The Navy men’s lacrosse team secured the No. 4 seed in the Patriot League Tournament after a 12-9 victory against Bucknell on Friday evening. The Mids used a 4-1 run over the final 13 minutes of the game to earn the win and a home game against fifth-seeded Loyola in the Patriot League Tournament Quarterfinals on Tuesday evening. This win also marked the Mids’ seventh consecutive win against the Bison.

The Mids started slow, falling behind 3-0 early in the game. However, they managed to claw their way back and scored three of the next four goals to close the opening period down by just one (4-3). The two teams went on to target just one goal each in the second frame, with the Bison holding a 5-4 advantage at the break.

Sam Dracobly evened the game at 5 apiece with his goal just 59 seconds into the second half and sparked a 3-0 run to give the Mids their first lead of the game at 7-5. Bucknell fought back, scoring back-to-back goals, including a pole goal by John Young to level the game at 7 with 2:53 to go in the third quarter. Navy, though, would get the final say of the frame when Xavier Arline set up behind the cage and found fellow attackman Henry Tolker on the crease for the goal.

Bucknell tied the game (8-8) once again when Jack Dudas fired in his lone goal of the game as he was falling to the ground at the 13:48 mark. Arline then scored back-to-back goals 30 seconds apart to take the lead for good. The Mids briefly lost momentum when Bucknell intercepted a Pat Ryan clearing pass just a foot away and dumped in his shot to pull within one. However, the Mids answered with two in a row by Mac Haley and Arline to capture the win.

Arline led Navy with six points on a career-high four goals and two assists, while Jon Jarosz and Tolker contributed two goals apiece. Defensively, the Mids forced ten of Bucknell’s 15 turnovers, with Zach Snider recording a career-high three takeaways in the win. Meanwhile, All-American Jackson Bonitz became only the fifth player in program history to reach the 50 caused turnover milestone.

Anthony Ghobriel dominated the faceoff game, winning 19 of the 24 draws he took and picking up a career-high 12 ground balls. Six players accounted for Bucknell’s nine goals, with Jack Feda benefiting from a couple of fortuitous bounces that led to a hat trick. Bison leading scorer Dutch Furlong, who came into the game ranked #9 nationally in points per game (5.00) and #3 is assists per game, was held to just a single assist by Bonitz.

With eight of the nine teams in action Friday evening, the Patriot League Tournament field and seeding has been set. Boston U. defeated Army 12-11 in West Point to earn the No. 1 seed, while Army is the No. 2. Both teams will have an opening-round bye. Lehigh scored a 15-9 victory over Loyola to lay claim to the No. 3 seed and will play host to No. 6 seed Lafayette on Tuesday at 7:00 pm in the Patriot League Quarterfinals.

The Mids, meanwhile, earned the No. 4 seed and will play host to fourth-seeded Loyola on Tuesday evening at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. The game will be streamed on ESPN+ and carried live on 1430 AM / 99.9 FM WNAV with Pete Medhurst and Joe Miller on the call.

This victory puts Navy in a good position heading into the Patriot League Tournament Quarterfinals, as they will host Loyola, a team they beat earlier in the season 14-10. The Mids will rely on their solid defense, which has allowed just 9.21 goals per game this season, good for 11th in the nation. Their offense has also been strong, averaging 12.07 goals per game, which ranks 15th in the nation.

The Mids will look to players like Arline and Ghobriel to lead the way, as they have been dominant in their respective positions. Arline leads the team in goals (37) and assists (24), while Ghobriel has won 64.7% of his faceoffs this season and has picked up 130 ground balls.

Navy will have to play at their best against Loyola, who are a talented team that have scored 188 goals this season, which ranks 7th in the nation. They are led by senior attacker Aidan Olmstead, who has scored 39 goals and has 37 assists this season.

The Patriot League Tournament Quarterfinals will take place on Tuesday, May 2, with the Mids hosting Loyola at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. The game will be streamed on ESPN+ and carried live on 1430 AM / 99.9 FM WNAV with Pete Medhurst and Joe Miller on the call. The winner will advance to the semifinals, which will be hosted by the No. 1 seed Boston U. on Friday, May 5.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/EditorEditor-in-Chief

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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