While Navy has designated sophomore attackman Ryan Wade as the offensive quarterback, sophomore midfielder Greyson Torain has grown into his role as an initiator.
The Glen Burnie resident leads the Midshipmen (6-7, 4-4 Patriot League) in goals with 21 and ranks second in points with 35. He is tied for the seventh-points in a single season by a midfielder in school history and is two points shy of tying junior midfielder Casey Rees’ eye-opening total of 37 from a year ago.
Coach Rick Sowell said Torain has been a spark on offense that has played without Rees (knee) for the entire season and junior attackman Jack Ray (foot) for seven games.
“He’s had to shoulder a little bit more of the responsibility to create offense,” Sowell said Thursday. “Obviously, losing Casey, that put a little bit more on his plate although we did try to disperse it with Jack, but then Jack got hurt. So he’s the focal point of our offense. For him to produce the way he has for most of the season, that’s happened very few times here at the Naval Academy. So he’s doing some things that don’t happen very often here at the Naval Academy as a middie. He’s taken that next step from last year, being a plebe and now being a sophomore. The scary thing is, he’s getting better, but I still think there’s another level or two that he is trending toward. Once he gains more experience and works on a few things in the offseason, I think his best days are still ahead of him.”
Torain’s scoring output ranks seventh among Division I midfielders despite drawing opponents’ top long-stick midfielder on almost every possession. Sowell said he would have anticipated defenses employing two poles to shadow Torain and Rees.
“If you put a short-stick on Greyson Torain, you’re living life dangerously for sure,” Sowell said. “There’s not a short-stick in the country that I’ve seen that is able to defend him. Even going back to last year, he started to get the pole in games. So it’s something that we knew was going to happen. He gets the pole every day in practice. He’s really comfortable with it. … You should see him at practice even against someone like [senior defenseman] Chris Fennell. It’s very difficult for Chris Fennell to stay up with him when he dodges from behind the goal as a would-be attackman. So it’s just something that he’s had no choice. He was going to get the pole early in his career because he’s such a dynamic athlete and a dynamic dodger, and for the most part, he’s handled it well.”