WEST POINT, N.Y. - Kicking off the 2017 campaign, the VMI lacrosse team took a 20-5 defeat to host Army West Point Monday afternoon at Michie Stadium in West Point, New York.
Despite the loss, the Keydets (0-1) saw several positives including a goal by junior attackman Wesley Sanders, who ranks third on the active national goal-scoring streak list having scored in 15 consecutive games dating back to February 27 of last season. The Austin, Texas, native has logged 27 goals over that span for VMI. Dylan Molloy of Brown leads the country with 27 straight games with a goal dating back to the 2015 season.
The Black Knights (2-1), receiving votes in the USILA Top 25 poll, jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first four minutes of the game and extended the lead to 8-0 by the end of the first quarter.
At the 11:08 mark of the second period, VMI freshman Hunter Duford got behind the Army defense and put the Keydets on the board with an unassisted goal for his first career score. After Army countered with a goal, Sanders provided the Keydets their second tally of the game as he took an assist from senior Nick Dodd at the 5:44 mark and snuck it past the keeper to make the score 11-2.
Army would score four more goals during the period as the Keydets continued to persevere. Senior Brad Nardella struck for the Keydets with just over a minute before the half to make the score 13-3 at the intermission.
Despite six goals from the Black Knights in the third quarter, the Keydets registered a goal from Dodd, his first career goal as a Keydet. Dodd, a senior and team captain, sat out last season due to injury.
Both teams scored one goal apiece in the fourth quarter with VMI's coming from Nardella, his second of the game and 18th of his career.
Army attacker Nate Jones tallied five goals in the game to lead the Black Knights to victory. Keeper AJ Barretto was given the win in 30 minutes of play and recording six saves while VMI goalie Joe Riccadonna was given the loss despite 13 saves in three quarters of action.
VMI returns to action Saturday for its home opener against NJIT. The first faceoff is slated for a noon start at Drill Field #2.