Johnson Nets Career-High Four; Army Wins 750th in Program History
AMHERST, Mass. – Army had a 7-3 lead into the half with UMass carrying momentum, but the 20th-ranked Black Knights outscored the Minutemen 4-0 in the third quarter to pull away for a 12-7 win on Saturday afternoon at McGuirk Alumni Stadium.
Army (1-0) became the fifth team in NCAA Division I lacrosse history to reach win No. 750 with the victory, joining the likes of Johns Hopkins, Syracuse, Navy and Maryland.
“We talk a lot about honoring the tradition in the locker room and honoring the great men that have come before us,” head coach Joe Alberici said. “We strive to be the best we can be, not only for the guys here now, but the guys that have worn the Army lacrosse uniform. It’s a real honor and a humbling experience to be a part of such a great program.”
The Black Knights were led by Cole Johnson with a career-high four tallies, all coming in the first half. He had a natural hat trick in the first quarter to give Army an early lead. John Glesener had four points with two goals and two assists in his first game as a senior for the Black Knights. Sam Somers wasn’t tested too much during long stretches and made six saves for the win. Faceoff specialist Alex Daly was dominant, winning 16-of-22 draws, including 5-of-6 in the second and fourth quarters.
UMass (0-1) saw Nick Mariano join Johnson and Glesener with four-point games as he tallied a hat trick and added an assist. Peter Lindley tallied two scores and recorded an assist for three points. Goalkeeper Zach Oliveri made 12 saves in front of the cage and kept the game a lot closer with seven stops in the second half.
“It was two good teams out there today,” Alberici added. “We were able to get out on them in the first quarter and that was our game plan. We wanted to get up early and we did that. I don’t think it was anything special. We kept playing all game and we know it would take 60 minutes to get a win here today. I am happy the way we finished.”
The Black Knights gained a quick 2-0 advantage thanks to a couple of faceoff wins from Daly to start the season. Gunnar Miller gave Army the 1-0 lead with a move down the left side and buried it. Johnson took over from the there in the first with a natural hat trick. The third one came on a bad UMass turnover and John Glesener spotted his fellow attackman in the middle of the field and he finished to increase the lead to 4-0.
The run continued with Conor Glancy adding his first collegiate goal on an impressive catch and score. John Glesener found him cutting towards the crease, but fired a pass high. Glancy went up and got it, came down and scored for the 5-0 advantage with 17 seconds left to concluded a great start for the Black Knights.
Ted Glesener got in on the act with his first tally of his career as well to make it 6-0 in the first few minutes of the second quarter. He was setup by Luke Poulos on the play and Poulos finished with two points on the day. UMass got one back to get on the board at 6-1, then Johnson netted his fourth to regain the six-goal advantage midway through the second quarter. The Minutemen closed out the half with a pair of goals from Gianni Bianchin and Mariano to cut the lead to 7-3.
UMass started the second half with a man-up opportunity and had the momentum. Somers made his biggest stop of the game in the first 30 seconds of the third quarter and then John Glesener got it going with two-straight, including a man-up tally at the 13:24 mark to give Army a 9-3 lead.
“I thought Sam’s save early in the third quarter was a pivotal play in the game,” Alberici said. “He came up with a key stop when we were a man down and we came back and got it rolling again. We got a couple of good bounces early in that quarter, which was helpful as well.”
Jimbo Moore and Connor Cook then gave the Black Knights their largest lead at 11-3 at the end of the third. For Moore, it was one of the two points on the day.
Massachusetts closed the gap with four of the five goals in the final quarter, but the Black Knights prevailed by a 12-7 score. Poulos was the lone scorer for Army in the final 15 minutes.
Army led the shot advantage by a 32-17 margin and picked up 22 ground balls to UMass’ 18. The Black Knights forced the Minutemen into 14 turnovers and had 12.
The Black Knights are back in action on Monday afternoon at 3 p.m. against VMI at Michie Stadium
Game Notes: Army became the fifth program in NCAA Division I to reach the 750-win milestone … the game was moved from Garber Field to McGuirk Alumni Stadium after a snow removal issue … this was the 24th meeting between UMass and Army all time with the first meeting coming back in 1978 … the Black Knights ended the Minutemen’s five-game winning streak over Army with four coming as season openers … this was the first season-opening win since 2010 for the Black Knights … it was Joe Alberici’s first win over UMass … Army is now 73-25 in season openers … Johnson had a natural hat trick in the first half and scored all four in the opening 30 minutes … Glesener is now alone in 11th place all-time in points with 155 and extended his point-scoring streak to 30 games … Including last season, Somers has held opponents to single digits in goals 11-straight starts.
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