Navy attackman Tucker Hull

Navy junior Tucker Hull has 105 points in his career, ranking 24th on the academy┬┐s all-time list. He needs two more to pass Matt Pawlikowski (1990-93) for 23rd. (Navy Athletics / February 24, 2013)

Each week, The Baltimore Sun publishes a Q&A with a college lacrosse player to get you more acquainted with the player and his/her team. Today's guest is Navy junior attackman Tucker Hull, who ranks second on the team in goals (13) and assists (seven). The Charlotte, N.C., native has 105 points in his career, ranking 24th on the academy's all-time list, and he needs just two more to pass Matt Pawlikowski (1990-93) for 23rd.

But the Midshipmen have won just three of 12 contests this season and will miss the Patriot League tournament for the third consecutive year. Navy will finish the season by visiting No. 13 Johns Hopkins on Saturday; the Mids need a win to avoid the worst season in program history.

How would you characterize the 2013 season for the Midshipmen?

I would certainly say it's disappointing. We definitely have great players on the team, but as far as putting it all together in the big picture, we never came through. We've got one more game left to try to pull our act together.

Optimism was high considering the number of players returning from last season, when the team went 6-6. Why do you think Navy fell short of its expectations?

Like you mentioned, we were really excited about the players that came back. A lot of talent. It kind of goes back to the first question in that we never pulled it together.

The offense averaged just 8.3 goals this year. Is there anything you can point to as a factor in the unit's struggles?

I don't think teams were doing much to stop our offense. It's just our offense never got going as a whole. You'd have great individual performances out of certain players, but you would never be able to have three players going at the same time.

Johns Hopkins figures to be the favorite on Saturday, but Navy has won two of the last three meetings. Does that history give you a sense of optimism?

I'd like to say that we're always optimistic going into every game. We certainly love a challenge, and I hope we rise to meet that challenge. But I don't think last year or the past three years have any influence on that. We're just going to try and take what we have this year and do what we can with it.

Is last year's 8-2 upset of the Blue Jays a topic of conversation and could that be inspiration for Saturday?

People have mentioned it, but it's not part of the discussion. We're a different team and so are they. So we're just going to go out and play our game, and watch the scouting film like we always do and come out and try to get the 'W.'

How would you answer people asking, "What is Navy playing this game for?"

Pride. As of right now, we're on track for the worst season in Navy lacrosse history ... and going off with a win here would keep us from that. Also, putting a 'W' on for our seniors in their last game would be great. Other than that, just pride.

In 2012, you led the team in goals with 23 and assists with 24. How did you feel about your production?

It's not all about the numbers for me. I'm just trying to play to win, and a lot of times, that doesn't call for me to score. Sometimes that calls for me to draw people and dodge and move the ball, especially with defenses coming out knowing that I scored a bunch last year and that I was the go-to guy. Maybe I'll be initiating it and getting a hockey assist, which doesn't go down as a stat.

Will you and your teammates use this season as motivation for 2014?

I think that's unavoidable. I don't think anyone's going to easily forget this season and how terrible it turned out. We're going to remember it for a long time.

Are the pieces there to turn the program around?

Definitely. The pieces were there this year, and they will be there next year. I always think that the players that we have are phenomenal. Every guy brings something to the table in practice or in games. Everyone's doing their job out there. We've just got to find that chemistry, and sometimes that takes a while. So we're just waiting on it.

edward.lee@baltsun.com

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