ANNAPOLIS -- While Kevin Farrington was playing lacrosse at Loyola High, he leaned toward attending a service academy, preferably Army.
It seemed the place to go, considering that his grandfather had been in the Army, an uncle earned four Army battle decorations in World War II and a cousin graduated from West Point.
"I was impressed by the tradition and all, the prestige," Farrington said.
But his father, Howard, was lobbying for Navy, and Midshipmen lacrosse coach Bryan Matthews quickly picked up on that.
"We knew Kevin was a big-time player coming out of high school and we were concerned he might go to West Point," said Matthews. "We reminded him Navy was in the middle of the lacrosse hotbed, but it was the visit here that sold him."
Farrington, now Navy's junior goalie, is a major reason Navy is No. 8 with a 7-3 record as it awaits a visit by No. 3 Towson State (7-1) tomorrow.
Although hobbled by a sore shin that has been struck more times than he cares to discuss, Farrington was brilliant in last Saturday's 11-3 upset of Maryland, matching the school record for saves with 27.
"For a goalie to be considered among the best, he has to prove himself consistently in big games," Matthews said. "Kevin has done that, most recently when he shut out Maryland for three quarters. Remember, Maryland was a team on a roll.
"As an ex-goalie, I'm hard on goalies, very critical. I'm not going to holler how great a guy is after one great game. He has to be consistent, and Kevin has done that better than anyone else."
An hour after Farrington's record-tying effort against Maryland, Navy defenseman Kevin Caradona made an insightful observation.
"If this had been last year," Caradona told Farrington, "we'd have lost 3-2 instead of winning 11-3."
Lacking on offense last season, Navy was outscored 112-111, went 5-6 and failed to reach the NCAA tournament. Now, with seven wins in their last eight games, Navy has a 105-71 advantage in goals over its opponents.