Navy Lacrosse: BACK ON TRACK

Navy's 8-7 overtime victory over Bucknell in men's lacrosse, before 3,182 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on Saturday, looked like what Navy hoped its earlier overtime game against Loyola (Md.) would turn out.

On Saturday, senior Patrick Moran scored the winning goal 1 minute 20 seconds into overtime for Navy (3-2, 2-0 Patriot League). He came around a screen about 10 yards from the goalie's right wing, and his low shot got past freshman goalie Sam Feeney.

It was the same play -- in almost the exact same part of the field -- where Moran found himself in overtime against Loyola on Feb. 20. That play, however, resulted in a turnover over Moran took his eye off the ball as he readied to shoot.

The pass went out of bounds. Loyola cleared and scored on the ensuing possession for an 8-7 victory.

"We played Loyola and lost in overtime. I had a chance to score and I didn't catch the ball," Moran said. "Once we went to overtime [against Bucknell] I knew I was going to catch it, shoot low and score."

To get to overtime, however, the Midshipmen had to survive some harrowing moments from Bucknell (2-2, 0-1).

Bucknell won the regular season meeting last year, 8-7, after sophomore Charlie Streep drove past a shortstick defender and scored against sophomore goalie RJ Wickham as time expired.

A similarly close outcome wasn't likely after Navy took a 6-2 lead on a goal by Moran with 1:07 left in the third quarter.

But the Bison scored five fourth-quarter goals and tied the game at 7 on a score by junior Ryan Klipstein with 1:25 left in regulation.

Bucknell junior Jake Clarke won the ensuing face-off from Navy sophomore Logan West. And following a timeout, Navy found itself face-to-face with its tormentor from last year. Charlie Streep.

This time, however, Navy changed its plans a little. Streep was defended by a rotation of longstick middies -- seniors Jake Brosnan and Jaren Woeppel and junior Tom Mansfield. Streep entered the final minute 1 for 3 shooting, with no assists. Following the timeout, he was defended by Woeppel.

Streep worked the clock, then went to the goal with around 15 seconds left. He found a little room against Woeppel but a slide, from sophomore Matt Vernam, forced him to take an off-balance shot that went wide. Senior Austin Winter picked up a loose ball and fed it toward the crease.

There, senior Chris Palmer caught the ball and flicked it toward the then-empty goal. Wickham arrived in time to smother the shot as time expired.

"I had a flash to what happened last year," said Wickham of the final sequence.

Said Bucknell Coach Frank Fedorjaka: "We got a good look but their goalie came out of nowhere and smothered the ball. This time they slid to [Streep]. But with Charlie, if you don't slide with the body, you're not going to get him."

By overtime, each team was down one player. Navy senior Joe McAuliffe, a shortstick d-middie, injured his ankle in the frantic final moments and was replaced on Bucknell's last possession of regulation by freshman Jordan Seivold.

Bucknell, meantime, lost leading goal scorer Tim Brandau to a serious knee and ankle injury as time expired. A Navy defender inadvertently rolled into Brandau, and Brandau's knee and ankle were caught under the defender's weight. Fedorjaka said it was very possible that Brandau will be out for the year.

With that, Streep moved to attack, where he finally could be away from Woeppel, Mansfield and Brosnan. He never got a chance, thanks to Moran.

Vernam defended Winter, the preseason conference offensive player of the year, and held him to one goal and no assists. Junior Michael Hirsch defended Brandau and held him to 0-for-5 shooting, though Brandau had two assists.

And sophomore Ian Crumley held the third starter on attack, sophomore Mike Danylyshyn, to one goal and only one shot.

Special mention goes to Wickham: He finished with 18 saves. Last year against Bucknell, he had six.

"RJ is the anchor of our team," Moran said. "He was the MVP today. We fed off the defense. RJ played his part, and that's how we won."

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