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Men’s Lacrosse Notebook: Army and Navy gear up for annual rivalry game

Army currently sits as the sixth team out of the NCAA Tournament field in Patrick Stevens’ bracketology.

How sweep it is! The academies took all three lacrosse games over the weekend, and it came at a much-needed time. There are big games ahead for all three of them.

Army and Navy will face off in West Point on Saturday in a game that neither team can afford to lose. If Navy wants to host a Patriot League Tournament game, they need to win. If Army wants an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, they can’t lose to Navy.

Safe to say, the stakes are high.

Results

Saturday

Navy 9, Lafayette 5

Air Force 12, Cleveland State 8

No.12 Army 17, No.4 Cornell 10

Schedule

Saturday

Navy vs No.5 Army – NOON (CBS Sports Network)

Air Force vs Robert Morris – 1 p.m. (YouTube)

Army

Lacrosse can be a funny sport at times.

Although the Black Knights are the fifth-ranked team in the country, they’re the sixth team out of the NCAA Tournament field per Patrick Stevens. Now, the opportunities definitely lie ahead with Boston University and Navy on the ledger, but you would think that a top-five win against Cornell would do some more for the cadets.

It was never close as the Black Knights dominated the Big Red in Ithaca, 17-10. The game opened with a 7-0 Army scoring run as the Black Knights had the scoring advantage in all but the fourth quarter.

“It was a tremendous and complete effort on the road against one of the nation’s elites. I am very proud and happy for the Army Lacrosse family. The team prepared well throughout the week and executed from start to finish,” Army head coach Joe Aberici said postgame.

The nation’s leader in both points and assists per game, Brendan Nichtern, shared game-high honors with four points on two goals and two assists. Ryan Sposito scored a hattrick in his homecoming to Ithaca. Will Coletti won Patriot League faceoff specialist of the week by winning 19-of-28 faceoffs. Some strong performances.

Army will look to add to its resume with a huge game against Navy on Saturday. They’ve only won one of the last four against the Midshipmen, losing their last two at Mitchie. The last Army win of the series at West Point came in 2014.

Navy

Navy showed signs of how good their defense can be on Saturday, beating Lafayette by a score of 9-5. It was the Leopards’ lowest offensive output since 2000.

“I am proud of our defense for executing a great game plan put together by Coach Orsen after a challenging two weeks,” Navy head coach Joe Amplo said postgame.

It started early as neither team scored a goal in the opening frame. The Midshipmen would begin to gain some distance between the two, scoring four unanswered over the first three minutes of the second quarter. They didn’t look back from there as both Nick Cole and Dane Swanson picked up a hat trick.

The Midshipmen will look to continue their strong defensive play as they visit No.5 Army on Saturday. With a win, there’s a chance that the Midshipmen could host a conference tournament game. If they lose, the season finale against Bucknell is almost a play-in game.

Air Force

Air Force has clinched a bid into its first ASUN Tournament!

The Falcons beat Cleveland State on Saturday by a score of 12-8 for their seventh win in the last eight games. It was led by ASUN Player of the Week, Brandon Dodd’s career-high seven-goal output.

They’ll look to add to their strong play with a visit to Robert Morris on Saturday.