Navy and Army Lacrosse to Meet Saturday

Navy and Army men’s lacrosse will meet for the 94th time on Saturday in Annapolis. While this game is always circles on the calendar due to the intense rivalry, this year there is another layer of intrigue as both teams are fighting to host the Patriot League Tournament which will take place the week of April 20.

The game will be played at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium and it is the hosts who are currently on top of the standings with a 5-2 league record. Army meanwhile comes into the game sat at 4-2 in league play with two games remaining to pass and overtake the Mids.

Historically Navy holds the advantage in this series with a 57-33-3 record. This includes a 28-15-1 mark at home where they have traditionally been dominant over the Black Knights. With so much at stake in this particular clash though it is one of those games where the history of the series is as close to irrelevant as it can be.

Navy may have the better Patriot League record, but at 8-3 on the season Army does own the better overall record coming into this clash. Interestingly the Black Knights three losses have come by a combined six goals, so they are much closer to being undefeated at this point that you would think looking purely at their win/loss statistic. The 12-9 loss to #9 Syracuse is as good a loss as there is in the country.

Navy will have to be on their guard defensively against the Black Knights lethal attack. Army ranks third in the country in scoring margin at over +6 per game and eight of their wins have been by eight or more goals. Navy will also have to find a way to break down a defense which is ranked #2 in the country as the Black Knights give up just 6.55 goals per game. Overall Army ranks in the top 20 nationally in 11 of the 15 statistical categories tracked by the NCAA.

Navy is going to need another big game from Patrick Keena if they are going to beat Army. Keena leads the team with 10 goals and 31 total points and he is good enough as an all-round player to cause problems for the Black Knights defense. John Connors will also need a huge game in the cage to keep the score low and give Navy a shot at the win. He averages 8.54 goals against and has made double digit stops in five games this year. If Connors is on then Navy will be in a much better position to win the game.

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