Youth serves Navy lacrosse team well

Freshmen powered Mids to season-opening win over VMI

February 17, 2011|By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun

Navy's freshmen attackmen combined for eight goals and four assists in the team's 14-8 victory over the Virginia Military Institute last Saturday. Coach Richie Meade is emphatic in his belief that his group of first-year players can match that production for the remainder of the season.

"The expectation here is what it is," Meade said. "Everybody has to stop saying they're freshmen. They're Navy lacrosse players, and we've got a team, and we expect to win. That's really the way it is. Those are the guys we're putting on the field, and our expectation is that they're going to keep getting better, they're going to keep working hard. It's one game in the season that's going to last a long time. We're going to be in a lot of close games, and hopefully, we can win a few of them."

The Midshipmen got four goals from Sam Jones, two goals and three assists from Tucker Hull, one goal and one assist from Harrison Chaires and one goal from Austin Heneveld.

That foursome and the rest of the freshmen class spent last season playing at the Naval Academy Preparatory School, using that time to bond and develop chemistry with each other.

"Everybody just has the go-play-and-have-fun mentality," said Jones, an Annapolis native and Severna Park graduate. "I think we all feel very capable, and we play and let everything take care of itself."

Although the bar has been set, Meade acknowledged that consistency is often a fleeting quality when applied to freshmen.

"You just don't know what's going to happen," he said. "But like I said, they played very consistently. They worked hard, they rode well, so we were pleased with it."

Love's No. 1 to be retired

The jersey number 1 Yeardley Love wore throughout her Virginia career will be retired at the Cavaliers' first weekend home game on March 6 in Charlottesville.

Love, the Notre Dame Prep graduate whose ex-boyfriend is charged with her May 2010 murder, is only the sixth female athlete in Virginia history to have her number retired. Her mother Sharon and sister Lexie are expected to attend the ceremony, which will be held 10 minutes before the Cavaliers play Penn State at 1 p.m. at Klockner Stadium.

A senior last spring, Love was a midfielder for the Cavaliers, who have retired only one other number in the 35-year history of their women's lacrosse program — Cherie Greer's No. 18 in 1995.

A three-time All-American, Greer led the Cavaliers to two NCAA championships and became the first African American to play on the United States World Cup team in 1993. Only four other Cavaliers' women athletes have had their numbers retired: three in basketball and one in softball.

Virginia and NDP have established scholarship endowments in Love's memory and a new artificial turf field planned for NDP will be named Yeardley Reynolds Love Field.

Johns Hopkins' Wharton might sit out season opener

No. 11 Johns Hopkins may open the season without senior attackman Kyle Wharton, who has not played the past two weeks because of an undisclosed injury.

"We don't know yet," coach Dave Pietramala said Wednesday of Wharton's availability. "He'll be a game-time decision."

Injuries taking a toll on Loyola's attackmen

No. 13 Loyola's attack unit could be at less-than-full-strength in the Greyhounds' season opener against Navy because sophomores Patrick Fanshaw (wrist), Michael Sawyer (concussion) and Will Fredericks (ankle) and senior Eric Lusby (knee surgery) are nursing injuries, leaving senior Matt Langan and freshman Justin Ward as the only healthy attackmen in the rotation.

"We look like a MASH unit on the sideline with our attackmen," coach Charley Toomey quipped Wednesday. "I'm looking at the trainers' report every day, just trying to get through practice and knowing full well that we've kind of been on the outside looking in with regards to our most talented guys."

UMBC tabs McCullough as starting goalie

Junior Brian McCullough beat out sophomore Adam Cohen and has been named by UMBC as the starting goalkeeper when the Retrievers open the season Saturday against Presbyterian.

"Both Brian and Adam have been competing well, and I've seen improvement in both goalkeepers," coach Don Zimmerman said Wednesday. "We just feel that at this point, Brian is just ahead of Adam."

Baltimore Sun reporter Katherine Dunn contributed to this article.

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