After a quiet start, Casey Rees has rediscovered his shooting touch, scoring seven goals and adding an assist in the last two games for Navy. But the sophomore midfielder’s outburst is no surprise to his teammates or coach Rick Sowell.
“We’ve seen it in practice,” Sowell said Monday after Rees scored four goals in Saturday’s 13-6 victory over Patriot League foe Bucknell. “We knew that it was just a matter of time before it would translate onto the field. He can shoot the ball. The other day, when he scored three goals [in a 10-9 double overtime loss at Boston University], he had a bunch of shots . On Saturday, he had four shots and was 4-for-4. So it was good to see him maximize his opportunities. He can shoot it, and the hope is that he can continue to do that because he’s certainly capable. But we’re not going to expect him to shoulder the entire load.”
Rees, a Sykesville resident and Boys’ Latin graduate who registered six goals and four assists as a freshman, had scored one goal in his first three starts. Sowell said he didn’t sense any frustration on Rees’ part.
“Any time you’re a scorer and you don’t score, I’m sure there’s some internal pressure,” Sowell said. “… But all these guys are team players. So it’s not like we saw them moping around and being selfish players because they’re not scoring. These guys are all about the team. So you wouldn’t know it. … Casey shows up to practice and works hard and doesn’t wear his emotions on his sleeves.”
With nine points, Rees is tied with freshman Greyson Torain for the lead in that department among the team’s midfielders. And his eight goals are tied with senior attackman Patrick Keena for second on the team.
Sowell said he did not consider benching Rees.
“If he was struggling in practice, it would be a different story, but the fact that he wasn’t scoring in those first couple of games wasn’t going to affect his role,” Sowell said. “Sometimes you’ve got to hang in there and not make quick knee-jerk decisions. There’s got to be some thought that goes into it and a little bit of time before you decide to adjust someone’s playing time or reduce someone’s role. It was just way too early in our season for that to happen.”