Well Army fans that was a tough one. Whenever Army and Navy meet, we’re always in for a battle. The Black Knights showed flashes throughout the contest, but in the end, we let a raw but talented Navy team steal one in overtime. It sucks as fans because it feels like we’ve seen some very good Army teams lose to some rather mediocre Navy teams — repeatedly — this year, but what can you do?
Might be one for the Athletic Department to ponder in detail over the summer.
Thankfully, Army Women’s Lax beat Navy this past weekend for the first time ever, earning their first ever win over a ranked opponent in the process. Army Baseball also took their star series with a doubleheader sweep of the Mids Saturday afternoon, and Men’s and Women’s Rugby both advanced to their respective National Championship games, so it’s not like the weekend was a total washout.
Still, it sucks to lose. The goal is to BEAT NAVY! Thankfully, it’s crunch time, so we can no longer afford to dwell on the past. Big-time tournaments are just around the corner.
A Lot on the Line Against the Terriers
With Army’s upset loss, Boston University has now clinched their first ever Patriot League regular season title. They are probably riding high. So high in fact that many pundits are predicting that they will win the tournament and get the Patriot League’s automatic qualifier for the NCAA Tournament.
Boston U has repeatedly shown that they are a high performing team. Their offense, which has many explosive players, runs through Attackers Timmy Ley and Vincent D’Alto. This is a team that has blown teams out all year with a combination of powerful offense and stifling defense. This could therefore be the toughest team that Army has faced this season, and we’re seeing them on their home turf.
For Army, a chance at getting the first round bye in the Patriot League Tournament hinges on the outcome of Friday’s game.
We have another week of great goals in the @PatriotLeague, including a backhand bouncer with 5 seconds left that clinched the No. 1 seed in men's lacrosse. @M_Trivelpiece has the full list of #PLTop3 for you!— Patriot League on ESPN (@PatriotLeagueTV) April 27, 2022
1⃣🥍 @TerrierMLAX pic.twitter.com/4bDQLiAOv7
Keys to Victory
Offensively, Army has shown that they have the capability of blowing teams out early and never looking back. We saw that at Cornell. We’ll need that kind of explosive energy this Friday.
Army must take the home team out of their comfort zone early and then dictate the pace of play. We’ll need a healthy dose of scoring from everyone on Army’s offense in order to to keep BU’s defenders from keying in on one or two guys. Good offensive execution in every possession will allow Army to put themselves in position to potentially win this game.
Defensively, Army has been doing a great job all season limiting opposing teams’ firepower. They’ll need that again this week. BU has FOUR different players that would be considered “top guys” in any other program.
When it comes to the one lockdown guy for Army Defender AJ Pilate, look to see him matching up with Ley more often than not, hopefully limiting Ley’s ability to set up the offense for the rest of the Terriers’ playmakers.
Finally, Army will need to get better play in the middle of the field this week. We saw the Black Knights at their best against Cornell, where the face off unit, rope unit, and transition players all showed up and made big contributions. Alas, they were dramatically less successful this past weekend against a comparatively less-talented unit from the Boat School.
FOGO Will Colletti will have his hands full this week against BU’s Conor Calederone, who just came off a very competitive outing against Lehigh’s All-American FOGO Mike Sisselberger of Lehigh. This may well put even more pressure on Army’s defense and on their offense to maximize the value of each possession.
Thankfully, Coach A isn’t the type of coach to let a team dwell on a loss. This Army team can still accomplish all of their goals this season. A win this weekend will set them up strong for the Patriot League Tournament, and if they can take the title there, no one will remember anything bad from this season. This team will need its best stuff in the biggest spots, but then, that was always going to be true regardless.
Tonight’s game starts at 8 pm. Looks like coverage will be on ESPN+.
Go Army! Beat Boston University!!!
* Cover image via Donna Tomasitis (smugmug).