Navy lacrosse's Brady Dove one of the nation's best at faceoffs

Navy's Brady Dove, right, wins the face-off against Maryland's Austin Henningsen in the first quarter. The visiting Maryland Terrapins defeated the Navy Midshipmen, 15-12, in NCAA men's lacrosse Saturday in Navy's home opener at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.

When observers begin talking about the best faceoff specialists in Division I, names such as Denver junior Trevor Baptiste, North Carolina senior Stephen Kelly, and Syracuse senior Ben Williams are mentioned. Brady Dove might find himself popping up in the conversation.

The Navy senior currently ranks 10th in the country in faceoff percentage with a 65.6 success rate, and only three other players have won more than the 40 draws he has claimed thus far. Curiously, Dove doesn't seem to get as much attention as the aforementioned players, but that apparently does not faze him, according to coach Rick Sowell.


"I think Brady gets his fair share, and the way for Brady to get more, I guess, is to just keep doing what he's doing," Sowell said Tuesday. "He's breaking career records and game records. I'll be honest, but I don't think he worries too much about it. At the end of the day, as long as the team wins, Brady is just as happy."

Dove is already the program's all-time leader in faceoff wins (508) and ground balls (263), and he set a school single-game record with 21 wins in a 15-12 loss to then-No. 2 Maryland on Feb. 11. Last spring, he became only the ninth player in Patriot League history to win 400 draws.


Sowell said the most impressive number to him is zero – as in the number of turnovers Dove has committed thus far.

"He has taken care of the ball. That's the area where he's improved the most," Sowell said. "We feel a lot more comfortable when he picks it up and makes sure that we're playing offense. He just seems to be very comfortable there after three-and-a-half years of playing and taking so many faceoffs and getting the experience."

The No. 17 Midshipmen (1-2) will welcome conference foe Boston University (3-0) to Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis on Saturday at noon, but fans might miss out on one of the more anticipated matchups at the faceoff X. Terriers senior Sam Talkow, who has won 490 career draws, has not played because of an unspecified upper-body injury.

Still, Sowell said Dove is playing like a young man who knows that his time on the field is limited.

"I think most coaches would tell you that with seniors, it's different," he said. "This is it. There's no tomorrow, and that sense of urgency comes along with it. Brady is certainly playing as if he's going to leave it all out on the field, and he's being productive along the way. Hopefully, it continues."