Navy’s 9-6 loss to archrival Army on Saturday means that the team’s season will end after Saturday’s home contest against No. 9 Johns Hopkins. And while that finality is disappointing, Midshipmen coach Rick Sowell said the team still has much to play for.
“It was a tough loss on Saturday. Emotionally, our guys spent a lot of energy, but we’ve got one more game,” Sowell said Tuesday. “Of course, I’m going to push the pride button and the this-is-the-seniors-last-game button. Hopefully, we’ll have enough gas in the tank on Saturday. … And I think we will. I’m quite sure our guys will be ready to play on Saturday. But we’ve got to deal with a pretty good opponent. They’re not happy, having lost two of their last three games. So they’re going to come down in a grouchy mood, and we have to be prepared mentally to compete and play at a high level.”
In the Blue Jays (9-2), Navy (5-6) gets an opponent that ran up a 10-0 first-half advantage en route to a 14-5 thumping last spring. Sowell said he has heard some of the players mention that development from last year.
“We do have one more chance to go out on a high note and beating Hopkins would be a significant accomplishment,” he said. “We’re not playing for anything but pride and that’s what happens when you’re a team out of the playoffs. You’re playing for pride and the seniors, and I think some of the guys have said that the way last year ended left a sour taste in their mouths. They can use that as a source of motivation. So hopefully, we can come out and play hard and play well and win.”