Postscript from Army vs. Navy
Much of the post-game attention centered on senior goalkeeper Tommy Phelan, senior defenseman Andy Tormey and the rest of the No. 12 Midshipmen defense. But the end of Saturday’s press conference revealed that Navy had considered dressing junior attackman Tim Paul, the team’s leading scorer who sat out due to a sprained left ankle.
"He’s doing a lot better than I certainly thought he was going to do," coach Richie Meade said. "We thought about dressing him. He can walk around, but if we dressed him, he’d probably try to be Tim Paul and might get hurt again."
Despite missing the game against Army, Paul still leads the Midshipmen in assists (13) and points (30). At times, it appeared that the offense looked slightly out of sync trying to find its rhythm against the Black Knights, and the unit took just 25 shots.
Meade said Paul’s ankle is responding well to treatment, but he emphasized that he will not rush Paul back – even if that means playing without Paul against No. 11 Johns Hopkins, which owns a 35-game winning streak on Navy.
"I would love for Tommy to be 100 percent and be able to play, but he’s got to practice, and he’s got to be 100 percent," Meade said. "We’ve got enough guys that can play and fulfill that role. What I don’t want is I don’t want Timmy to feel llike he has to get back and play at 75 percent and have a setback. So we’re going to be very conservative with it and do the best we can."
*One of the reasons why Meade can afford to take his time with Paul is due to presence of emerging attackmen like Brendan Connors and Andy Warner. Connors, a junior, leads the team in goals with 18, and Warner, a sophomore has posted 11 goals and eight assists, which dwarf last year’s totals of two goals and two assists. Connors shone Saturday when he recorded a hat trick and two assists. "The focus in practice this week was moving the ball quick as soon as you draw the double [team], and that’s what we kind of did," he said. "We worked out of our schemes. We capitalized on some of their mistakes, but it was kind of like we played for us. We would play our offense, and that’s how we were kind of successful."
*Tormey continues to lock down his assignments. After shutting out Maryland’s Grant Catalino and Georgetown’s Ryan Shuler in consecutive games, Tormey contained Army sophomore attackman Jeremy Boltus, who tied his season low with just one point on a single assist. "He’s a great player," Boltus said in a magnanimous gesture. "He’s well known in the country. He was shutting me a little bit, trying to limit touches and limit my abilities. When our offense flowed today, we kind of got looks and everything. We got match-ups with short sticks, and that kind of worked. But I give all the credit in the world to him and Navy’s ‘D.’"
*Both sides got involved in some minor skirmishes toward the end of the contest. Warner hit Black Knights senior short-stick defensive midfielder Alex Rhoads in the head and sophomore goalie Tom Palesky jumped into the fray (for which he drew a two-minute unsportsmanlike conduct penalty), and Navy junior midfielder Patrick Moran and senior attackman Jason Peyer tangled after the buzzer sounded at midfield. But if you think Meade doesn’t have the utmost respect for Army, here’s part of his opening statement after the game. "We have a tremendous amount of respect for those young men and what they’re going to do and what they have done, their commitment to this country to go to West Point in a time of war," he said. "I think all of us as citizens of the United States of America, when we go and pray, we should thank God for West Point and the young men and women that attend West Point because they are a gift to this country."