Friday Feature: Coast Guard Academy Men’s Lacrosse Primed For Saturday Tilt With Merchant Marine Academy

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First-year Riley McNulty shattered the program’s record for points in a single-season on Wednesday in Coast Guard Academy’s win over Wheaton College. (PHOTO CREDIT: Paul Duddy)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

For a third-year program, the Coast Guard Academy men’s lacrosse team has certainly exceeded expectations.

The Bears, who transformed from a club program into a varsity team two years ago, have shown great improvement under third-year coach Ray LaForte, who has his squad on pace to match the program’s record for wins in a single-season (10).

Not only have the Bears shown improvement since their initial campaign in 2015, but have scored some important wins this season, most recently a New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) victory over Wheaton College on Wednesday.

Their 15-5 triumph over the Lyons happened to be the Bears’ first-ever victory against Wheaton – it was also a contest that saw first-year Riley McNulty shatter the program’s single-season record for points (40).

In addition to their lone league win, the squad has also scored some impressive regional victories this season, defeating Lasell College (12-5), Eastern Connecticut State (18-5) and Norwich University (15-5).

This Saturday, the Bears will look to continue their current momentum when they compete against Merchant Marine Academy. Yet, unlike the past two seasons, this particular contest will be played at the United States Naval Academy following Army-Navy, which is scheduled to face-off at 12 p.m.

“It is really exciting,” LaForte said when asked about playing this weekend’s contest at the U.S. Naval Academy. “Our Athletic Director Tim Fitzpatrick did a great job in putting this game together and it is looking to be a great event for our academy.”

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Senior Blaise Curtis is excited to compete in front of family and friends on Saturday in Annapolis, Maryland! (PHOTO CREDIT: Paul Duddy)

According to LaForte, Fitzpatrick was looking to create a special event in the spring between the two academies and was able to set-up an opportunity for them to intersect in Annapolis, Maryland.

LaForte, who was quite excited when it was announced last November that the two programs would meet in Maryland, considers it a great opportunity to showcase both teams and their student-athletes

And one of those student-athletes that are eager for Saturday’s face-off is senior captain Blaise Curtis, who hails from Riverside, Maryland.

“There are a lot of guys that are really excited (about this game),” said Curtis. “There is a very big atmosphere change from us playing any other team with a lot more emotion and energy, so I expect Merchant Marine Academy to bring the same type of emotion and energy that we will bring for sure (on Saturday).”

Curtis is optimistic about his team’s chances this weekend despite the fact that the Mariners have captured the past two contests, including last season’s match-up, which saw Merchant Marine Academy push ahead for good with a five-goal spurt in the second quarter.

“I could see (this game) being a grind until the last quarter,” said Curtis.

Similar to Coast Guard Academy, Merchant Marine Academy enters the contest with seven wins, including five victories in Skyline Conference play.

While the countdown has officially begun for face-off (tomorrow), Curtis, along with his teammates will keep the focus on playing their best lacrosse against a rival he has enjoyed competing against for the past two years.

“I think this will be one of the biggest rivalry games and stages I have been able to play on,” said Curtis. “I am really excited to get out on the field and give our best effort against Merchant Marine.”

Follow tomorrow’s contest between Coast Guard Academy and Merchant Marine Academy via Live Stats and video! Make sure to stay connected with the Bears on Facebook and Twitter, too. 

Holy Cross’ Morrissey Is Excited For The Metropolitan Lacrosse Classic

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The Holy Cross men’s lacrosse team will be competing in the inaugural Metropolitan Lacrosse Classic in March 2013. (Photo Credit: Holy Cross Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Earlier this week, we learned the news from various sources about the upcoming Metropolitan Lacrosse Classic, which will be hosted by the New York Mets at Citi Field on March 17, 2013.

One of the teams participating in the inaugural event is Holy Cross, a squad that’s coming off a 5-10 campaign. Jim Morrissey, who is the head coach, provided some insight on the upcoming event, as well as his outlook toward his team’s Patriot League contests against Navy.

Here are the highlights from the interview:

On receiving the news about Holy Cross being a participant: “My immediate reaction was excitement. Knowing you can still feel the butterflies in the belly is always a good thing. Our players will be very excited to play in a pro venue that’s for sure. One thing I stressed to the captains is this game is still a Patriot League game that has major implications on our league standings. We can’t lose focus on that. It is still a conference game despite the pro level excitement and venue that we will be playing in.”

On prior knowledge of the event: “I really did not know much behind the motive of the event, but I do know lacrosse is getting better and better at every level and many pro venues can see lacrosse as being a great way to draw fans and excitement to their venues.”

On how the event will grow the program: “This event will definitely help our program. The Mets organization is first class and these two lacrosse games will be represented by first class programs. We are honored to play the Naval Academy under such a big stage. And yes, I definitely think it will help with recruiting, as long as we play well and at the expectation level that we have set for ourselves.”

On playing at Citi Field: “Playing in the largest media market in the world does not hurt the growth of lacrosse. It definitely helps. Long Island has always and will always be a hotbed for lacrosse, so to be able to play in Long Island’s back yard is definitely important. Holy Cross as a school has always been and always will be an attractive option for Long Island student-athletes. We have 8 Long Island kids on the squad this spring, so it will be great for those kids to be able to play close to home.”

On his team’s outlook toward the game: “It is exciting for the players to be a part of an event like this, but I would not say it adds to their motivation. Navy is a Patriot League opponent, so our guys would be very motivated no matter where we are playing. Once we step on the field and the game starts we will be focused and motivated on the outcome of the game. We plan on going there and giving Navy a battle and will expect to come away from the game with a Patriot League win.”

Holy Cross To Play In Inaugural Metropolitan Lacrosse Classic

By Matt Noonan 

According to Inside Lacrosse, Holy Cross’ men’s lacrosse team will be one of four squads competing in the inaugural Metropolitan Lacrosse Classic, which will be hosted by the New York Mets at Citi Field on Sunday, March 17, 2013.

This particular event will feature three members of the Patriot League — Colgate, Holy Cross and Navy, as well as University of Michigan.

As noted in the press release, Colgate and Michigan will tangle at 1:05 p.m. before Holy Cross and Navy take the field at 4:05 p.m.

Tickets for this event will go on sale Wednesday, December 19 at Mets.com/lacrosse, Tickets.com, and (718) 507-TIXX.

The Crusaders are coming off a 5-10 campaign, and will look to rebound this upcoming season with a revamped roster that features 19 freshmen. For more information on the men’s lacrosse team — HOP HERE.

BU To Join Patriot League Starting In 2013-14

By NoontimeSports.com  

As noted in a press release on Friday, Boston University has accepted an invitation to join the Patriot League on July 1, 2013 for the ’13-’14 season.

The Terriers will join American University, Bucknell University, Colgate University, The College of Holy Cross, Lafayette College, Lehigh University, the United States Military Academy and the United States Naval Academy as full-time members in the league. They’ll also be joined by Fordham University and Georgetown University during football season, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology in women’s rowing.

“I am delighted to welcome Boston University to the Patriot League,” Patriot League Executive Director Carolyn Schlie Femovich said in the press release. “Boston University has a strong tradition of excellence in academics and Division I athletics, both of which reflect the core values of the Patriot League. They will strengthen the League both in the classroom and on the field of play.”

For more information the accepted invitation — CLICK HERE to read the press release courtesy of Boston University Athletics.