Despite offensive woes, Navy not likely to change starting lineup

Midshipmen coach Rick Sowell applying brakes on drastic measures after offense goes scoreless in final three quarters of 11-2 loss to Bucknell last Saturday

March 06, 2013|By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun

Navy’s 11-2 loss to Patriot League rival Bucknell this past Saturday was exacerbated by a poor offensive showing highlighted by zero goals in the contest’s final three quarters. Despite the inability to score a goal in the final 51 minutes, coach Rick Sowell was hesitant to declare wholesale changes in the starting lineup for Saturday’s home game against Lafayette.

“Everything’s under the gun,” Sowell said Tuesday. “We’re re-evaluating the situation. I don’t know if we have to make drastic changes. I don’t even know if we have make changes. When you’ve lost three games in a row, there’s a reason why, and we’re trying to figure out those reasons. It could be personnel decisions, schemes, how we prepare leading up to a game. The last couple of days, we’ve taken a look at everything. So we’ll see how guys perform at practice. If there’s a need to change someone’s role or the first midfield, the second midfield, the third attackman, the fourth attackman or somewhere along those lines, we’ll make the adjustment. But at this point in time, we’re still sorting that out.”

Pressed further on if he’s more likely to stick with the current starting offense of junior attackmen Sam Jones, Tucker Hull and Austin Heneveld and sophomore midfielder Gabe Voumard, junior midfielder Pat Durkin and senior midfielder Bryce Dabbs, Sowell affirmed that sentiment.

“That would be the ideal situation because those young men who are out there are the ones that give us the best chance to be successful on game day,” he said. “But if they’re not playing well, then you have to go to a Plan B. So we’ll see. Hopefully, we’ll figure it out before Saturday.”

The Midshipmen (2-3) are in the midst of a three-game losing skid, which – perhaps not coincidentally – has been accompanied by a quiet stretch from Hull. Hull, who led the team in goals (23), assists (24) and points (47) last season, has posted just two goals on 12 shots during Navy’s losing streak.

Hull has registered just two assists and committed eight turnovers over the same stretch, but Sowell refused to single out Hull.

“Not just Tucker Hull, it’s the offense in general,” he said. “There’s a concern of what we’re doing down there, and we’re trying to sort it out. Whether it’s personnel or scheme or preparation, we’ve put everything under the microscope, trying to figure things out. We need to get Tucker Hull going, but we also need to get some other guys going as well.”

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