Boltus Helps Army Break Four-Game Skid
from press release
WEST POINT, N.Y. - Army junior attackman Jeremy Boltus totaled a career-high seven points on two goals and five assists to lead the Black Knights to an 11-8 victory over Rutgers, Saturday afternoon at Michie Stadium. The victory broke a four game skid for Army (2-4) while putting an end to a three-game winning streak for the Scarlet Knights (4-2).
Rutgers got on the board first just under four minutes into the game, but five unanswered goals over a 14-minute span into the second quarter put the Black Knights up, 5-1, with 5:00 to play in the first half. Rutgers would go on a 4-2 run to make it a 7-5 deficit with 13:58 to play in the fourth quarter, but Army would outscore the visitors 4-3 the rest of the way to seal the victory.
"I thought today was a great effort all the way around," said Army head coach Joe Alberici. "Coming off two disappointing losses with things not really going our way, I credit our captains and the team for continuing to hang in there and hammer away to pick up a win over a good team today. We got some great production out of our midfielders today, especially our second line which shot the ball really well, which helped us extend their defense.
Sophomore midfielder Sean O'Sullivan added a career-best five points on four goals and an assists in his first game back from injury, while senior attackman Tyler Oates was credited with a goal and two assists to pace a Black Knight offense that efficiently connected on 11 of the 18 total shots it took during the game. All 11 goals each had an assist as well.
"That is a good indicator of the unselfishness we have as a team," said Boltus. "We worked really hard this week in practice on moving the ball and we had some luck attacking their weaknesses on defense. We were able to extend them pretty well by scoring on some shots from the outside and then got on a bit of a roll from there."
Rutgers junior attackman Kory Kelly scored on a 10-yard shot to get the game going at the 11:07 mark, but a close-range tally by Army sophomore midfielder Rob McCallion off a Boltus feed kicked off a 5-0 run for Army at 4:13. O'Sullivan bounced home his first tally of the game from 12 yards out at 2:14 to give the Black Knights a 2-1 first-quarter edge, before starting the second quarter with a tally from 10 yards away off another Boltus pass at 11:12.
Boltus would grab the rebound off a missed Army shot and pass it to McCallion, who passed it right back for a man-up goal from eight yards out at 6:23. Oates would score on a 12-yard rip off an O'Sullivan feed to make it a 5-1 Army edge at the 5:00 mark. Kelly added his second goal of the day for Rutgers on a 12-yard strike at 3:36 to cut it to a three-goal lead, 5-2, at halftime.
"While we only had nine shots in the first half, we had five goals and I felt like we were playing very good defense and were still in control of the game," continued Alberici. "We had only given up two goals, and one was man-up. There were some plays in the clearing game that we didn't make, but the defense played well and (junior goalkeeper Tom Palesky) was able to take a couple off the board. It was a great team effort."
O'Sullivan would rifle a shot into the top right corner of the goal off a Boltus pass to make it a 6-2 Army lead at 7:21 of the third quarter, before Rutgers senior attackman Adam Goldberg would find the net from 10 yards away at 3:15. O'Sullivan would again tuck one away in the top-right corner of the Rutgers goal off an Oates feed to make it a 7-3 Army lead, but Rutgers would answer right back with a man-up goal by freshman attackman Duncan Clancy with 34 seconds on the clock to make the score, 7-4, in favor of Army after three periods of play.
The teams would combine for eight goals in the high-scoring final stanza. Goldberg would score from close range off Stanwick's second-straight assist at 13:58, before sophomore Devin Lynch took a nice pass through traffic from Boltus and converted from close range at 10:01 to make it an 8-5 score.
Rutgers pulled within two, 8-6, on a strong shot by senior attackman Justin Pennington from 10 yards away on the left side at 7:44, but freshman attackman Garrett Thul would be the recipient of some nifty passing by Boltus for a goal at 6:28, before Boltus took a loose-ball feed from sophomore LSM Tim Henderson and converted from 10 yards away to give Army a 10-6 cushion with 5:32 remaining.
Stanwick would convert the game's prettiest tally with a behind-the-back shot as he ran across the Black Knight crease at 4:59, but Army would answer 70 seconds later as senior attackman Tyler Seymour finished off a Thul pass from close range with 3:49 to play. Pennington would score on the run from eight yards out with 2:24 showing on the clock but Army would run the clock out to seal the win.
Palesky turned in a strong performance between the pipes for Army, totaling 10 saves to preserve the victory. Army held a 28-24 advantage in ground balls, while sophomore Derek Sipperly won 11 of 18 draws as the teams split the day's 22 faceoff attempts.
BLACK KNIGHT NOTES: Junior attackman Jeremy Boltus' seven points were the most scored by a single Army player since former All-American and current assistant coach at top-ranked Virginia John Walker was credited with seven points opposite Air Force on April 2, 2005 ... senior LSM Joe Conroy led the Black Knights on the field carrying the American Flag before the game ... a season-high 1,401 fans were in attendance for the game on a beautiful spring day ... the Black Knights will travel to Lehigh to kick off the Patriot League portion of the 2010 schedule on Tuesday with a 7:00 p.m. showdown with the Mountain Hawks ... Army is the only Patriot League team not to have played a conference game yet.
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