By Edward Lee
8:00 AM EDT, April 9, 2012
For the second consecutive game, Navy’s offense disappeared in the second half. After getting shut out by No. 9 Lehigh in the final 42 minutes, 2 seconds of a 9-4 loss March 30, the No. 17 Midshipmen scored just once in the fourth quarter of Friday night’s 13-6 setback to No. 11 Maryland.
Navy’s drought of 23 minutes to the Terps was part of a larger iceberg. In the second halves of the past two contests, the offense has taken just 17 shots, collected 18 groundballs, and won just 6-of-17 faceoffs.
Turnovers have also sapped the offense of possessions. The unit has turned the ball over 11 times in the second halves, and on Friday night, coach Rick Sowell traced the team’s ineffectiveness to four of 11 turnovers in the third quarter.
“And they’re the unforced ones, and those are the ones that hurt,” he said. “You get the ball around the horn and you throw it out of bounds. We had that happen last week, and we had that happen tonight. And as soon as it happened, they come down and boom, they made us pay.”
The Midshipmen (5-5) tried to infuse new life in the offense by inserting sophomore attackman Harrison Chaires and sophomore Sean Price in the second half. It may not have resulted in goals, but the moves gave the unit a different look.
“We certainly weren’t giving up, but it’s 11-6, 11-5, and some guys have earned it in practice, and we just thought it was an opportunity,” Sowell said. “We did the same thing on defense, too. We got a couple guys in that have been working hard in practice. We just felt like giving them some playing time. Hopefully, that will pay for us down the road.”
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