Navy Lax Advances in NCAA Tournament with 11-5 Win

Mids advance to the second round for the first time since 1989.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. -  For the first time since 1989, Navy (13-2) will advance to the second round of the Div. I NCAA Lacrosse Tournament following an opening-round 11-5 victory over 13th-ranked Penn (7-7) Sunday at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.  Ironically, Penn was the last team Navy defeated in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, that being May 17, 1989, in a 12-11 Midshipmen triumph.

Both teams seemed slow in their execution on what turned out to be an extremely humid afternoon in Annapolis.  Navy out-shot Penn in the first quarter, 10-5.  Half of Navy's shots were on goal with Quakers' keeper Ryan Kelly warding off four shots, while the fifth shot on goal was a score by First-Team All-Patriot League attack Ian Dingman (Deferiet, N.Y.), who gave the Mids a 1-0 lead with 1:03 remaining in the opening period.

Penn wasted little time in knotting the game when rookie midfielder Mark Becker wrapped around the cage just 52 seconds into the second quarter to tie the game at 1-1.

Navy, though, not only would answer the goal, but scored three-consecutive goals to end the half with a 4-1 advantage.

Once again, the Quakers got on the board early in the third, as senior attack Will Phillips, a native of Annapolis, curled around the goal and tucked in Penn's second goal of the game at the 13:53 mark. As Penn narrowed the gap to two goals, Navy's leading goal scorer stepped up his game.  Second-Team All-Patriot League attack Joe Bossi (Skaneateles, N.Y.) scored three-consecutive goals over a two-and-a-half minute span to give Navy a comfortable 7-2 lead.  Two of Bossi's goals were exactly alike as Dingman stood 10 feet out to the left of the goal and a cutting Bossi stuck the goal in at point-blank range.

Penn fought back with sophomore midfielder P.J. Gilbert scoring back-to-back goals, including an extra-man strike with 14 seconds remaining in the third period to get the Quakers back within three goals.

Navy held Penn to just one goal in the fourth, an unassisted marker by sophomore middie Alan Eberstein, while the Mids scored four, including Bossi's fourth of the afternoon.

On the day, Navy doubled up Penn in the shots category (36-18), while grounders were nearly even with Navy grabbing 38 and Penn taking 37.  Navy won 12 of the 20 face-offs with junior Chris Pieczonka (Hamburg, N.Y.) returning to the playing field for the first time in nearly a month.  Pieczonka won eight draws, while rookies Tommy Wallin (Mountain Lakes, N.J.) and William Wallace (Bloomfield Village, Mich.) claimed three and one, respectively.

Defensively, both keepers played solid games in the cage.  Kelly kept Penn in the game with six of his nine saves in the first half.  Navy keeper Matt Russell (Madison, Conn.), who is now 12-1 in goal this season, stopped seven shots on goal, five of those in the first half.

Navy will travel to Ithaca, N.Y., next Sunday to face seventh-seeded Cornell.  The Big Red advanced to the second round of the tournament by defeating Hobart, 11-5, in Ithaca Saturday.  More information regarding next Sunday's contest, including game time and ticket information, will be released Monday afternoon.

Attendance:  2,845

Goals by Period






Penn (7-7)






Navy (13-2)






ShotsPenn (18) 5-5-5-3; Navy (36) 10-8-7-11
Ground BallsPenn (37) 9-12-11-5; Navy (38) 11-12-6-9
SavesPenn (9-Ryan Kelly) 4-2-1-2; Navy (7-Matt Russell) 3-2-0-2
Face-OffsPenn 8 for 20, Navy 12 for 20
ClearsPenn 17 for 22, Navy 20 for 23
Extra-ManPenn 1 for 3, Navy 3 for 4
PenaltiesPenn 4 (3:30), Navy 3 (3:00)

Penn (G-A-P):  P.J. Gilbert 2-0-2, Will Phillips 1-1-2, Alan Eberstein 1-0-1, Mark Becker 1-0-1, Zandy Reich 0-1-1.

Navy (G-A-P):  Joe Bossi 4-0-4, Ian Dingman 2-2-4, Graham Gill 2-1-3, Jon Birsner 0-2-2, Ben Bailey 1-0-1, Ben Horn 1-0-1, Taylor Harris 1-0-1, Steve Looney 0-1-1, Matt Midura 0-1-1.

Navy Quotes

Head coach Richie Meade
Opening Statement...
"I feel good. We won, that was our goal. We played hard, Penn played well. It was apparent we had not played for two weeks."

On not playing for the past two weeks...
"We struggled offensively. Our choices with the ball were bewildering at times in our clearing game. Physically, we played hard and created a pace Penn had deal with all day throughout the game."

On wearing Penn down ...
"We were playing 26 or 27 players the whole game. We played our third midfield in the first quarter. Going from defense to offense we extended their midfield, that started to wear on them [Penn] and they couldn't put pressure on us."

On playing at Cornell next Sunday...
"We know they are a very good team, they are very well coached and they play very good defense. Offensively, they know who is open and how to move the ball. Every game from here on in will be more difficult. It doesn't matter where we are playing them, everybody has a cross to bear in the tournament. That's where the fight is, so that's where we'll go."

Joe Bossi (Sr., Attack)
On his back-to-back goals from Ian Dingman...
"I just saw an opening. They were trying to switch when I cut and Ian found me open."

On the team's improvement in the second half...
"We just started to execute better. I don't know if it was because we hadn't played for two weeks or not, but we started to play as we should in the second half."

Ian Dingman (So., Attack)
On the team's improvement in the second half...
"At halftime, we knew we had not played well offensively in the first half. We knew we had to improve in the second half. They had a pretty good grasp of their defense, so we stepped our scheme offensively."

On Navy's tournament outlook...
"We are looking to win the whole thing, but you can only play one game at a time. So that's what we'll do."

Penn Quotes

Head coach Brian Voelker
Opening Statement:
"Navy played great today. They came at us in waves. I'm proud of the way we played today, Navy is just a tough team to beat."

On goalkeeper Ryan Kelly...
"Ryan did a great job for us all year. We tried to force them to make the outside shot and let Ryan be the keeper that he is. We were able to hang in there in the first quarter, but it got away from us a little in the second."

On Navy's offense...
"Navy is a very talented team offensively, they have a lot of guys who can attack and are well-balanced. We tried to keep a short stick on [Joe Bossi] and it worked for the first half of the game, but not so well in the second half. We also tried to keep an eye on [Ian Dingman], but they have so many weapons it's tough to stay with them the whole time."

Will Phillips (Sr., Attack)
On playing in his home town...
"It was weird playing the final game of my career in Annapolis. It's a great place to play and I enjoyed getting to play in front of some of my fans. Unfortunately, it was not the perfect ending that I would have liked."

On Penn keeping possession of the ball...
"We knew a key coming in would be to hold on to possession. Today, we had a few turnovers early in possessions that were the result of our mistakes and sometimes Navy's pressure. When Navy went on runs, we weren't doing a good job of holding onto the ball."

Ryan Kelly (Sr., Goalkeeper)
On the heat...
"It was the same conditions for both teams." Top Stories