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July 13, 2011

Several area recruits catch attention of ESPN's Kessenich

Forty underclassmen from around the country took part in the Warrior 40 at Harvard University last week, and ESPN analyst Quint Kessenich singled out several players who have verbally committed to some area programs.

In the first of two reports for Inside Lacrosse, Kessenich, a contributor to The Sun, selected Navy recruit and midfielder Danny Simonetti as the second player who impressed him. Although a little undersized at 5-foot-8 and 165 pounds, Simonetti, who will graduate next spring, is a two-way player who should fit in with the Midshipmen’s work ethic. “Simonetti is a do-it-all type midfielder who can get ground balls, play defense, carry the pill in transition and possesses flawless stick with both hands,” Kessenich wrote. “He scored 17 goals and added 19 assists for Cold Spring Harbor [in New York] last spring. He will be the ideal complimentary midfielder on a well balanced line.”

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Loyola, Maryland, Navy
        

July 8, 2011

Review & preview: Three teams flying under the radar for 2012

The past four days have featured a premature attempt at the 2012 preseason poll. Friday’s entry includes three teams that did not finish above .500 and missed the tournament this past season. But what they do have is intrigue in either the form of returning players, a new head coach or a campaign that just fell short of the tournament. In alphabetical order, the teams flying under the radar are:

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Categories: Navy
        

July 7, 2011

ESPN’s Mark Dixon delves further into Division I coaching changes

Thursday’s edition of The Sun included an article on the spate of head coaching changes in Division I this year. The article included a few quotes from ESPN analyst and former Johns Hopkins midfielder Mark Dixon and a thumbnail look at a few selected schools that had hired new coaches or were in the process of doing so.

Dixon surmised that the impetus to win immediately and frequently that administrations are putting on head coaches has resonated on the youth and high school levels of lacrosse.

"I think if you look at the landscape of the sport and when you take it down to the cellular level, the intense involvement of parents and the existence of club teams for kids who are 10 years old, the behavior at games of coaches toward referees, parents toward coaches, parents and coaches toward players -- these are things that youth football and club soccer have endured, and now we face these things in lacrosse," Dixon said. "I think as the game grows, more and more athletes are picking it up, and I think the biggest thing is that the majority of parents haven’t played the game.”

Dixon said university officials can point to Villanova as a case study. The Wildcats went 11-5 this past spring and advanced to the NCAA tournament for the second time in three years despite not fielding a full-time coach.

“That team has not been fully funded with scholarships and the coaching staff has not been a full-time group,” Dixon said. “That’s when really established programs start taking a look at themselves and say, ‘Why can Villanova accomplish this, but we can’t?'”

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Maryland, Navy, Towson
        

June 23, 2011

Maryland leads pack in Under Armour All-America selections

Maryland fell just short of capturing the national championship, but the Terps will reload with one of the top recruiting classes in the nation.

The Under Armour All-America list was announced on May 26, and Maryland leads all Division I schools with seven players on that list.

Representing the Terps on July 2 at 8 p.m. at Towson University’s Johnny Unitas Stadium will be three attackmen in Jay Carlson (St. Paul’s), Kevin Forster and David Solomon, two midfielders in Bobby Gribbin (who reportedly has switched his commitment from Penn State) and Joe LoCascio, and two defensemen in Goran Murray and Eric Parnon.

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Loyola, Maryland, Navy
        

June 20, 2011

Stony Brook hires away Colgate's Jim Nagle

The coaching carousel continues.

Stony Brook announced Monday that it has hired Jim Nagle as its head coach. Nagle, who coached at Colgate for the past 10 seasons, succeeds Rick Sowell, who became the head coach at Navy on June 9. Sowell replaced Richie Meade, who parted ways with the academy on May 9.

“Coach Nagle is committed to continuing to build Stony Brook University men’s lacrosse into a national power,” athletic director Jim Fiore said in a written statement released by the school. “His infectious passion and competitiveness helped the Colgate program reach heights never achieved, and he has now come home to lead Stony Brook to exciting new places. We expect the men’s lacrosse program to continue its upward trajectory towards contending for a spot in the NCAA Championship under his leadership.”

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Posted by Edward Lee at 11:35 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Navy
        

June 12, 2011

Life without Meade still an adjustment for Navy players

For the previous 17 years, Navy’s lacrosse program and Richie Meade were almost synonymous with each other.

But when the academy dismissed Meade on May 9 after back-to-back seasons with no NCAA tournament appearances, that relationship came to a sudden end.

It was just as swift for the players. Junior attackman Taylor Reynolds said he was caught off-guard by the institution’s decision.

“I was really surprised because he’s been there for so long,” Reynolds said Friday of Meade, who compiled a 142-97 record with the Midshipmen, captured five Patriot League regular-season and tournament titles in six years, and qualified for the NCAA tournament seven times, including advancing to the championship final in 2004. “It’s really odd to think that he’s not our coach anymore. Anyone who has followed Navy lacrosse, it’s been Coach Meade. I was very surprised, but it happens. There’s nothing we could have done about it.”

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Categories: Navy
        

Sowell to immerse himself in Army-Navy rivalry

New Navy coach Rick Sowell’s plate figures to be crowded as he attempts to analyze the roster he inherits, isolate areas for improvement, and install schemes to take advantage of the team’s strengths.

Add understanding the importance of the Army-Navy rivalry to his “to do” list.

“I’m excited to be a part of that tradition,” Sowell said Thursday afternoon. “Again, looking at it from afar, Army-Navy in any sport is just a special, special rivalry, and it’s no different in lacrosse. My good friend [Joe Alberici] is the head coach at Army, so that’s going to be different. He’s going to want to knock my head off, and I’m going to want to knock his head off, and afterwards, we’ll hopefully resume our friendship. And I think we will. I know we will. But it’s one of those things where if you’re on the outside, you probably don’t even know half of it. So I’m looking forward to being on the sidelines for that first game in April, and I’m sure it’s going to be much more intense than what I’m anticipating at this point in time. That’s one of those things where you only find out when you’re smack dab in the middle of it, and that time will come.”

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Categories: Navy
        

June 11, 2011

Sowell to get acclimated with Navy's recruiting standards

One of the arguments supporters of Richie Meade made in their defense of the former Navy coach when he was forced to resign on May 9 as that he was handcuffed from recruiting the upper-echelon players due to the academy’s rigorous academic and physical requirements.

New Midshipmen coach Rick Sowell is about to delve into those same restrictions, but he said he doesn’t feel limited by the academy’s standards. In fact, Sowell said his experience as an assistant coach at Georgetown for nine years and as the head coach at Dartmouth for five years.

“It is a little bit different than here at Stony Brook,” Sowell said Thursday afternoon as he was cleaning out his office at Stony Brook’s campus on Long Island, N.Y. “But I liken it a bit to recruiting at Georgetown and recruiting in the Ivy Leagues. You are recruiting a different type of kid. Maybe the recruiting pool shrinks because of academic requirements and those sorts of things. I think with the process at Navy, recruiting is a little longer where certain qualifications have to be met like getting a letter from your congressman and stuff like that. So that’s certainly much different than here at Stony Brook. We could get someone in today if that person came along. But Navy’s been playing a lot of lacrosse and has had a lot of success. There are Midshipmen out there. We just have to find them.”

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Categories: Navy
        

Succeeding Meade on Sowell's mind

As the eighth coach in the 104-year history of Navy lacrosse, Rick Sowell is beginning to understand the tradition associated with the Midshipmen.

First and foremost, Sowell knows many eyes will be trained to see how he mirrors and differs from his predecessor Richie Meade, who compiled a 142-97 record at Navy, captured five Patriot League regular-season and tournament titles in six years, and qualified for the NCAA tournament seven times, including advancing to the championship final in 2004.

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Categories: Navy
        

June 10, 2011

Offensive makeover in store for Navy?

Navy’s successful wooing away of coach Rick Sowell from Stony Brook might suggest a change in philosophy for the men’s lacrosse program.

Where Richie Meade was considered a defensive-minded coach who built the Midshipmen’s strength on defense, Sowell is generally regarded as an offensive guru. In the last four of his five-year tenure with the Seawolves, that offense averaged more than 11 goals each season.

Junior faceoff specialist Logan West said Sowell could provide the kind of lift the team has been hungering for.

“We had a lot of success on offense in the beginning of the year, but then towards the end, we couldn’t put it together,” West said. “So having an offensive mindset should really help us out.”

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Categories: Navy
        

Sowell explains decision to leave Stony Brook for Navy

The 2011 campaign ended disappointingly for Rick Sowell and Stony Brook, a preseason favorite to make the Final Four that fell to Hartford in the America East tournament final and missed the NCAA tournament altogether.

Still, the Seawolves went 10-4 and captured the league’s regular-season crown for the second straight year. So why would Sowell leave a Stony Brook program that arguably was the team to beat in the America East for a Navy program that went 4-9 and finished outside of the top four in the Patriot League?

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Categories: Navy
        

June 9, 2011

Report: Navy close to agreement with Stony Brook's Sowell

The Annapolis Capital has reported Thursday morning that Navy could name Stony Brook coach Rick Sowell as the eighth head coach in school history as early as Thursday.

Adam Gutes, a spokesman who works in Stony Brook’s sports information office as the primary contact for men’s lacrosse, confirmed the Midshipmen’s wish to interview Sowell.

“I know there was some interest from Navy, but I don’t know if Coach has accepted the offer or not,” Gutes said Thursday morning. “But I do know there was interest.”

Efforts to reach Sowell have been unsuccessful, and Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk has not returned requests for comment. Stacie Michaud, a spokeswoman who works in the academy’s sports information office as the primary contact for men’s lacrosse, said there would be no comment until the coaching search is completed.

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Categories: Navy
        

June 6, 2011

Review & preview: Navy

The end of last season kicked off a new series that checked in with the seven Division I programs in the state to evaluate the past and give a glimpse into the future. The series resumes with teams appearing according to the chronological order in which their seasons ended. So Monday begins with a visit with Navy. (Former coach Richie Meade did not return requests for an interview.)

REVIEW

The good: One of the biggest questions the Midshipmen (4-9 overall and 2-4 in the Patriot League) had to answer in the preseason was replenishing an attack that graduated Brendan Connors and Tim Paul and lost junior Ryan O’Leary (9 goals, 8 assists in 2010) to a season-ending knee injury. That dilemma was quickly answered by the introduction of freshmen Tucker Hull and Sam Jones. Hull and Jones led the team in points (38) and goals (23), and Hull was named the Patriot League Rookie of the Year. … Faceoffs were an issue last season with Navy winning just 45 percent of draws. That percentage was marginally better this spring (46.9 percent on 137-of-292), but junior Logan West was much improved. After going 64-of-130 for 49.2 percent last year, West won 110-of-211 for 52.1 percent this season. … Jay Mann’s numbers weren’t eye-opening (11 goals and 2 assists), but he proved to be the playmaker from the midfield who could alleviate some of the pressure on Hull and Jones. The sophomore should anchor a midfield that graduates Andy Warner.

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Categories: Navy, Review & preview
        

June 2, 2011

Loyola's Toomey, UMBC's Zimmerman say they have not been contacted by Navy

With Navy still searching for a successor to Richie Meade, speculation about whom the Midshipmen have targeted to be the program’s eighth head coach is rampant.

At least two local coaches said the academy has not reached out to them.

Loyola coach Charley Toomey was the head coach of the Naval Academy Preparatory School in 1993 and an assistant coach with the Midshipmen in 1994 and 1995, but he said that he is happy coaching the Greyhounds.

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Categories: Loyola, Navy, UMBC
        

May 26, 2011

JHU's Dolente, Ranagan headline area representatives on All-American list

The Division I All-American list is out and two Johns Hopkins players made the first team.

Senior faceoff specialist Matt Dolente and sophomore midfielder John Ranagan represented the Blue Jays on the first team. Dolente concluded the 2011 campaign ranked second in the country with a .667 success rate (194-of-291), and his 194 wins ranks third for the most in a single season.

Ranagan ranked third on the team in assists (14) and fourth in both goals (18) and points (32). He finished with 11 multi-point games this season.

Virginia’s Steele Stanwick, a Baltimore native and Loyola graduate, was also named to the first team. The junior attackman, who leads the Cavaliers in points (64) and assists (35), is the reigning Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year and the only Tewaaraton Award finalist whose team is still competing in the NCAA tournament.

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Loyola, Maryland, Navy
        

May 13, 2011

Coaching changes signal potential, pitfalls of college lacrosse

There’s an illuminating article on Laxmagazine.com written by former Sun writer Gary Lambrecht about how the parting of ways between Towson and former head coach Tony Seaman and Navy and former head coach Richie Meade within a span of three hours on Monday afternoon was symptomatic of the necessary evils of the growth of college lacrosse.

While Denver begins to rival Baltimore and Long Island as a hotbed, every game in the NCAA tournament is broadcast on ESPN’s network of channels, and high-profile coaches get paid handsomely for their efforts, Lambrecht wrote that there is a dark side: the rise of a win-now atmosphere that could cost coaches their jobs and players their mentors.

Maryland coach John Tillman said the demand to mine success immediately in sports mirrors that attitude in society.

“We live in a now society,” said Tillman, who replaced Dave Cottle after he was dismissed by the administration despite a 99-45 record in nine seasons with the Terps and seven consecutive years of at least 10 wins. “Everybody wants everything now – fast food, microwaves, On Demand. You can get what you want pretty quickly. And all of us are competitive in everything that we do, and that includes athletic departments. Lacrosse is starting to become a sport that’s on TV a lot. As our athletic director and president like to say, athletics can be the front porch to your house. When people see that front porch and that front porch looks pretty nice, it may change some people’s opinions on the house.”

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Categories: Maryland, Navy, Stevenson, Towson
        

May 10, 2011

Former Army coach rips Navy's decision to part ways with Meade

About an hour after Navy had made official Richie Meade’s departure as head coach, former Army coach Jack Emmer called to confirm a rumor he had heard about the move.

Then, unprompted, Emmer took the academy to task for what he saw as a forced resignation.

“What I see here is, graduates from the ‘60s when Navy dominated lacrosse using their status now as guys who have earned their fortune and bringing some pressure on that situation,” said Emmer, who retired in 2005 as the winningest coach in college lacrosse history. “I can’t believe that it had anything to do with the guys who played for Richie because they have universal respect for him. But these old timers, who are probably still wondering why you don’t bring football players out to play lacrosse like they did in the ‘60s, are calling for his head, and that’s very, very fortunate. I think [athletic director] Chet Gladchuk should know better. He’s not going to find a better guy, and he’s going to get a lot of negative feedback on this decision from former players. They’re going to be appalled and shocked. … I’m kind of shocked and upset by it because it’s a poor decision.”

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Categories: Maryland, Navy, Towson
        

May 9, 2011

Meade steps down at Navy

Another area team has lost its head coach.

Richie Meade resigned from his position after 17 years at Navy, joining Towson’s Tony Seaman who stepped down earlier on Monday.

In a brief interview Monday evening, Meade said the Midshipmen will recoup and recover under new leadership.

“It kind of is what it is, and we’re moving forward,” said Meade, who will continue to teach as a fully tenured professor in the academy’s Physical Education Department. “The Naval Academy lacrosse program is a ship in the Navy, and I was the captain of that ship. I was proud of it. In the Navy, captains change all the time, and the ships still have to float and the ships still have to fight. The Navy lacrosse program will do that and do it every well.”

Athletic director Chet Gladchuk declined to comment. In a press release issued by the school, Gladchuk praised Meade.

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Categories: Navy
        

April 26, 2011

Navy's Hull named Patriot League Rookie of the Year

Navy may have had a lackluster season, but at least the program can boast an individual honor.

Freshman attackman Tucker Hull was voted as the Patriot League’s Rookie of the Year. Hull tied classmate Sam Jones for the team lead in goals (23), assists (15) and points (38) this season. Hull’s 2.92 points per game tied for seventh in the conference.

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Categories: Navy
        

April 24, 2011

Postscript from Navy at Johns Hopkins

Johns Hopkins has traditionally been known for its stifling defense. But the offense is beginning to make some noise.

The Blue Jays (10-2) have reached double digits in goals in every game this season but two, and both of those turned out to be losses (to Princeton and Syracuse). Over the last six quarters and one overtime period, the offense has lit up No. 8 Maryland and Navy for 24 goals.

“I think we’ve done a good job being patient, and when we’re in a groove and distributing the ball and everyone’s getting touches, I think we’re clicking pretty well,” said senior attackman Chris Boland, who recorded two goals and two assists in Johns Hopkins’ 14-5 pasting of the Midshipmen at Homewood Field in Baltimore on Saturday night. “… That first half against Maryland [when the team trailed, 7-2, at halftime], we kind of weren’t doing the little things. We weren’t being disciplined, and we weren’t dodging hard to get to goal, drawing slides. I think we did a good job of that today for 60 minutes for probably the first time since Delaware. So we know we’re capable of it, and it was good to be able to put it together at this time.”

The Blue Jays’ usually conservative scheme appears to have been tweaked by offensive coordinator Bobby Benson, who has been trusting playmakers like Boland, sophomore attackman Zach Palmer and sophomore midfielder John Ranagan to be more creative and aggressive with the ball.

“I think we’re having a lot of fun playing this year,” Palmer acknowledged. “Not to say anything bad about our team last year, but this feels a lot more fun this year, and everyone’s kind of clicking well together and obviously playing well to this point. We’ve got to keep going with that.”

Still, coach Dave Pietramala wasn’t entirely pleased with the offensive output, noting that Navy outscored Johns Hopkins, 5-4, in the second half.

“The first two quarters were great,” he said. “We were unselfish. And we’re a young team, and we talked them right at the end that we have to show some more maturity. We can’t come out and say, ‘OK, I’m going to get my goals.’ We’ve just got to keep doing what we’re supposed to do. So we’ve still got some growing up to do, but I’m happy with the offense, and Bobby’s done a really great job with those guys.”

Other notes:

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Navy, Postscript
        

April 23, 2011

Navy at Johns Hopkins: Halftime thoughts

Johns Hopkins is continuing its dominance over area rivals, taking a 10-0 advantage into halftime against visiting Navy at Homewood Field in Baltimore Saturday night.

The No. 4 Blue Jays, who have won four consecutive games, scored two goals in the first 51 seconds of the contest – both within a six-second span – and scored three goals on its first four shots.

Johns Hopkins (9-2) converted 2-of-4 man-up chances in the first quarter and 3-of-5 in the first half, has taken 27 shots, and collected 11 more ground balls.

Under coach Dave Pietramala, the Blue Jays are 51-4 against their in-state rivals, including 10-1 against the Midshipmen. Navy’s lone win in the series occurred last season when the Midshipmen snapped a 36-game skid to Johns Hopkins.

Navy (4-8), which has dropped four straight contests, is in danger of compiling the most losses in a single season under coach Richie Meade since he took over the program prior to the 1995 season.

Other notes:

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Categories: Halftime thoughts, Johns Hopkins, Navy
        

Navy at Johns Hopkins: Three things to watch

Navy (4-8) limps into this annual contest on a four-game losing skid and in danger of absorbing the most losses in a single season under coach Richie Meade. On the flipside, Johns Hopkins (9-2) is enjoying a four-game winning streak and will likely be eager to avenge last year’s 9-8 overtime loss to the Midshipmen that snapped a 36-game losing streak to the Blue Jays. Here are a few factors that could influence the outcome at Homewood Field in Baltimore on Saturday.

1) Track the ball. Senior attackman Chris Boland is generally regarded as the quarterback of the Blue Jays offense, but several players on that side can initiate the action. Sophomore attackman Zach Palmer leads the team in assists (16), sophomore midfielder John Ranagan and Boland each have more than 10 helpers, and sophomore midfielder John Greeley (9) and senior attackman Kyle Ranagan (6) aren’t too far behind. “One of the other things that impresses me is they all play from different places,” Navy coach Richie Meade said. “You can’t say this guy is always on the crease or this guy is always behind. They do a good job of interchanging. … They’re pretty scripted, and they have certain things they like to do. But after that, they’re pretty good at finding each other and using their skills. So I don’t think you can say that you have to focus on Boland. He might be considered the quarterback, but you’ve got to be able to defend the rest of them.”

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Navy, Three things to watch
        

April 21, 2011

Navy doesn't have to look far for motivation

With no Patriot League tournament on the horizon for the first time since the school joined the conference for the 2004 campaign, Navy has centered all of its attention on a singular focus.

“We can beat Johns Hopkins,” coach Richie Meade said Wednesday of the team’s regular-season finale on Saturday night. “When the press looks at a game, they look at all the implications of that game. When we look at the game, we’re trying to play as well as we possibly can, trying to do things better than we did last week, and trying to take a step forward. We’ve got a great group of seniors playing in their last game in a Navy uniform, and we’ve got a bunch of freshmen and sophomores that have never played at Homewood Field, and this is a great challenge for them. And we’ve got a bunch of juniors that are going to be leaders of our team next year. So we want to play well. We want to rebound from what was a very disheartening loss [to Army on Saturday].”

Rather than wallow in despair, the players have taken out some of their frustrations in practice and in the weight room. Meade said the players had a tougher-than-usual practice on Monday at a time when the coaching staff would usually go lighter to preserve the players for making a run at the postseason.

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Navy
        

April 16, 2011

Army at Navy: Three things to watch

Much has already been said about how vitally important this contest is for Navy (4-7 overall and 2-3 in the Patriot League), which would be eliminated from the conference tournament – and consideration for the NCAA tournament – with a loss to Army. But the No. 16 Black Knights (7-4, 2-2) need a victory nearly as much to stay in the hunt for the spot in the four-team conference tournament. Here are a few factors that could influence the outcome at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis on Saturday.

1) Targeting Army’s defense. The Black Knights have surrendered double-digit goals just twice this season, but the defense has been playing at less than full strength. Top defenseman Bill Henderson, a senior, has played in the last two games after missing the previous five with a case of mononucleosis. Senior defenseman Matt Marasco underwent shoulder surgery and is not expected to return until later this month at the earliest. But Midshipmen coach Richie Meade said the changes in personnel haven’t dramatically changed the way Army’s defense has played. “I think they’re about the same,” Meade said. “I think they’re sliding a lot more than they have in the past. When you look at their season last year, they did a phenomenal job of winning one-goal games. … Defensively, they’ve got a great goalie [senior Tom Palesky] and when he plays great, they’ve got a great defense. That’s the same with us. Almost everybody is in the same type of situation. So the only thing I can say after watching film is, they slide to the ball a little bit more than they have in the past.” One thing to keep an eye on: the Black Knights surrendered a combined seven goals in 12 man-down situations to No. 12 Bucknell and No. 14 Colgate in the past two weekends.

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Categories: Navy, Three things to watch
        

April 15, 2011

Navy still chafing at last year's sweep by Army

Losing to Army is disappointing for Navy’s players, coaches, supporters and alumni. Getting swept by the Black Knights can be downright torturous.

“That’s definitely motivation,” senior short-stick defensive midfielder Marty Gallagher said of the Midshipmen’s regular-season and Patriot League tournament setbacks to Army last year. “That could be one reason why this year is pretty special. We don’t really let things like that get to us, but it is positive energy to do our best.”

Navy will have a chance to rectify last season's results with a showdown against the Black Knights on Saturday at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis. Army has not won in Annapolis since 1997.

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Categories: Navy
        

April 12, 2011

Army's season complicated by injuries, underperforming midfield

With Army and Navy scheduled to resume one of sport’s greatest rivalries on Saturday, here’s a brief look at the Black Knights.

After last season which included a Patriot League regular-season and tournament championship and an upset of then-reigning NCAA titlist Syracuse in the first round, many experts had jumped onto Army’s bandwagon.

Unfortunately, this year has featured more valleys than peaks. The No. 16 Black Knights (7-4) have a strong win against No. 9 Cornell, but they dropped contests against Masschusetts, No. 14 Colgate and No. 12 Bucknell – the latter two occurring over the past two Saturdays.

Injuries have impacted Army, especially on the defensive end. Senior Bill Henderson missed five games due to an illness, while senior Matt Marasco underwent shoulder surgery and is not expected to return until later this month at the earliest.

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Categories: Navy
        

April 9, 2011

Postscript from Maryland at Navy

In retrospect, maybe that loss to North Carolina two weeks ago wasn’t such a bad thing after all. 

Since that setback – which entailed Maryland failing to protect a 4-0 advantage in the first quarter en route to an 11-6 decision on March 26 – the Terps have beaten No. 7 Virginia and Navy by respective scores of 12-7 and 10-6.

No. 6 Maryland, which improved to 8-2 after thrashing the Midshipmen Friday night, has looked sharper and crisper in those two victories, and sophomore attackman Owen Blye said the team has used the loss to the Tar Heels as a sort of rallying point.

“Everything that happens in the season has to be taken as a learning experience – whether it’s positive or negative,” said Blye, who has registered four goals and three assists since the North Carolina contest. “A lot of times, you can learn more from negative things that happen to you throughout the year, and you have to look at it that way. Obviously, we’re disappointed with what happened in the Carolina game. Nobody ever wants to go up four goals and lose the game, but after it happens, you have to use it as a learning experience and not let it happen to you again.”

Terps coach John Tillman seemed to suggest that several players took the Tar Heels for granted.

“There were a lot of guys that had to look at themselves in the mirror,” he said. “I’ve told a number of guys this: there’s no handbook to deal with expectations for a season. These guys, not a lot was expected of them the last three or four years and then with so many experienced guys coming back, everybody was telling them – it was either family members or friends or alums or media – ‘You’re going to be great, you’re going to be great, you’re going to be great.’ I think some of the greatest kids on our team – when we met after Carolina – were like, ‘Well, we just of thought it would happen.’ As new guys, we would tell them all the time that it’s the little details. It’s your approach, it’s your attitude, and I think they listened, but they were kind of like,’ Yeah, but we were good last year, and we have all these guys back.’ And what they didn’t realize was that Carolina was bringing in the best freshman class in the country, and those kids were talented and ready to play. Just because they were freshman doesn’t mean they can’t hurt you.

“I think it was a little bit of a wake-up call,” Tillman continued. “I don’t think there was any arrogance. I don’t think there were guys that didn’t care, that thought they were above anything. I think they had to step back and go, ‘Wow, what we’re doing is not good enough. Maybe we need to be a little more critical of ourselves.’ And that’s really helped us because we’re not doing a ton different, but we are doing better.”

The loss to the Tar Heels served as a reminder for Maryland against Navy. After taking a commanding 6-1 advantage after the first quarter, the Terps players revived memories of their inability to protect the 4-0 lead.

“I think we were talking about the Carolina game when they were able to come back on us,” senior long-stick midfielder Brian Farrell said. “We were like, ‘Hey, let’s stay mentally focused and keep this going.’ I think we did a good job of doing that.”

Other notes:

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Categories: Maryland, Navy, Postscript
        

April 8, 2011

Maryland at Navy: Halftime thoughts

Torrential downpours and a hostile environment haven’t slowed Maryland as the Terps have taken a commanding 7-2 advantage over Navy into halftime at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis on Friday night.

Maryland (7-2), which entered the contest ranked sixth in Division I in scoring with a 12.0 goals-per-game average, scored the first two goals of the game in a 63-second span, added a second pair in a 48-second stretch, and then notched a third pair in a 12-second span – all in the first quarter. It’s the first time this season that the Terps scored six goals in the opening frame.

Meanwhile, the Midshipmen have not possessed the ball long enough to attempt to stage a comeback – a problem that plagued them in a 9-8 loss to Georgetown a week ago. Navy has cleared the ball just 8-of-13 times and has taken just eight shots to Maryland’s 21.

Other notes:

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Categories: Halftime thoughts, Maryland, Navy
        

Potential federal shutdown could shut down Navy, Army, Air Force

A federal shutdown that could close agencies, delay income tax refunds, and close national parks and museums could also impact the men’s lacrosse programs at Navy, Army and Air Force.

According to an article on Army’s official athletics website, varsity athletic contests involving the Midshipmen, Black Knights and Falcons would be suspended if Republicans and Democrats are unable to reach a budget deal by midnight on Friday. Games would not be resumed until the shutdown ends.

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Categories: Navy
        

Maryland at Navy: Three things to watch

While Navy and No. 6 Maryland appear to be heading in opposing directions, this contest is critical for both teams. The Midshipmen (4-6) may have just one road to the NCAA tournament in capturing the Patriot League tournament, but a victory over the Terps would propel Navy through the remainder of the regular season. Maryland (7-2) is coming off of a decisive 12-7 win against No. 7 Virginia, but a loss to the Midshipmen would likely take the wind out of the Terps’ sails. Here are a few factors that could influence the outcome at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis on Friday night.

1) Stop the run. Echoing the sentiment of many opposing coaches, Navy coach Richie Meade stressed the need to handcuff – or at least slow down – Maryland’s transition game. The Terps scored four in transition in the team’s decision against the Cavaliers. For the Midshipmen, it’s a strategy that they are familiar with. “It was the same theme against Georgetown, it’ll be the same theme against Army, the same theme against Hopkins,” Meade said. “To be honest with you, the best way to stop that is when you shoot the ball, it needs to go in. I think he [redshirt freshman goalie Niko Amato] does a very good job of stopping the ball and then getting it out. I think you’ve got to be aware of [senior long-stick midfielder] Brian Farrell and you’ve got to be aware of [sophomore long-stick midfielder] Jesse Bernhardt. They get out very, very well, and you’ve just got to protect your backcourt and make sure that the off-side guy away from the ball is going to get back deep. The other thing you’ve got to do is get in the goalie’s face and hope that he throws it to the side and not a straight outlet pass.”

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April 7, 2011

Navy pulling for one Patriot League rival over another

Navy’s rivalry with Army is well-documented, but there’s another reason why the Midshipmen have a rooting interest against the Black Knights: postseason positioning.

With a 2-3 record in the Patriot League, Navy trails No. 13 Bucknell (3-0 in the conference), No. 14 Colgate (3-0), No. 15 Army (2-1) and Lehigh (2-1) in the race to qualify for the four-team Patriot League tournament.

If the Black Knights lose to Bucknell on Saturday, the Midshipmen would be one game closer to possibly catching Army for one of those four coveted berths.

“Obviously, we need Bucknell to beat Army for us to have a chance,” said Navy coach Richie Meade, who plans on driving to West Point, N.Y., to watch the contest. “I’m not a mathematician, but I know that. I think we’re rooting for Bucknell, but nobody has told me anything. I’m just trying to figure this out.”

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Categories: Navy
        

UPDATED: Navy, Maryland to honor fallen lacrosse player

Prior to Navy’s home game against No. 6 Maryland, there will be a brief ceremony honoring the memory of Brendan Looney.

Looney, a Silver Spring native who played midfield for the Midshipmen, was one of nine U.S. military personnel killed in a helicopter crash in September in southern Afghanistan. He was a lieutenant in the Navy SEALs and a 2004 Naval Academy graduate.

Looney’s alma mater, DeMatha Catholic, will meet La Salle College High, the alma mater of Looney’s academy roommate Travis Manion, at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis at 3 p.m. Then before the scheduled 7 p.m. start of the contest between Navy and the Terps, the Navy SEAL Foundation will present the American flag to the Looney family.

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Categories: Maryland, Navy
        

April 6, 2011

Maryland, Navy players earn weekly honors

Maryland swept the Atlantic Coast Conference weekly honors as junior midfielder Joe Cummings and senior defenseman Brett Schmidt were named the Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week, respectively.

Cummings scored four goals in the No. 6 Terps’ 12-7 victory over No. 7 Virginia last Saturday. All four of the Towson native and Loyola graduate’s goal occurred during Maryland’s 7-0 run that helped turn a 5-3 deficit into a 10-5 advantage.

A week after shutting out North Carolina senior attackman Billy Bitter, Schmidt limited Cavaliers junior attackman Steele Stanwick to a single goal on three shots. Schmidt and the rest of the defense held Virginia, which had entered the contest with the most prolific offense in Division I, to a season-low seven goals.

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April 2, 2011

Postscript from Navy at Georgetown

Navy coach Richie Meade has used the term “emotional Alamo” to describe certain contests that can alter or determine a season’s path.

With Friday night’s 9-8 loss to Georgetown, the Midshipmen (4-6) are now two games below .500 with three regular-season contests remaining against No. 9 Maryland, No. 3 Army and No. 6 Johns Hopkins.

But if you think Navy is ready to throw in the towel, think again.

“There’s no relief,” Meade said. “You’ve got to shake it off, get back to work on Monday, get ready to play the University of Maryland [on Friday], and then do the best we can. And I’m looking forward to it. I’m not despondent, disillusioned. I’m not happy we lost by one goal. I’m not satisfied. I’m proud of our team, I’m proud of the way we’re playing. We’ve just got to not make the mistakes that we’re making at critical times.”

The Midshipmen have lost four games by one goal and could just as easily be 8-2 instead of 4-6. But there’s not glossing over their record, and the school must upend Army in two weeks to earn an opportunity to qualify for the four-team Patriot League tournament.

Freshman attackman Tucker Hull said the players are intent on turning the season around.

“We’ve lost another extremely close game that we shouldn’t have lost, and honestly, everyone’s getting pretty worked up,” he said. “These next teams better be looking out because we’ll be coming at them.”

Meade said he has witnessed no hint of quitting among the players or coaches.

“You can get your ass kicked and show no heart,” he said. “That’s not the case here. Every time we’ve been punched in the face, we’ve responded. And I’m confident we’ll respond again.”

Other notes:

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April 1, 2011

Navy at Georgetown: Halftime thoughts

The offensive futility that plagued Navy in Saturday’s 5-4 loss to Colgate last Saturday seems to have followed the Midshipmen to Washington, D.C., as they trail Georgetown, 5-2 at halftime at Multi-Sport Field on Friday night.

Navy at least scored three goals and took 9 shots in the first half against the Red Raiders. Against the Hoyas’ pressure defense, however, the offense has been stymied, taking just nine shots to Georgetown’s 24.

The absence of senior midfielder Andy Warner (concussion) has had an impact, but the Midshipmen have also failed to protect the ball. Their first six possessions of the game ended in turnovers. For the contest, Navy has committed 12 turnovers to the Hoyas’ six.

The Midshipmen must re-discover their rhythm – and fast.

Other notes:

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Categories: Halftime thoughts, Navy
        

Navy's Warner out vs. Georgetown

Navy will have to dispose of Georgetown Friday night without its top playmaker.

Senior midfielder Andy Warner will not play for the Midshipmen due to a concussion that he suffered in the team's 5-4 loss to Colgate last Saturday. Warner leads Navy in assists with 17 and is tied for the team lead in points with 29.

Freshman Pat Durkin, who has not posted a point in five games, will start in Warner's place with junior Nikk Davis and sophomore Jay Mann. The Midshipmen are 4-5, while the Hoyas are 4-5.

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Categories: Navy
        

Navy at Georgetown: Three things to watch

Navy and Georgetown would seem to be heading in different directions with the visiting Midshipmen (4-5) having won three of their last four games, while the Hoyas (3-4) have dropped three of their last four. But both teams need a non-conference victory like this to enhance their resumes for the NCAA tournament selection committee. Here are a few factors that could influence the outcome at Multi-Spot Field in Washington, D.C., on Friday night.

1) Kick-start the offense. Through their first eight contests, the Midshipmen had averaged a healthy 11 goals per game. Then they ran into Colgate, which allowed just four goals on Saturday. According to a report by Inside Lacrosse, the Red Raiders gave up outside shots, but blanketed Navy’s dodges from behind the net and down the alleys. Midshipmen coach Richie Meade said the offense missed some opportunities that it can’t afford to repeat against Georgetown. “We had a lot of people open that we did not find,” Meade said. “So it was disappointing because everything that they did, we had prepared for, but our execution fell short.”

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More from ESPN's Mark Dixon on Navy's postseason chances

Friday’s edition of The Sun included an article on the state of Navy’s program. With the team currently sitting at 4-5 overall and 2-3 in the Patriot League, there’s some concern that the Midshipmen will stay home instead of partaking in the NCAA tournament for the second consecutive year.

Navy isn’t even guaranteed a spot in the four-team Patriot League tournament, which the school has qualified for every season since joining the conference for the 2004 campaign.

ESPN analyst Mark Dixon said one factor in rivals catching up – and surpassing – the Midshipmen is the emphasis on lacrosse as a year-round sport.

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March 25, 2011

Navy turns attention to defense

Many of the questions floating around Navy in the preseason centered on the offense’s youth and inexperience.

With the offense averaging 11 goals thus far, the Midshipmen are now focusing on the other end of the field.

Opponent are averaging 9.1 goals against Navy, which is ranked 34th in Division I. During the team’s four-game losing streak, the defense surrendered at least 10 goals three times.

That’s an alarming number for a program steeped in a history of defensive excellence, but coach Richie Meade said overhauling the starting lineup or re-drawing schemes wasn’t the answer.

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March 22, 2011

Weekly awards announced

Navy had a pair of players earn weekly honors from the Patriot League.

Senior midfielder Andy Warner was named the Offensive Player of the Week for registering four goals and seven assists in two wins last week. He posted two goals and a career-best six assists in the Midshipmen’s 14-11 victory over Towson on Tuesday night and then added two goals and one assist in an 8-3 win against Holy Cross on Saturday.

Freshman attackman Harrison Chaires was selected as the Rookie of the Week for scoring four extra-man goals, including three against the Crusaders. Chaires became the first Navy player to score three times on man-up situations in a single game since Adam Borcz did so against Penn State on April 14, 2001.

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Categories: Navy, Stevenson, Towson
        

March 18, 2011

Towson's Stratton to return to starting lineup

When Towson plays host to No. 4 Stony Brook Saturday, a familiar face is expected to return to the starting lineup.

Senior attackman Tim Stratton, who did not record a goal, assist or shot in the Tigers’ 14-11 loss to Navy on Tuesday night, is slated to start on attack against the visiting Seawolves.

Coach Tony Seaman, who was tight-lipped about Stratton’s limited playing time in the midfield after the setback to the Midshipmen, confirmed Friday that Stratton would return to his customary position.

“We’re going to give him another chance, see if we woke him up,” Seaman said, noting that Stratton, who returned as the team’s leader in goals with 15 last year, has yet to score a goal. “He’s played four games and had two assists. And in three of the four games, he had no shots. I’ve got to have that kid shooting the ball a little bit or no sense in having him out there. So we’ll see.”

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March 16, 2011

Postscript from Towson at Navy

It might not be too much of a stretch to link Navy’s recent two-game revival with the play of Logan West.

The Midshipmen have beaten Lafayette, 15-6, on Saturday and Towson, 14-11, on Tuesday night. Over that same span, West has won 35-of-52 faceoffs (67.3 percent), including 19-of-29 on Tuesday.

The junior, who was one faceoff win shy of tying the school record shared by Chris Pieczonka in 2004 and Dan Sullivan in 1995, said he had no idea he was that close to the mark.

“Retrospectively, it kind of sucks that I was one away,” he said. “I wish I would’ve known. Maybe I could’ve gotten one more ground ball and have the record. But it’s not important to me. I just wanted us to win as a team.”

West has had his fair share of struggles. He went 0-of-9 in the team’s 10-8 loss to North Carolina on Feb. 25 and 7-of-21 in a 9-8 loss to Loyola six days earlier.

But coach Richie Meade has consistently endorsed West as Navy’s primary faceoff specialist.

“Logan’s worked really hard,” Meade said. “Logan took the brunt of the beginning of the season, and he’s worked with Coach [Mark] Goers and the rest of the faceoff guys, and he’s doing pretty good right now. And I also think that [freshman long-stick midfielder] Pat Kiernan and [senior midfielder] Brian Striffler are doing a real good job on the wings for him, which helps. But Logan’s been pretty impressive.”

West said he’s beginning to become more comfortable in his arsenal of maneuvers against opponents.

“I’m starting to find my groove,” he said. “I lost a little bit of confidence in the beginning of the season, but just with the coaches and the other faceoff guys helping me out, I’m really starting to get it back and get back in my groove.”

Other notes:

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March 15, 2011

Towson at Navy: Halftime thoughts

Two teams that have struggled at times to produce consistently on the offensive end of the field have exploded – by their standards – for a combined 14 goals with Towson and Navy taking a 7-7 lead tie into halftime at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis Tuesday night.

The visiting Tigers (1-3) scored on three of their first four shots to sprint to a 3-0 lead, but the Midshipmen (2-4) answered with a 3-0 run over a 2-minute, 55-second period spanning the first and second quarters.

Towson took another three-goal lead with junior attackman Matt Lamon’s second goal of the game with 4:58 left before halftime, but Navy scored tied the score in the final three minutes.

The Midshipmen got a pair of goals from freshmen attackmen Sam Jones and Tucker Hull with 51.8 seconds and 1.7 seconds left, respectively.

Other notes:

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Towson at Navy: Three things to watch

Both teams enter Tuesday night’s contest with unrealized expectations. After falling to then-No. 12 Maryland, 8-4, last Saturday, the visiting Tigers are 1-3 for the fourth consecutive year. The Midshipmen snapped a four-game losing skid by routing Lafayette, 15-6, last Saturday, but they lost to Towson, 10-9, last season. Here are a few factors that could influence the outcome at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis.

1) Tigers’ accuracy. Towson’s glaring vulnerability has been the inaccuracy of its offensive players. In the last two setbacks, the offense has placed less than 40 percent of its shots on net. The team has averaged just 5.8 goals thus far, and that task could get tougher against Navy junior goalie R.J. Wickham, who will not surrender any easy goals according to Tigers coach Tony Seaman. “We’ve got to put the ball in the goal when we get chances, and we’ve got to put it past their goalie,” Seaman said. “We’ve got to … and find a way to score goals.”

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March 14, 2011

Towson trying to remain positive

Towson limps into Tuesday night’s game against Navy with a 1-3 record. Normally, that would be troubling, but a closer look reveals that the mark is a little deceptive.

All three of the Tigers’ losses have come against ranked teams (No. 14 Johns Hopkins on Feb. 19, No. 8 Loyola on Feb. 26 and No. 12 Maryland on March 12), and the margin of victory is a combined nine goals, which averages out to just three goals per contest.

In the three setbacks, Towson has made fewer or just as many turnovers as the opponents. The team has also caused more turnovers than the Blue Jays and Terps forced.

Still, Tigers coach Tony Seaman would like to see a reversal of this trend – and soon.

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March 7, 2011

Navy eager to end skid

Three consecutive losses before the first weekend of March might create panic around a lacrosse program. But not Navy.

“You don’t feel great when you’re 1-3,” coach Richie Meade conceded. “You don’t feel great when you feel like you were in the games and then you lost those games. You have the feeling like you’re working real hard and sometimes you can get discouraged because you’re not getting any payback for your hard work. That’s kind of the concept of determination and mental toughness, and teams go through that. We’ve gone through winning seven or eight games in a row. Well, this is the other side of that, and we’ve just got to fight through that as a group. We’ve got very good leadership, and the guys have done a wonderful job in practice. So we’ve got to be more focused on where we’re going than worry too much about what happened yesterday.”

Off to the program’s worst start since 2001, the Midshipmen have fallen to No. 11 Loyola, No. 16 North Carolina and Lehigh in a span of 11 days. In all three contests, Navy owned a lead in the third quarter before eventually running out of gas.

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March 2, 2011

Maryland's Holmes, Navy's Jones, Boys' Latin grad Lyons get weekly honors

Maryland sophomore faceoff specialist Curtis Holmes was recognized by the Atlantic Coast Conference as the Defensive Player of the Week.

The Marriottsville native and McDonogh graduate won 20-of-31 faceoffs in the No. 3 Terps’ 18-5 rout of No. 14 Georgetown. Holmes, who also chipped in one goal and two assists, has won 37of-52 draws (.712) thus far.

Navy freshman attackman Sam Jones was named an honorable mention for the Patriot League’s Offensive Player of the Week award.

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February 24, 2011

Navy eager to bury loss to Loyola

There’s probably a strong chance that No. 16 North Carolina will be fired up to rebound from a surprising loss to Ohio State last Saturday.

Join the club, Richie Meade said.

Navy is just as eager to bury the memory of last Saturday’s 9-8 loss to No. 12 Loyola, and the Midshipmen get a crack at that when they meet the host Tar Heels Friday night.

“It would have been a huge win for us – coming off of last season and with the youth of this team,” Meade said ruefully. “We’ve played well most of the time, so it’s disappointing. But we’re focused on playing better. And we’re going to have to be if we want to beat North Carolina. It’s just one of those things where it’s early in the year, and you’re not going to get it back. But I’m not going to say that everything went wrong on Saturday because we lost. We did a lot of really good things, and we’ve got to build on that. So I think we’re disappointed, and we’re looking forward to playing North Carolina, and I think they feel the same way.”

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February 22, 2011

Weekly awards for UMBC, Loyola, Navy

UMBC was one of three area schools to have players recognized by their respective leagues.

Retrievers sophomore Dave Brown was named by the America East as the Player of the Week after he recorded four goals and three assists in the team’s 16-10 victory over Presbyterian last Saturday. The midfielder posted just one assist in 11 contests last year.

UMBC redshirt freshman Matt Gregoire earned the conference’s Rookie of the Week honor for compiling two goals and one assist. The Crofton native and South River graduate scored the game-winning goal in the third quarter.

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February 20, 2011

Postscript from Navy at Loyola

Through the first two quarters of Saturday’s contest against No. 13 Loyola, Navy had split 12 faceoffs – a remarkable showing against Greyhounds senior John Schiavone, who ranked sixth in Division I with a .599 percentage last spring.

But that all changed in the third quarter as Loyola won all five faceoffs, which led to four goals and the score being knotted at seven.

Schiavone was credited with winning 14-of-21 faceoffs, but Midshipmen coach Richie Meade said the Greyhounds’ wing players were the key.

“It wasn’t that we were struggling with the faceoffs at the X,” Meade said after Navy’s 9-8 loss. “Their wings just out-winged us. Their two guys on the wings did a very good job of just getting possession of the ball, and I thought that led to them just chipping away at the lead.”

Schiavone got the best of junior Logan West, who a week ago had outplayed Virginia Military Institute junior Stephen Robarge who had ranked fourth in the country last season. But Schiavone shared the credit with sophomore midfielder Josh Hawkins and sophomore long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff.

“He’s a good faceoff guy,” Schiavone said of West. “He was able to tie me up and let stuff turn into scrums with the wings. That’s not what I want. I’d rather win it to myself every time and be able to go. I’m lucky that I have Hawk and Ratliff on my team because no one’s going to outrun Hawk. He’s a fast guy, a ground ball machine. And same with Ratty. He’s a great when the ball’s on the ground, and they helped me lot. I think I got only two or three ground balls in the second half. They had the rest. Those were their wins.”

Other notes:

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February 19, 2011

Navy at Loyola: Halftime thoughts

A week after the freshmen propelled Navy to a six-goal victory over the Virginia Military Institute, the upperclassmen took control against No. 13 Loyola.

The Midshipmen lead the Greyhounds, 7-3, at halftime Saturday behind performances from several veterans.

Senior midfielder Andy Warner registered a goal and an assist, and senior Brian Striffler, juniors Nikk Davis and Taylor Reynolds and sophomore Cade Norris have each chipped in a goal.
Warner, Davis and Striffler scored three of Navy’s first four goals as the offense pushed the Midshipmen to a 4-0 lead just 65 seconds into the second quarter.

Loyola scored two goals in a 44-second span, but Navy notched three straight to pad the lead.

Other notes:

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Loyola attack nearly at full strength

Loyola is expected to meet Navy Saturday with its almost-full complement of attackmen.

Sophomores Patrick Fanshaw (wrist) and Michael Sawyer (concussion) and senior Eric Lusby (knee surgery) are slated to play for the No. 13 Greyhounds in their season opener.

All three players and sophomore Will Fredericks (ankle) were questionable. Only Fredericks is likely to be sidelined against the Midshipmen.

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Categories: Loyola, Navy
        

Navy at Loyola: Three things to watch

Loyola is 2-5 in the all-time series against Navy, but the Greyhounds own bragging rights after escaping Annapolis with an 8-7 win in overtime last season. Saturday’s contest is the season opener for No. 13 Loyola, but the Midshipmen are 1-0 after a 14-8 victory over the Virginia Military Institute. Here are a few factors that could play a role in the outcome in the contest.

1) Freezing out the freshmen. Navy’s season-opening win was highlighted by a group of freshmen that combined for eight goals and four assists. Their play caught the attention of Greyhounds coach Charley Toomey, who is emphasizing to his players that the plebes are only freshmen in label. “Everybody says they’re freshmen. I’ve been the head coach up at NAPS [the Naval Academy Preparatory School], and they’re not freshmen,” Toomey said, alluding to the first year the lacrosse players spend away from Annapolis. “They’re sophomores playing together. That’s the first thing that our guys need to understand, that they’re playing against sophomores, not freshmen. And they play a college schedule up there. So they’re not new kids to the program. They’ve played together in games. … When you’ve got a junior reading the scouting report and you see that ‘FR’ for ‘freshman,’ you sometimes to tend to lick your chops a little bit. Not only are you playing against a young man who has played with the other two guys before, but you’re also playing a young man who is a service academy kid. So he’s going to get knocked down, he’s going to get up, and he’s going to come back harder than ever. That’s what you saw last weekend.”

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February 17, 2011

Injuries taking a toll on Loyola's attackmen

An attack unit that has long been the foundation of Loyola’s offense could be at less-than-full-strength when the No. 13 Greyhounds open the season Saturday against Navy.

Sophomores Patrick Fanshaw (wrist), Michael Sawyer (concussion) and Will Fredericks (ankle) and senior Eric Lusby (knee surgery) are nursing injuries, leaving senior Matt Langan and freshman Justin Ward as the only healthy attackmen in the rotation.

“We look like a MASH unit on the sideline with our attackmen,” coach Charley Toomey quipped Wednesday. “I’m looking at the trainers’ report every day, just trying to get through practice and knowing full well that we’ve kind of been on the outside looking in with regards to our most talented guys. If we’re healthy, I really feel like we’ve got four attackmen that we’re really comfortable with in Langan, Lusby, Sawyer and Fanshaw. Justin Ward has been lights-out as a freshman, but those are our four guys in the rotation with Justin Ward ready to step in when needed.”

Of the attackmen, Sawyer and Fredericks are the most likely to miss the game against the Midshipmen. Sawyer still hasn’t been cleared by doctor after sustaining a concussion, and Fredericks is wearing a boot around his ankle.

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Categories: Loyola, Navy
        

February 15, 2011

Navy freshman puts exclamation point on collegiate debut

Two hours before his collegiate debut against the Virginia Military Institute Saturday, Navy attackman Sam Jones received a text message from his father Dave Jones, a 1982 graduate who was the captain of the lacrosse team his senior year.

The message read, “Go have fun. Don’t be afraid to shoot.”

Jones, an Annapolis native and Severna Park graduate, took his father’s words to heart, unleashing eight shots and scoring four goals in the Midshipmen’s 14-8 victory. The output was the most by a Navy player since Taylor Harris scored six against Holy Cross on March 26, 2006, and tied the second-most goals by a Midshipmen during coach Richie Meade’s 17-year tenure at the school.

Jones said Monday that he never anticipated scoring four goals in his first game on the collegiate level.

“I was a little bit nervous, but there are a lot of guys on the team who do a good job of keeping us calm,” he said. “[Junior attackman] Taylor Reynolds, [senior goalie] Mike Haas, the two of them really look out for me, and it was nice. I’m real confident playing with the group that I play with, and that calmed me down.”

Jones was initially credited with five goals, but further review of the game film showed that fellow freshman Tucker Hull scored one of those tallies. Still, it’s an impressive showing for Jones, who quickly downplayed his performance.

“I’ve watched the film briefly, and I can easily tell you that there were a few things that I was doing wrong,” he said. “I had some goals, but I’ll be the first one to tell you that that game probably wasn’t the best I’ve played, and I hope it’s not the best game I ever do play. It was good. We won. That’s the most important thing. But I would say that there’s a lot of things that I could do better.”

In addition to his father, Jones’ grandfather Jack Jones was a 1954 graduate who was the 1954 recipient of the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association’s Ensign C. Markland Kelly Award, which is given to the top goalie in Divisions I, II and III. Sam Jones said he feels honored to continue his family’s legacy at the academy.

“It’s not a big deal in my household, not something that’s talked about a lot,” he said. “But my granddad’s at every game. My dad makes it out to about 90 percent of the games. I got a text two hours before the game that said, ‘Go have fun. Don’t be afraid to shoot.’ That’s all the lacrosse we talked about that week. I think we talk more about the Naval Academy experience than we do about lacrosse in general. But it’s really cool. I definitely feel that when I go onto the field, I’m playing for them, but you feel that way about your teammates and everybody else, too. It’s a cool thing to be a part of.”

Other notes:

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Categories: Navy
        

February 11, 2011

Navy's Warner not worried about generating goals

One of the big question marks surrounding Navy this spring will be finding the right mix of players on the offense end who can consistently generate goals.

Graduation took three of the Midshipmen’s top four scorers, leaving Andy Warner as the only returner with more than 10 goals last year. The senior recorded 22 goals and 15 assists and will likely draw the opposition’s best defenseman.

As Navy prepares to open the season Saturday against the Virginia Military Institute at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Warner said he doesn’t feel like the burden of scoring falls solely on his shoulders.

“I don’t know if I really feel a burden,” he said. “I have to play well. That doesn’t mean I have to score five goals a game or have five assists a game. I just have to make sure that when I’m out there, our offense is running smoothly. We have some playmakers on offense. The freshmen, [junior midfielder] Nikk Davis, [senior midfielder] Brian Striffler, we can all get the job done offensively. So no, I don’t really feel a burden where I have to score all the points or I have to have all the assists.”

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Categories: Navy
        

February 7, 2011

Navy preview

Monday’s entry kicks off a week-long series taking a look at each of the seven Division I programs in this state according to their order of finish from last season. Check back on Tuesday for a preview of UMBC, and The Sun’s lacrosse preview is slated to be published on Thursday, Feb. 17. Today is Navy’s turn.

Overview: Last spring saw the Midshipmen lose out on capturing what would have been their sixth Patriot League Tournament championship in the last seven years, and they missed the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2003. The eight losses tied a season-low since Richie Meade became the head coach prior to the 1995 season. The outlook doesn’t appear easier with Army reloaded for another run at the Patriot League crown and another berth in the NCAA tourney, and Bucknell and Colgate nipping at Navy’s heels. But if there’s one thing about the Midshipmen, it’s that they’re unwilling to go down without a fight.

Reason for optimism: In a preseason scrimmage on Jan. 29, Navy edged reigning national champion Duke, 9-8. Meade cautioned against making too much of the result, but he conceded that he was pleased with the way starters R.J. Wickham, Matt Vernam, Michael Hirsch and Peter Rogers played. “Duke didn’t really overpower us very often,” Meade said last Thursday. “A lot of the goals we gave up were when young guys were on the field and either didn’t slide or were maybe a little too aggressive. So I think athletically, we’re OK. But in order to play our scheme, you’ve really got to understand it, and if you get two or three guys that don’t really have a great feeling of what we’re doing, it gets really ugly really fast. Our goal is to always keep an opponent under 10 and hopefully under seven, so it was OK. I thought we got a lot of shots on the goal. I don’t we shot particularly well, but we hustled, we played hard.”

Reason for pessimism: Graduation took a toll on the offense, and Inside Lacrosse reported that injuries have already sidelined starting attackman Ryan O’Leary (knee) and midfielder Taylor Cook (concussion). That would seem to place the offensive burden on senior Andy Warner, who is the only returner to score 10 or more goals last spring. “It still remains to be seen, but in practice at least, at attack, I think we’re better,” Meade said. “We actually have five freshmen that are going to see significant time, and a junior [Taylor Reynolds] that’s going to play a little bit and we have a senior [Sean Dinn] that has returned to the team after a couple of years. So it’s not as bleak as a lot of people think. But they’re going to need experience.”

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Categories: Navy
        

January 28, 2011

Lafayette's regret

En route to a school-record eight wins and a first-ever appearance in the Patriot League Tournament, Lafayette’s 2010 campaign didn’t end as well as it began.

After opening the season with six consecutive victories, the Leopards dropped six of their last eight contests including their last four to Colgate (14-9), Army (15-14), Lehigh (10-9) and Navy (11-9).

Coach Terry Mangan insisted that the players and coaches are looking to the future, but he did acknowledge that the season turned when Lafayette lost to Drexel, 12-11, at home on March 28.

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Categories: Navy
        

January 27, 2011

2010 fading in Army's rearview mirror

Last season was a banner year for Army, which swept archrival Navy, captured the Patriot League Tournament title, and upset 2008 and 2009 national champion Syracuse in the first round.

Coach Joe Alberici was a guest on ESPN’s “First Take” and a number of radio shows, and the Black Knights’ double overtime victory over the Orange was named by Inside Lacrosse as the Upset of the Year.

But Alberici, speaking on a conference call involving Patriot League coaches Wednesday morning, insisted that the coaches and players aren’t living in the past.

“We know who we are,” he said. “We’re not that team that upset Syracuse there. We’re a team that’s got to kick, scratch, play togther, and fight for everything to win any game on our schedule. That’s where we’re at. I feel like the message is resonating.”

Other notes:

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Categories: Navy
        

Navy working on reducing workload on Wickham

Navy has several holes to fill at various positions, but one worry the team won’t have to deal with is in the net, where junior R.J. Wickham has cemented his status after ranking fifth in Division I in save percentage (.593) and 11th in goals-against average (8.55) last season.

Still, Wickham was one of the more tested goalies in the country, facing 317 shots on net and turning away 188 of those in the regular season. Only eight other goalkeepers saw more shots on cage and only five made more saves.

Richie Meade said Wickham is aware of his responsibility as the final stop in the defensive scheme, but the Midshipmen coach conceded that the defense must do a better job of relieving some of the workload on Wickham.

“We have a good goaltender. There are games where he can be a great goaltender, but what we’ve got to do is not put him in a situation where he’s got to be great,” Meade said during a conference call involving Patriot League coaches Wednesday morning. “I think it’s a slippery slope to rely on your goalie to win games. I think we’ve got to be better on the defensive end of the field, we’ve got to go all the little things better, we’ve got to be better at playing our scheme, I think we’ve got to be smarter at who we have to support in dodging situations. All those types of things are going to go into what kind of shots we give up, how many we give up, and where we give them up from.”

Other notes:

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Categories: Navy
        

January 26, 2011

Patriot League quick hits

Just wrapped up a conference call with coaches from the Patriot League that took about 90 minutes. I’ll have more throughout the week, but here are a few points of interest from Wednesday’s session:

*As expected, Army was named the preseason favorite to capture the league championship, accumulating 12 of 14 first-place votes. The Black Knights won last year’s title and upended 2008 and 2009 national champion Syracuse in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, but coach Joe Alberici said the current squad can’t be concerned with repeating that success. “Really, it’s a new season, a new life,” he said. “… We understand how fragile this is. So I don’t think this team is taking anything for granted. The truth of the matter is, we’re not talking about anybody but ourselves.”

*Navy was second, but the Midshipmen are trying to bounce back from a 2010 campaign that included getting swept by Army and failing to reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2003. “We’re in a situation now where we have to be humble,” said coach Richie Meade, who has guided the program to five of the last seven league tournament crowns. “We got humbled last year. … We’ve embraced reality. We know the mission.”

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Categories: Navy
        

September 29, 2010

Lineups for Face-Off Classic and Big City Classic announced

The lineup for next year’s Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic and the Konica Minolta Big City Classic has been set.

The Face-Off Classic at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore is scheduled for Saturday, March 12 and will feature the return of Syracuse and Virginia, two programs that have captured a combined 14 NCAA championships but hadn’t participated in the event since 2008.

Syracuse, which has collected 10 national titles including in 2008 and 2009, will open the tripleheader with a contest against Big East Conference rival Georgetown at 11 a.m. Virginia, a Final Four team last season, will meet another 2010 national semifinalist in Cornell at 1:30 p.m. And Johns Hopkins and UMBC will meet in a clash of local rivals at 4 p.m.

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Maryland, Navy, UMBC
        

June 7, 2010

Locals dot Major Lacrosse League draft

The Major Lacrosse League draft took place Sunday night, and a multitude of players with ties to the Baltimore metropolitan area were selected in the six-team draft.

Johns Hopkins midfielder Michael Kimmel was selected with the second overall pick by the Chesapeake Bayhawks, who capped the first round by taking Virginia midfielder Brian Carroll, a Baltimore native and Gilman graduate, with the sixth overall choice.

The last pick of the second round belonged to the Boston Cannons, who grabbed Johns Hopkins attackman Steven Boyle at No. 12.

Chesapeake had two picks in the fourth round and used No. 19 on UMBC midfielder Kyle Wimer and No. 23 on Maryland goalkeeper Brian Phipps.

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Loyola, Maryland, Navy, UMBC
        

Review & preview: Navy

The end of last season kicked off a new series that checked in with the seven Division I programs in the state to evaluate the past and give a glimpse into the future. The series resumes with teams appearing according to the chronological order in which their seasons ended. So Monday begins with a visit with Navy.

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Categories: Navy, Review & preview
        

May 29, 2010

Cottle dismissal doesn't sit well with area coaches

More than just being a sympathetic ear, Tony Seaman may understand what Dave Cottle is enduring.

After the 1998 season, Seaman was forced to resign by Johns Hopkins despite a 77-33 record (.700), four seasons of 10 wins or more and four Final Four appearances in eight seasons.

So when Seaman heard on Sunday from Cottle himself that he had decided to take himself out of consideration after Maryland told him it was unlikely to sign him to a new contract, Seaman felt like he was thrown into a time warp.

"I was fortunate enough to start that trend in 1998 when my resume at Hopkins looked very similar to Dave’s," Seaman, the coach at Towson, said with tongue firmly planted in cheek. "When I wasn’t renewed, we were 10-4 and we had gone to the Final Four four out of eight years. You wonder sometimes. And they went seven more years before winning a championship. So sometimes it’s not about changing the program or the leadership. You’ve just got to have a bunch of kids and have a little luck and be good and do a good job of recruiting and it’s all got to mesh and the chemistry has to come together. That’s why only five [active coaches] have ever done it."

The debate over the Terps’ decision to part ways with Cottle has raged since news broke on Sunday, one day after Maryland, as the No. 3 seed, fell to Notre Dame, 7-5, in a NCAA Tournament quarterfinal.

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Maryland, Navy, Towson
        

May 27, 2010

Johns Hopkins' Kimmel named first-team All American

Johns Hopkins senior midfielder Michael Kimmel earned a spot on the All-American first team, the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association announced Thursday.

The Towson native and Loyola graduate ranked second among the Blue Jays in both assists (16) and points (39). Kimmel joined Paul Rabil and Del Dressel as the only midfielders in school history to record at least 30 points in each of his four seasons.

Syracuse led all programs with three players on the first team. They are junior long-stick midfielder and Tewaaraton Award finalist Joel White, junior defenseman John Lade and junior goalkeeper John Galloway.

Virginia and North Carolina each placed two players on the first team. Senior defenseman and Tewaaraton Award finalist Ken Clausen and junior midfielder Shamel Bratton represented the Cavaliers, while junior attackman Billy Bitter and junior defenseman Ryan Flanagan stood in for the Tar Heels.

Two other Tewaaraton finalists in Duke fifth-year senior attackman Ned Crotty and Stony Brook junior midfielder Kevin Crowley made the first team. Cornell sophomore attackman Rob Pannell was the final member of the first team.

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Loyola, Maryland, Mount St. Mary's, Navy, Towson, UMBC
        

May 6, 2010

Could Penn State vacancy have an impact locally?

Penn State coach Glenn Thiel announced on Wednesday his decision to step down after 33 years of leading the Nittany Lions.

He compiled a 236-186 record at Penn State and owned a career mark of 313-222, which includes the 1972 national championship as the coach at Virginia.

The school’s web site said that a national search for Thiel’s successor will begin immediately, and I can think of a few local names that could become candidates.

Shawn Nadelen is the associate head coach and defensive coordinator at Towson, while Bobby Benson is the offensive coordinator at Johns Hopkins. Navy assistant coach Stan Ross was the head coach at Butler for two seasons before the school dropped the lacrosse program, and coach Paul Cantabene has Stevenson in line for its second overall No. 1 seed in the Division III Tournament.

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Navy, Stevenson, Towson
        

May 4, 2010

Q&A with ESPN analyst Mark Dixon

ESPN analyst and former Johns Hopkins midfielder Mark Dixon will be providing commentary on Saturday at noon when No. 20 Johns Hopkins (6-7) visits No. 12 Loyola (9-3) in what will be a pivotal game for both teams. Dixon talks about the Johns Hopkins-Loyola showdown, Towson’s berth in the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament and UMBC’s hopes of capturing a third straight America East Tournament crown.

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Loyola, Navy, Q&A, Towson, UMBC
        

April 30, 2010

Navy ready for Patriot League Tournament

No sooner had Navy vanquished some personal demons by snapping a 36-game losing streak to Johns Hopkins on Saturday, the players and coaches began studying for the Patriot League Tournament, which kicks off Friday.

"You don’t get much time [to celebrate], and that’s probably good," coach Richie Meade said. "Obviously, that was a great win for us, but it’s only one game in the season."

With a 6-7 record, the Midshipmen must defeat Lafayette in a tournament semifinal on Friday and then get past the winner of the No. 20 Army-Bucknell semifinal to make a seventh consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

That’s not unfamiliar territory for Navy, which has captured five of the last six Patriot League crowns, but Meade pointed out the strength of this year’s field.

"I’m not so sure that what has happened in the past is really going to affect this year’s team or this year’s tournament," he said. "Army’s riding a five-game winning streak, Bucknell has won two in a row. Bucknell was one of the teams picked to win it. I think they’re very talented. I think Army has had a good year, and they’re playing well. Lafayette beat our brains in [15-8 on March 12]. It wasn’t a fluke. They could have won by more than they won the night that we played them. They’re a very good offensive team and a good team overall. They’ve had the best year they’ve ever had in several years. So I think it’s going to be interesting."

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Categories: Navy
        

April 27, 2010

Five Navy players earn spots on All-Patriot League team

Five Navy players were named to the All-Patriot League team on Tuesday, including sophomore R.J. Wickham who was recognized as the Goalkeeper of the Year.

Wickham, who became the first Navy player to earn four Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Week honors in a single season, ranks second among Division I goalies with a .615 save percentage and ninth with a 8.35 goals-against average.

Wickham, one of 26 semifinalists and one of four goalies nominated for the Tewaaraton Award, has made 174 saves this season, which is the 13th most in school history. He is just two saves away from breaking into the top 10 and 26 stops from becoming only the fourth player to record 200 saves in a season.

Joining Wickham on the first team are senior midfielder Patrick Moran and junior defenseman Michael Hirsch.

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Categories: Navy
        

April 26, 2010

Navy's Wickham racks up fourth Patriot League award this season

R.J. Wickham was named the Patriot League's Goalkeeper of the Week, becoming the first Navy player to collect that honor four times in a single season.

Wickham made nine saves to help the Midshipmen edge No. 15 Johns Hopkins, 9-8, in overtime and end a 36-game losing streak to the Blue Jays. Wickham registered nine of his saves in the third and fourth quarters and the overtime period.

The sophomore ranks second among Division I goalies with a .615 save percentage and ninth with a 8.35 goals-against average. Wickham has made 174 saves this season, which is the 13th most in school history. He is just two saves away from breaking into the top 10 and 26 stops from becoming only the fourth player to record 200 saves in a season.

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Categories: Navy
        

NCAA releases first RPI list

The NCAA released its first Ratings Percentage Index -- aka RPI -- and four of the top five spots are occupied by teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Virginia (13-1), North Carolina (11-2), Maryland (9-3) and Duke (11-4) are Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 5 on the list. Only Syracuse (11-1) at No. 4 breaks up the monopoly.

Princeton (9-3), Loyola (9-2), Cornell (8-4), Stony Brook (9-3) and Towson (6-5) round out the top 10. Locally, Johns Hopkins (5-7) sits at No. 14, Mount St. Mary's (8-4) at No. 23,  Navy (6-7) at No. 24 and UMBC (4-7) at No. 34.

The RPI, a rating that accounts for record and strength of schedule in that stronger opponents yield higher RPIs, is one tool that the NCAA selection committee will evaluate prior to finalizing the field for the NCAA Tournament. The 16-team bracket will be unveiled on Sunday, May 9 at 9 p.m.

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Loyola, Maryland, Mount St. Mary's, Navy, Towson, UMBC
        

Patriot League Tournament schedule set

The schedule for the Patriot League Tournament has been set with a pair of semifinals kicking off on Friday from Army’s Michie Stadium in West Point, N.Y.

Army (8-5) finished the regular season with a perfect 6-0 record in conference play, earning the top seed for the second time in three years. The Black Knights will meet No. 4 seed Bucknell (8-5 overall and 3-3 in the league) in the first semifinal at 3 p.m.

The second semifinal – slated to begin at 5:45 pits No. 2 seed Navy (6-7, 4-2) against No. 3 seed Lafayette (8-4, 3-3). The Midshipmen have captured five of the last six tournament championships.

The championship final is scheduled for Sunday at 3 p.m.

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Categories: Navy
        

April 25, 2010

Postscript from Johns Hopkins at Navy

I enjoy talking to Richie Meade, and one thing I like about the Navy coach is that underneath his gruff demeanor, it's obvious that he cares deeply about the young men that their parents have entrusted to him. Even still, I have to admit that I was a little surprised to see Meade well up with emotion after the Midshipmen’s 9-8 overtime victory over No. 15 Johns Hopkins at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis on Saturday.

I was aware that the outcome snapped Navy’s 36-game losing skid to the Blue Jays, but as an outsider, I had no idea the impact that slide had on the players, coaches and supporters who had endured each loss that seemed to compound the frustration and heartache.

When asked about walking off the field after previous losses to Johns Hopkins, Meade took a few moments during his response to compose himself and when he did talk, you could clearly hear the emotion in his voice. I’ve tried to add some of that emotion in the transcript below.

"When we’ve played Hopkins in the past, there have been a lot of times [pause and sigh] I’ve walked off this field and have to [pause] walk into the locker room and deal with my kids and knew that they played their hearts out and they didn’t win," Meade said. "We’re not talking about once in a while here. We’re talking about a cumulative time. I mean, I remember 1985 [when Johns Hopkins won, 24-10]. I remember that game, I remember other games, I remember games where we played great and we didn’t win. And the reason why we didn’t win was because we were playing Johns Hopkins. If we had played anybody else that day, we would’ve beat them. … That’s all I really care about, to be honest with you. I’m the same coach I was yesterday. This doesn’t mean anything to me personally except that we won this game and I’m happy about it. But to our players and the players that weren’t successful when they played their guts out and to have them have to deal with that time and time again, that’s really the thing that has bothered me the most. So I think it’s important for our alumni. There are a lot of guys in that locker room that were great players here, that kind of built what we have become here over the last seven or eight years. A lot of guys are in the locker room, and that means so much to me. That means so much to me that this game means so much to them. That’s what I’m thankful for."

Meade choked up again when commenting on the team’s rally from a 5-0 deficit after the first quarter.

"It’s been a tough year, but it’s been a year that I’ve enjoyed a lot because we really have had to look inside of ourselves," he said. "We’ve had to just keep fighting. The only thing [pause] I really hope I teach these guys is to keep fighting, to believe in themselves and to be good leaders. That’s it. That’s a trait I think this team has."

Other notes:

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Navy, Postscript
        

April 24, 2010

Johns Hopkins at Navy: Halftime thoughts

Navy leads No. 15 Johns Hopkins, 6-5, at halftime before an announced 10,128 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis Saturday, and if the Blue Jays end up losing this game, they will be kicking themselves for squandering the 5-0 advantage they had built in the first quarter.

Johns Hopkins (5-6) opened the game with five unanswered goals – including three in a span of 3 minutes, 22 seconds – and appeared to have its 37th consecutive win against the Midshipmen in hand.

But the Blue Jays got sloppy in the second quarter. Despite winning 4-of-7 face-offs, the team committed six turnovers in the period and maintained possession long enough to take just four shots.

It is believed that Johns Hopkins, which has lost five of its last six contests, must win the final three games of the regular season – against Navy, Towson on Wednesday night and No. 7 Loyola on May 8 – to grab one of 10 at-large bids to the NCAA Tournament.

One more setback, and Johns Hopkins’ streak of 38 straight tournament appearances would rest in the hands of the NCAA selection committee, which is the least reliable option.

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Categories: Halftime thoughts, Johns Hopkins, Navy
        

Johns Hopkins at Navy: Three things to watch

Saturday’s annual showdown between No. 15 Johns Hopkins and Navy at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis at 12 p.m. will have even greater implications on the postseason picture as both teams are struggling to bolster their resume for the NCAA selection committee. Oh, and there’s the little matter of a 36-game winning streak that the Blue Jays own over the Midshipmen.

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Navy, Three things to watch
        

April 23, 2010

Johns Hopkins and Navy: mirror images of each other?

When No. 15 Johns Hopkins and Navy meet at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis on Saturday, it would not be a surprise for players and coaches on both sides to react with a slight double-take.

Both teams enter the game with losing records, dwindling postseason hopes and a sense of desperation.

Both sides have also suffered significant injuries, especially those of the season-ending variety. The Blue Jays lost senior attackman Chris Boland, last year’s leading scorer, to a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his right knee and has recently welcomed back junior long-stick midfielder Orry Michael and sophomore midfielder Marshall Burkhardt from a fractured patella and compartment syndrome, respectively.

Meanwhile, the Midshipmen were forced to bid farewell to senior attackman Tim Paul after he tore the ACL in his right knee in the team’s second game of the season. And senior long-stick midfielder Jaren Woeppel, the Patriot League’s Preseason Defensive Player of the Year has missed four games because of a nagging right hamstring injury.

When asked about the eerie similarities between both teams, Johns Hopkins coach Dave Pietramala chuckled.

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Navy
        

April 22, 2010

Nothing 'definite' on return of Navy's Woeppel

When Navy plays host to No. 15 Johns Hopkins Saturday, one of the Midshipmen’s defensive priorities will involve containing Blue Jays senior midfielder Michael Kimmel, who has totaled five goals and three assists in four career meetings with Navy.

Kimmel would likely draw the attention of senior long-stick midfielder Jaren Woeppel, but Woeppel’s status is still up in the air due to an injured right hamstring.

Woeppel, who is believed to be the first long-stick midfielder to be voted as the Patriot League’s Preseason Defensive Player of the Year, missed the Midshipmen’s losses to No. 5 Maryland and Army and has sat out four contests this season.

Coach Richie Meade was non-committal about Woeppel’s availability for Saturday.

"He ran around [Tuesday]," Meade said. "Like I said last week, he’s very, very close, but I can’t get a definite answer, and I don’t think there is one. Our position has been that he’s not going to play until we feel like he’s close to 100 percent and he can be effective. My feeling is that he’s close, but it’s not something that you can get a definite time frame on. He’s working at it and he’s much better than he was. Whether or not he plays this weekend, if he’s 100 percent, he will play."

Continue reading "Nothing 'definite' on return of Navy's Woeppel" »

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Navy
        

April 20, 2010

Q&A with ESPN's Matt Ward

Matt Ward is a former All-American attackman who helped Virginia capture NCAA championships in 2003 and 2006 and won the Tewaaraton Trophy in 2006 as the sport’s top player. In the first of a two-part interview, Ward, an analyst for ESPN, discusses – among other topics – No. 5 Maryland’s shelf life, No. 7 Loyola’s at-large resume and No. 20 Towson’s postseason chances.

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Loyola, Maryland, Mount St. Mary's, Navy, Towson, UMBC
        

April 16, 2010

Where's the love for long-stick midfielders?

Despite the position’s importance, there is no designated spot on All-American teams for long-stick midfielders. They’re usually grouped with close defensemen even tough many people would agree that their responsibilities are somewhat different.

Here’s what each of the four long-stick midfielders participating in the Smartlink Day of Rivals doubleheader at M&T Bank Stadium on Saturday had to say about the lack of recognition.

Continue reading "Where's the love for long-stick midfielders?" »

Posted by Edward Lee at 9:00 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Johns Hopkins, Maryland, Navy
        

Long-stick midfielders try their hands at scoring

Friday’s edition of The Sun included an article highlighting each of the long-stick midfielders playing for the four teams involved in Saturday’s Smartlink Day of Rivals doubleheader at M&T Bank Stadium.

A significant task associated with playing the long-stick midfielder position is helping the team move the ball from defense to offense. The dilemma for these players is what to do if the opposing defense doesn’t try to stop the ball carrier.

Ever since he scored two goals in his first game as a freshman in 2007, Maryland redshirt junior Brian Farrell has had the green light to shoot the ball if necessary.

"I was scared in the beginning because I never knew what the reaction was going to be from Coach [Dave] Cottle," recalled Farrell, who has scored 17 goals and assisted on 12 others in his career. "But the first game I ever played in, I scored two goals, and I was like, ‘OK, I don’t think he cares as long as I score.’ There’s been times when I’ve gotten yelled at for shooting. For example, last week [in an 11-9 victory over then-No. 20 Navy], I got yelled at for taking – I don’t think it was a bad shot – what they thought was a bad shot. Not the right time, I guess. … It’s part of the game. You need transition in order to win games."

Continue reading "Long-stick midfielders try their hands at scoring" »

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Maryland, Navy
        

April 14, 2010

Tewaaraton list narrowed down to 26

The list of candidates in the running to win this year's Tewaaraton Trophy, which is given to college lacrosse's top player, has been narrowed down to 26 players.

No. 5 Maryland has two players on that list in junior attackman Grant Catalino and redshirt junior long-stick midfielder Brian Farrell. No. 7 Loyola is represented by junior goalkeeper Jake Hagelin, while Navy has a candidate in sophomore goalie R.J. Wickham.

Also, sophomore defenseman Sam Miller of Salisbury is listed, but I'm thinking that's a mistake. I think the foundation meant to nominate sophomore midfielder Sam Bradman.

Continue reading "Tewaaraton list narrowed down to 26" »

Posted by Edward Lee at 2:50 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Loyola, Maryland, Navy
        

April 13, 2010

Navy's Woeppel healing in time for Saturday

Jaren Woeppel sat out Navy’s 11-9 loss to No. 5 Maryland this past Saturday due to a nagging hamstring injury, and while the senior long-stick midfielder was chomping to play, he ultimately agreed with coach Richie Meade’s decision.

“I guess I put up as much resistance as I could, but pretty much, what he says, goes. And I wasn’t going to argue it,” Woeppel said. “I think it was a wise choice. It’s my last year, and Coach didn’t want me to do anything where it wasn’t 100 percent and I still played on it and I hurt it even more.”

Woeppel, who is believed to be the first long-stick midfielder to earn the Patriot League’s preseason Defensive Player of the Year, re-aggravated a right hamstring injury that forced him to miss back-to-back losses to Lafayette and Towson.

“It feels pretty good,” he said. “Hopefully, by Tuesday or Wednesday, I’ll be back in full pads practicing.”
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Categories: Navy
        

April 11, 2010

Postscript from Navy at Maryland

Grant Catalino is the first guy to point out that No. 5 Maryland’s success is not based on one player. The numbers would seem to bear otherwise.

The Terps (7-2) are 6-0 in games in which Catalino registers three points or more as the junior attackman did when he scored three times in the team’s 11-9 victory over No. 20 Navy on Saturday.

On the flip side, Maryland is 1-2 when Catalino posts less than three points.

The same holds true over Catalino’s career. The Terps are now 18-4 when Catalino records at least three points, but just 9-10 when he can’t break that threshhold.

Catalino shrugged off talk of any offensive burden on his 6-foot-5, 225- pound frame, saying, “It’s different guys every week. This week is no different from that. Me and [junior attackman] Travis [Reed] ended up with three and four goals [respectively], but next week, it could be two more other guys. That’s the beauty of this team. We’ve got a lot of guys scoring.”

Still, there’s no denying that Catalino can spark the offense. He notched one goal and one assist in Maryland’s 9-7 loss to No. 3 North Carolina on March 27 and was shut out in the 11-10 setback to No. 1 Virginia on April 3.

“We need Grant to be a player,” coach Dave Cottle said. “He didn’t score a goal last week, and he hadn’t scored a goal against Navy in his career. So I challenged him. I called him some names this week. But he stepped up for us.”

Cottle’s memory might be blurry with so many games running together. Catalino did score once in 2008, but he was blanked last season. “I took it personally and prepared extra hard for this week because going into a game against a team you haven’t scored on in two years, I kind of wanted to make a statement,” Catalino said. “The ball kind of fell my way today. Luckily, we had a bunch of guys scoring, but it was good to finally get a goal against this Navy team.”

Other notes:

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Categories: Maryland, Navy, Postscript
        

April 10, 2010

Navy at Maryland: Halftime thoughts

No. 5 Maryland has a 4-3 edge on No. 20 Navy at halftime at Byrd Stadium in College Park, but it's the Midshipmen who should be in front.

Navy took a 3-1 lead just 4:05 into the second quarter after junior attackman Andy Warner found senior midfielder Joe Lennon alone at the left point for a goal. But the team has squandered offensive possessions since then, taking sharp-angled or ill-advised shots at the cage.

The Midshipmen had a golden opportunity to stop the bleeding when redshirt junior long-stick midfielder Brian Farrell was flagged for slashing. But Warner took a shot from a poor angle left of the cage that Terps senior goalkeeper Brian Phipps gobbled up, and Maryland killed off the remainder of Farrell's one-minute penalty. Phiipps made five of his seven saves in the second quarter.

Meanwhile, junior attackman Grant Catalino has put the Terps on his back, scoring all three of the team's goals in the second quarter to reassert the team's dominance thus far. Catalino, who had been shut out in Maryland's 11-10 loss to No. 1 Virginia last Saturday, scored his second and third goals in a span of 15 seconds. 

Other notes:

*Face-offs continue to plague the Midshipmen, who entered the contest winning 43.3 percent of their draws. They've won just 2 of 9 face-offs in the first half and don't seem to have an answer for Maryland's duo of senior Bryn Holmes and sophomore Jake Bernhardt.

*Lennon leads Navy with two goals, and senior midfielder Patrick Moran has chipped in one goal and one assist. Catalino is the Terps' only player with more than one point.

*Maryland is winning the battle of shots (19-13) and groundballs (20-11) and will begin the third quarter on an extra-man advantage after freshman short-stick defensive midfielder Jordan Seivold was assessed a 30-second penalty for holding with 11 seconds left in the second quarter.

Posted by Edward Lee at 1:26 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Halftime thoughts, Maryland, Navy
        

Navy, Maryland to play without key starter

Some news prior to No. 20 Navy's tilt with No. 5 Maryland at Byrd Stadium in College Park: The Terps (6-2) will play without starting attackman/midfielder Will Yeatman because of a broken thumb on his left hand.

Yeatman, a senior who ranks second on the team in goals (11) and fourth in points (13), broke the thumb during practice on Monday, according to a Maryland spokesman. He had seven screws and a plate inserted into the thumb, and the earliest he could return is for next Saturday's game against No. 15 Johns Hopkins at the Day of Rivals at M&T Bank Stadium.

The Midshipmen (5-5) will play without senior long-stick midfielder Jaren Woeppel, who is dealing with a hamstring injury. It's the same hamstring that kept him from playing against Lafayette and Towson earlier in the season. But the move is more precautionary than anything, according to a team spokesperson.

Also, senior Gordon Lawson will start on close defense, replacing sophomore Ian Crumley.

Posted by Edward Lee at 12:10 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Maryland, Navy
        

Navy at Maryland: Three things to watch

There’s much at stake when No. 20 Navy visits No. 5 Maryland at Byrd Stadium in College Park on Saturday at noon. The Midshipmen (5-5) could use a quality win to further enhance their resume for the NCAA Tournament, while the Terps (6-2) would like to beat their intra-state rivals for only the second time since 2003. Here are a few game developments that could factor into the outcome.

 

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Categories: Maryland, Navy, Three things to watch
        

April 9, 2010

Moran filling void for Navy

Friday's edition of The Sun included an article on the friendship between Navy senior midfielder Patrick Moran and Maryland senior goalkeeper Brian Phipps, who played on the same youth lacrosse and high school teams.

Moran leads the No. 20 Midshipmen (5-5) in goals (20) and points (27) this season, and it’s a role that he’s had to assume since senior attackman Tim Paul tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during the team’s 8-7 overtime loss to then-No. 10 Loyola on March 20.

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Categories: Navy
        

Q&A with ESPN's Mark Dixon

ESPN analyst Mark Dixon, a former midfielder at Johns Hopkins, will provide commentary for Saturday's game between No. 20 Navy and No. 5 Maryland and Sunday's contest between No. 14 Notre Dame and No. 10 Georgetown. This is the first of a two-part interview with Dixon, who discussed Maryland's inconsistent midfield, Loyola’s big game against Eastern College Athletic Conference rival Fairfield, and Johns Hopkins’ and Navy’s NCAA Tournament chances.

Question: If you're Maryland coach Dave Cottle, what are you most pleased with about your No. 5 Terps at this point in the season?

Mark Dixon: If I'm Dave Cottle, the thing I'm most pleased with is their energy and level of intensity. I think Maryland is a team that really gets after it. They get up and down the field, they fight and contest every groundball, they fall behind 6-0 to Virginia, the No. 1 team in the country and they fight back.

Continue reading "Q&A with ESPN's Mark Dixon" »

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Loyola, Maryland, Mount St. Mary's, Navy, Q&A
        

April 7, 2010

Good news, bad news for Navy

The roller-coaster ride for No. 20 Navy continues to reach both peaks and valleys.

First, the good news: After a six-game stretch during which the offense failed to score at least 10 goals, the Midshipmen (5-5) have reached that double-digit mark in their last three contests, winning twice in that span. The team has been efficient with its shots over that same span, putting 63.6 percent (68 of 107) of its shots on net.

“We’re playing better offensively,” coach Richie Meade said. “We’ve been playing better since the Towson game [a 10-9 loss on March 16]. I don’t think that our offense has been the thing that has affected us. It all works together, but we feel like we’re a better team than we were a month ago. Had we played the way we played against Georgetown [a 13-12 overtime loss last Friday] in all the games, maybe we would have lost one or two games. … Obviously, we were having some problems with turnovers early in the season, and we were giving up some easy goals. I think we’re still giving up some easy goals, but I think offensively, we’re playing a little more patiently, and guys are starting to get a better feel for playing together.”

 

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Categories: Navy
        

April 2, 2010

Postscript from Georgetown at Navy

Davey Emala has played sparingly this season for No. 13 Georgetown, but the Hoyas are probably grateful that the freshman attackman’s energy was put to good use Friday night.

The Baltimore native and Gilman graduate scored three goals and was part of a freshman class that contributed to 11 of Georgetown’s 13 goals in a one-goal overtime victory over No. 20 Navy at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.

Prior to Friday night, Emala had played in just two games, taking just one shot and scooping up one groundball. He scored on all three of his shots against the Midshipmen.

"It was absolutely a great experience,’ he said. "... I think as a team, we worked real hard this week. We had great practices Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and really focused on working hard and going after ground balls, and I think it showed a lot tonight."

One of the most sought-after recruits, Emala joined a Hoyas offense that featured a crowded attack with senior Craig Dowd, redshirt junior Rickey Mirabito, sophomore Ryan Shuler and freshman Travis Comeau. In fact, Emala got his most extensive playing time of the season Friday night because Mirabito sat out with a cracked jaw suffered in the team’s 15-10 loss to No. 6 Duke a week ago.

"It’s definitely a process," Emala said of his transition to college. "One big thing is playing all year-round. It’s definitely different focusing on just one sport. And the thing about college is, everyone was the best player coming out of their high school. So you’ve got to elevate the level of your game to play with them. So it’s been a tough transition, but it’s been a great learning experience."

Coach Dave Urick said Emala has been patient in waiting for his turn to play.

"We’ve been trying to get him some playing time, but four attackmen is the more comfortable rotation," Urick said. "It’s tough to play five. So if we kept Rickey out for this game, then Davey is that guy that plays in that role. He’s a finisher. He can score, and he proved it tonight."

Other notes:

Continue reading "Postscript from Georgetown at Navy" »

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Categories: Navy, Postscript
        

Georgetown at Navy: Halftime thoughts

No. 20 Navy trails No. 13 Georgetown, 6-4, at halftime here at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, and the Midshipmen have got to be kicking themselves over finding themselves in this situation.

After the teams exchanged goals to open the game, Navy allowed the Hoyas to gain a two-goal lead via some sloppy play. While attempting to clear the ball, sophomore defenseman Matt Vernam got the ball knocked out of his stick by Craig Dowd, and the Georgetown senior attackman raced in alone on a breakaway to score with 4:22 left in the first quarter.

Nine seconds later, freshman midfielder Patrick Murray won his first career face-off and scored his first career goal.

The Hoyas began the second quarter with five turnovers on five possessions, and the Midshipmen took advantage, getting a pair of man-up goals from junior attackman Andy Warner to tie the score with 5:06 left.

But Georgetown ended the period with two straight scores to regain the two-goal cushion. By the way, the Hoyas have taken the lead in groundballs (20-9) and shots (17-13). So the Midshipmen have had their chances to seize control, but have squandered those opportunities.

Other notes:

Continue reading "Georgetown at Navy: Halftime thoughts" »

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Categories: Halftime thoughts, Navy
        

Georgetown at Navy: Three things to watch

A victory could go a long way towards determining the postseason fate for Friday’s participants, No. 13 Georgetown (4-3) and No. 20 Navy (5-4), at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis at 7 p.m. Here are a few developments that could factor into the outcome.

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Categories: Navy, Three things to watch
        

March 30, 2010

Navy's Moran honored by Patriot League

Navy's Patrick Moran captured the first Patriot League award of his four-year career after the conference named him the Offensive Player of the Week Monday.

The senior midfielder scored three goals in the No. 20 Midshipmen's 10-9 overtime victory over Colgate this past Saturday. Moran, an Annapolis native and Severn graduate, scored the game-tying goal with just 22.3 seconds remaining in regulation.

Moran needed just 98 seconds in overtime to score the game-winner, which was his second overtime tally of the season. He scored the game-winner in Navy's 8-7 overtime win against Bucknell on March 6.

Finishing with his fifth hat trick of the season, Moran is believed to be the first Midshipman to score two overtime goals in a single season since 1982.

Posted by Edward Lee at 9:56 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Navy
        

March 29, 2010

Navy's Doyle earns promotion

No. 20 Navy’s two-game winning streak has coincided with junior Kevin Doyle’s promotion to the first midfield line with senior Patrick Moran and sophomore Nikk Davis.

That may be coincidental, but Doyle, a Towson native and Gilman graduate who stands in at 6 foot, 3 inches and 191 pounds, has contributed one goal and one assist since starting with the unit. Senior Joe Lennon, the 6-3, 202-pound Westminster native and Loyola graduate, has moved to the second line with senior Basil Daratsos and junior Brian Striffler and posted one goal and two assists.

"We felt like getting Joe with [Brian] Striffler and in other different combinations might help us a little bit," Midshipmen coach Richie Meade said. "We actually started running Joe back with the first group in the fourth quarter against Colgate. Kevin’s a big physical kid, and he’s got the ability to dodge pretty hard. We just felt like moving Joe with some other guys might get him free a little bit more."

Senior short-stick defensive midfielder Joe McAuliffe is still sidelined suffering a Lisfranc sprain in his foot. Meade said there is no timetable for his return.

Continue reading "Navy's Doyle earns promotion" »

Posted by Edward Lee at 12:30 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Navy
        

March 17, 2010

Postscript from Navy at Towson

The relief etched on the faces of Towson players told the whole story.

Tuesday night’s 10-9 victory over No. 17 Navy at Johnny Unitas Stadium helped the Tigers avoid the program’s first 0-4 start – and stoked a competitive fire that has shown no signs of flaming out.

Moments after the win, junior goalkeeper Travis Love was licking his chops over Sunday’s tilt with No. 1 Virginia.

"It’s scary," Love said of the showdown with the undefeated Cavaliers, "but on any day, I feel like anything can happen. CP [senior Christian Pastirik, who scored three goals including the game-winner with 6 seconds left against the Midshipmen] was huge for us. It just takes that one guy and everyone else can ride their coattails. Our team has guys that can step up like that. I’m looking forward to Virginia. I want them. I want that second win."

Love might be getting a little ahead of himself, but the point is that Towson is not out of the playoff picture just yet. Yes, there are some challenging match-ups with Virginia and No. 11 Loyola in the next two weeks, but the Tigers can still makes waves in the Colonial Athletic Association.

"It’s a win – any way we can," coach Tony Seaman said. "We hung in there. … Our big theme was let’s play 60 minutes. We had been playing 50, 48, 49, and tonight, we finished it up with six seconds left. So thank God. We did everything we could to give me a heart attack tonight. … It was unbelievable."

Other notes:

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Categories: Navy, Postscript, Towson
        

March 16, 2010

Navy at Towson: Halftime thoughts

On a night when Towson is seeking its first victory, the host Tigers lead No. 17 Navy, 6-5, at halftime.

Junior attackman Tim Stratton already has a hat trick in the first half, and the third goal involved a little trickery as he and senior midfielder Brock Armour engaged in a ball fake behind the net. As Midshipmen sophomore goalkeeper R.J. Wickham followed Armour to the left wing, Stratton -- who had the ball -- curled around the right post and dumped the ball into the open net.

Senior midfielder Christian Pastirik has a pretty goal of his own when he accepted a pass from freshman attackman Matt Hughes, and as he was running out of real estate while running to the right side of the crease, whipped a shot behind his head into the top left corner of the cage.

Towson, which hasn't trailed in the first half, broke a 3-3 tie with three consecutive goals. But Navy answered with two goals, including a tally from senior defenseman Jake Brosnan with 17 seconds left in the second quarter.

Other notes:

Continue reading "Navy at Towson: Halftime thoughts" »

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Categories: Halftime thoughts, Navy, Towson
        

Navy at Towson: Three things to watch

Two teams hungry for wins meet Tuesday night at 7 p.m. when No. 17 Navy (3-3) meets Towson (0-3) at Johnny Unitas Stadium. Here are a few developments that could determine the outcome.

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Categories: Navy, Three things to watch, Towson
        

March 15, 2010

Navy playing without two defensive starters

No. 12 Navy’s 15-8 setback to Patriot League rival Lafayette Friday night was compounded by the absence of two defensive starters.

Senior long-stick midfielder Jaren Woeppel, the Patriot League’s preseason Defensive Player of the Year, sat out with a hamstring injury and is listed as day-to-day. The prognosis is even more dire for senior short-stick defensive midfielder Joe McAuliffe, who could miss as many as the team’s next six games after suffering a Lisfranc sprain in his foot.

"Joe’s going to be out for a month," coach Richie Meade said. "He’s got a Lisfranc sprain. Could have been a lot more serious if it was a break. It would have been a season-ending injury. But he’s working through that. Jaren’s situation is kind of day-to-day. We thought he might be able to play on Friday night, but he’s got a little tweak of a hamstring, and we didn’t want to risk him on Friday night – partly because we didn’t think he could be effective and part of it was we were playing on AstroTurf, which we never play on and is a hard surface. I just didn’t think it was in our best interest to do that."

McAuliffe’s absence could mean more playing time for a pair of freshmen in Jordan Seivold and Bucky Smith, both of whom played in Friday night’s loss. Senior Zack Schroeder will replace Woeppel, but he played against Lafayette despite dealing with what Meade called an acute back injury that may require surgery after the season.

Coupled with the season-ending loss of senior attackman Tim Paul (torn right anterior cruciate ligament) and freshman midfielder Jay Mann (collarbone), the Midshipmen have been bitten by the injury bug. But Meade pointed out that injuries aren’t limited to Annapolis.

"That’s all stuff you’ve got to kind of work through," he said. "Injuries are a little disruptive, but it’s not an excuse. I don’t think injuries may be a part of this, but the other part of this is we’ve got to execute better at both ends of the field. Offensively, we played well enough to score 14 or 15 goals, and we didn’t do it."

Other notes:

Continue reading "Navy playing without two defensive starters" »

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Categories: Navy
        

March 13, 2010

Towson's Love could start against Navy

Towson junior goalkeeper Travis Love’s patience may be rewarded – with his first career start against No. 12 Navy on Tuesday night at Johnny Unitas Stadium.

Love, a Westminster native and Winters Mill graduate, was spectacular in the second half of the Tigers’ 12-8 loss to No. 6 Maryland Saturday, finishing with seven saves – including five from point-blank range.

Love, who replaced senior Rob Wheeler (Friends) at halftime, may have earned himself Tuesday night’s start, according to coach Tony Seaman whose team is off to a 0-3 start.

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Categories: Navy, Towson
        

March 10, 2010

Another challenge to Navy's supremacy in Patriot League

Navy, winner of five of the last six Patriot League regular-season titles and five of the last six Patriot League Tournament crowns, is accustomed to being challenged for league supremacy. But the face of the next contender is new.

Lafayette, which plays host to the No. 12 Midshipmen (3-2 overall and 2-0 in the league) is 4-0, but has yet to play a conference opponent. The Leopards have outscored their opponents – which includes Fairfield, Binghamton and Pennsylvania – by a combined score of 56-32.

Count Navy coach Richie Meade as a Lafayette fan.

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Categories: Navy
        

March 9, 2010

Navy's Wickham, Woeppel cited by Patriot League

Navy senior long-stick midfielder Jaren Woeppel and sophomore goalkeeper R.J. Wickham were named the defensive player and goalie of the week by the Patriot League Tuesday.

Wickham made 27 saves and surrendered just 10 goals in the No. 12 Midshipmen's victories over Lehigh and No. 17 Bucknell last week. Eighteen of those saves came against the Bison in an 8-7 overtime win, and the 18 saves are the second-most of his career after stopping 19 shots in an 8-7 overtime loss to No. 10 Loyola on Feb. 20. Wickham currently ranks second in Division I in save percentage (.679) and sixth in goals-against average (6.69).

Woeppel, the league's preseasion Defensive Player of the Year, surrendered just one goal and zero assists to the pair of opponents he faced last week. Woeppel shut out Lehigh senior attackman Brian Bienemann, caused a season- and team-high three turnovers, and scooped up a season-best four groundballs. Woeppel allowed Bucknell sophomore midfielder Charlie Streep, last season's Patriot League Rookie of the Year, just one goal.

Posted by Edward Lee at 10:33 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Navy
        

March 6, 2010

UMBC, Towson and Navy also involved in significant games

While much of the lacrosse world will be focused on the Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic tripleheader at M&T Bank Stadium on Saturday, there are at least three other significant games involving local teams this weekend. Here’s a brief breakdown of those contests in chronological order:

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Categories: Navy, Towson, UMBC
        

One uneducated analysis of Tewaaraton Trophy watch list

The Tewaaraton Trophy watch list was released yesterday, and 17 of the names belong to players who currently play for Maryland-based programs or hail from the Baltimore metropolitan area.

Johns Hopkins leads the way locally with three nominees in senior attackman Steven Boyle, senior defenseman Matt Drenan and senior midfielder Michael Kimmel.

Maryland and Navy have two each. The Terps are represented by junior long-stick midfielder Brian Farrell and junior attackman Tim Paul, while the Midshipmen include senior attackman Tim Paul and sophomore defenseman Matt Vernam.

Loyola has a nominee in senior attackman Collin Finnerty, while UMBC has senior attackman Kyle Wimer.

In addition, Stevenson is represented by senior attackman Steve Kazimer and junior attackman Jimmy Dailey.

Players with ties to the Baltimore area include Virginia senior midfielder Brian Carroll (Towson/Gilman), Georgetown senior defenseman Barney Ehrmann (Baltimore/Gilman), junior attackman Andrew Feinberg (Owings Mills/McDonogh), Princeton sophomore goalkeeper Tyler Fiorito (Phoenix/McDonogh), Notre Dame senior midfielder Grant Krebs (Annapolis/St. Mary's) and Virginia sophomore attackman Steele Stanwick (Baltimore/Loyola).

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Posted by Edward Lee at 6:00 AM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Johns Hopkins, Loyola, Maryland, Navy, Stevenson, UMBC
        

March 3, 2010

Navy rebounds, snaps two-game losing streak

Navy snapped a two-game losing skid by taking care of Lehigh, 8-3, Tuesday night, and the reasons behind the victory are pretty elementary.

After committing 24 turnovers each in back-to-back losses to No. 10 Loyola and No. 3 North Carolina, the No. 12 Midshipmen coughed up the ball just 14 times against the Mountain Hawks.

"It’s not rocket science," coach Richie Meade said. "If you’re up around 20, 23 turnovers, you’re going to struggle. It doesn’t matter who you are. We’ve looked at everything that we’ve done in terms of all the games, and offensively, our lack of being impressive is well-documented. But when we’ve played offense, we’ve played OK. It’s about being in the position to be able to play offense."

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Categories: Navy
        

February 26, 2010

Postscript from North Carolina at Navy

In the aftermath of No. 11 Navy's 11-4 loss to No. 3 North Carolina Thursday night, Midshipmen coach Richie Meade made it very clear that errors, not the absence of senior attackman Tim Paul, were at the crux of what is plaguing the team.

In back-to-back losses to the Tar Heels and No. 10 Loyola, Navy has committed 24 turnovers each. We won't likely know how many of those turnovers were on the offensive end until the Midshipmen coaches review the game film, but players who usually handle the ball on the offense end committed 17 turnovers, according to the box score of Thursday night's loss.

The Midshipmen turned the ball over 18 times in the offensive zone against the Greyhounds. That kind of generosity is not going to result in wins or cheery comments from Meade.

"Here’s what I told the guys," Meade said in response to the first question posed to him after the game. "We made too many mistakes to win a game like that. We let them get too far ahead. I thought in the beginning of the game, we were playing fine. We had a couple chances to score, they had a couple chances to score. I think the two goals at the end of the quarter kind of gave them momentum. … We’re making too many mistakes to win a game like that. That, in combination with having a couple chances early to get on the board and kind of make it tight, we got way behind. ... As crazy as it sounds, we have to make a lot fewer mistakes than we’re making. We have a situation where we’re coming down the field and we have a young defensive middie trying to dodge through three guys for no reason. That’s a turnover. They come down and score. All that stuff leads us to playing more defense than we need to play against a team of that ability offensively. You play that much defense, they’re going to crack you and that’s what happened."

Both Meade and senior attackman Brendan Connors declined to use the young season as an excuse for the team's lapses. Connors was especially critical of himself for throwing an errant pass that sailed out of bounds in the first quarter.

"You’ve just got to be real hard on yourself," he said. "Throwing a pass away in a game is just not really acceptable at this level if you expect to win. Could the weather have been a factor? Anything could have been a factor. But when it comes down to it, you practice five days a week, and you’re supposed to be able to throw and catch the ball."

Other notes:

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Categories: Navy, Postscript
        

February 25, 2010

North Carolina at Navy: Halftime thoughts

Without senior attackman Tim Paul, No. 11 Navy has struggled to gain some semblance of consistency or confidence on the offensive end.

Trailing No. 3 North Carolina, 6-1, at halftime, the Midshipmen (1-1) have failed to put the kind of pressure they should apply to a first-year starting goalkeeper like Tar Heels junior Chris Madalon.

Navy, which had committed 18 offensive turnovers in last Saturday's 8-7 overtime loss to No. 10 Loyola, has at least half of that in the first half tonight. As a team, the Midshipmen have coughed up the ball 13 times. (By comparison, they surrendered the ball 24 times to the Greyhounds.) That's a big reason why they have taken just 12 shots compared to North Carolina's 19.

Senior attackman Evan Sullivan's extra-man goal with 16 seconds left in the second quarter finally snapped a Tar Heels 6-0 run. But without Paul, Navy doesn't seem to have the player who can quarterback the offense and get it established.

Other notes: 

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Categories: Halftime thoughts, Navy
        

Navy's Paul played despite spate of injuries

I got a chance to talk to Navy senior attackman Tim Paul, who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in Saturday's 8-7 overtime loss to No. 10 Loyola. Paul, a Parkton native and Loyola graduate, will miss the remainder of the season.

There will be more in Friday's edition about Paul's involvement with the No. 11 Midshipmen, but one thing that struck me was Paul's confirmation of coach Richie Meade's revelation that Paul has played the last two seasons despite a variety of injuries.

Paul has been plagued by a chronic shoulder problem, and he severely sprained his left ankle that forced him to miss two games. And in addition to the torn knee ligament, Paul has been dealing with a twisted sacrum in his lower back that made it difficult for him to rotate his hips and fire a shot.

"It’s really affected my play," said Paul, who has required two injections into his spine to play through the pain and is scheduled to undergo a bone scan to further define the injury. "I haven’t been the same shooter. I still consider myself a good shooter, but at the same time, I’ve lost a considerable amount of velocity, and it was pretty painful to go out to practice on numerous occasions. But it’s college athletics, and everyone’s playing hurt, everyone’s playing through injuries."

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Categories: Navy
        

North Carolina at Navy: Three things to watch

The No. 11 Midshipmen added injury to insult when they learned after Saturday’s 8-7 overtime loss to No. 10 Loyola that senior attackman Tim Paul (torn anterior cruciate ligament) would be lost for the season. Here are a few factors that could play a role in the outcome of Thursday night’s home contest against No. 3 North Carolina.

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Categories: Navy, Three things to watch
        

February 23, 2010

Navy's Wickham cited by Patriot League

Sophomore R.J. Wickham's 19-save performance in No. 11 Navy's 8-7 overtime loss to No. 10 Loyola earned him Patriot League honors as Goalkeeper of the Week, the league announced Tuesday afternoon.

Wickham's effort on Saturday was the best performance by a goalie since Seth DiNola made 21 saves in a 5-4 loss to Penn State on April 12, 2003. Wickham becomes the fourth Midshipmen goalkeeper to be acknowledged by the Patriot League, joining Colin Finnegan, Tommy Phelan and Matt Coughlin.

Wickham, who has turned away 31 shots and surrendered just 13 goals in two contests, has registered a 6.30 goals-against average and a .705 save percentage.

Posted by Edward Lee at 8:45 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Navy
        

February 22, 2010

Navy's Paul tears ACL, likely gone for season

No. 6 Navy's 8-7 overtime loss to No. 13 Loyola Saturday afternoon was doubly painful as the Midshipmen (1-1) will likely have to finish the remainder of the season without senior attackman Tim Paul.

Paul, the team's leading scorer last year with 32 points on 18 goals and 14 assists, tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee, Navy coach Richie Meade confirmed Monday afternoon. Paul suffered the injury with about two minutes left in regulation and did not return. The Parkton native and Loyola graduate underwent a magnetic resonance imaging exam Saturday evening, and the bad news was delivered Sunday.

"He’s got a torn ACL," Meade said. "Some guys play with that, but we just don’t have enough information yet. That’s usually four months [of rehabilitation] after the operation and a full year before you’re back. So I don’t think Timmy’s going to play for us this year."

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Categories: Navy
        

February 20, 2010

MacDonnell comes up big in Loyola's win over Navy

Senior attackman Cooper MacDonnell scored six goals, including the game-winner with nine seconds left in the five-minute sudden death overtime period, to lift No. 13 Loyola to an 8-7 win over No. 6 Navy in Annapolis.


MacDonnell, from Darien, Conn, scored from the left of the goal after initially beating Navy defensive midfielder Michael Hirsch, then overcoming a late slide by sophomore midfielder Nikk Davis.

-- Mike Preston

Posted by Steve Gould at 3:05 PM | | Comments (0)
        

February 19, 2010

Loyola at Navy: Three things to watch

These two teams meet in a regular-season contest for the first time since April 3, 1943. The Midshipmen own a 3-1 advantage in the series. Here are a few game developments that could determine the outcome of Saturday's game at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium at noon.

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Categories: Loyola, Navy, Three things to watch
        

February 9, 2010

Navy preview

Today's entry is the fifth of a week-long series taking a look at each of the seven Division I programs in this state according to their order of finish from last season. Tune in Wednesday for a preview of Maryland, and The Sun’s lacrosse preview is slated to be published on Friday, Feb. 12. Today is Navy’s turn.

Overview: By most accounts, the Midshipmen had a pretty successful 2009, capturing their fifth Patriot League championship in six years and advancing to their sixth NCAA Tournament. But Navy lost twice to Patriot League rivals for the first time in school history and suffered a 14-5 loss to Duke in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. "We did not come back in August feeling great about everything that happened last year," coach Richie Meade said. "So we have a lot to prove. That’s kind of the way we’ve approached the season."

Reason for optimism: A program with a rich tradition in organizing suffocating defenses, the Midshipmen return their entire first attack and midfield lines from last season. Attackmen Tim Paul (18 goals, 14 assists), Brendan Connors (21, 10) and Andy Warner (13, 14) finished 1-2-3 in points, and midfielders Patrick Moran (20, 3) Joe Lennon (14, 9) and the trio of Nikk Davis (3, 5), Brian Striffler (7, 4) and Basil Daratsos (4, 3) are another year wiser. "We have some experience offensively, which I think is really going to help us," Meade said. "We’ve got some size in the midfield and some experience at attack. It should lead to some continuity and some success."

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Categories: Navy, Review & preview
        

January 27, 2010

Navy earns preseason nod as Patriot League favorite

Winners of five of the last six Patriot League championships, the Midshipmen were selected by the league as the preseason favorite to capture the conference this season. Navy received 11 first-place votes for a total of 71 points, which was nine more than second-place Bucknell.

Senior Jaren Woeppel was chosen as the preseason Defensive Player of the Year, while Bison senior Austin Winter was named the Offensive Player of the Year.

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Categories: Navy
        

September 30, 2009

Bill Belichick talks lacrosse

The New England Patriots are spending this week preparing for a visit from the Ravens Sunday, but that didn't stop Patriots coach Bill Belichick from talking a little lacrosse during a conference call with media members who cover the Ravens on Wednesday.

Belichick, who grew up in Annapolis and graduated from Annapolis High School, spent at least five minutes of his 15-minute conference call discussing lacrosse.

Regarding his relationship with Johns Hopkins and coach Dave Pietramala, Belichick said, "It’s a strong one. Coach Pietramala has been a good friend. Certainly enjoy talking to him and exchanging ideas about coaching and preparation and things like that and stats and players. I know the sports are different and all, but coaching is still coaching to a large degree and handling your team, there’s a lot of carryover even though the sports are different. He’s given me the opportunity to be around his teams, on the practice field, at games, and in meetings and in preparation. I’ve learned a lot and I’ve taken a lot of things that he’s done and incorporated them into some of the things that we do – more in terms of coaching and preparation style and that type of thing. He’s come up to visit us here a few times in training camp and at games, and I have a great exchange of ideas with him, and he’s been a huge help. I have a tremendous amount of respect for what he’s done and what he’s done with that great program, which I’ve always admired – even though I grew up at the Naval Academy and bleed blue and gold. But being that close to Hopkins and the program that they run there from when he was a player until now as a coach, I just have tremendous respect for him and the entire Johns Hopkins lacrosse program. It’s first class and they do things the right way. It’s been a great opportunity for me to watch them up close and see how they do some of the things they do so well."

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Navy
        

June 10, 2009

Review & preview: Premature 2010 poll Part 3

Here is the third installment of a preseason and premature poll for the 2010 season, publishing the teams ranked from Nos. 10 to 6. Thursday will be the last entry, featuring the teams ranked from Nos. 5 to 1.

Unless there are confirmed reports about certain players planning to use fifth years of eligibility, this space will assume that seniors in 2009 will not be back next season. Unannounced fifth-year seniors and potential transfers will affect the rankings that come out next February, but here are the teams that I think will fall between Nos. 10 and 6.

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Categories: Maryland, Navy, Review & preview
        

June 2, 2009

Navy and Loyola to meet in regular season for first time since 1943

In addition to scheduling a regular-season contest against Towson for the first time since April 12, 1997, the Midshipmen agreed to renew a series with Loyola. The two programs have not played against each other since a playoff game on May 15, 1993 and a regular-season contest on April 3, 1943.

The Greyhounds will replace Navy’s game against Ohio State in the middle of February, and Midshipmen coach Richie Meade joked that it only took him 10 years to figure out that a trip to Baltimore is more economically feasible and less physically taxing than visiting Columbus, Ohio.

"Loyola is right down the block," he said. "It made a lot of sense. I think we’re a good game for them, and they’re certainly a good game for us. I think the games will draw great crowds, and I think there will be a lot of local interest. They will be big games. We play in some big games, but we need to play in more big games. I think that helps you."

Posted by Edward Lee at 1:28 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Loyola, Navy
        

Review & preview: Navy

Here’s the fifth installment of a new series that checks in with the seven Division I programs in the state to give a glimpse into the past and the future. Today, we take a spin with Navy.

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Categories: Navy, Review & preview
        

May 21, 2009

Division I All-American teams announced

The All-American teams for Division I have been released and the area’s lone representative on the first team is Johns Hopkins senior defenseman Michael Evans. Evans is joined by fellow defensemen Ken Clausen of Virginia (his second selection) and Matt Moyer of Cornell.

Cornell midfielder Max Seibald makes his third consecutive appearance on the first team, joining a group that includes Matt Abbott of Syracuse, Shamel Bratton of Virginia and Mark Kovler of Princeton.

The attackmen are Billy Bitter of North Carolina, Brandon Corp of Colgate, Ned Crotty of Duke, Danny Glading of Virginia and Kenny Nims of Syracuse. The goalie is Jordan Burke of Brown.

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Posted by Edward Lee at 12:01 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Johns Hopkins, Loyola, Maryland, Navy, UMBC
        

Navy and Towson resume long-awaited series

I just got off the phone with Towson coach Tony Seaman, who informed me that he and Navy coach Richie Meade have agreed to resume a short-lived series that probably should have gotten a longer run -- especially for area fans.

The Midshipmen last faced the Tigers on April 12, 1997 (a 14-6 victory for the Tigers), and Navy leads the series, 5-3.

There is, however, a price for Towson. The game against Navy will fall between contests against Maryland and Virginia, which makes for a tough stretch leading up to Colonial Athletic Association play.

"So we’ve got Maryland on Saturday, Navy on Tuesday night, and Virginia on Saturday," Seaman said in what sounded like an am-I-crazy-or-what chuckle. "I’ve been wanting to play Navy since I’ve been here, and I think it’s a game we should have, and they thought it was a great opportunity, too. ... I just thought that’s a game we should play -- even though it’s suicide."

Posted by Edward Lee at 9:33 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Navy, Towson
        

May 13, 2009

ESPN's Mark Dixon chimes in on NCAA tournament

While helping me on a couple of features to advance the Maryland-Syracuse and Johns Hopkins-Virginia matchups in the NCAA tournament quarterfinals, ESPN analyst and former Johns Hopkins midfielder Mark Dixon was generous enough to review the first-round games and look ahead to this weekend.

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Maryland, Navy, UMBC
        

May 8, 2009

Navy at Duke: Three things to watch

The Midshipmen return to Tobacco Road after upending North Carolina in the first round of the NCAA tournament last year. Here are three things that could help Navy make a triumphant trip against the Blue Devils on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

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Categories: Navy, Three things to watch
        

May 7, 2009

ESPN's Matt Ward on the NCAA tournament field

Check in Friday for "Three things to watch" on all four games involving area teams. Until then, here’s a Q&A with ESPN analyst and 2006 Tewaaraton Trophy winner Matt Ward on the omission of Loyola, easiest and toughest paths to the Final Four and possible first-round upsets.

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Posted by Edward Lee at 12:03 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Johns Hopkins, Loyola, Maryland, Navy, UMBC
        

CBS College Sports' Paul Carcaterra evaluates the NCAA tournament field

CBS College Sports analyst and former Syracuse All-American midfielder Paul Carcaterra helped me out with a feature in Thursday’s paper on Navy junior attackman Tim Paul, who is expected to play in the Midshipmen’s first-round NCAA tournament game against No. 3 seed Duke despite a sprained left ankle. He also took the time to discuss Loyola’s absence, easiest and toughest paths to the Final Four and possible first-round upsets.

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Loyola, Maryland, Navy, UMBC
        

May 6, 2009

First-round matchups involve reunion theme

There’s a general theme in the first-round pairings involving the area teams, and it involves reunions.

When UMBC visits No. 6 seed North Carolina Saturday, Retrievers coach Don Zimmerman returns to the program for which he served as an assistant coach between 1979-83. Zimmerman was thought to be the leading candidate for the head coaching vacancy created when the Tar Heels fired coach John Haus last May, but he removed his name from consideration and signed a six-year extension to stay at UMBC.

In addition to Zimmerman, senior midfielder Peet Poillon reunites with Joe Breschi, the new North Carolina coach who mentored Poillon when the pair competed for Ohio State. When Breschi was hired away by the Tar Heels, Poillon requested a transfer and landed with the Retrievers.

"Peet’s been with us for a year, and he’s had a great year for us," Zimmerman said of Poillon, who leads the team in assists (19) and points (44). "Whenever you go back and compete against a former coach of yours, I’m sure it’s a little special."

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Maryland, Navy, UMBC
        

ESPN's Quint Kessenich reviews the NCAA tournament field

ESPN analyst and former Johns Hopkins All-American goalkeeper Quint Kessenich has become the face and voice most associated with lacrosse games on television. While helping me on an article about Johns Hopkins’ midfield duo of Michael Kimmel and Brian Christopher, Kessenich answered my questions about Loyola’s omission from the NCAA tournament, a dark-horse candidate for the final four and possible first-round upsets.

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Maryland, Navy, UMBC
        

May 5, 2009

ESPN's Dixon on NCAA tournament field

ESPN analyst and former Johns Hopkins midfielder Mark Dixon was kind enough to talk to me about some topics I am working on, and the conversation naturally turned to the NCAA tournament’s 16-team field. The following is a Q&A with Dixon that touches on Loyola’s absence, the easiest and toughest paths to the final four and possible first-round upsets.

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Posted by Edward Lee at 4:23 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Johns Hopkins, Loyola, Maryland, Navy, UMBC
        

April 27, 2009

Navy punches ticket to NCAA tournament

The Midshipmen are embroiled in Exams Week, but they passed what might have been their toughest test by beating No. 15 Colgate (9-5) and No. 14 Bucknell (9-7) to capture the Patriot League tournament championship – the fifth one in the last six seasons.

No. 11 Navy (11-4) became the first school to qualify for the NCAA tournament, which means the Midshipmen won’t have to sweat out Selection Sunday in six days.

"We went through that last year, and that’s not something we were anxious to repeat," coach Richie Meade said. "The circumstances that led us to getting into last year’s tournament were pretty unique. I’m not sure that all those things would have happened again. I’m not sure we would have been selected, but I’m not a prognosticator. So I don’t try to attempt to figure out what’s going to happen or what should happen. I just deal with what’s happening. We were in a position to control our destiny, and our kids did a real good job of doing that."

The Midshipmen had plenty of players step up during the tournament. In Friday’s 9-8 triple-overtime win against the Red Raiders, junior midfielder Joe Lennon (Loyola) scored four times – including the game-tying and game-winning goals – junior faceoff specialist Robby Battle won 13 of 20 faceoffs, and freshman defenseman Matt Vernam limited Tewaaraton Trophy finalist Brandon Corp to a single goal.

In Sunday’s 9-8 victory over the Bison, junior attackman Brendan Connors scored three times and assisted on another goal, junior long-stick midfielders Zack Schroeder and Jaren Woeppel shut out Patriot League Freshman of the Year Charlie Streep, and senior defenseman Andy Tormey surrendered just one goal to attackman Joe Mele.

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Categories: Navy
        

Paul Carcaterra's take on the NCAA tournament field

During halftime of the Syracuse-Massachusetts contest Saturday, former Syracuse All-America midfielder and current CBS college sports analyst Paul Carcaterra offered his take on the projected 16-team field for the NCAA tournament.

That field underwent some changes Monday after Navy beat Bucknell for the Patriot League tournament crown and automatic qualifier. During an extensive conversation that I have broken up into two posts, Carcaterra thinks Bucknell is out and a local school is the most immediate beneficiary.

"I think that opens the door for Maryland as that last at-large bid," Carcaterra said. "I don’t think there are too many of those other bubble teams. I don’t think you can say with a straight face that Georgetown has a shot because Loyola beat them head to head. There aren’t too many others that are on the fence."

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Posted by Edward Lee at 2:54 PM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Johns Hopkins, Loyola, Maryland, Navy, UMBC
        

April 23, 2009

Awards rundown for Navy and Loyola

The Midshipmen put a Patriot League-high seven players on the All-Conference first and second teams earlier this week.

Senior defenseman Andy Tormey, senior defensive midfielder Geoff Leone and junior midfielder Patrick Moran (Severn) were named to the first team. Leone and Moran earned their second consecutive appearances on the first team, while Tormey made his debut.

Junior attackman Tim Paul (Loyola), junior midfielder Joe Lennon (Loyola), junior faceoff specialist Frankie Coppola and junior defenseman Jaren Woeppel were placed on the second team. Paul and Woeppel are two-time second-team honorees, while Lennon and Coppola are making their first appearance.

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Categories: Loyola, Navy
        

April 17, 2009

Navy at Johns Hopkins: Three things to watch

A victory Saturday for either the No. 11 Midshipmen or the No. 10 Blue Jays could go a long way in polishing their resumes for a NCAA tournament bid. Here are a few developments that could determine the outcome.

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Navy, Three things to watch
        

April 15, 2009

Tewaaraton Trophy finalists announced

The Tewaaraton Foundation, which awards the Tewaaraton Trophy to the country’s best lacrosse player, has announced the finalists, and only two with Baltimore-area connections are among the pool of 21.

UMBC’s Jeremy Blevins is one of four goalkeepers, joining Brown’s Jordan Burke, Massachusetts’ Doc Schneider and Notre Dame’s Scott Rodgers. Loyola’s Shane Koppens is one of 10 attackmen, joining Virginia’s Garrett Billings and Danny Glading, Bryant’s Zack Greer, Colgate’s Brandon Corp, Duke’s Ned Crotty, Hofstra’s Jay Card, North Carolina’s Billy Bitter, Princeton’s Jack McBride and Syracuse’s Kenny Nims.

The midfielders are Cornell’s John Glynn and Max Seibald, Syracuse’s Matt Abbott and Dan Hardy, Princeton’s Mark Kovler and Virginia’s Shamel Bratton. The only defenseman on the list is Virginia’s Mike Timms.

In other news, UMBC swept America East honors as Peet Poillon and Justin Radebaugh were named the league’s Player and Rookie of the Week, respectively. Poillon scored four goals in the No. 7 Retrievers’ 15-7 win against No. 17 Albany on Saturday. The four goals tied a career and season high, which the senior midfielder has notched three times this year. Radebaugh, a freshman faceoff specialist, recorded season highs with 16 faceoff wins (out of 24) and 10 groundballs. He also posted his first career point, an assist.

Navy’s Tommy Phelan earned Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Week accolades for the second consecutive week after making 16 saves in the No. 11 Midshipmen’s 8-4 victory over Army. The senior produced his third straight game of at least 15 saves.

Posted by Edward Lee at 11:37 AM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Loyola, Navy, UMBC
        

April 12, 2009

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."

Other notes:

Continue reading "Postscript from Army vs. Navy" »

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Categories: Navy, Postscript
        

April 10, 2009

Army vs. Navy: Three things to watch

All the talking is almost over, and these two rivals can let their play speak for them Saturday in the first game of the doubleheader at the Smartlink Day of Rivals at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.

Here are a few things I’ll be interested in observing.

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Posted by Edward Lee at 9:00 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Navy, Three things to watch
        

April 8, 2009

Navy's Andy Tormey, Tommy Phelan honored

Seniors Andy Tormey and Tommy Phelan were singled out by the Patriot League as the defensive player and goalkeeper of the week, respectively.

Tormey shut down his opponent for the second straight contest. After blanking Georgetown’s Ryan Shuler, he shut out Maryland’s Grant Catalino in the Midshipmen’s 10-4 upset of the then-No. 9 Terps. Tormey ended Catalino’s 22-game point-scoring streak, which was the nation’s 10th-longest active streak.

Phelan made 16 saves, which were the most by a Navy goalie since Seth DiNola stopped 21 shots against Penn State in 2003. In two starts against Maryland and Georgetown, Phelan has made 31 saves and owns a .721 save percentage.

Posted by Edward Lee at 3:27 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Navy
        

April 7, 2009

Day of Rivals update

Just talked with Andy Bilello, director of business development for Inside Lacrosse which is running the Smartlink Day of Rivals event at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore this Saturday.

As of today, the event pitting Army (5-6) against No. 12 Navy (8-3) at 11:30 a.m. and No. 11 Johns Hopkins (4-4) against No. 15 Maryland (6-4) at about 2 p.m. has sold more than 14,000 in advance ticket sales. Bilello said increased attendance could depend on the weather.

"I think normally these are two games that get 10,000 people or more on their own," Bilello said. "So to say we're going to get up to 20,000 sounds reasonable. But in the end, a lot will really depend on someone getting up Saturday morning and looking out the window."

Inside Lacrosse is hoping to ride the wave of momentum created at last Saturday's Big City Classic at Giants Stadium in the Meadowlands in northern New Jersey. A regular-season record crowd of 22,308 for a lacrosse-only event descended on Giants Stadium to watch No. 1 Virginia edge No. 10 North Carolina, No. 4 Princeton upend No. 5 and reigning national champion Syracuse, and No. 6 Hofstra blast by Delaware.

Continue reading "Day of Rivals update" »

Posted by Edward Lee at 10:42 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Johns Hopkins, Maryland, Navy
        

April 6, 2009

Navy's Tim Paul diagnosed with sprained ankle

The No. 15 Midshipmen dodged a bullet after x-rays and a magnetic resonance imaging exam revealed that junior attackman Tim Paul, the team's leading scorer, suffered a sprained left ankle in Friday night's 10-4 victory over No. 9 Maryland.

"It turned out not to be as serious as we originally had thought," Navy coach Richie Meade said earlier Monday. "He'll go through therapy, and he'll start practicing as soon as he comes through that. He could play Saturday [against Army] or it might not respond. We don't really know."

Asked if Paul was a game-time decision, Meade replied affirmatively before adding, "If he's ready, he's going to play."

Paul suffered the injury just 2 minutes, 51 seconds into the third quarter when he planted his left foot while trying to spin away from Terps sophomore defenseman Max Schmidt and quickly crumpled to the turf behind the net. Paul grabbed his left knee, which led those of us in the press box at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium to speculate that he had torn the anterior cruciate ligament.

Continue reading "Navy's Tim Paul diagnosed with sprained ankle" »

Posted by Edward Lee at 9:57 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Navy
        

April 4, 2009

Postscript from Maryland at Navy

At 5 feet 11 and 187 pounds and only a sophomore, Tom Mansfield isn’t as experienced as senior Andy Tormey nor as physically imposing as 6-2, 209-pound Matt Vernam.

But Mansfield is quick, and that was more than enough for the Midshipmen to insert him into the starting lineup after sophomore Michael Hirsch was lost for the rest of the season with a knee injury.

Mansfield shadowed Ryan Young, and although the Terps sophomore attackman scored twice, he also committed four turnovers.

"It wasn’t always pretty at times," Mansfield said of his performance. "But with guys like [goalie] Tommy Phelan and Andy and Matt, I don’t need to be a superstar out there. I just need to fit in within our defense and play my role."

Mansfield got burned early in Friday’s game, getting turned around by Young behind the net a couple times in the first quarter. But as the contest continued, Mansfield settled in and grew more comfortable with his assignment – which wasn’t made fully apparent until after Hirsch’s injury Wednesday.

"I think the thing that Navy lacrosse prides itself on is that everyone is always prepared," Mansfield said. "Even if they’re the third guy to go in, everyone’s reading that scouting report, and even if they don’t have a chance to go in, they’re going to be ready when the time comes. Coach kind of reinforced that in us when Mike went down, and we’ll always have guys step up."

Other notes:

Continue reading "Postscript from Maryland at Navy" »

Posted by Edward Lee at 12:00 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Maryland, Navy, Postscript
        

April 3, 2009

Maryland at Navy: Three things to watch

Both teams are playing on a short week on Friday, but the adrenaline will be flowing with an expected crowd approaching five figures. Here are some details I will be interested in observing from the press box at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.

1) The Midshipmen's defense isn’t strikingly huge or fast, but the unit is one of the stingiest in the nation, surrendering an average of seven goals per game – which is tied for fourth-best in Division I. Senior Andy Tormey shut out Georgetown’s Ryan Shuler, freshman Matt Vernam limited Ricky Mirabito to just one goal, and short-stick defensive midfielders Geoff Leone and Bobby Lennon are considered two of the best at their position. "They have a tremendous system that they coach and the players understand," Terps coach Dave Cottle said. "We’ve got to do the things that make us successful. It just so happens that our opponent is Navy." But Navy coach Richie Meade said the objective is to keep the scoring to a minimum. "For us to win, it’s going to be 8-7, 9-7, 6-5," he said. "If it gets up to the 10s, 12s and 13s, they’ve got an awful lot of firepower, two very good goalies and a very good defense. I’m not sure that’s a game we’re going to win. But we’re going to look to run on them and they’re going to look to run on us, and a lot of it comes down to them handling the ball and us being able to slide at the right time and cover up the inside and get some turnovers, which we’ve been able to do."

2) Many people knew Tim Paul and Patrick Moran would power the Midshipmen's offense, but Brendan Connors has been a pleasant surprise. The junior attackman has already achieved career highs in goals (14), assists (six) and points (20) and turned in his first career hat trick against Georgetown last Saturday. But the Navy offense will meet a Maryland defense that likes to switch from zone defense to man-to-man and could start either Jason Carter or Brian Phipps in the net. "We need our attack to play well in order to compete against a team like Maryland," Meade said. "Our key is good shot selection and good shot placement."

3) Inside Lacrosse’s Christian Swezey pointed out teams that have been extended to multiple overtimes and lost don’t fare well the next week. In 2002, Navy lost to North Carolina in six overtimes and dropped the next game to Massachusetts. In 1988, Cornell lost to Massachusetts in five overtimes and was nipped by Yale in overtime the next week. But Cottle said he isn’t worried about a possible letdown. "Practice started at 2:30 on Monday, and the team was out 15 minutes early ready to start," he said. "They understand we’ve got a challenge in front of us. We’re playing a good team, a well-coached team. It’s going to be a battle, and they have done everything we’ve asked to focus in on Navy. They haven’t spent one minute on looking back at our last game."

Posted by Edward Lee at 9:00 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Maryland, Navy, Three things to watch
        

April 2, 2009

Navy's Andy Tormey named as a finalist

Navy senior defenseman Andy Tormey is one of 10 Division I players selected as a finalist for the 2009 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award.

Tormey joins a finalist pool that includes Notre Dame's Ryan Hoff (Dulaney) and North Carolina's Grant Zimmerman (Gilman), Syracuse's Matt Abbott, Brown's Jordan Burke, Hofstra's Michael Colleluori, Colgate's Brandon Corp, Ohio State's Joel Delgarno, Virginia's Danny Glading, and Cornell's Max Seibald.

"To be one of the finalists for such a prestigious award as the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award is a once in a lifetime opportunity," said Tormey, who will be commissioned as an Ensign in the Navy and will serve as a Surface Warfare Officer. "I am honored to be considered with these nine individuals, all of whom are more than deserving of this achievement. With the many prominent institutions being represented, I am proud to represent the United States Naval Academy."

The Lowe's Senior CLASS (Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School) Award recognizes student-athletes who use their standing in athletics to make a positive impact on their communities. Fan balloting, available at www.seniorclassaward.com and ending May 7, will be combined with votes from coaches and media. Fans can also vote via text messaging.

To vote for Tormey, text LAX9 to 839863. To vote for Hoff, text LAX7 to 839863. To vote for Zimmerman, text LAX10 to 839863. 

The winner will be announced during the festivities of Final Four weekend between May 23-25 in Foxborough, Mass.

Posted by Edward Lee at 3:11 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Navy
        

Goalie dilemma solved for Loyola and Navy

Both Loyola and Navy are staying the course and going with the goalies who started in their respective cages last Saturday.

Senior Alex Peaty will start for the No. 19 Greyhounds in Saturday’s game against Rutgers. Even though he was tagged with the 14-13 loss to No. 2 Syracuse, Peaty made 10 saves, seven of which came in the second half and allowed Loyola to enjoy a four-goal lead early in the fourth quarter.

"Coming away from that second half against Syracuse, I thought that Alex made some very good saves that allowed us to stay in the game," Greyhounds coach Charley Toomey said. "That was the decision. He didn’t do anything in that game that would warrant going back to [sophomore] Jake [Hagelin]. We’re going to give him the start against Rutgers."

The No. 15 Midshipmen will give senior Tommy Phelan his second consecutive start after he made 15 saves in a 10-8 victory over Georgetown. Phelan, who will try to contain No. 9 Maryland’s offense, impressed Navy coach Richie Meade with his performance and exuberance.

"He just came in and gave us a lift and did a great job," Meade said. "He stopped the ball. I thought he was very vocal in terms of helping the guy on the ball and communication-wise. He played very well."

Posted by Edward Lee at 10:02 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Loyola, Navy
        

March 26, 2009

Navy at Georgetown: Three things to watch

Two teams that have not fully met preseason expectations, the No. 17 Midshipmen and unranked Hoyas, tangle Saturday. A few things to keep an eye on:

1) No one in Annapolis is using the P-word (aka "panic"), but there is a sense of urgency about winning Saturday’s contest. Navy is 6-3 with all three losses coming by just one goal. But the Midshipmen have two losses in the Patriot League and own a victory over just one top-20 opponent (No. 18 Ohio State). Still, coach Richie Meade and his players aren’t stressing. "One of the things I’ve told our guys is block out the noise," he said. "The only thing that’s important is what we’re saying to each other and what we do internally because that’s reality. Everything else is just a guess."

2) The strength of Georgetown’s team is an aggressive, stout defense that likes to hound opponents into causing turnovers. The Hoyas forced No. 11 Harvard into 18 turnovers and permitted just 28 shots in Georgetown’s 9-8 overtime upset on Wednesday. "That’s the game we have to expect," Meade said. "We may not be able to run our offense. They may pressure us to the point where we throw a pass away or we get a 20-second count on a clear. We’ve got to be able to deal with those situations and play well. The other side of it is anytime you pressure somebody, you’re going to take the risk that they can handle the pressure and create offensive opportunities. So groundballs become extremely important in a game like this."

3) Even after knocking off the Crimson, Georgetown is just 3-4. Of even more concern is that the Hoyas are 0-2 in the Eastern College Athletic Conference, which awards the league champion an automatic qualifier to the NCAA tournament. But Meade isn’t buying into a woe-is-me scenario. "It’s still Georgetown, OK?" he said. "They’ve had some struggles, they’ve lost some games they certainly expected to win, but they held Syracuse to eight goals and they beat Maryland. So they’re still the team that people projected earlier in the year to go to the Final Four. We can’t rely on them playing poorly. We have to rely on us being able to play a very good game against a team that has the ability to physically overwhelm you."

Posted by Edward Lee at 4:13 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Navy, Three things to watch
        

March 11, 2009

Navy's Richie Meade: Don't read my lips

Richie Meade didn’t mince words when describing the Midshipmen’s defensive effort last Saturday. Today, the Navy coach tried to dilute the harshness of his initial analysis.

After Navy’s 14-9 victory over Lafayette, Meade dissected the defensive performance, telling the school’s Web site, "This was probably the worst defensive game I’ve seen us play in the last four years. I have to give Lafayette credit because [coach] Terry Mangan has done an outstanding job of recruiting some good young talent. But for us to give up nine goals is unacceptable against any opponent. We need to get some things fixed. Offensively we are improving, but today we definitely took a step backwards on the defense."

Earlier today during the team’s bus ride back from last night’s 10-8 win against Lehigh, Meade explained his comments.

"I think I was probably a little bit too critical," he said. "It’s always different after you watch the film, but we’re making a few mistakes that are very correctable. They’re all just little things. We’re working through that. I thought we played better last night than we did against Lafayette. I think we kind of took advantage and made some very big plays, but it’s a continuing process. We’re no different than a lot of teams. We may be talking about it a little bit more publicly, but I think everybody’s in a situation right now where they’re trying to win games and get better, and we’re accomplishing both of those things right now."

The Midshipmen are tied with North Carolina as the seventh-stingiest defense in the country, surrendering just 6.71 goals per contest and limiting opponents to 24.4 shots per game. But Navy has allowed seven goals with less than 40 seconds remaining in a quarter, including five under three seconds on the clock.

For that reason, Meade is careful about giving statistics much weight.

"The thing that is sometimes misleading about statistics is what actually happens on the field," he said. "… Our concern is not how many goals we’re giving up, but the types of goals we’re giving up and where they’re being given up from. That’s something that maybe we look at a little bit differently than some other teams. Defensively, it may look good on paper that we’re giving up 6-point-whatever-it-is, but where those goals are coming from is something that we’re trying to correct. We’re just constantly trying to get better."

On another note, freshman goalkeeper R.J. Wickham was named the Patriot League Rookie of the Week. Becoming the first Midshipmen goalie to earn such accolades, Wickham is 3-1 and owns a 6.75 goals-against average and .534 save percentage.

Posted by Edward Lee at 3:29 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Navy
        

March 5, 2009

Navy's new man in the net

R.J. Wickham's appearances in No. 17 Navy's last two contests are not temporary. Coach Richie Meade confirmed today that the freshman goalkeeper will continue to start between the pipes.

Senior Matt Coughlin started the first three games of this season and the first nine contests of 2008. Senior Tommy Phelan (Loyola) started the final seven of last year, playing a huge role in the school's advance to the NCAA tournament quarterfinals.

But Meade elected to go with Wickham, making him the first freshman goalie to start since two-time Kelly Award winner Mickey Jarboe did it in 1997.

"R.J.'s a plebe here, but he was at [Naval Academy] Prep School for a year, so he's actually a red-shirted freshman," Meade said. "It was very, very difficult to make the decision to go with a different guy besides Matt Coughlin. I felt not just after the Carolina game, but with a couple of the other games, maybe we just needed to get a little bit more out of that position. It's never easy to do this. But at the end of the day, you do it at other positions."

Meade pointed out that Coughlin and Phelan could overtake Wickham for the starting role if the situation arises. But so far, Meade likes what he sees in the 5-foot-10, 176-pound Wickham.

"He's very quick," Meade said. "He's got very quick hands. He's on most shots. He sees them pretty well. He's good in the clearing game. ... That was an area of concern, to tell you the truth. But he's fast, and he's got speed. He's also kind of a fiery guy. All of those things are attributes that he's good at now and will continue to get better on."

Posted by Edward Lee at 1:58 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Navy
        

February 25, 2009

Navy's Leone, Salisbury's Berkman honored

Navy senior Geoff Leone was recognized by the Patriot League as the Defensive Player of the Week late yesterday. The short-stick defensive midfielder quarterbacks a man-down unit that has shut out Midshipmen opponents on all six extra-man opportunities this season. Last year's unit surrendered just nine goals in 35 man-down situations.

Salisbury senior Kylor Berkman was named Capital Athletic Conference Player of the Week. The two-time National Midfielder of the Year and reigning Division III Player of the Year recorded four goals and three assists in the No. 1 Sea Gulls' 18-6 rout of No. 6 Lynchburg. Berkman leads Salisbury in goals (eight), assists (eight) and points (16).

Posted by Edward Lee at 1:56 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Navy, Salisbury
        

February 15, 2009

Postscript from Ohio State at Navy

One of the factors in No. 10 Navy’s 8-6 win against No. 15 Ohio State yesterday was the Buckeyes’ inability to protect the ball. Ohio State committed 24 turnovers, and at the forefront of the Midshipmen’s attack was senior defenseman Andy Tormey.

Tormey led Navy with four caused turnovers, and all of those came against Buckeyes senior attackman Joel Dalgarno, an honorable mention All American last season.

Dalgarno recorded a hat trick and an assist, but he did commit five turnovers. Midshipmen coach Richie Meade said the coaches felt that the 6-foot-3, 220-pound Tormey would pose match-up problems for the 5-11, 175-pound Dalgarno.

"We said, ‘Get up on this guy’s left hand and force him underneath.’ I think Andy did that almost all of the time when he was on him," Meade said. "And then I think Andy was very physical with him – which we wanted – without fouling him. So today he played a great game against – from what I was reading – one of the best players in the country. So I thought Andy did a nice job with him. We were prepared to play two guys on Dalgarno, but as the game unfolded, we didn’t really need to do that."

Other notes:

*One note of concern for Navy has been the team’s propensity for surrendering goals with just seconds left in quarters. Ohio State junior attackman Mario Ventiquattro scored his first goal yesterday with three seconds left in the second quarter and his second tally with one second left in the third period. VMI junior attackman Jacob Weimer scored a goal with 39 seconds left in the second quarter of last Saturday’s 13-5 loss to the Midshipmen.

"That’s just mental focus," Navy senior goalie Matt Coughlin said. "That’s something we need to work on. We just can’t assume that with three seconds on the clock, the quarter’s over. Every second counts. That’s something we’ve got to work on. That’s kind of a weakness right now for us."

For his part, Buckeyes coach Nick Myers was pleased with the late scores, but he also pointed out that the Midshipmen scored the first two goals of the third quarter and won the opening face-off of the fourth. "We kept just trying to claw and stay in it," he said. "End of the quarter, going into the fourth quarter at the face-off ‘X,’ I think it ended 50-50, but it seemed like when we needed the big draw, they were coming up with it and answering our momentum."

*Speaking of Coughlin, he appeared shaky in the early stages of yesterday’s game, giving up some low goals that he would have stopped last season prior to aggravating a right hamstring injury that forced him to miss much of the latter half of last year.

But Coughlin also shined, stopping, among others, Ventiquattro and senior attackman Doug Ruhnke on point-blank attempts.

Asked whether he has returned to the form of last season, Coughlin said, "Hard to say. It was a long year last year. A little disappointing for me personally. But I feel like as a team, we had a good year. I try not to think about last year too much and focus on right now."

Posted by Edward Lee at 10:07 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Navy, Postscript
        

February 13, 2009

Ohio State at Navy: Three things to watch

Arguably the most significant local game of the weekend, a pair of 1-0 teams in No. 15 Ohio State and No. 10 Navy clash at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis tomorrow. I talked with both Midshipmen coach Richie Meade and Buckeyes coach Nick Myers and discerned three factors from my conversation with both men.

1) Faceoffs will be key. Navy won just nine of 21 faceoffs in last Saturday's 13-5 win against VMI. Ohio State was just slightly better with a 12-of-25 success rate in Saturday's 21-1 victory over Detroit Mercy. Meade wasn't quite ready to panic about the play of faceoff specialists Frankie Coppola and Logan West, who combined to go 2-of-11 because Mikelis Visgauss struggled in last season's opener against the Keydets before finishing 13th in the country with a .575 win percentage. But Meade is well aware that success at the "X" could go a long way to getting the Midshipmen the "W." "If you have the ball more than the other team, you’re probably going to win," Meade said. "That comes down to getting groundballs, winning faceoffs, and clearing the ball. That’s kind of the key for us."

2) Navy is eager to test Buckeyes junior goalie Brandon Freeman, who is beginning his first year as a full-time starter in the net. Freeman beat out Syracuse transfer Peter Coluccini, who started for the Orange in 2007. Myers said he has been impressed with Freeman's quick hands and outlet passes. Meade said Freeman might have an advantage. "He’s a little bit of an unknown, but he’s the starting goalie at Ohio State," Meade said. "I’d like nothing better than to score nine goals on him in the first two minutes, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. It doesn’t really matter who the goalie is. We’re not going to change what we do. ... Playing against a good goalie, you’ve got to take good shots. That’s our focus."

3) Ohio State wants to prove its mettle. Many preseason prognosticators jumped ship when the Buckeyes graduated a talented senior class that included midfielder Kevin Buchanan and goalie Stefan Schroder, bid farewell to head coach Joe Breschi, who left for North Carolina, and watched midfielder Peet Poillon transfer to UMBC. But if Ohio State is taking heed of those slights, Myers isn't letting on. "I think we’re just concerned with playing Buckeyes lacrosse," he said. " ... We try to preach the things that we feel are important to this team and us getting better every day. I think the rankings and stuff on the Internet, you’ve got to be careful when you listen to that too much. I think you’ve really got to focus on each other and working hard every day to improve."

Posted by Edward Lee at 9:28 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Navy, Three things to watch
        

February 9, 2009

Navy unflustered

Don't get Navy coach Richie Meade wrong. He's plenty pleased that the No. 10 Midshipmen are 1-0 courtesy of a 13-5 victory over VMI on Saturday rather than being 0-1. But he took umbrage with a line of thought that Navy should have won by a greater margin and that the score should not have been tied at five at halftime.

"There’s a little bit of thing that we should come out and do everything right and beat VMI, 10 million to nothing," Meade said earlier today. "The problem is, nobody told VMI that. They got a couple of goals, they shot the ball in early, and they had us behind. … We had to face what we face. I’ll leave it up to everybody else to decide if we’re good or not good. [The critics] seem to be good at that. But I thought our guys did a pretty good job of responding to it."

Several factors contributed to the Midshipmen's dominating second half in which they outscored VMI 8-0. Navy forced the Keydets into nine turnovers in the third quarter, which the Midshipmen converted into a 14-2 advantage in shots and a 5-0 output in goals. Navy converted on all four of its extra-man opportunities, and a decision to replace a long-pole with a short-stick on face-offs helped the Midshipmen win six of nine face-offs. Finally, an attack that graduated the likes of Nick Mirabito and Greg Clement accounted for 10 goals and three assists.

"We think we can get a lot better," Meade said. "Our attack has a pretty good feel for each other. We moved the ball pretty well; we just didn’t finish. We’d be a pass short or a shot short. We’ve just got to keep working on that."

Navy's next chance is Saturday when No. 15 Ohio State visits Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium at noon.

Posted by Edward Lee at 1:09 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Navy
        
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Faceoff is The Baltimore Sun's blog devoted to college and high school lacrosse. Faceoff contributors include Sun reporters Edward Lee, Mike Preston and Katherine Dunn.
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