Aug. 24, 2015
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — Seven former Navy men’s lacrosse standouts, including six who played in the 2004 NCAA Championship Game, were named to the Patriot League Men’s Lacrosse 25th Anniversary Team it was announced on Monday.
The Patriot League is announcing 25-player teams in each league-sponsored sport to commemorate its Silver Anniversary of being an all-sport conference. The league began sponsoring football in 1986 before becoming an all-sport conference during the 1990-91 season. The anniversary teams were voted upon by representatives of each league school.
Among the men’s lacrosse honorees, 10 received Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year recognition, including each of the last five, and all but one of the winners since 2004. The list also includes four winners of the league’s defensive player of the year honor and two recipients of the goalkeeper of the year award. Eighteen of the 25 honorees earned first, second or third-team All-America status during their career, while the group has combined for 68 All-Patriot League honors.
Jon Birsner, Navy (2004-06) – Birsner, along with his Silver Anniversary teammates, helped propel Navy to six consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances beginning in 2004 when the Midshipmen won the hearts of America en route to their Memorial Day appearance in the National Championship Game against Syracuse. Also Navy’s inaugural season in the Patriot League, the 2004 campaign saw the Mids win a program-record 15 games, claim its first of nine Patriot League Regular-Season titles (co- or outright) and win five Patriot League Tournament crowns.
A two-time All-American, Birsner garnered Second-Team All-Patriot League honors as a junior before closing out his career as the 2006 Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year. The Mids’ leading scorer his junior and senior seasons, he stands eighth on Navy’s career points (154) leader board and fourth in assists (105).
Ian Dingman, Navy (2004, 2006-07) – One of Navy’s most dominant players in the modern era, Dingman was a three-time First-Team All-Patriot League attackman who garnered Second-Team All-America honors in 2004. Navy’s leading scorer as a freshman and sophomore and the second-leading scorer his final two seasons, he is ranked fourth in school history in points (188), second in goals (125) and 11th in assists (63). He finished his career as one of just three players in program history to score at least 100 goals and deal out 50+ assists.
Jordan DiNola, Navy (2005-08) – DiNola, is joined by Billy Looney, Steve Looney and Matt Russell, among a group of just 36 men in the program’s 108-year history to earn All-America honors at least three times. Also, one of just three players in school history to earn First-Team All-Patriot League recognition three times, he capped off his career by being named the 2008 Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year. Along the way, he anchored defenses that were ranked No. 1 nationally in 2006 (5.47), #3 in 2007 (6.60) and #3 in 2008 (6.50).
Mitch Hendler, Navy (2004-05) – Hendler was the cog in Navy’s defensive unit that held 14 of its 18 opponents to single digits in 2004 and stood as the nation’s second-ranked scoring defense (7.06). A year later, the Mids led the country surrendering 6.63 goals per game. A two-time First-Team All-Patriot League selection, he earned Third-Team All-America honors in 2004 and first-team kudos in ‘05.
Billy Looney, Navy (2004-07) – Looney is one of 36 players in program history to earn All-America honors at least three times and one of only 13 to lay claim on one of the top three All-America squads (1st, 2nd or 3rd, not Honorable Mention) at least three years. A First-Team All-Patriot League selection as a sophomore, junior and senior, he was a member of four Patriot League Regular Season and Tournament-winning teams. He also led the Mids to four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances between 2004-07.
Steve Looney, Navy (2004-06) – The middle brother of the Brothers Looney (Brendan, Steve and Billy), Steve Looney was the prototypical Navy player – a workhorse who was gritty, determined and unselfish. A two-way middie who faced off when called upon, he garnered All-America and All-Patriot League recognition three times. He was an active member of the Mids’ defense that was ranked #2 in the country in 2004 (6.63), while leading the nation in 2005 (6.63) and 2006 (5.47). Where there was a ground ball, there was Steve Looney, who closed out his career ranked third on the Mids’ leader board with 207.
Matt Russell, Navy (2004-06) – One of the most decorated players in program history, Russell was a three-time All-American who was the 2004 recipient of the Ens. C. Markland Kelly Award presented to the nation’s best goalkeeper. He is one of just seven different players in school history to win the award. A three-time First-Team All-Patriot League selection, he was named the Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Year in 2005 and ‘06. He helped orchestrate Navy’s defensive units that were ranked #2 in the country in 2004 (6.63), while leading the nation in 2005 (6.63) and 2006 (5.47). He stood #2 in the country in goals-against average in 2004 (6.69) and ‘05 (6.68), before leading the nation as a senior with a 5.45 GAA. He closed out his career ranked ninth in the Navy record book in career saves (380).
Patriot League Men’s Lacrosse 25th Anniversary Team
Army West Point: Jeremy Boltus (2008-11); John Walker (2003-06); Tim Pearson (1999-02); Bill Henderson (2007-11); Adam Fullerton (2005-08); John Glesener (2012-15); Garrett Thul (2010-13)
Bucknell: Chris Cara (2002-05); Justin Zackey (1991-94); Justin Sussman (2000-03)
Colgate: Peter Baum (2010-13); Brandon Corp (2006-09); Derek Laub (1991-93); Chris Eck (2005-08)
Lehigh: Dan Taylor (2012-15); David DiMaria (2010-13)
Loyola: Joe Fletcher (2014); Justin Ward (2014)
Navy: Jon Birsner (2004-06); Ian Dingman (2004, 2006-07); Jordan DiNola (2005-08); Mitch Hendler (2004-05); Billy Looney (2004-07); Steve Looney (2004-06); Matt Russell (2004-06);
### Go Navy ###