Navy’s 18-5 rout of VMI last Saturday was the program’s 13th consecutive season-opening win since a 9-8 overtime loss to UMBC on Feb. 24, 2001.
While the victory was also notable for snapping a seven-game losing skid that ended the 2013 campaign, coach Rick Sowell said Monday that the emphasis for the team was turning its attention to this Saturday when Georgetown visits Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis at 12 p.m.
“It’s always your goal to win your next game,” he said. “We’re fortunate to win a week ago, but it’s a different week against a different opponent. We’ve got to continue to get better, no doubt. As well as we played in some areas, there were some areas that we feel we need to continue to improve. As I told my team earlier today, we’re not different than any other team that has already played a game or two. We haven’t played our best game – at least I hope not. So we’ll continue to take the next step and hopefully be a little better, a little sharper this weekend and come out with a victory.”
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The Midshipmen (1-0) overwhelmed the Keydets in nearly every category, raising expectations for a program that has missed three straight Patriot League tournaments and hasn’t qualified for the NCAA tournament since 2009. But as the schedule gets tougher, Sowell said the onus is on the players and coaches to hone their abilities and their schemes.
“We did enough things well to win the game, but it’s just game one,” he said. “We don’t feel as though we’re playing our best lacrosse. There are some things we need to continue to improve. So it’s continuing to get better every day in practice and hopefully come next Saturday, we’ll be ready to take that next step and play better ultimately.”
Navy will have a full week to prepare for the Hoyas, who will open their season Wednesday with a home game against Mount St. Mary’s (0-1). Asked if playing a midweek game could be a physical disadvantage for Georgetown, Sowell replied, “I don’t know. Ask me after Saturday. If we win, then I might say that it was, but if we lose, it wasn’t. But they’ll have a couple days to recover and they’ll be ready to play Saturday. From our standpoint, we expect it to be an extremely challenging game. We’re going to have to play a real lacrosse game to come out with the victory.”