Week That Was, Part I
Patrick Stevens has a very interesting note on his blog for the Washington Times. Saturday was the first time that our four local teams--Georgetown, Maryland, Navy and Virginia--had ever lost on the same day. They had lost on the same weekend before, but not the same day.
Speaking of lost weekends (and no, not the one TFBO2F just had)...
For years, we had heard that Navy's defense has the most problems with offenses that attack goalline extended (or GLE in coaching parlance). As Georgetown Coach Dave Urick defines it in his updated version of Sports Illustrated's "Lacrosse: Fundamentals for Winning," GLE is
an imaginary line running parallel to the endlines that runs from the goal to the sideline.
Our Navy Insider, Dick Long, tells us why Navy doesn't like when offensive players go there. Plus he has a view on how Army ended its 13-game losing streak in the series.
On the game
Navy opened the first quarter with the same fourth-quarter jitters it had against Maryland and turned the ball over repeatedly [five times in the first 12 or so minutes--ed]. Faceoffs were a factor as Navy had the edge, but Army swarmed the ball to negate any quick possession and even turned one groundball off a lost faceoff into an Army advantage.
Army realized that Navy would be tough 6 on 6 defensively and was looking for fast break and loose ball transition opportunities. They had 4 in the game and continually caught Navy off-balance. Army always seemed a step faster and had an aggressive and confident offensive edge.
On Army's goalie
Adam Fullerton was the difference. He made some critical third-quarter saves, and his teammates were focused on making Navy pay with transition opportunities. Army's offense was patient with its second two-goal lead; the pressure was on Navy to create, and it didn't.
I am a fan of the high arc that Navy goalies use but it seems that the nemesis of this is the "no-angle" goals off GLE situations. Maryland and Hopkins both took advantage of no-angle goals last year and Army followed suit in a critical 3rd quarter goal. [Georgetown also uses them to great affect against the Mids--ed.] Defenseman are taught to push the offensive player down the lane and Navy's goalie with a high arc loses the inside pipe. And with an open inside pipe, a relatively easy goal ensues.
Navy's strength is to have a patient and deliberate offense. And to control the ball and rely on the defense to keep things in order. But by losing face-offs because the wings couldn't control the flow and having so many unforced turnovers it was exactly what Army needed.
Navy's goalie, Tommy Phelan, was getting too many in tight 8-10 yard shots and as the game went on Army got the edge. Navy has an NCAA berth in its grasp but scoring 4, 5 or 6 goals a game does not allow for the breakdowns that occurred Saturday.
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