marine instructor Ken Neumatulu Training against East Carolina is no stranger. He’s done it eight times since taking over as Marines coach in 2008. He’s gone 6-2 against ECU in that stint, and 105-77 overall during his time as a Navy coach. The ECU actually triumphed last November in Annapolis, 38-35.
The past few seasons have been a bit tough for the 57-year-old and his crew. Numatalulu set a record 11-2 in 2019, but slipped to 3-7 in 2020, 4-8 in 2021, and is 0-2 through two games this year. Navy comes on open date after season-opening losses to Delaware and Memphis.
Niumatalolo met with The media today, Monday via Zoom in its weekly press conference. Address the next game with East Carolina. That’s all he said about pirates.
On how he’s seen the Mike Houston show grow in the past few years:
“Mike has done a great job. He’s a great football coach. You can see his culture and their team: tough, unruly, basically healthy, they play hard, it’s just… Mike Houston Team. The way they play. How hard is it to play? They are very disciplined. They don’t beat themselves. He did a very good job with the programme.”
on me Holton Ahlers:
“I feel like he’s been there for a long time. I’m like, ‘Oh man, that guy’s still there.’ He’s really a good player. He’s really good. He looks like the NFL quarterback. You watch him on a tape and you don’t realize how big he is until you see him in The pitch. I mean, he’s bigger than our midfielders outside. He’s a big guy. He’s smart. He’s composed. He’s obviously been in the system for a while. He’s playing really well. They’re playing really well. He’s played really well. Every year we played with them. The year he’s been abroad. But really a good football player. Smart, strong, accurate. He can throw a soccer ball, he can move. He’s my body. I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets a bullet on Sunday. He has all the tools. I wish he He wasn’t there yet.”
About the ECU counter challenge:
“They don’t seem to beat themselves up. When you have a veteran midfielder like that, it’s normal. Until last year, they had a lot of close matches. I can’t remember what the game was like, but they converted 21 of 25 for the third defeat or something” Like that. Too many. It’s the same as us, they played away against us last year. And we usually do it to others. The game was in the 30s last year, but we only played 50 times. But for us as a service academy, it’s not so much.
“A lot of it has to do with the midfielder. Holton does a good job not hitting himself. He puts the ball where it needs to be. He takes advantage of your weaknesses. If you give him something, he takes it. He’s not greedy etc. He’s impressive to watch. That’s the number one quality of a midfielder. Decision making. That’s the most important thing, they don’t beat themselves. That was kind of our motto for a long time. We don’t beat ourselves. But I was impressed. They had every chance of winning their first game. So I liked that way.”