ANNAPOLIS -- Navy's drum-and-bugle corps and its pre-gam F-14 fly-by before yesterday's renewal of the Army-Navy lacrosse rivalry were true to form.
JTC The game that followed wasn't, as Army stunned No. 10 Navy and the 4,281 spectators at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium with an 11-10 victory in double overtime.
Jim Gorman took a feed from Steve Heller and stuffed in a shot from just outside the crease to give Army (6-1) the win after five straight losses in its series with the Midshipmen (4-3).
"Basically, what happened was one of our guys from the side of the crease cut down a Navy defender and it allowed me to get free," said Gorman, whose game-winner came with 1 minute, 5 seconds left in the second extra period. "Steve Heller saw me and got me the ball. The pass was perfect and right on my stick. It was definitely the biggest goal of my life."
Just as important as Gorman's score was the one by midfielder Eric Waltz that came just four seconds before the end of regulation.
Waltz sent the game to overtime with a crafty bit of one-on-one work. After Cadets goalie Rick Aguilar forced a Navy turnover 25 seconds before the end of the fourth quarter, Waltz worked the ball to Navy's end with less than 10 seconds on the clock. Isolating Navy defenseman Kevin Caradona to the left of the goal, Waltz spun to his right, backed in toward the goal and fired a shot past Navy goalie Kevin Farrington.
"This win was particularly important to us and the kids becaus we've endured five losses in a row to Navy," Army coach Jack Emmer said. "Unless you happen to work at West Point or Navy, you don't know what it's like to lose to your academy opponent five times in a row. It becomes overwhelming.
"It's such a great win for us, and it gives us a shot at the [National Collegiate Athletic Association] tournament. This is the best win in six years, there's no doubt about it."
Before Waltz's goal, Navy had spent nearly five minuteprotecting its only lead of the afternoon. Matt Pawlikowski's unassisted goal with 5:10 left in the fourth quarter put the Mids on top, 10-9, and they turned to their ball-control offense and tried to run out the clock.
Army scored its first goal six seconds after the opening faceoff. When the Cadets also scored the game's next three goals, the Midshipmen were down, 4-0, after the game's first 16 minutes.
Navy finally responded when John Quinn took a feed from Dennis Nealon, broke free from two Army defensemen and scored 1:20 into the second quarter. The Mids scored four of the next five goals, forging a 5-5 tie at the half.
Army started the second half with the same scoring punch it displayed early in the first. With back-to-back goals by leading scorer Rob Cahill, Army created some breathing room for itself by scoring four consecutive goals and taking a 9-5 lead into the fourth quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Navy rallied back into the contest. Gardner Smith's third goal with 9:15 left in the fourth quarter tied the score at 9-9.
"Army came out and wanted to play hard. To beat them we had to play four quarters, and we didn't," Smith said. "Army has a lot of heart -- they hit, they're fast, they're patient. They waited for their opportunities and when they had them, they stuck in some goals."
Army 4 1 4 1 0 1 -- 11
Navy 0 5 0 5 0 0 -- 10
Goals: A--Prentice 3, Cahill 2, Heller, Waltz, McGuire, Butler Wilcox, Gorman; N--Smith 3, Fallace 2, Pawlikowski, Quinn 2, Nealon. Assists: A--Heller 3, Waltz 2, Cahill; N--Melieri 2, Nealon 2, Fallace. Saves: A--Aguilar 11; N--Farrington 16.