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2018 Men’s Lacrosse Year in Review: #23 Navy Midshipmen

After a slow start, the Mids had a second half surge that was stopped short in the Patriot League semifinals.

Navy Athletics

With the 2018 college lacrosse season complete, it’s time to start looking back at how all 71 teams did during the season, as well as what to expect from each squad for 2019. These are not end of season rankings, as some people might think.

We’ve already begun looking back to 2018 with some team recaps thus far and continued our series this week with Ohio State, Detroit Mercy, and Quinnipiac.

So with that, let’s continue the recaps!

#23 Navy Midshipmen

Conference: Patriot League
2018 Record: 9-5 (7-1 in Patriot League play)
Postseason: Lost to Lehigh in Patriot League semifinals
Head coach: Rick Sowell (7th Year)

Statistical Leaders

Goals: Jack Ray (26)
Assists: Ryan Wade (24)
Points: Jack Ray, Greyson Torain, and Ryan Wade (33)
Faceoffs: Joe Varello (160-of-273; 58.6%)
Ground balls: Joe Varello (80)
Caused turnovers: Michael Strack (14)
Goals against average: Ryan Kern (8.82 GAA)
Save percentage: Ryan Kern (50.2%)

Personnel Losses

Key seniors departing: A Jack Ray (26 Gs, 7 As, 24 GBs), D Michael Strack (34 GBs, 14 CTs, 3 As), FOGO Joe Varello (58.6% faceoff draws, 80 GBs, 3 Gs, 3 As), D Hiram Carter (22 GBs, 13 CTs), M Casey Rees (13 Gs, 5 As, 16 GBs), SSDM D.J. Plumer (23 GBs, 9 CTs, 1 G, 1 A), A Dave Little (12 Gs, 3 As), SSDM David Jones (13 GBs, 7 CTs, 3 Gs), A Chris Hill (9 Gs, 2 As, 16 GBs)
Senior scoring departing: 93 of 202 points (46%)
Senior starts lost: 72 of 140 (51.4%)

Season Summary

After a disappointing 2017 season filled with injuries, Navy had a good bounce-back season in 2018, despite missing out on the NCAA Tournament.

The year didn’t start off as planned. In the season-opener against Jacksonville, the Dolphins used a 5-0 run to upset the Mids, who were without Joe Varello due to a suspension. They won only three of 22 faceoffs that day. But the senior returned for the Maryland game and went 12-of-18 against the Terps, despite a 10-4 loss. They picked up their first win against UMBC in a low-scoring affair and turned their focus to the start of Patriot League play with early wins over Boston University and Bucknell.

Navy’s first three games in March were a mixed bag, beginning with an embarrassing 11-3 loss to Penn at the US Lacrosse headquarters. After a blowout win against Lafayette, the Midshipmen were stuffed by eventual conference champion Loyola. But that’s when Navy started to get going, winning their next five games before the conference tournament. All five games came within three goals, including a thrilling finish in the regular season finale against Syracuse in the Carrier Dome. But the conference semifinal against Lehigh was a dogfight that saw overtime and Mountain Hawk junior Lucas Spence tally his fourth goal of the game to send Lehigh to the conference championship game.

Three players were tied for the team lead with 33 points, attackman Jack Ray and midfielders Ryan Wade and Greyson Torain. Ray had fellow senior Dave Little and freshman Christian Daniel alongside him for most of the season at attack. Daniel finished his first year with 31 points. Chris Hill also got runs at attack. Along with Wade and Torain was fellow senior Casey Rees, who returned after missing all of last season with an injury. Drew Smiley also got some time on offense, which didn’t have a ton of scoring depth.

The defense was Navy’s strength led by seniors Michael Strack and Hiram Carter and freshman Andrew McKenna. Senior Steve Hincks and freshman Jeff Durden were the LSMs, while D.J. Plumer, David Jones, and freshman Tim Griffin got notable reps as short stick defensive midfielders. With Varello winning over 58% of the draws, sophomore goalie Ryan Kern improved in his second season with an 8.82 goals against average.

Looking Ahead

Navy scored a little over 200 points last season, which isn’t a ton. But three of their four scorers that recorded over 30 points are returning, including Torain and Wade. That’s 97 total points returning to Annapolis. But their next leading scorer is Durden, an LSM, with three points and Smiley with two points. The Midshipmen didn’t run a ton of guys in some of their games, which could be a bad thing in terms of experience.

There’s also notable losses on the defensive side of the ball. McKenna is the only starting defenseman returning, with Durden and SSDM Griffin also back. Kern will be back for his junior year in goal, but there’s also a big void at the faceoff X for a second straight season with Varello gone after he replaced Brady Dove a year ago. Sophomore Brad Alexander went 3-of-13 on draws last year and junior Mike Lozcalzo took one draw after suffering injuries in his first two years. If they want to go the Tyler Knarr way, Durden could also take faceoffs after going 2-of-13 as a freshman. Either way, experience and talent will be a question going into 2019.

Here’s who the Midshipmen will be adding to their roster for next year (or in two years, since most of their recruits usually go to prep school for a year).*

Navy’s Unofficial Class of 2018

Player Position High School
Player Position High School
Nick Barry Midfield/FO Islip (NY)
Logan Blondell Defense Southern Lehigh (PA)
Brian Calabrese Attack Wilton (CT)
Ryan Chase Midfield Chatham (NJ)
Nick Cole Attack Stone Bridge (VA)
Chase Cope Midfield Severna Park (MD)
Shane Corcoran Goalie Navy Prep (MD)
Jack Dennehy Attack Harrison (GA)
Rich Dion Defense/LSM McDonogh (MD)
Jonny DiVirgilio Attack/Midfield Lambert (GA)
Sam Dracobly Attack O'Dea (WA)
Kyle Fairbanks Defense/LSM Bullis (MD)
Makail Fraboni Goalie Torrey Pines (CA)
Nate Hammond Midfield/FO Avon Grove (PA)
Grayson Hassell Midfield Dallas Jesuit (TX)
Jacob Jarosz Midfield/FO Severn (MD)
Dan Jordon Defense/LSM La Salle College High School (PA)
Ethan LaMond Midfield La Salle College High School (PA)
Joel Mandish Midfield Severn (MD)
Charlie Marculewicz Defense/LSM Severn (MD)
Mac McLaughlin Attack Springside Chestnut Hill (PA)
Nathaniel Raeder Midfield Mount Paran Christian (GA)
Owen Ray Attack Avon Old Farms (CT)
Jimmy Rubino Defense/LSM Churchill (MD)
Pat Skalniak Midfield Episcopal Dallas (TX)
Chris Smith Defense McDonogh (MD)
Zach Snider Defense/LSM St. Joseph's Prep (PA)
Jack Sweeney Attack/Midfield McDonogh (MD)
Jack Tabor Midfield Dallas Jesuit (TX)

*Compiled from a multitude of websites. Schools usually officially announce their recruiting class during the fall semester.


How many wins will Navy get in 2019?

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  • 8%
    (2 votes)
  • 72%
    (18 votes)
  • 20%
    (5 votes)
  • 0%
    (0 votes)
25 votes total Vote Now