Black Knights Travel To VMI For Sunday Showdown

Will Mazzone

Will Mazzone

Feb. 14, 2014

Army at VMI Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

LEXINGTON, Va. - After opening the season with a 6-5 home loss to UMass last Saturday, Army heads out on a three-game road swing beginning this Sunday at Virginia Military Institute. This will mark the second time Army has played VMI in Lexington, Va., as it looks to improve on a 5-0 record versus the Keydets. Army departs Saturday to make the long seven-hour trek, its longest bus trip of the year. The game was originally scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 15, but moved due to snow.

The Last Meeting
VMI8
Army14
February 16, 2013
West Point, N.Y.
Thul's Seven Goals Power Army Past VMI, 14-8
Three days later and it was the same result for the Army lacrosse team - a 14-8 victory. The story Saturday, however, was senior attackman Garrett Thul exploding for a career-high seven goals and sophomore attackman Alex Newsome (six points) continuing his standout play. Thul added an assist to finish with a career-best eight points in a monster offensive effort.

HOW TO FOLLOW THE ACTION
Television: None.
Radio: None.
Web: None.
Live Stats: Visit the lacrosse schedule page of www.goARMYsports.com to access the live statistics link.
Twitter: Follow @Army_Lacrosse for in-game scoring updates.

EARLY BIRD SPECIAL
Last Saturday afternoon's season opener marked the earliest Army has ever played in its 97-year history. Patriot League foes Loyola and Lehigh already played earlier last week, while the Black Knights join Navy, Colgate, Boston University and Bucknell in beginning their seasons Feb. 8.

PRESEASON PLAUDITS
Army attackman John Glesener earned high praise in late January's Patriot League preseason teleconference as the junior collected Patriot League Preseason Offensive Player of the Year plaudits heading into the 2014 season. Sophomore face-off specialist Alex Daly joined Glesener on the preseason all-league team, while the Black Knights landed fourth in the conference's preseason poll.

Patriot League newcomer Loyola entered its first season in the conference as the favorite after the Greyhounds were picked for the top spot in the poll. Loyola garnered 123 points and 13 first-place votes to finish ahead of the participants in last year's Patriot League title game, Bucknell and Lehigh. The runner-up Bison had three first-place votes and 109 points to edge the two-time defending champion Mountain Hawks with two first-place votes and 108 points. The rest of the poll order featured Army (86), Colgate (73), Navy (56), Holy Cross (42), Lafayette (35) and Boston University (16).

Glesener was not the only player to win an individual award, as Loyola senior defenseman Joe Fletcher took home the Patriot League Preseason Defensive Player of the Year award.

ARMY VS. UMASS REWIND
Feb. 8, 2014 | Michie Stadium
WEST POINT, N.Y. - Junior attackman John Glesener scored a pair of goals and an assist to lead an Army lacrosse team that came up on the short end of a 6-5 decision against Massachusetts on Saturday morning at Michie Stadium.

In a game originally scheduled for Sunday but adjusted in anticipation of snow, the Black Knights bounced back from a 3-0 first-quarter deficit to score five of the final eight goals of the game. Army also trailed 6-4 at the start of the fourth quarter and got goals from Glesener and sophomore midfielder Shea Mullins to make it a one-goal game with 8:44 to play. The Black Knights could not cash in on a minute man-up opportunity and lost possession in the final minute to allow UMass to evade the equalizer.

WELCOME TO THE BIG TIME
Four Army players made their collegiate debuts against UMass in last Saturday's season opener. Freshman middie Matt Bowman earned the start and scored his first collegiate goal midway through the second quarter. Also earning plenty of playing time were freshmen long stick midfielder Tim Stackpole, midfielder Gunnar Miller and Henry White, who playing on Army's man-up unit.

WELCOME BACK
While Army faces the daunting task of replacing all-time leading goal scorer Garrett Thul '13 this season, they will do so by committee. The Black Knights welcome back five of their top eight point-producers from a year ago, a group that includes leading scorer and honorable mention All-American John Glesener (31G, 30A). Along with Glesener, Alex Newsome (18G, 6A), Will Mazzone (11G, 8A), Connor Cook (4G, 6A) and Tim Coll(4G, 4A) return to the fold. Overall, Army welcomes back 62 percent (148-of-237 points) of its offense from 2013.

Also of note, junior Jimbo D'Aprile returns at long stick midfield, fresh off a second team All-Patriot League campaign a year ago. Junior goaltender Sam Somers joined D'Aprile representing Army on the second team.

SMARTY PANTS
Army has a reputation for producing some of the country's top scholar-athletes year-in and year-out. In fact, the Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year has come from West Point in five of the last six years. This year looks to be no exception as 27 players authored a 3.0 or higher grade-point average during the fall semester.

CENTURY MAN
Junior attackman John Glesener enters this Sunday's game just three points shy of becoming the 30th Black Knight to join the 100-point club. The Camillus, N.Y., native currently has 49G and 48A. Tim Pearson '02 holds the record with 238 career points. Glesener's 48 career assists currently rank 18th on Army's career ledger.

THE "X" FACTOR
To say that sophomore face-off specialist Alex Daly authored a stellar rookie campaign would be an understatement. The New Market, Md., native dominated in the "x" as a freshmen and finished the year ranked 10th in the nation with a .586 (140-of-239) win percentage. Daly only got better as the year progressed and won 76 percent (62-of-82) of his face-offs over the final four games of the season. He also led the team with 75 ground balls and added five points (2G, 3A). Daly is a Patriot League Preseason All-League honoree and wears No. 88 in honor of his favorite athlete, Dale Earnhardt Jr. He went 7-of-13 in the "x" in last Saturday's season opener against UMass.

SCOUTING THE KEYDETS
VMI is slated to play all three service academies this season and opened the year with an 18-5 loss at Navy last Saturday afternoon in Annapolis, Md. Junior attackman Mike DeBlasio registered his fifth career hat trick to lead the Keydets, while senior attackman Mickey Hofmeister. DeBlasio represents the team's top returning scorer from last year, having started all 12 games and registering 17 points (12G, 5A).

Defensively, the Keydets offer a unique zone unlike any other team Army will face this season. Veterans Rory Dillon and Tyler Prasnicki, along with rookie Tom Brown, hold down the Keydets' efforts down low.

Under the direction of fourth-year head coach Brian Anken, the Keydets are looking to bounce back from a 1-12 showing in 2013.

DEFENSE DOES IT
Having given up double-digit goals just twice last season (L, 10-6 vs. Lehigh; L, 12-9 vs. Bucknell), Army finished the year with the nation's third-best scoring defense. The Black Knights surrendering 7.79 goals per game in 14 contests. The Black Knights land 15th nationally in caused turnovers (8.36 per game) and 10th in ground balls (33.07 per game). The defense picked up right where it left off in the 2014 opener, yielding just six UMass goals last Saturday.

IT'S A NUMBERS GAME
Avid Army fans will notice a few notable number changes this season. On the offensive end of the field, junior middie Alex Newsome now wears No. 4 rather than No. 45, while sophomore attackman Will Mazzone switched from No. 35 to No. 33. Also notable, sophomores Tim Coll (No. 1), Austin Schultz (No. 11) and Mike Perettine (No. 41) all switched things up a year into their collegiate careers.

SAVING GRACE
Junior goalkeeper Sam Somers established himself as one of the top goalies in the league last season and finished the year leading the entire nation with a 7.18 goals-against average. The Wilton, Conn., native picked up Patriot League second team honors and played all but one game a year ago. Somers won the starting goalkeeper position following a stellar performance at nationally ranked Syracuse. He recorded a career-high 18 saves and held the vaunted Orange attack to six goals. He held UMass to six goals in a tough 6-5 setback in last Saturday's season opener.

WE'RE GOING STREAKING
• Junior attackman John Glesener brings a 16-game point-scoring streak into the start of the 2014 campaign. It currently ranks as the 21st-longest point-scoring streak in the nation.
• Junior goaltender Sam Somers has held eight-straight opponents to single-digit goals.
• Junior midfielder Alex Newsome and senior tri-captain John Burk have started 16 and 15-straight games, respectively. Newsome led the team and ranked second in the Patriot League with eight man-up goals last season. Burk will serve as a team tri-captain in 2014.

UP NEXT
Army hits continues its three-game road swing with a neutral site showdown with Furman next Saturday in the nation's capital. Face-off For A Cause, hosted by Wounded Warriors, will be played on the campus of Catholic University and feature Army-Furman as its premiere Division I game. It will mark the first game in the all-time series. Fans can follow GameTracker (live statistics) from the game via the lacrosse schedule page of goARMYsports.com. Periodic scoring updates will be posted to @Army_Lacrosse on Twitter.

TICKET TIME
Season, single-game and group tickets are now on sale. Fans can purchase online at www.goARMYsports.com/tickets, by calling 1-877-TIX-ARMY or by stopping by the Army Ticket Office, located at Gate 3 of Michie Stadium.

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