Attackman Travis Reed is likely to play more Friday when Maryland (7-2) meets Navy (4-6) at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium after missing most of the last four games with a shoulder injury.
But the Terrapins could also have a little extra depth in the midfield, too.
Senior Eric Boyle returned in the middle of March from injury. Warren Hansen could soon, too. And Dan Burns, a crucial defensive midfielder, will play for the third straight week.
The influx of available players means Maryland might be able to return to more solidified midfield lines in the final weeks of the regular season. When Owen Blye took over Reed’s spot on attack, the Terps relied upon some combination of Jake Bernhardt, Kevin Cooper, Joe Cummings, John Haus and Drew Snider for much of its midfield work, with Scott LaRue tossed in as well.
“Either we’re going to get more defined or we’ll start using more guys,” coach John Tillman said. “Maybe both. We went through a bunch of injuries, and jeez Louise, it was crazy. Every week, it was something different. It was so frustrating. We’re psyched to get some of those guys back. If we can give them a role, that’ll help us.”
Equally intriguing is just what to do with the third attack spot now that Reed, who played some in Saturday’s victory at Virginia but wasn’t extended, is back. Blye has six goals and six assists in Maryland’s last three games, including two goals and three assists against Virginia.
“He’ll get in the mix more,” Tillman said of Reed, who will likely be on Maryland’s extra-man unit against the Mids. “We just like what Owen has done. We felt good about Owen all along. We’ll see how it goes. He allows us to play a little faster pace.”
—- Patrick Stevens