OK, now Navy’s lax season is over. Navy got off to a better start this time, but the end result of their second meeting with Johns Hopkins was pretty much the same. A quarterfinal-record crowd of 17,000 + saw the Blue Jays stomp the Mids, 10-4.
This game had all the usual ingredients of Navy lacrosse games from the second half of the season.
Opposing goalie made to look like an All-American thanks to gobs of easy saves? Check!
Sloppy passing and catching? Check!
On-screen graphic on television that describes the futility of the Navy offense? Check! (“Johns Hopkins: Second time this season holding Navy scoreless for 30+ minutes”)
The inability to do anything on offense was pretty disappointing, because a lot of other things went Navy’s way and might have given the Mids a chance to win if they could do more offensively than aiming for the goalie’s chest. As many turnovers as Navy had, Hopkins had problems maintaining posession themselves, at least early on. Mikelis Visgauss won 9 of 10 at the X in the first half, giving the Mids plenty of opportunities. And unlike the first meeting, Navy grabbed more ground balls than the Blue Jays. There was no shortage of hustle.
But teams can’t live on hustle alone, and in the end the story of the game was Navy’s lack of offense. Navy outshot Hopkins, just as they had done in the first meeting. Don’t let that fool you, though. Taking a million shots that sail high and get backed up by a teammate, just so you can take another harmless shot later in the posession, is not the hallmark of a productive offense.
But whatever. It’s the same story we’ve heard all year. And it was a disappointing year, given recent history. Navy lost to Army, didn’t win the Patriot League regular season, and got bounced out of the conference semifinals. The question now is whether this was just a rebuilding year, or the beginning of a trend. My gut tells me it’s the former, but I admit I’m still a bit nervous.