Oct. 11, 2012
WEST POINT, N.Y. - The Army lacrosse team will reach the peak of its fall season in just over a week when the Black Knights host St. John's and Harvard for a fall scrimmage day this Saturday, Oct. 20, at Michie Stadium. The event is open to the public and all three games are free admission.
Army and St. John's will open the day at 11 a.m., followed by Army versus Harvard at 12:45 p.m. The Red Storm and Crimson will faceoff at approximately 2 p.m.
"First and foremost, we're really excited to have two excellent programs coming to Michie Stadium," said seventh-year head coach Joe Alberici. "Both Harvard and St. John's are high-quality, top-20 caliber teams. Our guys have been really enthusiastic and intense throughout our fall practices, and I know they are very excited to go up against somebody other than themselves. It gives them a chance to put into practice all that we've worked on over the past month or so. These scrimmages will also be a solid gauge of what we need to work on moving forward as we prepare for our opener in February."
The Black Knights are roughly a month into their fall season and have two Black and White scrimmages under their belts. The first was held on Sept. 30, while the second took place last Sunday, Oct. 14, at Howze Field.
During all scrimmages sessions this fall, to include the Oct. 20 event, teams and officials will implement several new rule changes as mandated by the NCAA. The most noticeable rule changes are aimed at quickening the pace of play, while others affect the shooting stings and substitutions. For a complete look at this year's proposed rule changes, click here.
"The new rules have forced us to pick up the tempo throughout practice," Alberici said. "We play through every dead ball situation and go right into the next play. It's been helpful from a practice stand point because they forced to you continually play the next play. The new rules don't give you a lot of time to hammer yourself about mistakes. It's about moving on and making the next right play."
Both St. John's and Harvard are coming off seasons during which they reached the championship game of their respective conference tournaments. St. John's fell to Syracuse in the BIG EAST title bout, while Harvard came up on the short end of a 10-8 score in the 2012 Ivy League championship game.
While squaring off on several recent occasions during the fall season, Army and St. John's have not met during the regular season since 1987. The same can be said for the Black Knights and Harvard, which have not squared-off in the regular season since 1994.
Coming off its seventh-straight Patriot League Tournament appearance in last spring, Army returns thirty-three players overall, including eight who started at least one game a year ago. Amongst those eight are All-American attackman Garrett Thul and first team All-Patriot League defenseman Brendan Buckley. The pair will share team captain duties with fellow senior Andrew Boyd.
Thul led the team in scoring last season and enters his final season on the banks of the Hudson with 122 career goals. He currently ranks fifth on Army's all-time goal-scoring list and is riding a 39-goal scoring streak, which remains the second-longest active streak in the nation. Sophomore midfielder John Glesener also returns as Army's second-leading scorer from 2012. Glesener wrapped up a standout rookie campaign with 33 points on 16 goals and a team-high 17 assists.
Stay up-to-date on everything Army lacrosse by following the team's official Twitter page, @Army_Lacrosse. Fans are also encouraged to follow head coach Joe Alberici through @ArmyLaxCoach.