Offense Stymied in Loss at Top-Ranked Maryland
COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Despite Navy (0-2) dominating the faceoff game (12 of 18) and outshooting the Maryland men’s lacrosse team (1-0) by one (32-31), the Terps’ defense clamped down on the Mids and held them scoreless for better that 25 minutes en route to a 10-4 victory Saturday at Maryland Stadium.
“It was a tough loss to a really good team,” said seventh-year Navy head coach Rick Sowell. “We shot ourselves in the foot a few times today. When you play a team of Maryland’s caliber, you need that to happen for you, not against you. We fought hard today and as much as being 0-2 stinks, we are close.”
The top-ranked Terps jumped out to a 3-0 lead against the Mids and featured a goal by All-American midfielder Tim Rotanz just 46 seconds into the game.
Navy, however, would answer with back-to-back goals to close to within one (3-2) by the end of the first quarter. Attackman Dave Little (Sr / Vienna, Va.) made his season debut by scoring the Mids’ first goal of the day from 12 yards out off an assist by middie Ryan Wade (Jr / Coronado, Calif.), who extended his point-scoring streak to 12 games in a row. Midfielder Casey Rees (Sr / Baltimore, Md.) scored a buzzer beater (:08 remaining) when he raced past the short-stick defensive midfielder, switched shooting hands and fired off a shot to the far post.
That goal by Rees, however, would be the last for the Mids for quite some time, as the Terps held Navy without a goal until deep into the third quarter while Maryland went on a 5-0 run and pushed out to an 8-2 lead. Rookie midfielder Bubba Fairman scored three of the five goals for the Terps during their run.
“They (Maryland) played great defense and at the end of the day, sometimes you have to tip your hat,” added Sowell. “I think it was more their defense than our lack of offense. They time slides very well and you have a short window to find that open man. We couldn’t take advantage of our one-on-ones effectively either.”
Midfielder Greyson Torain (Jr / Glen Burnie, Md.) gave the Mids a shot of confidence in the third quarter when he scored off a hard crankshot from 15 yards. Navy made it two in a row when senior co-captain Jack Ray (Wyckoff, N.J.) bulled his was from around the left side of the crease and sent his diving shot past All-American goalkeeper Dan Morris to trim the Maryland lead to four (8-4) with just over a minute to go in the third stanza.
Navy was held scoreless in the final quarter, whle Rotanz, who owns the nation’s longest goal-scoring streak by a midfielder at 15 games, punched in the final two goals for the Terps en route to the 10-4 win.
Six different players accounted for the Mids’ four goals (Ray, Little, torain, Rees) and two assists (Christian Daniel, Wade).
After missing last week’s opener at Jacksonville where the Mids won just three of the 22 faceoffs, senior Joe Varello (Kings Park, N.Y.) returned to the field where he would have a career day against the Terps. Varello won a personal-best 12 faceoffs and became just the 15th player in school history to win 100 career faceoffs. He now stands 15th on Navy’s career wins list with 101, trailing Evan McGoogan (2010-13) by seven.
“Joe did a nice job for us today,” said Sowell. “I think it provided a psychological boost for our players to start the game and then he continued to gain possession and allow our offense to settle in and have the ball more.”
Senior Michael Strack (North Babylon, N.Y.) paced the team with a pair of caused turnovers, while keeper Ryan Kern (So / Middletown, Del.) made five stops.
Rotanz and Fairman combined for six of Maryland’s 10 goals, while Morris made 11 saves in goal.
The Midshipmen return to action next Saturday when they play host to UMBC in their home opener. The second game of a men’s and women’s doubleheader, the men are scheduled to face off at 1:30 pm. A free live video stream will be available on PatriotLeague.TV, while Joe Miller will have the call on 1430 AM / 99.9 FM WNAV.
### Go Navy ###