For many Division I men’s soccer programs, just getting to the NCAA tournament is an honor and sometimes an accomplishment. However, that is not the mindset for Navy.
The road for the Midshipmen (15-3-2) begins Thursday when they travel to Richmond to face Virginia Commonwealth (11-7-2) in a first-round game. The program has lost in the first round in its last two trips to the NCAA tournament (1974 and 1988), but Navy coach Dave Brandt is fully aware that there are numerous coaches who would be willing to trade positions with him.
“It’s where everyone wants to be,” he said. “Doing well in the Patriot League and winning the Patriot League championship was a route into the tournament, and now that we’re in, I think the battle is to make sure that the guys are focused on making a mark and not just being satisifed with making an appearance.”
After winning the Patriot League championship last Sunday, Brandt made it clear to his players that they shouldn't just settle with the NCAA tournament appearance.
“I have, in all honesty, tried to brainwash the guys to make sure they do think and say that,” he said, with a laugh. “I think it’s important to shoot high. The Patriot League is important, but it’s not the end-all, and the season doesn’t end with the Patriot League. There’s only one way to approach what’s after that.”Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun