Army Opens Patriot League with Win at Lafayette

EASTON, Pa. Junior attackman John Glesener registered his second-straight hat trick and the Army defense stood tall in an 8-6 win at Lafayette in the Black Knights' Patriot League opener Saturday afternoon at Rappolt Field. The victory stretched Army's (3-1, 1-0 Patriot League) win streak to three games and delivered Lafayette's first conference loss (1-2, 1-1).

The Black Knights are now 33-0 all-time against Lafayette, which includes six Patriot League openers.

Army led 3-1 at halftime, but used a four-goal third quarter to gain a sizable advantage. All three of Glesener's goals were scored during that decisive stretch. The Leopards outscored the Black Knights 3-1 over the final 15:00, but it was too little too late for the home club.

"Any time you can get a conference win on the road is huge in my eyes," said ninth-year Army head coach Joe Alberici. "This was a great win against a tough opponent in Lafayette. I stressed during the week how important getting this first conference victory under our belt was and the team responded with a gritty win today."

Army outshot Lafayette 43-16 on the day. In addition to Glesener's ninth career hat trick, sophomore attackman Connor Cook tallied two goals and classmate Will Mazzone a pair of points on one goal and one assist. Junior short stick defenseman Al DeStefano and rookie attackman Cole Johnson netted single goals for the Black Knights.

Sophomore face-off specialist Alex Daly went 11 of 17 in the "x," to go with a game-high seven ground balls. Glesener and junior long stick middie Jimbo D'Aprile added four GBs.

Army junior goaltender Sam Somers made five saves. Lafayette senior net minder Jake Hyatt was credited with 15 stops on the afternoon.

"We were strong up the middle, and our defense turned in another exceptional performance," Alberici added. "Offensively, I give a lot of credit to (Jake) Hyatt for an outstanding game. When we did have our opportunities, we were able to capitalize."

Brian Bock led the Leopards with two goals on three shots.

Lafayette drew first blood with 6:18 remaining in the first quarter as Robert Orazietti beat Somers with his fourth goal of the young season. Exactly two minutes later, a Tim Stackpole ground ball triggered a quick clear and led to Johnson's fourth goal of the year with 4:18 remaining in the opening frame. A.J. Canara earned an assist on the play, and the 1-1 score stood at the end of the first quarter.

Army took its first lead of the game, 2-1, early in the second quarter, as Cook cashed in on a long offensive possession and beat Hyatt low for his fifth goal of the year 3:37 into the action. Just seconds after killing Lafayette's first EMO chance of the day, Army once again beat the Leopards down the field for a transition look. This time, it was DeStefano stepping up with his second goal of the year at the 7:14 mark to give the visitors a 3-1 lead. Neither team scored over the final seven minutes of the first half.

After a relatively quiet first half, Glesener, who was named to the Tewaaraton Award Watch List late last week, got going early in the second, netting his first of three third-period goal less than two minutes in. He went on to record two more, both rips racing past Hyatt from 12 yards out. Cook and Mazzone also hooked up to give the Black Knights a boost as Mazzone fed Cook from "x" at 6:08. Lafayette scored twice in the third, but the Black Knights held a 7-3 lead heading into the final 15:00.

A pesky Leopards club would not go away in the fourth, however, netting three goals to keep the game within reach. After back-to-back Lafayette goals trimmed Army's lead to 7-5, Mazzone stuffed his seventh goal of the year on Hyatt's doorstep to help seal the victory. The Leopards netted the final goal of the game at the 3:42 mark.

Army breaks from Patriot League play for its only midweek game of the season. The Black Knights host Rutgers on Tuesday, March 4, at 7:00 p.m. It will mark the team's second game in Michie Stadium this spring.


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