No loss is easy to absorb, but losing 8-7 on a buzzer-beating goal, as Navy did against Boston University on Saturday at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, was especially frustrating because it meant that the Midshipmen dropped their Patriot League opener for the seventh consecutive year.
But in each of the past two seasons, the Mids overcame that initial setback to either capture the conference’s regular-season title outright (in 2015) or share it (in 2016). Coach Rick Sowell is banking on that history instilling Navy (1-3 overall and 0-1 in the league) with a certain attitude.
“Does it give us a sense of confidence? Yeah,” he said Wednesday afternoon. “Look, it is what it is. It’s 2017, and this is a different team, but the core of the team went through it. It’s just one game. We have seven other league games. Yes, it was a disappointing loss, no doubt – battling back the way we did and not being able to close it out when we seemingly had the momentum in our favor. But even still, we had an opportunity to have the last shot and win the game. … We still have seven league games left and two non-conference games left. We still feel as though there is a lot of season left to the play.”
That process begins Saturday when Bucknell (2-2, 0-1) visits Annapolis at 3 p.m. Igniting an offense that scored just seven times against the Terriers would seem to be the first priority, but Sowell stressed that he did not view any area on the field or any facet of the game as a major concern.
Instead, Sowell expressed confidence that the Midshipmen are still the solid team they were when they walloped Delaware, 11-5, on Feb. 18.
“We’re not far off; we’re not a bad team,” Sowell said. “A missed play here, a missed play there, a lack of execution here, a lack of execution there was the difference on Saturday. I hate to say it, but we’ve been here before. We’ve lost tough games before, and we bounced back. If you can’t overcome adversity, then you’re going to have a tough life. Our kids are resilient, and they’ll persevere through this.”