March 29, 2011

Crucial Weekend for Patriot League Lacrosse

from press release

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — Last weekend's results create a crucial weekend coming up in Patriot League men's lacrosse, as a pair of first-place teams will hit the field against one another Saturday afternoon.

Patriot League Men's Lacrosse Release - 3.29.11 <> <>

No. 9/9 Army, winners of six straight, opened League play with two victories at home over Lehigh and Lafayette last week, and they had to fight for every bit of those victories. The Black Knights used a big fourth quarter to defeat Lehigh 12-9 on Tuesday, and then scored twice in the last period and received six important saves from senior keeper Tom Palesky to hold off Lafayette 7-6 on Saturday. Army has won nine straight League contests dating back to the end of the 2009 regular season, but the Black Knights will have their hands full on Saturday when they visit Colgate for a 1 p.m. faceoff.

The Raiders, who received votes in both the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media and USILA Coaches polls this week, have won two in a row and are coming off their best defensive effort of the season in Saturday's 5-4 win at Navy. The win snapped Navy's three-game win streak and created a three-way tie for first in the League standings, as Army, Colgate and Bucknell all sit 2-0. It was a great defensive effort for both teams, and for hard-luck Navy, it was its second straight game in which they held a League opponent to five goals or less.

Two non-League contests start the week on Tuesday, with Lehigh starting a regular season-concluding six-game home stand against Binghamton and No. 17/18 Bucknell hosting Penn State, ranked 20th in the coaches poll. The Bison will return to action Saturday hosting Holy Cross in the second League game of the day.

Navy looks to bounce back on Friday when it visits Georgetown. Lafayette hits the road Saturday for a matchup at Providence, while Lehigh's home cooking continues against Penn State.

Patriot League Weekly Awards (3.21-3.27)

JEREMY BOLTUS, ARMY Sr., A, Baldwinsville, N.Y.
Boltus started the week with an impressive showing Tuesday night against Lehigh, with his fourth-straight four-assist game and his second hat trick of the season to tie his season high with seven points in a 12-9 win over the Mountain Hawks in Army's League opener. He posted another strong performance in Saturday's hard-fought 7-6 win over Lafayette, posting a goal with three assists. For the week, Boltus scored four goals with seven assists for 11 points, and became the third player in Army history with 100 assists. He stands at 106 for his career, placing him sixth all-time in League annals.

Henderson put forth a balanced effort for the Black Knights last week, helping the defending Patriot League champions move to 2-0 in League play and run their overall League winning streak to nine games. He picked up five ground balls on the wing and caused three turnovers in Tuesday's 12-9 win over Lehigh, helping Army control 15 of 25 faceoffs against one of the nation's best teams at the X. In Saturday's win over Lafayette, Henderson added four ground balls and another caused turnover in the tough 7-6 win over the Leopards. He also pitched in offensively, posting a career-high three points with a goal and two assists against Lehigh, and ran his goal-scoring streak to three games with a tally against Lafayette. He averaged 4.5 ground balls and 2.0 caused turnovers per game last week.

TOM PALESKY, ARMY Sr., GK, Plano, Texas
Palesky played all 120 minutes of Army's two League victories last week, making six saves in Tuesday's 12-9 win over Lehigh and 11 stops in Saturday's 7-6 triumph over Lafayette. Palesky faced a total of 49 shots in the two games, with 32 coming on goal, and posted a .531 save percentage. He faced 10 Leopard shots in the fourth quarter of Saturday's game and stopped six, with several of them coming at close range as Army nursed one- and two-goal leads over the game's last 5:50. Saturday's contest marked the third time Palesky stopped double-digit shots in a game this season, and he maintained his lead atop the League standings in goals-against average at 6.84.

PETER BURKE, BUCKNELL Fr., M, Walpole, Mass.
Burke's best game of the week came Saturday, as Bucknell held No. 15/16 Albany to just three second-half goals in an 11-9 victory in Lewisburg. He scored three times for his first career hat trick and added an assist for a four-point day. He tallied a critical second-quarter goal for Bucknell, as the Bison rallied to cut a three-goal deficit down to one. His assist came in the third quarter tally with the extra man, and he logged an insurance goal in the fourth. For the week, Burke scored four goals and five points with three ground balls, with two coming in Tuesday's loss to Robert Morris.

TY SOUDERS, LEHIGH Fr., D, Macungie, Pa.
Souders continued his strong defensive play, helping the Mountain Hawks yield an average of 8.5 goals per game in two League contests last week. He collected six ground balls in the two contests, including four in Saturday's 11-5 win at Holy Cross. He now boasts 15 on the season, the most of any Lehigh defensemen.

Klipstein was consistent for the Bison last week, garnering two goals and an assist for three points in each of Bucknell's two contests. In Saturday's 11-9 win over No. 15/16 Albany, he scored twice and assisted on a third goal to lead the Bison's second-quarter comeback that erased a 6-3 deficit.

GREG PERKINS, COLGATE Sr., D, Alexandria, Va.
Perkins helped the Raiders' suffocating defense in Saturday's 5-4 win at Navy. He collected three ground balls and caused a team-best two turnovers, giving the Raiders their second straight victory in Annapolis. Colgate remains the only team to beat Navy on the road since the Mids joined the Patriot League in 2004.

Collett was stellar defensively in Saturday's 11-9 win over nationally-ranked Albany, pacing the Bison defense with five ground balls and three caused turnovers. Bucknell surrendered just three second-half goals in the win.

DiMaria upped his point-scoring streak to 19 games, which is 28th nationally, with a four-point effort Tuesday at Army and a pair of assists in Saturday's 11-5 win at Holy Cross.

Patriot League Notebook

As the season continues, each passing weekend that contains Patriot League matchups become increasingly important. Two big matchups are scheduled for Saturday, as a pair of 2-0 teams will battle in Hamilton, N.Y., when Colgate welcomes No. 9/9 Army to Andy Kerr Stadium at 1 p.m. The Raiders enter the contest coming off Saturday's 5-4 win at Navy, their second straight over the Mids in Annapolis, while the defending champion Black Knights have rattled off home victories over Lehigh and Lafayette, including Saturday's tight 7-6 win over the Leopards. In the second of two League matchups this weekend, No. 17/18 Bucknell plays host to Holy Cross in Lewisburg. The Bison will look to hold serve against the Crusaders in an effort to move to 3-0 in the League and stay in a first-place tie with whomever emerged victorious in the Army-Colgate tilt.

A year after Army's Andrew Maisano was named Lowe's Senior CLASS Award winner for 2010, two more Patriot Leaguers are up for the award in men's lacrosse in 2011. Lafayette's Stefan Bauer and Lehigh's Jonathan Stumpf were named to the list of 20 candidates in February, and were just announced as two of the award's 10 finalists on March 28. Bauer currently sits third on the Leopards in points, while Stumpf is Lehigh's fifth-leading scorer. Both Bauer and Stumpf have participated in several volunteer endeavors off the field, and each excels academically as well. Bauer carries a 3.61 grade-point average at Lafayette majoring in economics with a focus on finance, while Stumpf has a 3.88 GPA in the Integrative Business and Engineering Honors Program at Lehigh.

Army and Lafayette played another tight game on Saturday at West Point, with the Black Knights eventually holding on for a 7-6 victory. Senior goalkeeper Tom Palesky made six of his 11 saves in the fourth quarter to preserve Army's lead, and the Leopards left West Point with their third consecutive one-goal loss to their League rivals. Army prevailed 15-14 last season in Easton, and captured a 13-12 victory at West Point during the 2009 campaign. The Leopards are still seeking their first-ever victory over the Black Knights. Army holds a 30-0 all-time series lead.

Army senior Jeremy Boltus became the third Army player and sixth in League history with 100 career assists when he tallied four in Tuesday's 12-9 victory over Lehigh. After capturing three against Lafayette on Saturday, Boltus now has 106 for his career, placing him fifth in League annals, one ahead of Navy's Jon Birsner, who played from 2003-06. Next up is Army's Jeff Bryan, who posted 114 assists during a stellar four-year career from 2001-04. Army's Tim Pearson (1999-2002) holds the League's all-time mark with 142 career assists.

Lafayette senior Tom Perini has been one of the League's best snipers the last three years, and 2011 has been no different. He boasts the team lead with 18 goals and is third in the League averaging 2.25 per game. Perini has checked into the League's all-time top 10 in career tallies with 116, good for eighth place. He's two behind Army's Dan Brostek and Jim Wagner, who finished their respective careers with 118 goals. Bucknell's Justin Zackey, who played from 1991-94, holds the League record with 138 career tallies.

Consistence pays off. That sentence perfectly sums up Jake Clarke, a senior who walked on to the men's lacrosse team at Bucknell, and has become his team's best faceoff man. Consistence also gets you onto some career top-10 lists, and that's what's happened this season, as Clarke's 248 career ground balls place him sixth all-time in Patriot League history. He's 19 shy of Army's Ryan Hanrahan, who graduated in 2001 with 267 for his career. Colgate's Chris Eck is the most recent addition to the League's top 10 in the statistic before Clarke. He graduated in 2008 after accumulative 305 ground balls, which places him second in League history.

If the Mountain Hawks are to make the Patriot League Tournament this spring for the first time in school history, their young core will get them there. Lehigh is the only team in the League to boast four 20-point scorers, and they're all underclassmen. Two are juniors (Adam Johnston and Cameron Lao-Gosney) and the other two are sophomore (David DiMaria and Dante Fantoni). They've all shown they can contribute offensively, as Johnston and Lao-Gosney are tied for the team lead with 19 goals, and are tied for fifth in the League with 2.11 goals per game. At 2-1 in League play, the Mountain Hawks own victories against Holy Cross and Navy, and could benefit from a favorable schedule. Lehigh will host each of its last three League contests during the regular season, welcoming Bucknell, Colgate and Lafayette to Bethlehem.

Jim Morrissey was named the interim head coach at Holy Cross two weeks ago after serving as an assistant for the first seven games of the season. Morrissey joined the staff in the fall of 2010. A Syracuse graduate, he played on two national championship teams for the Orange and was a two-time All-America selection. Morrissey brought a wealth of coaching experience with him when he joined the Crusader staff last fall, as he'd served in an assistant's capacity at Cornell, Syracuse and Hobart.

Fifty-eight men's lacrosse players across all divisions were named to the 2011 Tewaaraton Watch List on March 4, and seven of them are from Patriot League institutions. Five of the seven League representatives on the list are seniors, including Army's Jeremy Boltus (attack) and Bill Henderson (defense), Lafayette's Stefan Bauer (attack) and Tom Perini (attack), and Bucknell defensive midfielder Jake Clarke. Attackman Charlie Streep of Bucknell is a junior and Colgate sophomore middie Peter Baum is a sophomore. The Tewaaraton Award is the pre-eminent award in lacrosse, awarded to the NCAA's top men's and women's players annually by the Greater Washington Sports Alliance. The list will be narrowed down three times during the regular season until the 10 finalists are announced in May. The winner will be announced June 2 at the Warner Theater in Washington, D.C.

If Lafayette is to return to the Patriot League Tournament for a second straight year, it will need senior attackman Tom Perini to produce. That's exactly what he did on March 1, as he scored a League record-tying eight goals in the Leopards' 16-8 win at Wagner on March 1. One of the most explosive offensive players in the Patriot League, Perini is once again posting impressive numbers. He's tied for the League lead averaging 3.00 goals per game, which places him tied for fifth nationally. On March 4 he was named one of seven Patriot Leaguers to the 2011 Tewaaraton Watch List.

Fresh off an 11-6 campaign, a perfect 6-0 Patriot League record and an appearance in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, Army was voted the 2011 preseason favorite by head coaches and sports information directors around the League who could not vote for their own teams. The Black Knights secured the maximum 78 points and 12 first-place votes, ahead of 2010 runner-up Navy, which garnered 58 points and one first-place vote. Bucknell took third with 51 points and the lone remaining first-place vote, while Colgate secured fourth with 39 points. Lehigh (31 points), Lafayette (30) and Holy Cross (13) rounded out the poll.

A total of eight Patriot League men's lacrosse games will be nationally televised on CBS College Sports Network in 2011, including all three games of the League Tournament on April 29 and May 1. The Patriot League Tournament is the only conference tournament in the country that is nationally televised in its entirety. Navy's game hosting Maryland Friday, April 8 is the first Patriot League game to hit the national television airwaves, as the teams will battle at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Md. at 7 p.m. Eight days later, CBS College Sports Network returns to Annapolis to televise the annual Army-Navy matchup Saturday, April 16 at 2 p.m. In addition to the eight games on CBSC, the Navy-Johns Hopkins matchup in Baltimore, Md. April 23 will be televised on ESPNU beginning at 8 p.m.

The 2011 Patriot League Tournament is scheduled for Friday, April 29 and Sunday, May 1, at the site of the regular-season champion and highest seed. All three games will be televised nationally by CBS College Sports Network, with the semifinals taking place Friday at 5 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. The championship contest is slated for Sunday at 3 p.m. The Patriot League Tournament is the only conference tournament that is scheduled to be nationally televised in its entirety. Last season, Army posted a perfect 6-0 record to earn the regular-season title and hosting responsibilities. After defeating Lafayette in the semifinals, the Black Knights posted a victory over archrival Navy in the championship game to advance to the NCAA Tournament.

Team Notebooks

ARMY The Black Knights went 2-0 on the week, posting League wins over Lehigh and Lafayette at home ... Army defeated the Mountain Hawks 12-9 on Tuesday night, thanks to a 15-for-25 effort at the X against one of the country's best faceoff men in Lehigh's Ryan Snyder ... Jeremy Boltus led the way with a seven-point night with a hat trick and four assists ... Army outshot Lehigh 31-23 and held a 32-28 edge in ground balls ... Garrett Thul netted a hat trick against Lehigh ... The Black Knights had to fight tooth and nail for Saturday's 7-6 win over visiting Lafayette ... Senior keeper Tom Palesky literally saved the day with six of his 11 stops in the fourth quarter, with many coming from in close ... Boltus tallied a four-point avernoon with a goal and three assists, while Thul scored twice ... After Lafayette opened the scoring, Army rattled off four in a row before taking a 4-2 lead into halftime ... The Leopards tied the game at 5-5 early in the fourth with the extra man, and Army scored twice to take a 7-5 advantage with 2:06 to go ... Army outshot Lafayette 33-26 but trailed 28-27 in ground balls, thanks in part to Lafayette winning 11 of 17 faceoffs ... The Black Knights, ranked ninth in both polls on Monday, head to Colgate for a League showdown on Saturday at 1 p.m.

BUCKNELL The Bison went 1-1 last week, starting off with a 7-5 loss at Robert Morris on Tuesday before returning home to defeat No. 15/16 Albany 11-9 in Lewisburg on Saturday ... Ryan Klipstein scored twice and added an assist in the loss to the Colonials ... The Bison scored four goals in the third quarter, but were held scoreless in the fourth ... Freshman Peter Burke had a breakout game with a hat trick and four points in Saturday's win over the Great Danes ... Classmate Todd Heritage added a pair of tallies with an assist ... The Bison bounced back at the X, with Jake Clarke going 10-of-15 on faceoffs and eight ground balls ... Heritage added a team-high three caused turnovers ... The Bison scored five straight goals during a stretch that spanned the second and third quarters to turn a 6-3 deficit into an 8-6 lead ... Bucknell's defense allowed just three goals in the final 30 minutes ... Charlie Streep's tally early in the fourth stood up as the eventual game-winner ... Bucknell hosts Penn State, ranked 20th in Monday's coaches poll, on Tuesday and Holy Cross on Saturday.

COLGATE Sophomore Peter Baum had a hand in three of his teams goals as the Raiders held on for a 5-4 win at Navy on Saturday to move to 2-0 in Patriot League play ... Baum scored twice and assisted on Dave Tucciarone's tally that gave Colgate a 3-2 lead in the second ... Jared Madison stopped eight shots, including three in the fourth quarter ... The Raiders held Andy Warner to a lone assist on the day, though he did manage 11 shots ... Jimmy Ryan and Ben McCabe added the other tallies for Colgate ... McCabe's, which came at the 4:30 mark of the third, stood up as the game-winner ... The Raiders, who received votes in both major national polls on Monday, host Army on Saturday at 1 p.m.

HOLY CROSS The Crusaders fell 11-5 to visiting Lehigh on Saturday afternoon to move to 0-8 overall and 0-3 in the Patriot League ... James Kennedy posted a hat trick and John Hannan scored a pair ... Holy Cross went 2-for-3 with the extra man, and A.J. Guarante was 9-of-14 on faceoffs ... Kennedy's first goal of the game was unassisted, and came with 3:07 left in the first half, getting Holy Cross on the board ... Kennedy's remaining two tallies came in the third and fourth quarters, respectively ... Kenny O'Connor played the whole game in net, making nine saves ... The Crusaders start a stretch of four straight on the road when they visit Bucknell Saturday.

LAFAYETTE The Leopards went 0-2 on the week, suffering an 18-5 defeat last Tuesday at Drexel ... Lafayette lost its third straight one-goal decision to Army, dropping a 7-6 game on Saturday at West Point ... Tom Perini was held off the score sheet but Stefan Bauer had a four-point day with two goals and two assists ... Cesar Munoz controlled the X, winning 11 of 17 faceoffs, and the Leopards held a 28-27 edge in ground balls ... Andrijko Andrusko made 10 saves in the loss ... Alex Floeck opened the scoring at the 11:43 mark of the first quarter to put Lafayette on top, but Army surged ahead with four straight goals ... Floeck scored his second of the game to pull Lafayette within 4-3 midway through the third quarter, and Mike Galione's four-quarter tally tied the game 5-5 ... Colin Serling's goal brought the Leopards within 7-6 with 1:45 to go, but that was as close as they'd get ... Lafayette returns to action Saturday for a non-League tilt at Providence.

LEHIGH The Mountain Hawks went into West Point and gave Army all it could handle before falling 12-9 on Tuesday night ... Down 6-3, Lehigh engineered a second-quarter rally to pull even at 6-6 heading into halftime ... Cameron Lao-Gosney's 16th goal of the season with the extra man put Lehigh up 7-6 early in the third before Army scored five in a row to take an 11-7 lead in the fourth quarter ... David DiMaria scored twice with an assist, and Lao-Gosney logged a two-goal game ... Adam Johnston, Dante Fantoni and Jonathan Stumpf combined for 10 goals in Lehigh's 11-5 win Saturday at Holy Cross ... The victory lifted the Mountain Hawks to 2-1 against League teams this season ... Lehigh scored at least one goal in each quarter, and led 10-2 entering the fourth ... The Mountain Hawks led 37-7 in shots after three ... Lehigh hosts Binghamton Tuesday night and Penn State on Saturday.

NAVY The Mids' three-game win streak was snapped in Saturday's 5-4 loss to Colgate ... Navy dropped to 2-3 in League play and has only one regular-season League contest remaining April 16 when it hosts rival Army ... Taylor Reynolds, Tucker Hull, Nikk Davis and Kevin Doyle tallied the goals, while Andy Warner was limited to just one assist ... Navy outshot Colgate 31-26, including 14-3 in the fourth quarter, and finished with a 30-28 edge in ground balls ... The Mids opened a 2-0 lead in the first quarter, but Colgate rallied to take a 4-3 lead into halftime ... Reynolds' unassisted tally with two seconds remaining in the game was Navy's only goal of the second half ... The Mids look to return to the win column Friday when they visit Georgetown ... The Hoyas received votes in both major polls this week.

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