College Park, MD – The Navy Midshipmen did what eight other teams couldn’t this year: beat Maryland. It took three goals from Joe Bossi, 7 groundballs from defenseman Mitch Hendler and 12 saves from Matt Russell for the #4 Midshipmen to knock of the #1 Terps, 9-6 in front of 6,860 fans at Byrd Stadium. For the Terps, Joe Walters added three goals and an assist, while Tim McGinnis added 11 saves in the losing effort.
Navy took the field as a team with spoiler aspirations, along with Tournament hopes, and it showed as Joe Bossi added his 20th goal of the season less than a minute in off a Jon Birsner feed. Both teams would trade possessions: Maryland was content to work a patient offense, whereas Navy seemed to be looking to feed the inside a bit more, until Ben Bailey put Maryland in a 2-0 hole with an unassisted goal at the 8:29 mark.
Dave Matz got the Terps onto the scoreboard a minute later with an unassisted goal. Navy would again stretch the lead to two goals courtesy of Joe Bossi’s second goal of the game shortly after the Terps’ first. Joe Walters pulled the Terps back within one. He ripped a shot from 16 yards out bringing the score to 3-2 Navy, with 24 seconds remaining.
The Midshipmen would strike quickly again to start the second as Ian Dingman fed Ben Horn to put Navy up 4-2. Just shy of two minutes into the quarter, Joe Bossi nearly got his 3rd goal of the game. On the clear, Bossi intercepted a pass as the Terps tried to clear towards the middle. With Bossi one-on-one with Terps goalie, McGinnis proved why he was two-time Division 3 goalie of the year and stoned him on the point-blank shot.
The Maryland attack would again cut into the lead as Joe Walters found Mike Brown for his 10th goal of the season at the 9:22 mark. Navy was called for a slashing penalty at 6:19 and on the ensuing man-up opportunity, Maryland would havea great opportunity in front of the net. Navy goalie, Russell, however, made a ridiculous save from a lying down position to turn away the Maryland attack. Maryland however secured the looseball and Walters capitalized on the man-up opportunity finishing a Xander Ritz feed. With the game tied at 4, Maryland had seemingly captured some momentum. Navy’s Jon Birsner had other ideas, as he put the Midshipmen up 5-4 off a Clipper Lennon feed.
Russell continued his outstanding play to keep Navy up a goal heading into the half. With two minutes to go, Maryland’s Mike Brown was cutting in front of the crease. He was fed the ball, and immediately recognized a poor angle shot coupled with a rapidly closing defender, so he attempted a behind-the-back shot. Russell had other ideas and turned the shot away.
Maryland would waste no time to start the second half. Terp sophomore Bill McGlone evened the score at 5, 1:09 into the third quarter. Maryland seemed to have gained momentum and at the 10:24 mark, to my eyes Xander Ritz had fed Mike Brown to give the Terps a 6-5 lead, even to the point that I wrote it in my notebook. However, there was no goal, as I believe it may have been a crease violation on the Terps, don’t quote me on that though.
Things started to get chippy as both teams’ high-powered offenses were feeling the pressure that both defenses were forcing. On a looseball halfway through the third period, Chris Passavia, who had owned Navy’s Ian Dingman to that point, went after the 6’3”, 248 lb Dingman. Passavia was determined to keep Dingman away from the groundball, in what seemed to be perfect man-ball form. The frustrated Dingman responded by going after him with a little tussle ensuing. At the 6:30 mark, Dingman had the ball towards the top of the box, but Passavia displayed his lighting fast checks and stripped Dingman for his 5th turnover of the day (5th caused by Passavia). Dingman’s revenge would come...
With the Terps down a man, due to a Lee Zink unnecessary roughness penalty, Joe Bossi somehow found a looseball all alone and was able to beat McGinnis for his third goal of the game. The Naval Academy would hold a one goal, 6-5 advantage heading into the fourth.
Navy would possess the ball for the better part of two minutes, only to have McGinnis make a big save keeping the Terps alive. After the Terps weren’t able to get anything going on offense, Navy found the ball again on the Terps’ defensive side. At the 10:56 mark, McGinnis again came up with a great save on a Naval Academy attackman’s drive from X, but luckily for Navy, Graham Gill was there to put the rebound back in.
The Passavia-Dingman match up would heat up once more. Dingman drove with the ball again from X. Passavia appeared to land a check with the ball coming out, so he hesitated for just a split second in order to go after what he thought was a looseball. Dingman somehow held onto it and was able to get a step on him. He beat McGinnis to give Navy an 8-5 advantage with 8:17 to play in the game. A minute and a half later, with Navy on the offensive again, Jon Birsner drove hard across X. In doing so, Dingman was able to break from Passavia and find himself wide open on the crease. Birsner fed him, and Dingman took a low-to-high shot right under the cross bar for the Naval Academy’s last goal.
With 6:36 left in the game, Navy seemingly gave Maryland a chance to climb back into the game with an illegal body check. Russell was able to stop the only good look the Terps got on the man-up. The Maryland offense seemed to finally be playing with some life, however, it proved to be too little too late. Joe Walters would eventually cut the lead to three off a Paul Gilette feed with 2:27 left in the game. The Terps were unable to capitalize on any of the other ten 4th quarter shots.
After the game, Navy’s team would run over and celebrate with their fans, as the Midshipmen have not had a win of this caliber in some time (it is believed to be Navy’s only win ever over a team ranked #1 at the time). Afterwards, Naval Academy Head Coach Richie Meade and goalie Matt Russell both pointed out their defense’s great play. They were able to keep Maryland outside and not give up many shots from within 12 yards. Afterwards Ian Dingman gave credit where it was due “Passavia had my number for the first half,” (though Passavia kept his number for much of the third as well) however, Dingman was able to score when it mattered and helped Navy pull away.
Neither team cleared the ball very well, with Navy going 12 for 26 and Maryland 18 for 25, and there was no decided groundball advantage (45 to 42 in favor of Navy). Navy did hold a 12 out of 19 face-off advantage. Neither goalie proved superior to the other, as both came up with spectacular saves when their team needed it. In an interesting note, with Navy up 9-5 and 5:54 left in the game, Maryland pulled goalie Tim McGinnis for freshman Harry Alford. While it is only speculation, McGinnis did seem to have a slight limp at times during the game. It certainly didn’t strike me that poor play was why McGinnis may have been pulled.
Navy came out hungry and willingly to do what it takes to knock off a #1 team. Maryland, on the other hand, didn’t seem to have that spirit today. Maybe it was tough for them to get up for a non-conference game as this, and this game doesn’t reflect on their talent level, because it was clear that they could match Navy. Maryland had a distinct size advantage and in my opinion firepower advantage. The difference, however, seemed to be the desire of the Midshipmen (not taking anything whatsoever away from their skill, they are a team that will make some more noise this year). Navy’s fans also deserve mention as they clearly wanted this game more than the Terps’ fans.
For Maryland, they have a week to prepare for the epic battle with #2 John Hopkins next Saturday Night at Homewood Field. For Navy, they return to action on Friday against Lehigh.
|Joe Walters||(3, 1)|
|Paul Gillette||(0, 1)|
|Bill Mcglone||(1, 0)|
|Dave Matz||(1, 0)|
|Mike Brown||(1, 0)|
|Xander Ritz||(0, 1)|
|Tim Mcginnis||11 (0.550)|