It rained the entire time the Navy men's lacrosse team was in Orlando for spring break two weeks ago.
"It's kind of like a metaphor. Last year it was 85 degrees and sunny every day," Navy Coach Richie Meade said.
The Midshipmen (7-1) have the same record after eight games as last year, when they went 15-3 and advanced to the NCAA title game for the first time since 1975. But it hasn't been easy. They defeated Holy Cross, 8-5, and Lehigh, 11-5, last weekend. Those scores were 23-5 and 16-7, respectively, last year.
The sixth-ranked Midshipmen face a sterner test today, against No. 7 Georgetown (4-2) at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium at 1 p.m. The game was originally scheduled for North Kehoe Field, but the location was moved because of the anticipated heavy rains and North Kehoe's poor drainage. The Hoyas beat defending national champion Syracuse on March 12 but lost to No. 2 Duke, 12-3, last weekend.
Their midfield and defense have been problems. Coach Dave Urick said he is pleased with the starting midfield of Nick Miaritis (seven goals), Pete Cannon (five goals) and Brice Queener (three goals). The next-highest scoring midfielder, however, is longstick Brodie Merrill, who also has three goals.
"We have a lot of midfielders who are playing about the same," Urick said. "We need some of them to step up and give us some more production."
To that end, defensive midfielders Dave Paolisso (Centennial) and Ryan Still likely will play offense today, Urick said. Freshman DanD'Agnes also is expected to play for the first time this year. D'Agnes is coming off a hamstring injury after he missed the fall following shoulder surgery. He was an all-American in lacrosse and a Division I football prospect in high school and was considered one of the top recruits in the nation.
"Physically, he's set," Urick said. "He's shown some flashes in practice of the player we know he's capable of being. . . . But it's unreasonable to think he'll come out and be a scoring machine right away."
-- Christian Swezey