Mids Hit on All Cylinders in 11-6 Win Over Dartmouth
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Navy sophomore midfielder Greyson Torain (Glen Burnie, Md.) produced a career-high seven points while the defense held Dartmouth to a season-low six goals as the Mids (3-6) captured an 11-6 victory over the Big Green (1-5) Tuesday night under the lights at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
In one of its most complete efforts this season, Navy excelled in nearly every facet of the game as the Mids held advantages in the shots (33-26), saves (10-7) and faceoff (14-7) categories, while ground balls were nearly even (26-27). The Mids reached double digits in the scoring column for the fourth time this season and first since dealing Bucknell a 131-7 loss on March 4. Meanwhile, the six goals were the second-fewest allowed by Navy this season (5 by Delaware, 2.18) and tied as the fewest by the Big Green this season.
“It was good to see our hard work and commitment pay off,” said sixth-year Navy head coach Rick Sowell, who got his first head coaching job at Dartmouth in 1999. “I thought we were relaxed and I felt good about the vibe in the locker room. I thought we did some good things on both ends of the field.”
Having seen its fair share of ebbs and flows this season on extra-man, Navy scored its first two goals of the game a man up. Torain set up both goals as midfielder Dave Little (Jr / Vienna, Va.) got the Mids on the scoreboard by firing in a shot from eight yards out on the left wing just two minutes into the game, while Colin Flounlacker (Sr / Stevensville, Md.) used a Torain pass to drive his shot past Dartmouth keeper George Christopher at the 7:26 mark.
Dartmouth, however, answered with back-to-back goals by rookie attackman Ben Martin to knot the score at two apiece with just over three minutes to play in the opening period.
Navy took a 3-2 lead into the second period after closing out the period with a Chris Hill (Jr / Novato, Calif.) goal off an assist from Little.
The Mids pushed their lead to two goals, scoring just 10 seconds into the second stanza when Torain found long pole Matt Rees (Sr / Sykesville, Md.) for a spectacular 15-yard shot and goal
Dartmouth trimmed the lead to one when Torain’s shot careened off the cross bar and bounced almost to mid-field where senior middie Dylan Key picked up the loose ball and found senior attackman Wiley Osborne for the goal.
Navy and Dartmouth combined to score the next three goals in just 45 seconds. Navy kicked things off when Flounlacker threaded his pass through the crease to Hill who was set up on the left side of the crease to give Navy a 5-3 advantage at the 8:19 mark. Thirty seconds later, Navy netminder Ryan Kern (Fr / Middletown, Del.) attempted to clear the ball out of the goal, but instead Dartmouth attackman Richie Loftus batted down the pass and quickly picked up the ball and found the back of the net. On the ensuing faceoff, short-stick defensive midfielder John Trainor (Sr / Northport, N.Y.) scored a transition goal to put the Mids back up by two with 7:34 left in the opening half.
Torain gave Navy a three-goal lead at the break after punching in an unassisted tally with just 38.7 seconds remaining.
The Big Green scored the opening goal of the second half to get to within two, but it would be the closest they would get as the Mids outscored Dartmouth, 4-2 over the final 30 minutes of action.
Torain, who has shouldered the most pressure from the injuries to Casey Rees (Jr / Sykesville, Md.) and Jack Ray (Jr / Wyckoff, N.J.), had a breakout game with a career-best seven points. Coming into the game with just 10 career assists, including just three this season, Torain dealt out a personal-high four assists in the win. It ties Ryan Wade (So / Coronado, Calif.) (vs. Maryland) for the most points scored by a Navy player this season, while it ties as the second-most assists this year.
“Greyson handles it (the pressure) well,” added Sowell. “Once we lost Casey and Jack, the defense has keyed in on him and it makes it tough. He is capable of impacting our offense. It was one of those nights where things were clicking for him.”
Hill, Flounlacker and Matt Rees all punched in a pair of goals, while Little and Trainor contributed goals.
Defensively, the Mids forced seven turnovers by the Big Green with Rees and co-captain Chris Fennell (Sr / Milford, N.J.) posting two apiece. Rees is now just one takeaway from tying former teammate and record holder Pat Kiernan (2011-14) who amassed 74 caused turnovers in four seasons Meanwhile, Kern played a solid game between the pipes where he made 10 stops.
Brady Dove (Sr / Stevensville, Md.) and Joe Varello (Jr / Kings Park, N.Y.) combined to win 14 of the 21 draws for the Mids with Dove claiming wins in 12 of the 17 he took. With his 12 wins, Dove has now won 102 faceoffs this season and is the ONLY Navy player to win at least 100 faceoffs all four years. Additionally, with a team-high five ground balls he is now just two ground balls away from becoming the first player in program history and only the fourth player in Patriot League history to post 300 career ground balls.
Martin led the Big Green with a hat trick, while Loftus pitched in two goals and Osborne scored one.
The Mids return to action Saturday when they play host to Patriot League foe Lehigh in front of a national television audience. Ben Holden and Sheehan Stanwick Burch will call the action on CBS Sports Network beginning at 11:30 AM. Meanwhile Pete Medhurst and Joe Miller will have the call on 1430 AM / 99.9 FM WNAV.
### Go Navy ###