Owen Blye tied a season high with four goals in No. 8 Maryland’s 9-6 victory over No. 9 Johns Hopkins Saturday night, and the junior attackman isn’t shy about voicing his hope that his outburst made a statement to future opponents.
“I have a lot of confidence in myself and I feel like if the defense doesn’t respect me, I can make them pay,” he said Wednesday afternoon. “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with taking that approach into a game. Hopefully, I did send that message.”
Blye ranks second among the Terps in goals (14) and points (23) and is tied with junior attackman/midfielder Kevin Cooper for second in assists (nine), but he hasn’t enjoyed the kind of season some might have hoped.
Last season, Blye made 18 starts alongside All Americans Grant Catalino and Ryan Young and produced 19 goals and 14 assists. Their graduation allowed defenses to hone their focus on Blye.
And a spate of unspecified injuries also contributed to Blye opening the year with just four goals and zero assists in his first four starts.
“Definitely, injuries have slowed down some things with him – his ability to get more reps in practice, maybe the way he started in the first couple games when he was banged up,” coach John Tillman said. “And then I think not having Ryan there, Ryan was getting everybody’s best guy last year, and now Ryan’s not there. So that duty falls on either Owen or Joe, and that’s a little bit harder.”
For his part, Blye neither mentioned ailments nor teammates when discussing his development this spring.
“Individually, I don’t think this season has gone too much differently than I expected,” he said. “I don’t think our offense really concentrates on individuals. We put in game plans for all six of us. So in terms of how defenses play against me, that’s not something that really concerns me too much.”Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times