By: Cody Wilcox
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Just over two minutes into the fourth quarter, as Maryland held a 11-8 lead, attackman Jared Bernhardt passed the ball to fellow attackman Logan Wisnauskas. Wisnauskas, drawing the attention of all six Navy defenders, found Louis Dubick standing right next to the goal, as he had slipped behind the Midshipmen defense line and scored his career-high fifth goal of the day.
The Navy Midshipmen struggled to contain the Wisnauskas-Dubick connection as the two attackman combined four times on the day, leading the Terps to a 14-9 victory over their in-state rival.
“This group is a very unselfish group. They love sharing the ball,” head coach John Tillman said. “I think the guys know if you keep moving and cut, people will look for you.”
Dubick, a senior from Potomac, Maryland, applied constant pressure to the Navy defense with his presence in the middle of their defensive scheme. Listed at 5-foot-8-inches, Dubick was still able to find his success through his ability to find holes behind the Midshipmen defenders and cut towards the mouth of the net to be fed by his teammates.
“I think the guys look for [Dubick], and they know if they throw him the ball something good is going to happen,” Tillman said. “Instinctively, [Dubick] just knows where to go and what to do in some of those situations.”
Wisnauskas, along with his career-high four assists, netted three of his own goals. Maryland, with contributions from four other Terps, was able to score fourteen-goals, the most they have scored this season.
But without sophomore Justin Shockey, who went 16-23 on faceoffs after replacing senior Austin Henningsen in the first quarter, the Terps wouldn’t have been as effective on offense.
Prior to the game against Navy, Shockey had seen limited time, going 13-19 from the faceoff X, while Tillman decided to run with Henningsen, who went 40-64 on faceoffs during the first four games.
“We will ride the hot hand,” Tillman said. “Depending on matchups and how things are going, we’ll kind of play whoever is hot.
“… [Shockey had] been frustrated– it’s not easy. He didn’t get much of a chance on Tuesday because [Henningsen] was doing so well. But just kept working. And when his name was called, he was ready.”
The Navy Midshipmen were led by freshman Nick Cole and sophomore Christian Daniel, who both had three goals respectively. Meanwhile senior Greyson Torain, a preseason All-Patriot team representative, led the team with two assists alongside his two goals.
After Daniel’s second goal of the day in the closing seconds of the third quarter, Maryland led 10-8 heading into the final 15 minutes of regulation, an area that the Terps had struggled with in their four previous games this season.
Against Richmond Feb. 9, the Terps gave up five goals in the fourth quarter in order to escape from the Spiders at home. While 10 days later, in Maryland’s most complete game of this season prior to their meeting with Navy, the Tillman-led Terps allowed No. 16 Colgate to double their total amount of goals in the game during the fourth quarter.
The questions surrounding Maryland’s fourth-quarter woes threatened to surface against the Midshipmen as the Terps committed a shot clock violation during the first possession. But after Dubick’s final goal of the day, along with one from Wisnauskas and two from Bernhardt, the Terps were able to sail away with the victory at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
“We put emphasis on closing out games. Past couple of game, quite frankly, we haven’t been good at closing out games at all,” Wisnauskas said. “Just getting those four goals. Shockey was huge… getting us in the flow. It really helped out.”