Navy Sports Doubleheader on Tap this Weekend

Saturday is the perfect day to be a Navy fan as two of the Academy's marquee sports teams will play in Annapolis for your viewing pleasure. First, at noon, the lacrosse team gets its regular season underway with the visit of VMI, then in the evening the men's basketball team looks to turn around its Patriot League fortunes as Lafayette come to town. Here is a quick look at each game.

Lacrosse - Navy vs VMI

If preseason rankings are to be believed then Navy lax will have a hard time of things in the Patriot League this year. Thankfully you only have to look back as far as the recently concluded college football season (hello USC) to see that those initial rankings generally amount to squat.

After a 6-6 record in year one of John Sowell's regime the Mids are looking to make a splash in league this year and finish far ahead of their initial number five ranking. Yes, the league has improved dramatically in the years since Navy went on a tear and won five straight regular season championships (2004-2009) but Navy is looking dangerous once again.

The clash with VMI will be the first test of the sweeping new lacrosse rules in regular season action. With the interest in the game growing by the year these new substitution laws have be brought in to help increase the speed of play and in theory should provide more entertainment to players and fans alike. With VMI not looking overly improved from a 4-10 season in 2012 this should be the ideal game for the Mids to ease their way into games that count.

Basketball - Navy vs Lafayette

In basketball the games are already counting, and unfortunately for the Midshipmen most are finding their way into the loss column. Navy is in the middle of a 1-8 run which has seen them start the league season a dismal 1-6. Even more worryingly the Mids have been uncompetitive in matches lately and the last four games have been lost by an average of 18.5 points.

On January 12th the reverse of this game was played in Easton, Pa. with the Mids going down by 17. Lafayette shoots far better than average from the field and if Navy is going to have a chance to reverse both that score and the current streak they will have to play harder defense to force the Leopards into difficult shots. It would be nice if a primary scorer could break from the Midshipmen pack and maybe this is the weekend that Worth Smith or Tilman Dunbar goes off.

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