The Washington Times - April 16, 2011, 12:04PM

ANNAPOLIS – It was difficult enough for Navy’s lacrosse team when its Patriot League tournament hopes were damaged with Bucknell’s rally for a 12-11 victory at Lehigh on Friday.

What the Midshipmen woke up to Saturday wasn’t much better.

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Dreadful weather – a downpour coupled with substantial wind gusts – await Navy (4-7, 2-3 Patriot) when it meets Army at 2 p.m.

The Mids have to win to reach the conference tournament, which is their only hope for a postseason berth. And while Army-Navy carries significant value, the playoff picture isn’t exactly irrelevant.

In any case, Lehigh’s loss means there are three ways for Navy to reach the Patriot tournament if it wins today:

1. Army loses to Holy Cross
2. Lehigh loses to Lafayette
3. Navy beats Army by at least four goals to advance on goal differential in a three-way tie that also includes Lehigh

The first two outcomes are at best unlikely Today’s weather doesn’t help with the third possibility.

In conditions like this, it will be a struggle for both teams to actually get to four goals – let alone win by four.

In any case, simply winning would be a relief for the Mids, who have lost three straight. But the issue of goal margin – and its potential impact – will certain hang over today’s game.

Patrick Stevens