One of the most popular and prominent rivalries in all of college athletics. Two prestigious academies battling against each other on a road that will eventually land them as teammates. Futures set aside, our country will come together to watch these units battle.
Army-Navy. This time, on the lacrosse field.
Saturday features the best of both world: Both men’s and women’s teams clashing in West Point, New York with nothing less than a victory on their minds.
For Navy, both of their squads sit comfortably in the top-20 rankings this season; the men are ranked 17th, the women 12th. For Army, the women have clicked on offense inside Michie Stadium averaging 15.5 goals per game at home. The men also have an impressive résumé at home, which includes a win over No. 8 Rutgers.
Here's what you need to know for this weekend's games.
Game 1-Men’s, 12:00 P.M. ET
Navy’s offense typically starts and ends with a pass from junior Ryan Wade to one of his attackmen for a goal. Wade leads the Midshipmen with 21 assists. His attackmen, freshman Christian Daniel and Senior Jack Ray have racked up 19 goals-a-piece and have gelled quite nicely in their twelve games together. On the back end, sophomore Ryan Kern has manned the cage allowing only 8.5 goals per game.
Army junior attackman, Nate Jones, currently leads the team in goals (19) and points (28). Senior captain Conor Glancy has added 16 goals and 10 assists in the nine games. However, at the core of the Black Knights’ standards is keeping the ball out of the net. Junior AJ Barretto leads the wall of defense from between-the-pipes, a defense allowing just 7 goals per game – second best in Division I.
Both teams have shined at points throughout the season and will look to bring their A-games Saturday afternoon. Navy holds the advantage in the series at 60-35-3, but an upset in West Point could be just what the Black Knights need before they head to Loyola to close the year. Buckle up.
Game 2- Women’s, 3:00 P.M. ET
Identical twins lead the charge for the Navy offense in both experience and productivity. Jenna and Julia Collins are seniors from Clarksville, Maryland who share the glory of putting the ball in the net. The sisters have combined for 85 goals and 30 assists this season. Jenna currently ranks tenth in goals per game with 3.77. When it’s not a Collins’ getting it done, sophomore Kelly Larkin has added 65 points of her own. Navy will need its offense to continue to click coming off a 16-goal win over Virginia.
Balanced is the word used to describe the scoring for Army’s offense this season. The Black Knights have eight different players with at least twelve goals. Junior midfielder Manuela Cortes has yet to start a game in 2018, but leads the lead with 22 goals. Senior middie Rachel Hornick has been a leader through her points of consistency on the offensive end. Sophomore goalie Maddie Burns has held her own in the net, allowing just 10 goals per game, but will face a tough, gritty offense in Navy
Army comes into Saturday’s matchup looking for its first win over their rivals since becoming a Division 1 program in 2016. Navy comes in search for another momentum-building victory as the regular season begins to dwindle down.
Hate, love. Tears, joy. Current foes, future teammates.
A classic rivalry with a pair of academies clashing on the lacrosse field. The mutual respect and solidarity will forever reign, but only one men’s and women’s unit can end Saturday victorious.