Our last update left us with Navy sitting two games behind Air Force for the inaugural Ike Award following two dominating performances from both the Mids Men’s and Women’s Track and Field teams against Army.
Since then, we’ve had four more Star competitions and some Patriot League postseason play, setting us up to have to wait on the remainder of the spring sports to get into tournament action before being able to declare the 2018-2019 winner.
Let’s check in on the competition and see just how close the competition remains.
Army vs. Navy Women’s Lacrosse-Navy Win
Two weekends ago, we had three Star Series matchups all taking place on the same day. First up on the day was the two women’s lacrosse teams battling it out.
Army has been much improved this season, having secured a berth in the Patriot League tournament for the first time in school history already. They have a chance to end up as high as the #3 seed in the tournament which would be a huge stride towards becoming a program competing for conference titles.
However, it still appears to be a Loyola-Navy and everyone else scenario at this point, and Army was really no match for the Mids on this day.
Navy dominated from the outset, scoring the first eight goals of the day and taking a very comfortable 15-4 lead into halftime. After extending that lead out to 20-5 early in the second half, it was evident that there would be no comeback, as the Mids held onto victory 21-8.
Kelly Larkin had nine points on the day, but it was the play of Nicole Victory, who recorded a career-best eight points that really put an exclamation point on the victory (see what I did there)!
Army vs. Navy Men’s Tennis-Navy Win
After the women’s lacrosse team won earlier in the day, the men’s tennis team was up with a chance to secure the Star Series for Navy for the 2018-2019 season.
They did just that, winning 4-0 behind Peter Lohrbach, who helped Navy secure the doubles point and then won the deciding singles victory that gave the Mids the commanding victory and secured the Star.
Army vs. Navy Men’s Lacrosse-Army Win
Following up the women’s lacrosse game, it was the men’s turn in the second part of the afternoon double header. And it was an overtime thriller!
After exchanging goals to begin the game, Christian Daniel scored back-to-back to give Navy a 3-2 lead with six minutes to go in the first period. After that, though, the Army defense flexed its muscle, holding the Mids scoreless for the remainder of the first half to take a 6-3 lead into the break.
Army was led in the first half by Brendan Nichtern, who had two goals and three assists to play a part in all but one of the 6 goals.
It was a back-and-forth affair in the second half as Navy finally clawed back to tie it at seven a piece behind a goal from Ryan Wade, and then Army moved back ahead on a goal from Miles Silva before Navy’s Daniel tied it back at eight with just over a minute remaining.
In overtime, it was a goal from Army’s Matt Manown that was the game winner as the Black Knights got the Star and an important Patriot League victory.
Army vs. Navy Baseball-Army wins 2 of 3
With the final star up for grabs, it was the Army baseball team that emerged victorious, taking two out of three from Navy in Annapolis last weekend.
In the first game, it was another brilliant performance from Noah Song that gave the Mids the win. Song, who was named Patriot League Player of the Week for the ninth time and National Player of the Week for the sixth time after the win, threw a complete game, one-hit shutout with eight strikeouts. He would strikeout the side in the seventh to notch the 3-0 win for Navy.
Game two saw Army come out swinging. The Mids had gone up 2-0 in the first to take the lead before Army evened it in the second behind an Andre Walden double. The Black Knights then got four runs in the fifth and three in the sixth to go up 9-2 and put the game out of reach before eventually winning by a score of 11-3. They were led by Anthony Giachin, who added his fourth homer of the year and three RBIs in the victory.
That set up a deciding game three on Sunday for the Star.
In a similar nod to Saturday, Army jumped out with two runs in the first and then Navy responded with two unearned runs of their own in the second.
Army would finally breakthrough with five runs on five hits in the sixth inning. However, Navy clawed back in it in the eighth with three runs of their own but Harry Flannery Jr. got Zach Biggers to strike out with the bases loaded to avoid any further damage and the Black Knights won the regular season series and the Star by a score of 7-5.
Army vs. Navy Men’s Tennis (PL Tourney Finals)-Navy Win
Not to be forgotten, the Army and Navy men’s tennis teams faced off yet again in the Patriot League tournament finals last weekend, and Navy came out victorious again, though this one came down to the wire.
Tied at 3-3 with only the number one singles match remaining, Andrew Ton and Myles Conlin squared off in a three set tiebreaker that saw Ton come back from down 5-4 in the third set to break serve and take it to the tiebreaker before winning the Patriot League tournament for the Mids.
#NavyMTen defeats Army, 4-3, to win Patriot League Tournament title. Post-match photos include tourney MVP Derrick Thompson, and Andrew Ton & Myles Conlin after their dramatic No. 1 singles match. Mids will learn their NCAA Tournament destination the night of April 29. pic.twitter.com/t1th6PcksP— Navy Athletics (@NavyAthletics) April 21, 2019
So, that concludes all scheduled matches in the regular season for the Ike Award. We still have possibilities of Army and Navy facing off again in some other Patriot League tournaments, which could alter the current state of affairs. Needless to say, it’s already come down to the wire, but if the seedings work out and Army and Navy meet again in any sport for a PL crown, that could ultimately decide who wins our Ike Award!