WEST POINT, N.Y. – Junior attackman Garrett Thul registered his 100th career point, 17 different players scored at least one point and the Army lacrosse team registered its most goals since 1991 in a 24-7 rout of visiting Wagner on Wednesday afternoon at Michie Stadium.
Army (1-1) scored just seven seconds into the contest, led 15-2 at halftime and dominated Wagner (0-1) in the Seahawks’ season opener.
Thul led all players with five points (4G, 1A) and registered his 100th point with a goal early in the second half (12:23). Senior attackman Conor Hayes completed his second career hat trick (3G, 1A), while senior attackman Devin Lynch, freshman midfielder John Glesener, sophomore midfielder Nate Gustafson, junior attackman Andrew Boyd, sophomore midfielder David Tarsa and freshman attackman Alex Newsome finished with two goals apiece.
“I didn’t even know I got to 100 points today,” Thul said following the game. “That list includes some incredible players and it’s an honor just to be named among them.”
The Black Knights amassed 57 shots and were 4 of 6 converting extra-man chances. Army out-ground balled the Seahawks 45-47 and forced 11 of Wagner’s 20 turnovers on the day.
Army used three goalkeepers throughout the game, beginning with starter Zach Palmieri playing the entire first half. Rookie Sam Somers and sophomore Bobby Sincero played 20 and 10 minutes, respectively. All three net minders registered saves.
“I’m pleased with two things today and the first is that our guys came ready to play,” said seventh-year head coach Joe Alberici. “I tip my hat to the leadership of our seniors and upperclassmen. It was our goal to improve as a team today and we did that. The second is how well we executed no matter who was on the field. The jersey numbers may have changed, but the quality of play never diminished.”
Army jumped out to a 5-1 lead after the first quarter and proceeded to use a 10-goal burst in the second quarter on its way to a commanding 15-2 halftime lead. The Black Knights wasted no time getting on the board, as senior Derek Sipperly won the opening draw and fed Hayes for his first goal of the season just seven seconds into the action.
Glesener netted his third goal of the year during Army’s second EMO opportunity at the 13:00 mark, while Thul registered his first assist of the year. Boyd and Thul scored back-to-back goals just over a minute apart (10:10, 9:06) as the Black Knights claimed a 4-0 lead just six minutes into the action.
Wagner got on the board thanks to a Brian Faughnan score with 5:24 left in the first quarter before Thul could notch his second goal of the afternoon with 3:50 on the clock.
The teams traded goals to open the second quarter with Glesener slam dunking his second goal of the day from close range on a pass from senior attackman James MacGibbon. The Seahawks answered less than a minute later and pulled within 6-2 with 12:40 on the clock. Army took over from there, using a 9-goal run to blow the game open before heading to the locker room for halftime. Hayes, Thul, Boyd, MacGibbon, Tarsa, senior John Adair and sophomore attackman Alex Carros all scored during a critical stretch that resulted in Army’s 15-2 halftime lead.
Wagner opened the second half scoring 36 seconds into the action, but Army followed with four-straight goals to push its lead to 19-3 less than five minutes into the third quarter. Alberici took advantage of the sizable lead to get his younger players some game minutes. It paid off as Newsome and fellow rookie Will O’Donnell scored their first collegiate goals. Gustafson scored both of his career-high two goals in the fourth quarter, while sophomore midfielder Nick Isnardi netted his first career goal unassisted with 11:48 to play in the game.
Wagner junior midfielder Colin O’Rourke registered a hat trick for the Seahawks, while sophomore goalkeeper Nicholas Gibaldi totaled 13 saves.
Army, which plays its first three games at home, finishes a stretch of three games in eight days when the team welcomes rival VMI to Michie Stadium on Saturday, Feb. 18, at 12:00 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online, by calling 1-877-TIX-ARMY or in-person at the Army Ticket Office.
Game Notes: Army’s 24 goals are the most scored since a 25-8 win over Colgate on May 1, 1991 … 11 players made their collegiate debuts … Army sported its home white shorts and uniform top with black helmets … each team won 17 of 34 face-offs … Army sent five players into the “x” – primary senior Derek Sipperly, along junior Matt Mezer, sophomore Nick Isnardi and rookies Sean Jollota and Al DeStefano.