Army sophomore midfielder Conor Hayes’ goal with 4:20 left in the fourth quarter not only pushed the Black Knights past their arch-rival in Annapolis, it also set up Army to host the Patriot League men’s lacrosse tournament.
Winning that tournament is the only chance for either Army or Navy to make this year’s NCAA tournament. After seven straight losses, we are counting Air Force out. If the Black Knights, who are 6-5 on the season, can beat Lafayette on the road at 7 tonight, they lock up home field advantage.
Lacrosse has become one of those niche sports where the academies have thrived, especially Navy, whose location in the heart of lacrosse country has given it a recruiting edge. It has been an off year for Navy and one where Army has taken relative advantage. In this week’s Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll, Army was ranked No. 20.
This is what Washington-area lacrosse writer Patrick Stevens, who writes the D1SCOURSE blog, had to say about Army, who Stevens ranked No.19 in his poll.
“Army (6-5). The best the Patriot League has to offer this season — though that’s not saying much. The Black Knights will lock up home field in the PL tournament if they win at Lafayette [Tuesday].”
Doing his best impersonation of ESPN’s Joe “Brackets” Lunardi, Stevens placed Army in the Patriot League’s automatic bid with a first-round match up against No. 1 seed Virginia in his version of lacrosse bracketology.