Breaking News:

So Much Sports Baltimore has officially shut down on August 7, 2017, but would like to thank all of our readers, writers and everybody who helped make this website possible.

Terps slow down Navy, pick up 10-5 win

By: Charlie Wright

Maryland MLAX

No.5-ranked Maryland knocked off No.7-ranked Navy on Tuesday behind a strong defensive effort that saw the Midshipmen commit a season-high 18 turnovers. The game had been resheduled following a February weather cancellation, and both teams faced quick turnarounds after weekend contests. Six different Terps scored in the 10-5 victory.

Navy opened the scoring on a goal by midfielder Kevin Wendel, but the Terps responded with two of their own. After Henry West found the back of the net, the Terps won possession and Matt Rambo drove the left side of the field. The attackman cut around the crease and the flipped a pass to a leaping Colin Heacock, who ripped a shot past goalkeeper John Connors before hitting the ground. Navy was overmatched for most of the quarter, turning it over four times and taking half as many shots as Maryland. Wendel had their only other decent look late in the period, but couldn’t finish. The Terps defense smothered the Midshipmen, forcing tough passes and errant shots.

“Kyle (Bernlohr) in the goal, the whole defensive side, [were] just locking down their positions,” Heacock said.

The second quarter was more of the same, as the Terps refused to give the ball up. They grinding out long possessions, waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike. This patient approach netted two goals in three minutes and forced a Navy timeout. Tim Rotanz added another goal shortly after, and the Terps had scored five unanswered points. Patrick Keena finally stopped the bleeding with a close-range goal for the Midshipmen, but the Terps added two more to close the period. Navy was plagued by sloppy play for the entire half, racking up 10 turnovers despite averaging less than 13 a game.

“They were really hunting the ball, attacking it more than we were,” defenseman Chris Fennell said.

Heacock added another score less than two minutes into the third quarter to push the Terps’ lead to six goals, their largest margin. Greyson Torain answered a few possessions later with a goal, and then the game’s pace screeched to a halt. Maryland passed around the perimeter for minutes at a time, and Navy squandered their chances when they managed to get the ball. With under two minutes left in the half, the Midshipmen were called for a one-minute slashing penalty. The Terps capitalized on the extra-man opportunity with Louis Dubrick finding the back of the net off a feed from Bryan Cole. The lead was back to six heading into the final period, 9-3.

“That third quarter, they must’ve had it 10 or 12 minutes,” Navy coach Rick Sowell said. “When you get behind them, it’s tough to get back in the game because the way they control the ball.”

Maryland proceeded to play even slower in the final period, a tactic they have resorted to in many of their victories. Navy had a hard time getting possession, and the Terps clamped down on defense when they did have it. The Midshipmen finally scored midway through the fourth, their first point in over a quarter. But Lucas Gradinger responded with his fourth goal of the season, pushing the lead back to six. Torain added another against what had become an apathetic midfield, for his second career hat trick. He was the lone bright spot in the loss for Navy.

Maryland moves to 10-2 and remain undefeated at home. The Terps have won nine straight, but hadn’t won this convincingly in some time. They struggled against Rutgers on Sunday, having to erase a three-goal deficit, and went to overtime with Penn State the game before. This was a complete game for coach John Tillman’s squad, void of the scoring droughts that have cropped up recently.

“Certainly this was one of our better performances,” Tillman said. “We didn’t seem to have any lulls.”

Navy fell to 9-3, snapping a seven-game winning streak. But, they held the likes of Rambo, Maltz and Cole scoreless, which is nothing to sneeze at. And Torain’s performance is notable, considering he’s just a freshman and facing an elite group of midfielders. The Dematha high school product is just fifth on the team in goals, so any contribution from him will give them a big lift in the postseason. Navy has put together a strong season thus far, and will likely be the top seed in the upcoming Patriot League conference tournament. They could quite possibly see Maryland again somewhere down the road, and the result might be different at a neutral site.

The following two tabs change content below.

Charlie Wright

Staff Writer
Charlie is a lifelong sports fan who grew up cheering for hometown teams. He developed a passion for writing in high school and chose to pursue the profession in college. Charlie followed most of his family to the University of Maryland, where he is pursuing a degree in journalism. He plans to enter the sports journalism field after graduation, hopefully covering a local team.

Comments are closed.