Warner Lifts Navy Past #17 Johns Hopkins in Overtime

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - With just 10 seconds remaining in overtime, junior attackman Andy Warner (Corning, N.Y.) sped around Hopkins defender Matt Drenan to score what will be one of the most talked about goals by the Navy faithful for years to come, as the Navy men's lacrosse team (6-7) scored a 9-8 OT win over 17th-ranked Johns Hopkins (5-7) Saturday afternoon at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. More than 10,000 fans watched the Midshipmen snap a 36-game losing streak that dated to 1975.

“I've walked off this field and into the locker room having to face my team, knowing they played their hearts out and didn't win,” said a tearful Navy head coach Richie Meade. “To our players and those guys who weren't successful in beating Hopkins along the way, this means so much to them. It means so much to me to have them here with us today and experiencing it. I'm just extremely proud of our team.”

It was an uphill climb for the Mids as they found themselves down 5-0 after the opening quarter of play. It was just the second time this season the Mids were held scoreless for a quarter, the first was against North Carolina in the third game of the season.

Navy, though, battled back as it has so many times before. “We were definitely disappointed being down 5-0, but we've come back before,” said Warner, who ended the day with one goal and two assists. “There's a lot of heart in this team and I think the mark of this team has been our ability to fight back.”

Navy's offense and defense complemented one another for the next 15 minutes, as the Midshipmen scored six unanswered goals to take a 6-5 lead into the locker room. Senior midfielder Patrick Moran (Annapolis, Md.) sparked the run with an impressive goal just 40 seconds into the quarter. Moran, on the run, switched hands shooting hands at the last minute to poke in his 23rd goal of the year just inside the far post.

The Mids then scored three goals over the course of two minutes, including the first-collegiate goal by rookie midfielder Bucky Smith (Great Falls, Va.). Smith had been utilized as a defensive midfielder nearly the entire season, however, Meade moved him to the offensive side of the field two weeks ago.

Senior midfielder Joe Lennon (Westminster, Md.) had a hand in each of the next two goals, though he'd be credited with just one of those two goals. With 8:27 left in the half, Lennon sent his shot towards the goal only to have it turned aside by Hopkins keeper Pierce Bassett. The ball, however, trickled out of Bassett's stick and back into the play where midfielder Matt Dolente swatted the ball into his own goal. Less than a minute later, Lennon scored from nearly the same spot he took his earlier shot to pull the Mids to within one at 5-4.

Rookie Jay Mann (Cockeysville, Md.) scored the equalizer on a 10-yard blast from the right wing.

“I think two of the most important goals of the game were by Bucky and Jay,” said Meade While made the switch in fields, Mann bounced back after suffering a broken collarbone against North Carolina in late February.

The Mids scored the go-ahead goal with just 43 seconds left in the half when Lennon's shot hit the cross bar and shot straight into the stick of Brendan Connors (Bellmore, N.Y.) who was standing on the crease. He barely had it in his stick when he let it fly, paying special attention to stay out of the crease.

After being held scoreless the entire second period, Hopkins came out of the locker room and scored three straight goals to take a 8-6 advantage with under four minutes to go in the third period.

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