The best way to stay warm in the cold, rainy conditions that persisted in Navy's 13-8 victory over Hobart in a Patriot League men's lacrosse game yesterday in Annapolis was to keep moving. That was fine with Navy sophomore midfielder Steve Looney.
Looney finished with three goals and 10 groundballs and won one faceoff. Looney, an All-Met at DeMatha in 2001, played offensive midfield, defensive midfield, as a faceoff man and as a wing on faceoffs.
The victory helped Navy (4-1, 3-0) continue its best start in seven years.
"He just has a knack for getting the ball," Navy Coach Richie Meade said of Looney. "He was playing second midfield in the fall, but he's so valuable as a wing on faceoffs, and he's a very good faceoff guy, too. He could probably play more offense, but we need him in all those other places."
Hobart led 6-5 at halftime. Navy junior Chris Pieczonka won the opening faceoff to start the second half and passed to Looney. Looney's shot hit the post, but senior Joe Bossi got the rebound and put it into the goal to tie the game 10 seconds into the second half.
Navy then scored four of the next five goals, culminating in a score by Looney for a 10-7 lead with 7 minutes 56 seconds left in the third quarter. The Statesmen closed to 10-8 following a score by Nate Hill with 7:07 left, but junior Ben Horn scored back-to-back goals for the Midshipmen to make the score 12-8 with 2:48 left in the quarter.
Bossi had four goals and Horn added three. Mark Williamson and Brian Joy each had two goals for Hobart (2-2, 1-1). It was the first meeting between the teams, traditionally two of the sport's strongest, since 1941.
Navy had seven goals in the third quarter, its most in a quarter since a 16-3 victory over Mount St. Mary's in 2001. And it played its strong offensive game even though leading scorer Ian Dingman, who had 35 goals in his 17 career games entering yesterday, was held to no goals and two assists.
"They were double-teaming Ian, and normally he can take two guys like it's nothing," Bossi said. "But today he didn't, he was passing the ball. . . . We've kind of had a change in strategy. Our coaches feel we have more weapons on offense, so we're looking for more transition."
Looney fits that bill perfectly.
"When he gets the ball, he does something with it," Meade said. "I told the team afterward it was good to see Navy run another team into the ground."