COLLEGE PARK, Md. - On a cool Friday night under the lights in College Park, the Navy Midshipmen and the Maryland Terrapins took the field for their yearly grudge match. The host Terrapins came into this game ranked #3 in the nation following a stunning defeat of #1Virginia, while the Mids came in ranked #9 in the wake of a heartbreaking OT loss to Georgetown. This match up always features two of the most physical teams in the nation, and tonight was no different. On paper, the edge would appear to go to Maryland with its imposing defense of 6’3” Joe Cinosky, 6’1” Rhyne Adolph, and 6’4” Max Schmidt. However it was Navy’s mighty mites on attack who proved to have the better day. The trio of 5’11” Nick Mirabito (a generous measurement), 5’10” Gregory Clement, and 5’9” Tim Paul out-quicked and out foxed the Terp defense the whole first half en route to a 5 to 0 halftime lead that would withstand a Maryland run in the second half to give Navy a 5 to 4 Victory. In addition to the play of their attack, Navy’s Goalie, Tommy Phelan, had an outstanding game denying Maryland’s outside shooters essentially the whole game.
The game started with Maryland winning the opening face off, but not much else in the half went Maryland’s way. After playing Jason Carter in goal the entire game last weekend against Virginia, Maryland coach Dave Cottle decided to give the start to Sophomore Brian Phipps. This move by Cottle will be second guessed all week as the Terps played poorly in the first half. Phipps, however, was not to blame for the rough start. The goals given up by Phipps were either feeds to the inside, or perfectly placed cranks. The absence of freshman attackman Travis Reed is also noteworthy (he was in sweats on the sideline) as the Terps missed his nifty shooting touch. Freshman Brett Weiss started in his place..
Navy drew first blood at the 8:09 mark off a great feed from behind by Navy Senior Gregory Clement. His pass found Patrick Moran with time and room who burned Phipps five hole with a high to low laser from topside left. The two teams then began exchanging the kind of body shots that have characterized this game for last few years; at one point Maryland’s Grant Catalino caught the Navy goalie out near the bench sideline, decking him as he threw an outlet pass up the field. The quarter ended with the score Navy 1, Maryland 0. Navy’s next goal was a brilliant bounce shot from up top at the 11:47 mark by Sophomore Joe Lennon. Sweeping to his right across the top, Lennon’s bouncer hit near the crease line and hit the net just under the crossbar to give Navy a two goal lead. The next Navy score came courtesy of a Maryland penalty. Sophomore Tim Paul unleashed a nasty right-handed shot from the left wing that slipped just inside the backside low corner, making it 3 to 0 Navy with 4:41 to go in the half. Just a minute later, following a timeout, Navy would score again. This time off a midfield invert, which had Junior Matt Bitter feeding Gregory Clement for the inside score. The final tally of the half, and eventually the game winner, came off the stick of Navy’s Tim Paul. Again, the Mids used a middie invert to set up a great shot, with the assist coming from Junior Geoff Leone. .
Throughout the half, the Maryland shooters looked tight, either missing the net completely or hitting Tommy Phelan in the body. Give credit to Phelan for rejecting some early looks and getting into the heads of the Maryland shooters..
In the second half, Maryland decided to change things up on attack by replacing Grant Catalino with Max Ritz and working Junior Scott Tompkins into the mix. Jason Carter also started the second half in goal for the Terps. The moves appeared to pay off as the Terps finally got on the board at the 4:03 mark. The Terps finally decided to test the interior of the Navy defense. Freshman Ryan Young created some space and found a cutting Drew Evans for the score. The Terps continued that theme as they used a man-up opportunity to score their second goal, again looking inside for the score. Junior Dan Groot was the beneficiary of a Max Ritz feed from back right that breathed life back into the Terps with under two minutes to play in the 3rd quarter. The Maryland defense also stepped up its effort as it held the Mids scoreless, although Navy seemed content to maintain a patient attack and work the clock, milking their five goal halftime lead. The third quarter would end Navy 5, Maryland 2..
The fourth quarter opened in typical fashion for this game as Navy’s face off man got the ball out, but did not secure the ball until both teams exchanged some big hits around the midfield. Maryland would continue its comeback bid with another man-up goal with 9:30 remaining in the game. Ritz and Groot reversed their roles from the last goal, with Groot feeding Ritz for a low angle, low to high rip from the right GLE. Things started to really get interesting as Maryland scored again with 8:07 left to play. This time freshman Ryan Young found fellow freshman, Grant Catalino down low, giving Catalino a one on one opportunity with the goalie. After two high fakes, Catalino buried the goal between Tommy Phelan’s legs to make the score 4 to 5. .
Navy’s coach Richie Meade decided he needed a timeout to settle his team down, following the Maryland goal, which he seemed to do. Navy’s defense continued to hold while their offense took the air out of the ball; playing a two man game behind the crease, relying on their quickness to elude the Maryland defense. Despite this strategy, Maryland’s Joe Cinosky was able to cause a turnover and get the ball down into the Navy zone where Coach Cottle quickly called a timeout. With 1:14 remaining and the momentum on their side, it looked like Maryland might be able to equalize, but a poor pass by Dan Groot down in left corner turned the ball over to Navy with less than a minute to play. In desperation, Maryland was able to cause one more turnover by doubling with goalie Jason Carter and Joe Cinosky. The ball moved up the field and found its way into the stick of Maryland’s Jeff Reynolds, their hottest shooter of late. But his shot was deflected and went out of bounds, giving Maryland one last chance with 11 seconds left in the game. It was not meant to be however as the desperation pass went in and out of the stick of the intended shooter and time expired. .
This was another great game in a series that has produced games decided by a single goal the last three years. In the end the Navy was able to possess the ball just a bit better than Maryland and their goalie denied everything outside of 9 yards from the cage. This was enough to send Navy home with a victory. .
Both teams face their arch nemeses next week, with Navy traveling to West Point to take on Army, while Maryland travels to Baltimore to face Hopkins. Look for two more hard fought games next week from both Navy and Maryland.
|Ryan Young||(0, 2)|
|Dan Groot||(1, 1)|
|Max Ritz||(1, 1)|
|Drew Evans||(1, 0)|
|Grant Catalino||(1, 0)|
|Brian Phipps||8 (0.615)|
|Jason Carter||6 (1.000)|