Navy lacrosse breaks skid with 12-3 win over Holy Cross
As sophomores in 2008, Patrick Moran, Joe Lennon and Basil Daratsos ran on the first midfield for the Navy men's lacrosse team. Moran and Lennon were together on the starting midfield last year.
When the Midshipmen took the field for their 12-3 victory over Holy Cross before 3,188 on Saturday at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, only Moran was a starter. He was more than enough. Moran finished with a game-high three goals for the Midshipmen (4-4, 3-1 Patriot League).
The academy had been on spring break this past week, but it was a far from relaxing time for the lacrosse team. Navy began the break with a 15-8 loss at Lafayette on March 12. The slump continued on Tuesday: Towson scored a goal with six seconds left to clinch a 10-9 victory.
So the strong performance over the Crusaders (2-6, 1-1) was much-needed. The Midshipmen scored the first seven goals and held Holy Cross scoreless for the first 39 minutes 28 seconds.
"We were 3-4 before this game but it doesn't matter," Moran said. "Everything is in front of us. We have a great opportunity to finish out strong."
Saturday's win may prove important. The Patriot League awards its automatic berth to the NCAA tournament to the team that wins the four-team conference tournament in late April.
And Navy's third conference victory could be telling: No Patriot League team has missed the tournament with three or more conference wins dating from 2005.
Navy altered its offensive lineup yesterday. Junior Kevin Doyle moved from the second midfield to the starting unit, where he joined Moran and sophomore Nikk Davis. Lennon moved to the second unit, with Daratsos and junior Brian Striffler.
The move worked. Doyle, Lennon and Striffler each finished with one goal and one assist.
"Joe and Basil have run together a couple years," Navy Coach Richie Meade said, "and we thought it might jazz them up a little bit."
The Crusaders entered having defeated Colgate, 9-8, the previous Saturday on a goal by freshman James Kennedy with three seconds remaining.
Kennedy was a highly recruited player out of Summit, N.J. Meantime, senior Chris Smirti entered shooting nearly 50 percent (14 of 29) and senior Edison Parzanese, a three-year starter who was injured last year.