No. 4 Maryland men’s lacrosse’s game against Navy Saturday has been postponed due to an outbreak of Norovirus on the Navy team, the program announced Friday.
The contest will be rescheduled at a later time. Here is the preview published before the news broke.
After dropping its first game of the season Tuesday on the road against Villanova, No. 4 Maryland men’s lacrosse will look to bounce back at home against Navy Saturday.
The Terps have won 10 straight games against Navy dating back to 2009. They won last season’s contest, 14-9, thanks to five goals from Louis Dubick, who graduated last spring. But head coach John Tillman’s squad is not overlooking its opponent.
“They’re off to a good start. Tough team,” senior attackman Jared Bernhardt said. “We need to do a little bit better on the ground balls type of stuff. I think a team like Navy, they always give us trouble with that.”
The game is scheduled for 1 p.m ET and can be streamed on BTN Plus.
Navy Midshipmen (2-1, 0-0 Patriot League)
2019 record: 6-7 (4-4 Patriot League)
Head coach Joe Amplo is in his first season as head coach of the Midshipmen. After a successful tenure at Marquette where he led the Golden Eagles to Big East titles and NCAA Tournament appearances in 2016 and 2017, Amplo took the Navy job this past summer.
He’s had early success at in Annapolis, guiding the team to a 2-1 record, with its only loss coming against a capable Richmond team that nearly beat the Terps.
Players to know
Christian Daniel, junior attackman, 5’10, 179 lbs, No. 17. Daniel has started his junior season off on a strong note, tallying 11 points in three games. He was the Midshipmen’s second leading scorer last season with 43 points, and he has started every game but one in his three-year career.
In last season’s matchup against the Terps, he was Navy’s leading scorer with three goals, so stopping him will be an emphasis Saturday.
Nick Cole, sophomore attackman, 5’8, 178 lbs, No. 21. Cole came in and had success right away for Navy, starting every game of his freshman season and finishing fourth on the team with 29 points. Just like Daniel, he also lit the Terps up for three goals.
This season, Cole has only amassed six points in two games, but he has been very active with a team-high 11 shots. Keeping Cole away from the net will be key for the struggling Maryland defense.
Ryan Kern, senior goalkeeper, 5’9, 190 lbs, No. 24. Kern is one of the most experienced players on this roster. The goalie has started every game of his Navy tenure, including four matchups with the Terps. And as a high school senior, he was considering coming to Maryland.
In 2019, Kern was 12th in the country averaging 12.85 saves per game. He allowed 14 goals against the Terps while saving 11 shots.
Kern has been on his A-game this season, only allowing 19 goals through three games (6.3 per contest). Now he faces his toughest challenge yet in Maryland’s high-power offense.
Goalkeeping. As stated earlier, Kern is an experienced veteran in net who’s off to a terrific start this season. He allowed only 4 goals in Navy’s win over and Manhattan and was even better in his teem’s win over Furman, only allowing three.
But historically, Kern has not had success against the Terps. In his previous three games against them, he has allowed 13 goals per game. Kern is a Maryland native, so there’s no doubt he’s going to come out hungry, looking to seize that coveted win over the Terps.
Midfield experience. While Navy has gotten strong play from its goalie and attackmen, the team is pretty inexperienced at the midfield position. Junior Joe deLyra only had two career starts entering this season, while their other two starting midfielders are both freshmen (Patrick Skalniak and Henry Rentz).
With no midfielder having started a game in this historic rivalry, Maryland’s experienced midfield needs to take advantage. Look for Bubba Fairman and other midfielders to have big games.
Three things to watch
1. How does Maryland respond to loss? The sluggish starts finally caught up to the Terps on Tuesday as they were unable to come back against Villanova, like they had in previous games. With only a few days off, they will have to shift their focus to Saturday’s game against a very capable Navy team.
Maryland was good coming off losses last season, going 2-1 with a +4 goal differential in such games. Tillman historically has his teams ready to go after a loss.
“I told the guys, ‘When we lose it’s on me,’ and when you win a game you give the players the credit,” Tillman said. “It’s our job to get the guys ready and be successful, and we weren’t successful. So that’s on me for not doing a good job getting them prepared.”
2. Can Maryland avoid another slow start? The Terps have been trailing in at least the second quarter of every game and down multiple goals in the fourth quarter of the past three. Against Richmond and High Point, the Terps managed to flip the switch in the fourth quarter, but it caught up to them on Tuesday.
“Playing these close games, guys start to pick up their urgency a little bit and I think it’s shown in these games in the fourth quarter,” Bernhardt said. “We need to come into the game with some of that urgency.”
The story lies in the goal quarter-by-quarter goal differential for Maryland. In the first quarter of games this season they are -2, but in the fourth quarters, they are a much improved +16. If Maryland plays every quarter like it’s the last, it’d be hard to stop.
“We’re gonna take a look at the film, see what we did wrong. Starting off a little faster hopefully,” senior midfielder Russell Masci said. “That’s the whole key to the game, so we’re not playing a game of catch-up like we did Tuesday.”
3. Who can step up at faceoff specialist? Early in the season, it was junior Justin Shockey getting most of the reps. He was a huge part in the comeback against Penn.
But on Tuesday, freshman Conor Calderone got extended reps for the first time since the season opener and had a strong showing. He helped the Terps win 17 of the 29 faceoffs against the Wildcats.
During his senior season of high school, Calderone won 93 percent of his faceoffs. But he struggled against High Point in his debut, winning just 4-of-11. If Calderone can put numbers up anywhere close to his high school self, it could be a huge asset for the Terps.
“I am optimistic against the faceoffs. I feel like we went against a really good guy Saturday and Justin Shockey played one of his better games,” Tillman said. “Conor gave me some optimism on Tuesday with what he did. We just gotta keep working.”