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Wickham back in goal as Navy concludes season

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Plenty about Saturday’s 14-9 loss to Army was jarring for the Navy lacrosse program.

Perhaps the most obvious was Navy coach Richie Meade’s decision to yank goalie RJ Wickham, who made one save in the first three quarters of a setback that dashed any chances of the Midshipmen (4-8) making the postseason.

Navy concludes its season Saturday at Johns Hopkins (9-2) – and a familiar face will be back between the pipes.

“Yeah, RJ is back in the cage,” Meade said. “He’s doing fine. He’s got to shake it off and get back in there. When I reviewed it, Army scored in close quite a few times. The defense could have helped him out. The offense could have helped him out a little. If the offense could have stuck a few of those shots, it’s a much different game. There were a few shots he could have had. He needed to make a couple of saves, which is why we took him out. I don’t know if that was the right decision or not.”

Ultimately, Saturday was one more result that has led Navy to its worst season since joining the Patriot League in 2004. The Mids will miss out on the conference tournament – and playing at least one game in May – for the first time in that span. Navy has lost four games by a goal this season.

“There’s no magic formula to hide the disappointment,” Meade said. “If we had gotten a couple of those games by one goal, our momentum would have been a little different – either Bucknell or Colgate. Had we gotten those games, I think we would have been in a different frame of mind. They’ve responded. They’re good kids, and they’re going to play as well as they can play.”

Patrick Stevens

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