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Men’s Lacrosse Notebook: Army opens its season, while Air Force and Navy look for first wins

All three academies play on Saturday afternoon.

It wasn’t the best of opening weeks for the Service Academies, but all three return to their home states to try and pick up their first wins of the season.

Navy got upset while Air Force fell short of its upset and Army sat idle. Luckily, it’s a new week that calls for an action-packed Saturday afternoon.

So, sit back and get ready for a hopeful sweep.

Results

Saturday:

Mount St. Mary’s 11, Navy 9

No. 1 Virginia 21, Air Force 11

Schedule

Saturday:

Mercer vs. Navy – Noon EST (ESPN+)

UMass vs. No. 10 Army – Noon EST (ESPN+)

Air Force vs. No. 12 Denver – 2 p.m. EST (Stream Here)

Air Force

The Falcons were the darlings of the college lacrosse world for a couple of minutes, holding an early 3-0 lead on the first ranked team in the nation, Virginia. After that, it wouldn’t be so pretty.

Air Force fell to Virginia in the season-opener by a score of 21-11. When you look into it, it was an impressive performance for the young Falcons.

Last season, UVA pulled out a 20-4 victory over Air Force. The Falcons played six games against ranked opponents last season and were never close to scoring double digits. This season, it only took one game.

Junior Brandon Dodd tied a career-high in goals, scoring four on Saturday. The other time he did that was against another ACC opponent, Duke.

This week, the Falcons will travel to face another Top 20 team in Denver. Last time out, Denver squeaked by Utah to beat them 14-13. Both JJ Sillstrop and Ted Sullivan scored four goals as the Pioneers erased a two-goal deficit in the third quarter.

Denver owns the all-time series by a score of 23-2.

Navy

Navy had a tough second half in its season opener against the Mount, losing to the Mountaineers for the first time ever, 11-9. It was also the Midshipmen’s first season-opening loss since 2018.

“Credit to Mount St. Mary’s, Coach Gravante, and Coach Giblin. Those kids played their tails off. They had them ready to play. They had a terrific plan and they outplayed us for 60 minutes and they deserved to win,” said third-year Navy head coach Joe Amplo.

The Midshipmen fell behind early but were able to take a 6-5 lead into the break.

In the third quarter, that was when things went south. The Mount outscored the Mids by a score of 5-1 and it was all but over.

“They got to the loose balls on the offensive end when they needed to and their goalkeeper made some key saves (in the second half). Our shot selection was not terrific and it allowed them to build some confidence on the defensive end,” said Amplo.

Both Dane Swanson and Patrick Skalniak scored three goals for the Midshipmen.

They will return to Navy-Marine Corp Stadium this Saturday as they host 1-1 Mercer. The Bears are coming off a tough 16-14 loss to another Patriot League team in Bucknell

Army

Army will make its 2022 season debut as they host UMass on Saturday afternoon. In 2020, the Black Knights beat the Minutemen by a score of 17-4. That game included a 9-0 start for the Black Knights.

Last season, UMass finished the regular season with a 4-5 record. They return three All-CAA Preseason members in midfielder Kevin Tobin, defenseman Sam Eisenstadt, and goalkeeper Matt Knote. UMass also returns Chris Connolly who only played two games last season, but sits 21st all-time with points in Minutemen history.

Along with them comes three experienced transfers in Logan Liljeberg from Sacred Heart, Anthony Sericolo from Hartford, and James Caddigan from Colgate, all of which will be significant contributors to the program this season.

The opener at Michie Stadium will start at noon and will be streamed on ESPN+.