March 19, 2011

Boltus Tallies 100th Career Assist in Army Victory over Rutgers

from press release

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- No. 13 Army outscored Rutgers 7-2 in the second quarter and senior attackman Jeremy Boltus notched his 100th career assist as the Army lacrosse team won its fourth-straight game, topping Rutgers by a 12-4 score on a windy Saturday afternoon at RU Turf Field.

Army (5-2) opened a 9-1 lead with 3:58 left in the first half, but let up two quick Rutgers (5-2) goals and entered halftime holding a 9-3 lead. The Scarlet Knights held Army scoreless in the third quarter, but the Black Knights came out with three unanswered goals over the opening eight minutes of the fourth frame to seal the win.

"Today was a complete effort," said head coach Joe Alberici, in his sixth year with the program. "Scoring 12 goals against a team that's only given up five a game is terrific. Defensively, we played very well throughout. Giving up four goals in a Division I lacrosse game is outstanding. Things really got going with our faceoff. Derek Sipperly was terrific for us today. It was a complete team effort. We'll enjoy this one today and quickly turn our attention to Lehigh in preparation for Tuesday."

Three of Boltus' four assists came in the opening two quarters. The Baldwinsville, N.Y., native finished with a game-high six points as he tallied Army's first two goals on the day. He is one of only three players in Army's 94-year history to reach the century mark in assists.

"It's an honor for me, but it's all about the guys playing around me that make it happen," Boltus said. "I've tried to pick up my game every year and to be mentioned in the same sentence as the greats like Tim Pearson and Jeff Bryan is a real honor."

Sophomore attackman Garrett Thul and junior attackman Devin Lynch each tallied two goals for the afternoon. Junior attackman Conor Hayes tallied three points on a second-quarter goal and assists on Army's final two tallies - both to Lynch. Pat Brennan, Tim Henderson, John Adair, Andrew Boyd and Derek Sipperly all scored single goals. Sipperly took all 20 face-offs and won 12. He was 6-of-7 at halftime.

Army out-shot Rutgers 23-21 and won the ground ball game by a 22-19 margin. Sipperly and senior goalkeeper Tom Palesky led the way with four and three ground balls, respectively. Palesky played all 60 minutes between the pipes and made eight saves, three of which came in the fourth quarter.

A fairly clean game throughout, each team was only whistled for one penalty. Army was 1-for-1 on extra-man opportunities as senior midfielder Rob McCallion fed Adair for a goal just 4:58 into the second quarter. Army's lone penalty came with 32 seconds remaining in the game.

Rutgers entered Saturday's action leading the nation with a 5.0 goals-against average. The Black Knights' 12 goals marked the most the Scarlet Knights have surrendered all season.

Sipperly won the opening faceoff and Boltus got Army on the board in a hurry, scoring the team's quickest goal of the season just 10 seconds into the contest. The lead was short-lived, however, as the Scarlet Knights leveled the score at 1-1 on Michael Diehl's lone goal of the day with 10:58 on the clock.

Boltus struck again with 5:03 to play in the first quarter, as he created for himself coming around the left side of the net and beating Rutgers starting keeper Rudy Butler down low to end the first quarter scoring.

Army pulled away from the Scarlet Knights from the outset of the second quarter. Starting with Boltus' second goal to end the first, the Black Knights strung together seven unanswered scores to take their largest lead of the day (9-1) with four minutes to play in the half. Army's seven goals came courtesy seven different players, beginning with Sipperly's second goal of the season. He won the opening faceoff and took off for the net for an unassisted goal at 14:48.

Boltus picked up his first assist of the day on Thul's first goal of the afternoon. With 12:13 to play, Boltus ripped a pass over the RU defense as Thul proceeded to sling the shot through traffic from 15 yards out.

Henderson got in the action just over a minute later as he picked up a ground ball in Rutgers' end and took it himself for the score at 11:06. Adair provided Army's lone man-up goal (10:02), while Boltus fed Hayes (7:55) and Boyd (6:34) on back-to-back Army possessions. Brennan tacked on Army's ninth goal as McCallion worked behind the net and fed Brennan for his second assist.

"We really got rolling on offense in the second quarter," Boltus said. "We saw what they were going to do defensively on film during the week and we just executed our game plan."

Rutgers scored the final two goals of the half and the only goal in the third quarter, as the Scarlet Knights pulled within 9-4 at the start of the fourth quarter. Thul netted his team-high 17th goal of the season just 1:40 into the action. Boltus was credited with his final assist of the day, as Army made Rutgers pay for a costly turnover.

Hayes connected with Lynch for Army's final two goals of the game, coming at 12:09 and 7:17, respectively.

Game notes

Senior LSM Chris Day carried the American flag onto the field ... Jeremy Boltus is just the third player in Army history with over 100 career assists ... Army committed 17 turnovers to Rutgers' 14 ... Jeremy Boltus and Garrett Thul extended their point-scoring streaks to 16 games, respectively ... Army's win marked its third road victory of the season ... Zach Palmieri played the final 3:32 in relief of Tom Palesky in goal ... Army defeated Rutgers for a fourth-straight time and improved to 58-19-1 all-time against the Scarlet Knights ... head coach Joe Alberici recorded his 45th win on the Army sidelines ... Army shot 52 percent (12-of-23).

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