Both Army Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse had outstanding weeks.
The Men, after their win against then-#8 Rutgers, have entered the Polls hovering around #20. They followed that up with a mid week rout of Wagner at Michie Stadium and now look to continue their momentum against a Mercer Bears team that just won their first game of the season. This will be the first time the these teams have met, and it should be exciting.
The Women’s team went on a road trip of their own, beating then-#19 Jacksonville on their home turf. Army’s Women then followed that up with a midweek beating of Marist to the tune of 21-5. The Women will now take on #9 Rutgers (sound familiar?) at Michie this weekend, hoping to continue their unbeaten streak against ranked teams and copy what the Men did only a weekend ago. If the women’s team can complete another upset against a ranked opponent, they’ll become ranked as well. More importantly, they’ll shake up a Patriot League hierarchy that has existed since the Women’s team started as a D1 program.
Early in the season, these games are less about the opponent and more about how each team improves week-to week. Let’s highlight a few key things that are starting to develop for a Men’s team that appears well ahead of schedule in its development.
Locked in from the opening draw: Army scores 21 times at snowy Michie Stadium to defeat Marist— Army Women's Lacrosse (@ArmyWP_WLax) February 23, 2023
STORY >> https://t.co/BljWx6CeIX#GoArmy
Offensive Figure Head
The question that every announcer, fan, coach, player, etc. has been asking since the end of last season when it comes to Army is, “Who is going to replace Brendan Nichtern?” The answer is no one. Nichtern is Army’s all-time leading point getter for a reason. But that has not stopped A Reece Burek from bursting onto the scene as a clear number one threat for the Black Knights on offense. His off ball movement, decision making, and shooting percentage are a product of his hard work this off-season and coming in with a clear thought of taking the mantle as The Guy.
Congrats Reese Burek 👏👏👏— Army Men's Lacrosse (@ArmyWP_MLax) February 22, 2023
The attackman was selected to the @USILA_Lax National Team of the Week after his performance against Rutgers!#GoArmy | #FamilyToughnessTradition pic.twitter.com/PJGimWxj32
FOGO Will Coletti has shown what it means to capitalize on a strong Plebe year. The yearling has come out and flat dominated at the X. His ability to give Army back-to-back possessions – repeatedly – has been a key missing piece for Army in recent years.
When we watch him play, the thing that stands out is his ability to change his style on a dime. Rarely does Coletti win the draw the same way twice in a row. His variety, strength, and ability to get the ball to his wingmen in transition are the key reasons why Army has been able to stop opponent scoring runs and go on long scoring runs of their own.
We saw this during the Wagner game. Army was down 5-3 through the beginning of the first quarter. But then Colletti turned it on, and by the time Wagner had caught up, we were midway through the fourth and Army had hung 15 unanswered goals.
We ought to see Coletti’s ability to impact the game through the rest of this year. I for one cannot wait to see the matchup of him vs Resident Patriot League top dog Mikey Sisselberger when the Black Knights faceoff (pun intended) against the Lehigh Mountain Hawks in just a few weeks.
Spreading the wealth!— Army Men's Lacrosse (@ArmyWP_MLax) February 22, 2023
1️⃣3️⃣ different goal scorers in a midweek dub. #GoArmy | #FamilyToughnessTradition pic.twitter.com/AfXCdxas5v
The defense has held strong. G Knox Dent has shown his ability to both stop shots and orchestrate the classic Army defense. The Black Knights’ caused turnover numbers should start to decrease as opponents get more and more into the rhythm of playing live lacrosse during the season. Still, what stands out this season is the defense’s propensity to allow few shots – shots that Dent has a chance to save. Very few opportunities are getting into the middle of the field or close to the cage.
If the defense continues to slide with the body, communicate well off-ball, and pick up ground balls when they are available, this Army defense ought to be able to win championships.
ARMY WINS!— Army Men's Lacrosse (@ArmyWP_MLax) February 21, 2023
The Black Knights have 12 different goal scorers and hold Wagner to only two goals in the final three quarters!#GoArmy | #FamilyToughnessTradition pic.twitter.com/gwRVToGCQS
Army plays its last early-season non-conference opponent this weekend at Mercer. They should win this one. Mercer has a young team in a new conference, and they are just starting to gain real collegiate experience. They got smoked by Bucknell and North Carolina in back to back weeks, but they then came back to beat Holy Cross – Army’s next opponent – 15-6.
The Bears have a young team that’s learning as the season progresses. Look for the game to start out close through the first quarter. After that, Army ought to take control and win decisively. After that, the Patriot League slog begins…
Bears WIN Home Opener‼️‼️#RoarTogether | #Good pic.twitter.com/nsBYOBveBf— 𝙈𝙚𝙧𝙘𝙚𝙧 𝙈𝙚𝙣𝙨 𝙇𝙖𝙘𝙧𝙤𝙨𝙨𝙚 (@MercerLacrosse) February 18, 2023
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