Army Sinks Navy for First-Ever Patriot Tourney Crown

Army, however, evened the game at 3-3 when Boltus, found Rob McCallion anchored in front of the goal, and quick-sticked it in at 7:42.

Navy again grabbed the lead following a nice transition play that originated from a Wickham save. Wickham quickly sent a short outlet pass that was then zig-zagged through the field with junior midfielder Joe Lennon (Westminster, Md.) ultimately taking a 12-yard shot that sailed over the shoulder of Army keeper Tom Palesky with just over five minutes to go in the half.

The Black Knights got the final say before the break, scoring back-to-back goals in 1:30 of one another. Middie Devin Lynch caught a pass from Andrew Maisano on the run and was able to get his left hand free of Navy defensive middie Marty Gallagher (Wayne, Pa.) to score a five-yarder. Then with Navy defenseman Matt Vernam (Shoreham, N.Y.) falling down, Boltus was unselfish and instead of trying to take the shot, he made the extra pass to Thul sitting on the crease, giving Army its first lead of the game at the break.

“I felt like we never had the ball in the second quarter,” said Meade. “It was like we were playing defense the whole quarter. To be honest, only being down by one goal was kind of encouraging.”

Army extended its lead to two, 6-4, less than four minutes into the second half when attackman Tyler Oates fired off a lefty underhand shot to the left corner of the goal.

The Black Knights scored their four straight goal when, after both teams were flagged simultaneously for unnecessary roughness, Maisano fired off a five-yard shot to the right corner past Wickham.

“In my mind getting a two-goal cushion relaxed them and was a huge turning point in the game,” said Meade.

Taking an 8-4 lead with 5:49 left in the third quarter, Army took advantage of a slash called against Hirsch. Army used some nifty passing as McCallion sent a short pass to senior attackman Tyler Seymour who easily rippled the net. For Seymour, it was his fifth goal of the weekend after pumping in four against Bucknell in the Patriot League semis.

After more than 18 minutes without a goal, the Mids finally got their fifth goal on the scoreboard. The Black Knights were whistled for failure to advance and rookie midfielder Jay Mann (Cockeysville, Md.) quickly picked up the ball at mid-field and sent the pass to long pole Zack Schroeder (Deer Park, N.Y.) who ran with the ball for 10 yards before scoring his his second goal of the year. The goal trimmed Army's lead to three, 8-5, with 1:43 remaining in the third quarter.

Connors scored his second goal of the game thanks to a deflection by Palesky. Second-year midfielder Nikk Davis (Cockeysville, Md.) was looking to pass from behind the cage when Palesky reached up and got a stick on the ball, sending it into Connors' stick. Connors quickly shot it in for his 20th goal of the year, narrowing the Black Knights' lead to two, 8-6, with 12:56 to go.

Army countered with back-to-back goals in the span of just over a minute as Thul and sophomore middie Sean O'Sullivan scoring from nearly the exact same spot to give the Black Knights a 10-6 lead with 8:12 left.

The Mids made a run at the end, closing to within two, after senior Evan Sullivan (Westfield, N.J.) pounded in an extra-man goal off an assist from Warner and 32 seconds later Moran pumped in his second of the day on a side-winder from 15 yards out.

Army capped its win when Boltus scored an open-net goal with 11 seconds remaining to lead the Black Knights to their first Patriot League Tournament win with an 11-8 decision over five-time champion Navy.

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