LEWISBURG, Pa. – Navy used a strong second half to down the No. 20 Bucknell men's lacrosse team, 13-8, on Saturday at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium.
The Midshipmen (3-2, 2-0 Patriot League) outscored the Bison (3-2, 1-1 Patriot League) by a 9-3 margin in the second half to erase a 5-4 halftime deficit and remain unbeaten in Patriot League action. The third quarter proved to be the difference in the game; Navy netted six goals to Bucknell's two, bolstered by a 3-0 run to open the frame.
Sean O'Brien scored five goals during the contest, finishing one shy of his career high set in 2017 against Delaware. He completed his hat trick in the first quarter, finding the back of the net at the 8:12, 5:33 and 2:45 marks. With 5:28 on the clock in the second quarter, he netted his most impressive goal of the contest, finishing off a Will Sands feed with a no-look, behind-the-back shot.
In the first quarter, the Bison used a 4-0 run that stretched from the 8:12 to the 2:45 mark to take a 4-1 edge. With 12 seconds left on the clock, Greyson Torain found the back of the net to draw the Midshipmen back within two. The second quarter proved to be a defensive struggle, but Navy outscored Bucknell by a slim 2-1 edge to pull within a single strike going into the intermission.
Jack Ray (4g-1a), Christian Daniel (3g-2a) and Torain (3g-2a) led the Midshipmen's attack. Ryan Kern made five of his seven saves in the second half to help stymie the Bison offense. Ray collected a game-best seven ground balls while Andrew McKenna forced a game-high four turnovers.
Reed Malas, Tom Smith and Tommy Sopko also scored for Bucknell. Bryant Boswell paced the Bison with four ground balls, a career high, while also tying Lukas Munoz and Hunter Newman for the team lead with one caused turnover. Notably, Navy held Sands, who entered the game fourth in the NCAA in points per game (6.75), to a single assist.
The Midshipmen outshot the Bison, 37-25, bolstered by a 22-12 second half. They also held a 34-17 advantage in ground balls and won 15 of 25 faceoffs, including 10 of 14 in the second half.
Bucknell next travels to Holy Cross for a game on Saturday, March 10 at 1 p.m.