- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 10, 2008

ANNAPOLIS — Most college lacrosse teams will wait another week or two before starting the regular season.

No. 9 Navy was glad to get an early jump yesterday.

Tim Paul and Sean Standen both scored twice as the new-look Midshipmen rolled to a 10-2 victory over VMI before 2,133 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.

“It’s a lot different putting on uniforms and playing for real,” Navy coach Richie Meade said. “It’s a different feeling and a different mentality. I’m happy we had the opportunity to get through it. I thought this was a good thing for our team.”

Navy (1-0) broke in several new starters. The Mids lost two of their top three scorers from last season, as well as their top faceoff man (William Wallace) and their starting goalie (Colin Finnegan).

The Mids played a bit tight early but ripped off four goals in the third quarter to open a 4-1 game. Junior goalie Matt Coughlin, who played less than 14 minutes before yesterday, made seven saves in his first career start.

It was the first of three games scheduled for yesterday, which is believed to be the earliest start date in Division I history.

“It’s earlier and earlier every year,” defenseman Jordan DiNola said. “It’s crazy. Everything in lacrosse starts earlier now, but we’re ready to go.”

That was especially true on defense, where the Mids return two starters and two experienced poles. Navy forced 21 turnovers and allowed only seven shots in the first three quarters to the Keydets (0-1).

“Whenever they only get two, you have a good chance to win,” Meade said. “Our goal is to hold everyone to two, I guess.”

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