The first 30 minutes of the Navy-Georgetown lacrosse game in Annapolis yesterday was a nightmare for the Midshipmen, a dream for the underdog Hoyas.
Navy, ranked No. 8 in the country in both The Baltimore Sun and USILA coaches' polls, trailed, 5-2, at halftime. Georgetown, which has never beaten a top ten team, was clearly outplaying the home team on its Dewey Field.
At that point Navy supporters were thinking the unthinkable -- that this could result in a loss that might eventually cost Navy a spot in the NCAA playoffs.
But Navy (6-2) went to work at the outset of the second half, scoring the first three goals of the third period to tie the game at 5-5, then dominated the rest of the game en route to an 11-7 victory.
"It was like two different games," said Navy coach Bryan Matthews. "I didn't like the first one very much."
Attackman Matt Pawlikowski, Navy's leading scorer (15 goals, 11 assists), led the Midshipmen with three goals and three assists. Midfielder Charles Bertrand added three goals and an assist.
"Coach gave us a wake-up call at halftime," said Pawlikowski. "He told us to keep our composure, get the ground balls and get into our offense. We kept running and I think that wore Georgetown down."
"In the first half, the ball was going in our sticks, but Navy got all the ground balls in the second half," said Georgetown coach Dave Urick, who in four years has built a respected program. Georgetown is No. 17 in the coaches' poll.
The Hoyas took a 3-0 lead on goals by Nathan Sprong, Chris
Remington and Dave Severin. Jamie Slough got Navy's first goal on a 10-foot shot, but Rich Michel quick-sticked one from the crease to give the Hoyas a 4-1 lead.
Georgetown's Remington and Navy's Slough scored the only goals of the second period.
Navy's third-period rally came on scores by Rob Bailey, Bertrand and John Tierney to tie it with 11:10 left.
Georgetown went back on top at 6-5 on a Remington goal, but Navy scored four straight (by Bertrand, Pawlikowski twice and Tierney) to give the Midshipmen a 9-6 lead.