Navy’s offensive average of 8.8 goals in four games hasn’t been helped by a struggling man-up unit.
The Midshipmen (2-2 overall and 0-1 in the Patriot League) have scored just two goals in 11 extra-man situations. They converted 1-of-3 man-up opportunities in Saturday’s 10-9 double-overtime loss at conference foe Boston University (4-1, 1-0), but they had been just 1-of-8 in their first three contests.
Coach Rick Sowell said he hasn’t been displeased with the extra-man offense’s recent play.
“We feel like we’re getting quality shots on extra-man, but we’re just not putting them in the goal,” he said Thursday. “Maybe that speaks to our inability to finish. We can play this game all day long – the extra-man, the offense, when we’re scoring, going on some of these droughts. There’s a number of things we can point to. We just feel as though we’ve got to get a little bit better. Our guys are practicing very well this week. So hopefully, we can tidy up a few of the areas.
"The stats say that we’re 2-for-11. We’ve hit pipes, and we’ve had good looks, but we just haven’t finished. We’ve just got to finish. There’s not much more we can do other than to find a way to put the ball in the back of the net. … It certainly isn’t for a lack of trying – whether that’s running the extra-man or committing the time that it takes throughout practice. These are things we do every day. So sooner or later, we feel as though the tide is going to turn, and we’re going to start cashing in on these opportunities.”
Sowell said the coaching staff is considering every option to kick-start the man-up unit.
“You’re always evaluating your team, you’re evaluating the coaches on what we can do to be a better team, and it’s no different with the extra-man group,” he said. “We have considered changing personnel. But at the same time, we do feel good about the six guys we’re running out there. That’s just something we’ll continue to keep under the microscope.”