Navy lacrosse waiting patiently for Ryan Wade as attackman deals with recent rut

Ryan Wade is tied with sophomore midfielder Greyson Torain with a team-leading 32 points and leads the Navy lacrosse team with 22 assists. But the sophomore attackman has hit a bit of a rut in recent weeks.

In his last four games, Wade has just one goal and seven assists.

Coach Rick Sowell noted that Wade has lost some playing time with junior attackman Jack Ray returning to the fold after missing seven games because of a foot injury. But Sowell did not have an explanation for Wade’s stretch of quiet outings as the Midshipmen (5-7 overall and 3-4 in the Patriot League) prepare to host No. 6 Army (10-1, 6-0) at noon Saturday at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in their regular-season finale.

“Obviously, rotating with Jack in there, he’s losing a little bit of playing time. So that doesn’t help him in terms of opportunity," Sowell said. "But he continues to practice well. It’s not a case of him hitting the wall or anything like that. Boy, he’s had some really good practices these first couple days of the week. You’d like to hope that sooner or later, he’s going to [break out of] a slump or what-have-you. He’s just too good not to contribute in some way, and hopefully, it’s Saturday.”

Sowell is more concerned with the offense in general after a 10-4 loss at Colgate on Saturday. Navy won more faceoffs and picked up more ground balls, but whiffed on two extra-man chances and scored only one goal each in the third and fourth quarters.

Sowell said Navy is going to need more of a team-wide effort against a Black Knights defense that ranks second in Division I in fewest goals per game allowed at 7.1.

“If you look at the Holy Cross, Dartmouth and Delaware wins, we had guys with a couple goals here and a couple guys there -- a number of guys contributing,” he said. “It’s always great if someone can go off and have a big game. That certainly takes the pressure off, for sure. We’d like to hope more than a few guys can get going this weekend because we’re certainly going to need them to be better than we were last week. And I suspect that we will be.”

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