Balanced Scoring, Defense Leads Navy to Over Holy Cross

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Nine different players scored goals, while sophomore goalkeeper RJ Wickham (Penn Yan, N.Y.) made 16 saves to lead the Navy men's lacrosse team to a 12-3 victory over Holy Cross Saturday afternoon at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. The Midshipmen, who improved to 4-4 overall, are now 3-1 in Patriot League play with just two conference games remaining - next week's Colgate contest in Hamilton, N.Y. and the annual Army-Navy battle slated for April 17 at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.

With the exception of the faceoff "x," Navy appeared to be the dominate team throughout the game. After exchanging a handful of shots, the Mids finally got on the scoreboard with just under two minutes to play in the opening stanza when senior attackman Brendan Connors (Bellmore, N.Y.) faked his defender left and then pivoted to the right to score on an ankle biter.

The Mids continued to push the pace in the second quarter, outshooting the Crusaders, 15-7. Navy put nine of the 15 shots on goal and scored on three of them, including a crank shot from senior midfielder Patrick Moran (Annapolis, Md.) who punched in the first of his team-high three goals at the 8:43 mark. Less than two minutes later, Connors found an open Andy Warner (Corning, N.Y.) on the crease, as we one-timed Holy Cross keeper Connor Sweeney for an extra-man tally. The Mids closed out the half with a 4-0 advantage after junior middie Kevin Doyle (Towson, Md.) found Moran who curled in from the left side of the field only to use a side-arm shot that made its way past the keeper.

Navy picked right back up where they left off, scoring three straight goals in the second half, including two nifty transition goals to push its lead to 7-0 with 6:33 to go in the third period. Junior midfielder Brian Striffler (Virginia Beach, Va.) picked off a Holy Cross pass on the defensive end of the field and ran down the center of the field where he found Warner standing on the left wing for a six-yarder. Meanwhile, sophomore middie Nikk Davis (Cockeysville, Md.) utilized his speed as he ran from mid-field right around his defender for a lefty shot on the right wing. Sandwiched between the two transition goals was an extra-man goal by Moran.

Holy Cross finally got on the scoreboard with 5:32 remaining in the third quarter when Kenny Minor found fellow middie John Hannan set up on the left wing for a five-yarder on extra man.

Navy answered when Striffler bounced in his fourth goal of the season on a long shot up the middle.

The Crusaders used less than a minute to strike for a second time, as leading scorer Edison Parzanese beat Navy defender Michael Hirsch (Schwenksville, Pa.) on the left side of the goal and threaded his shot in from five yards against Wickham.

Navy put the game out of reach as the Mids scored four consecutive goals, including a runner by Doyle with just under five minutes remaining in the contest.

Moran led all scorers in the game with what was his fourth hat trick of the season and his first since scoring the game-winner over Bucknell. Warner pitched in a pair of goals, while seven other Navy players put up goals. Connors, who was slow getting his game started this season, has scored five goals and provided three assists in the last two games.

Wickham ended the game with 16 saves, which featured nine stops in the fourth quarter. With today's performance, he moved into 19th on the Mids career saves list amassing 158 in his two seasons, including 116 this spring. Meanwhile, he is less than 30 saves outside of Navy's top 20 in the single-season saves category.

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2010-03-20



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