No. 12 Navy Sinks Iona 15-11 in 2009 Eastern Championship First Round
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Iona College's Joe Przekota (Sr., Park Ridge, Ill./St. Patrick's) led all scorers with five goals, but No. 12-nationally ranked and three-time defending Eastern Champion the United States Naval Academy received goals from seven players, including four each from 2008 Eastern Championship MVP Kyle Wertz (So., San Diego, Calif./Westlake) and Player of the Game Johnny Meiners (Sr., Ft. Lauderdale, Fla./Cardinal Gibbons), to overpower the Gaels and roll to a 15-11 victory in the opening round of the 2009 Eastern Championship.
Navy, which is seeking to become the first program since the 1993-96 University of Massachusetts Minutmen to win four consecutive Eastern Championships, opened the game on a roll and did not look back until a late Iona comeback bid.
The game was all Navy in the opening period as Meiners ripped a shot into the net on a man-up opportunity with 5:18 remaining in the first period to stake the Midshipmen to a quick 1-0 lead. Wertz finsihed out the period's scoring registering a man-up tally at 2:11 and a natural goal with thirty ticks left on the period clock to put Navy ahead 3-0 following eight minutes of play.
Following a tally by Przekota on a man-up chance 21 seconds into the second period, the Midshipmen went to work in blowing the game open as Wertz completed a hat-trick with another advantage score at 5:43, Meiners added his second goal at even strength at 4:41 and Conor Handley (So., Naperville, Ill./Naperville North) got in on the action at 3:37 with a natural marker to put the Mids ahead 6-1. The teams traded goals before the closing horn of the first half as Meiners completed Navy's second hat-trick of the day with a blast into the left side of the cage at 2:48 before Cameron Hudson (So., Houston, Texas/Cypress Creek) changed Iona's scoreboard number to two with a last second man-up goal with one tick left on the second period clock to set the score at 7-2 after a half.
The Iona score-Navy run story continued in the third period as Seth Tasman (Jr., Orlando, Fla./Winter Park) netted his lone goal of the day 51 seconds into the new half to pull the Gaels to within 7-3, but the Midshipmen broadsided Iona with four consecutive goals to build their lead to eight scores at 11-3.
Wertz ignited the run with a score at 6:20 before Meiners added his fourth goal of the day at 5:45 to make it a 9-3 game. Handley chipped in his second score of the day at 5:14 and Luke Baldwin (Jr., La Grange Park, Ill./Fenwick) added his lone score of the afternoon at 3:41 to push the margin to eight goals.
Przekota attemepted to rally his team back into the contest with consecutive markers at 3:22 and 32 seconds, but Cort Jones (Fr., Crofton, Md./South River) cushioned the lead with a man-up goal at the two seconds mark to register the eventual game-winning score and make it a 12-5 game after 24 minutes of competition.
Jones struck again to open the fourth period to make it 13-5 with 7:25 left in the fourth period, a margin the Gaels would not be able to rally back from in the closing minutes of the game.
Following a man-up goal by Matt Joslyn (So., Chicago, Ill./Brother Rice) at 5:25 to make it 13-6, Iona pulled to within three goals at 13-10 as Przekota scored at 4:41 and 2:53, while Kristian Bocage (Fr., Port-of-Spain, Trinidad/St. Mary's College) added a man-up goal at 2:53 before Joslyn pumped and buried a shot into the cage at 1:43 to make i ta 13-10 game.
Needing additional insurance to guarantee they would advance, Navy used back-to-back scores by Matt Carlson (So., Oak Park, Calif./Agoura) and Robert Newman (Jr., Bonita, Calif./Bonita Vista) at 1:26 and 1:07, respectively, to push it to 15-10 before Hudson tossed in a goal at the final buzzer for the 15-11 final score.
In cage, Eric Konzem (Jr., Humble, Texas, Humble) stopped nine shots for the Gaels, with the tandem of Brett Rajchel (Sr., Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park) and Dominic Valentini (Sr., San Rafael, Calif./St. Ignatius College Prep) combined for 10 saves.
Navy advances to a 4:30 p.m. showdown in the semifinals on Saturday, November 21 against the winner of a first round meeting between Fordham University and No. 20-ranked Johns Hopkins University, while Iona will meet the victim of the JHU-Fordham contest at 1:30 p.m. on the 20th with a berth in the fifth place game on the line.
|No. 12 United States Naval Academy||3||4||5||3||--||15|
Navy Goals: Johnny Meiners (4); Kyle Wertz (4); Cort Jones (2); Conor Handley (2); Luke Baldwin; Matt Carlson; Robert Newman
Iona Goals: Joe Przekota (5); Matt Joslyn (2); Cameron Hudson (2); Kristian Bocage; Seth Tasman
Saves: Navy - Brett Rajchel (7), Dominic Valentini (3) ; Iona - Eric Konzem (9)
Exclusions: Navy - 7 ; Iona - 7
Advantage Opportunities: Navy - 4-for-7 ; Iona - 6-for-7
Sprints: Navy - 1-for-4 ; Iona- 3-for-4
Referees: Alex Stankevitch, Vaughn Cooper
Iona's Joe Przekota shoots & scores past Navy's Stevie Ray