No poor substitutes: Reserves lead Navy past UM

April 04, 2009|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,

It figures that Navy would still have some firepower from its reserves.

Bruce Nechanicky recorded three goals and an assist, and Tom Mansfield played solid defense to pace the No. 15 Midshipmen to a 10-4 upset of No. 9 Maryland at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis on Friday.

An announced 15,109 - the fifth-largest crowd to watch a Navy game at home and largest that didn't involve Johns Hopkins - saw the Midshipmen record their most lopsided victory over the Terps since an 11-3 win in 1992.

Friday night was the first time Navy reached double digits in goals against Maryland since 1996, when the Midshipmen fell, 11-10.

With the victory, Navy (8-3) has won five of the past six meetings with the Terps, who dropped to 6-4 and have lost two straight.

Nechanicky replaced junior attackman Tim Paul (Loyola), the team's leading scorer, who twisted his left ankle early in the third quarter and did not return. Nechanicky scored all three of his goals in the second half, including bookending the Midshipmen's 4-0 run in the third quarter with goals with 10:57 and eight seconds left in the period.

"That's our go-to-guy," Nechanicky said of Paul, who is expected to have X-rays over the weekend. "Once he went down, we knew we had to step it up a notch."

Maryland ended a drought that lasted 32:02 when attackman Ryan Young scored seven seconds into the fourth period and Will Yeatman converted a feed from Travis Reed with 10:17 left in the game.

But Navy attackman Andy Warner scored 63 seconds later, and Nechanicky and midfielder Brian Striffler added goals in the final seven minutes of the quarter to cement the win.

After making 15 saves in last Saturday's victory over Georgetown, Navy goalie Tommy Phelan (Loyola) made a career-high 17 stops, and Mansfield filled in admirably for sophomore Michael Hirsch, who is expected to miss the remainder of the season after injuring his knee during practice Thursday.

"It speaks volumes of this defense that we can put anybody on anybody and we expect them to be shut down," said senior defenseman Andy Tormey, who shut out the Terps' Grant Catalino, the team's leading scorer, for the first time in 23 games.

"To hold those guys to four goals, you have to have great goaltending," coach Richie Meade said of keeping Maryland seven goals under its season average. "And we played pretty good defense, too."

The Terps were paced by Yeatman and Young, who scored two goals each. But coach Dave Cottle seemed to hint that the offense panicked as Maryland found the deficit growing.

"We just never felt comfortable on offense," he said. "We couldn't possess the ball, we threw it away. ... We become very unsettled when we don't score, and it affects our play."

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