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Service Academy Lacrosse: Army men, Navy women, and Air Force Grab Wins

Army saw both a loss and victory, Navy women made history, and Air Force racks up another win

NCAA Lacrosse: Women’s Championships Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

We’re coming to the halfway point of the season and we are now in the thick of the conference schedule and races for seeding and positioning for conference tournaments. This week we saw Army and Navy suffer losses and notch wins, respectively, while Air Force came away with their sixth victory of the season.

Army Men:

The Black Knights came away this weekend with their third-straight victory, this time against Colgate, 13-8. The pair went head-to-head during the first half of the game with Miles Silva and Jeremy Angle scoring the first goals for Army and putting them up 2-0. Colgate was able to rattle off the next three scores heading into the beginning of the second quarter before Brendan Nichtern got the game back even at three a piece. Colgate briefly took the lead for the second and final time of the game before Nichtern got the Black Knights going on a 3-0 run heading into halftime with another goal and two assists. The second half saw a back and forth affair, but ultimately, Army pulled away from the Raiders and solidified another Patriot League victory 13-8. Nichtern came away from Saturday tying his career high of four assists and smashing his previous high of three ground balls with eight.

This weekend, Army will travel to Pennsylvania and face off against Bucknell on Saturday, March 30, at 1:00 pm. The Black Knights now sit in third place behind undefeated (in conference) Lehigh and Loyola in the Patriot League standings at 3-1.

Army Women:

After starting out the year 7-0, the Black Knights have hit a bit of a rough patch, dropping three in a row and their first two conference games of the year. They had a hard fought contest against American this weekend, but were unable to pull out the victory, falling 12-10 in the nation’s capital. Though the first goal was scored by Jackie Brattan, American answered with three straight goals to start off the first half. Army was able to get back in the game with its own run, with Samantha Stewart, Taylor Andrews, and Manuela Cortes getting goals and tying the game at 4-4. The Eagles surged back out to a two goal lead, but Cortes added two more goals of her own to even the score at 7 headed into the locker room. It was the sixth hat trick of the season for Cortes, and she became the first player in Army history to record 100 goals for her career! American used a 4-0 run coming out of the locker room to take the lead back, giving themselves enough breathing room to hold off a Black Knights rally that saw them get back within one at 11-10, but they were unable to get any closer.

This Wednesday, March 27, at 3:00 pm the Black Knights take on Holy Cross at home in what is a much needed victory for Army as they are still hoping to earn a spot in the Patriot League tournament for the first time in history.

Navy Women:

The Mids ended the week with their third straight win, crushing Bucknell, 17-4 on Saturday at home. This moved them to 2-0 in Patriot League play so far in two games that have not been close whatsoever. Navy’s offense afforded them a heavy lead in the first half with an early 5-0 run, followed by another 6-0 run to close the first half at 12-2. The victory was a full team effort with nine players scoring for the combined 17-goals. Kelly Larkin came away with four goals while Natalie Irwin, Andie O’Sullivan, and Kayla Harris all had two a piece. Moriah Snyder also added a hat trick with three goals of her own, which was the first of her college career. The Mids defense also was strong on Saturday as Bucknell turned the ball over 21 times on the afternoon while only getting a total of 17 shots off the entire game. Anytime you have more turnovers than shots on goal, it’s gonna be a rough outing. Marie Valenti came away with a record as she caused her 100th turnover of her career and became only the sixth player in Patriot League history to do so.

This week, Navy will face Lehigh for another Patriot League game on Wednesday, March 27, at 5:00 pm.

Navy Men:

The men’s team came away with a tough loss on Saturday, dropping a 15-8 contest to Lehigh and moving them to 2-2 in conference play. The first half saw Navy fall behind 3-1 in the first quarter, only to use four unanswered goals, two of them by Ryan Wade, to take a 5-4 lead into halftime. The Mids opened the second half with a goal by Jack Sweeney, but that was the end of the highlights for Navy, as the Mountain Hawks responded with six goals in a row, creating a 10-6 lead and never looking back. Lehigh won the second half 11-3, using six goals in the third and five in the fourth to put the Mids away for good. Navy suffered a total of 11 turnovers and won only 9 face offs on the afternoon. Add in the fact that Lehigh outgained them on ground balls 36-22 and it made it difficult for Navy to mount any kind of comeback in the fourth quarter. Ryan Wade had a solid game, but a Navy defense that had not given up 15 goals all season in its first four games has now given up at least 15 in three of the last four outings.

The Mids travel this week for a Patriot League game against Holy Cross on Saturday, March 30 at 12:00 pm. Sitting in the middle of the pack now at 2-2 in conference, this is a much needed win for Navy to keep pace with the top half of the league.

Air Force

Saturday saw the Falcons sixth win of the season and second in league play, after beating Furman 11-7. While Furman scored the first goal of the game, the Falcons sprinted ahead to create a big lead for themselves. Air Force responded with a 6-0 lead to close the first quarter. Three of the goals were made by Trey Lervick, who also scored his fifth hat trick of the season that afternoon. Air Force managed to only put up two goals in the second quarter, but they kept the Paladins off the scoreboard as well, using tremendous defense to go up 8-2 at the half. Furman attempted to make a furious comeback in the final quarter notching five goals but it wasn’t enough to close the gap the Falcons had created. Trent Harper had a huge day, winning 16-21 faceoff attempts and securing six ground balls. Air Force now has won four in a row and sit at 2-0 in the SoCon.

Air Force will travel to New Haven, CT, this week Tuesday, March 26, to meet the 2018 NCAA Champions and No. 3-ranked Yale, for a non conference game at 7:00 pm. This will obviously provide a big test for a Falcons team that seems to be improving and moving in the right direction this season.