College Lacrosse Offseason Report: Navy Midshipmen
Last season, the Midshipmen started off slow. Coming off of a 2017 spring plagued by injuries, the Midshipmen were looking upon 2018 as a bounce back year, which took a bit to get off the ground. Down the stretch, however, Navy showed they had some fight in them, as they won their last four conference games, en route to a Patriot League Tournament appearance. They won close games all season, especially in the latter half, and eventually fell to Lehigh in the semifinals of the Patriot league tournament.
Even after losing many of their key contributors on the defensive side from 2017, the Mids lowered their GAA by about a goal. They were led this past spring by guys like Michael Strack, Hiram Carter, David Jones (Severn) and Andrew McKenna. Although they lost many guys, the coaching staff must have been proud to see younger guys step up and show what they have been sitting and learning over the previous years. Navy will return their starting goalie, but will have to find another faceoff specialist, as Joe Varello (58.6%) was lost to graduation.
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Offensively, Navy did not have much scoring depth, and will have to replace two of their top five scorers from a year ago. Seniors Jack Ray (26, 7) and Casey Rees (13, 5) who was coming off an injury plagued 2017 season. Navy did have four guys eclipse 30 points, and three will be returning, as Greyson Torain (19, 14), Ryan Wade (9, 24) and Christian Daniel (21, 10) will be back in Annapolis this spring. Young guys will have to step up drastically, as the next best returning offensive player from last year was Drew Smiley, who had two goals on the year.
The midshipmen have their work cut out for them in 2018. Navy this fall played a number of scrimmages, playing Waseda University (Japan), UMass, Rutgers, Naps, Towson and St. Joseph’s. Inside Lacrosse reported that Navy looked the best between them, Umass and Rutgers when they came together on October 13th, but it is still fall ball. Christian Daniel had a solid day, along with youngsters Nick Cole, Jack Sweeney and Jeff Durden.
Navy’s 2018 recruiting class is listed below. They bring in a number of athletes from across the country, including twelve offensive players—it’s like they knew this would be their main focus. Hopefully some of these Plebs can transform into contributors on the field in their first spring in Annapolis.
Navy 2018 Unofficial Recruiting Class
Daniel Jordon, D, La Salle College HS
Brian Calabrese, A, Wilton HS
Nicholas Barry, FO, Islip HS
Chris Smith, D, McDonogh School
Samuel Dracobly, A, O’Dea HS
Jacob Jarosz, FO, Severn
Jack Tabor, M, Jesuit College Prep School
Makail Fraboni, G, Torrey Pines HS
James Rubino, LSM, Winston Churchill School
Rich Dion, D, McDonogh School
Augie Fratt, M, Naval Academy Preparatory School
Jack Dennehy, A, Harrison HS
Ryan Chase, M, Chatham HS
Ethan Lamond, A, La Salle College HS
Mac McLaughlin, A, Chestnut Hill Academy
Chase Cope, M, Severna Park HS
Patrick Skalniak, M, Episcopal School Dallas
Nate Hammond, FO, Avon Grove HS
Nathaniel Raeder, M, Mount Paran Christian School
Zach Snider, LSM, St Joseph’s Prep
Grayson Hassell, M, Jesuit College Prep School
As of now, Loyola still is the favorite to win the Patriot League, and after Lehigh’s win over Navy last year, #2 is up for grabs. The offseason will determine who will get to compete head to head with Loyola for a chance to make the NCAA Tournament. If Navy wants to be a contender, they need to find scoring threats. They have a few months to do so, but that will be key for the 2019 Navy Midshipmen. Stay tuned for next week when I preview what UMBC has in store for 2019.
Sam Kuhn currently is the graduate assistant for the men's lacrosse program at Heidelberg University in Tiffin, Ohio and is working to complete his Masters of Business Administration in 2020. Sam graduated from the College of Wooster in 2018, where he received his Bachelors Degree in English and played lacrosse as well. In his four years, Sam was a two time All-NCAC selection, a first team All-Region selection in 2018, and surpassed 100 goals for his career, one of seven members in program history to do so. Sam has interned with Inside Lacrosse, and wrote for the sports section of The Wooster Voice. Sam is looking to pursue a job in sports journalism or a related field upon graduation in 2020. Sam hails from Towson, MD where he grew up and has three younger brothers, two of which play lacrosse currently in college.