ANNAPOLIS -- No sooner had Brian Piccola flicked in a fancy shot with his back to Navy's goal than Johns Hopkins teammate Jeff Wills issued a challenge.
"Bet you $100 you can't do that again," Wills said.
Minutes later, Piccola did. He scooped up a loose ball and, although closely guarded, rifled it over his shoulder past beleaguered Navy goalie Kevin Farrington. Pay up, Wills.
It was that kind of day for Piccola and No. 6 Johns Hopkins. Piccola scored six goals, as the Blue Jays (5-3) crushed No. 7 Navy, 22-12, yesterday before 5,873 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
Wills scored five. Piccola also had four assists, leaving him one shy of the school single-game points record of 11.
The outcome was never in doubt after Hopkins assumed an 8-0 lead barely two minutes into the second quarter. Navy (8-4), which came into the game with upsets of Maryland and Towson State in its past three games, absorbed its 19th straight loss to Hopkins.
It was the most goals allowed by the Mids in the past 47 games, since a 23-5 loss to Syracuse in the second round of the 1988 NCAA tournament. In the previous three games, Navy allowed a total of nine goals while scoring 35.
"Some days the bear gets you and sometimes you get the bear," Navy coach Bryan Matthews said. "The bear got us. It's very disappointing, but I do think we're better than this score."
The Hopkins barrage ended Farrington's hot streak. After 55 saves in the past three games, the junior from Loyola was peppered with 36 shots, stopping 10.
"We just plain shot well," said Hopkins coach Tony Seaman, who got his 100th career win. "We got shots from 10, 9, 7 yards. No goalie in the world could stop those. The kid never had a chance."
The Hopkins scouting report said Farrington was weak low and to his off side.
"But we had the most success to his offside, high," said Piccola, a sophomore from Oceanside, N.Y. "He was cheating low, crouching, and we put it over his shoulder. I think we got him rattled. After six or seven in a row, he probably lost his confidence."
Said Matthews: "It wasn't a Kevin Farrington breakdown. Hopkins had a lot of close, hard, accurate shots. It was not a good day to be in the Navy goal."
Hopkins' 37-10 superiority on faceoffs triggered most of the goals. Steve Vecchione faced off on all except four occasions and was dominant, prompting Seaman to call him "awesome."
"There was no magic -- Vecchione won the faceoffs," Matthews said. "It was the first time this year we were dominated like that on faceoffs."
Hopkins will play host to Hofstra on Wednesday and Towson State on Saturday in its regular-season finale. The Mids' regular season is over, but they hope eight wins will put them in the 12-team NCAA tournament field that will be selected a week from today.
"This is a solid team, although I'm not making predictions," Matthews said. "But we will go to practice Monday."