Notre Dame to the brink in the first game of the season. Senior Matt Pulver and Brady Tomlak scored three goals for Air Force on the night, as they took a 2-0 lead at the end of the first period before the Fighting Irish rattled off four in a row in the second and third. Pulver’s second goal of the evening with .1 seconds left made it a 4-3 victory for Notre Dame, but once again, this was a great start to the year for Air Force as they look to bounce back and reclaim the Atlantic Hockey league crown!
Football: There has been plenty of talk on the interwebs about what Troy Calhoun meant by his comments related to playing in the Mountain West Conference in the future found here. And there has been discussion about a late night start time against Utah State found here. But coming off of a huge second half performance and victory over Fresno State last weekend, and having to travel out to Hawaii to face a really good squad this Saturday, I’m all about focusing on the important issues, namely the threads the team will be rocking while on island time!
That’s right, it’s Air Power Legacy Series week, 2019 style, folks!
Soccer: This has been way too long overdue for us here on AAE, and so Gavin will be remedying the situation in short order, but in case you didn’t know, the Navy men’s and women’s soccer teams are having outstanding seasons!
On the men’s side, all the team has done is start out 11-0-1 on the year, and are currently sitting at #22 in the country in the latest rankings. What’s craziest to me, is the fact that they have given up a grand total of THREE goals in 12 outings this year. THREE! And have outscored their opponents 24-3 on the year. Now, the last outing was the Star match against Army, and that accounted for the single draw on the season. I know that the team is probably upset at the performance, given Army’s record, and how dominant they have been this year, but they will need to recover and move on from that as they welcome Lehigh to Annapolis this Saturday night. Lehigh is also 4-0-1 in the conference and will be a formidable opponent for the Mids. So, if you are looking for something to do after the USF game, I suggest heading over to Glenn Warner and getting a look at the best Navy soccer team in a long, long time!
On the women’s side, they have been equally impressive, currently sitting at 12-2-1 and 3-1-1 in the Patriot League. They did lose their only conference game last week against Holy Cross, 1-0, but then bounced back later in the week to defeat Delaware State 1-0 on the road. They have the Star secured already against Army and sit atop the conference standings, as they also welcome the next best team in the league to Annapolis this weekend when they take on Bucknell. So, you should definitely find time to sandwich two soccer matches around football this Saturday if you are in town!
Football: Yes, the football team continues its resurgence this season after dominating Tulsa last Saturday and getting ready to welcome the Bulls of USF to Annapolis this weekend, but this note is about a former player. Keenan Reynolds, who had his broadcasting debut last weekend calling the game between the aforementioned Bulls and BYU, now has a new home as a player, as he was selected by the Seattle Dragons in the fifth round of the inaugural XFL draft yesterday! Congrats to Keenan, and hopefully, he’s got the inside scoop on how Navy takes care of USF on Saturday!
That’s a wrap on this week’s Around the Yard, Post, Flightline, etc! We’ll be back next week as we attempt to spread the service academy athletics love even more to some deserving squads and student-athletes!