No. 5 Georgetown weathers conditions, Navy in OT, 4-3

Teams' total goals fewest for a Mids game since 1950

College Lacrosse

March 31, 2003|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,SUN STAFF

Having a roller-coaster season, the Navy men's lacrosse team was jolted again yesterday.

Five days after an 8-6 meltdown against lightly regarded Air Force, the host Mids were game to upset No. 5 Georgetown at Rip Miller Field but came up empty in the lowest-scoring contest Navy has played since 1950.

Hoyas senior midfielder Trevor Walker scored with 1:40 left in the first overtime as Georgetown weathered extremely difficult conditions to beat No. 11 Navy, 4-3, in front of 879 soaked spectators to remain the only undefeated team in Division I.

"I'm very disappointed that we didn't win this game," said Navy coach Richie Meade, whose team fell to 4-4 overall and 0-3 in the Eastern College Athletic Conference. "We came in and we expected to win."

Georgetown (6-0, 3-0 ECAC) outshot the Mids 32-18 and won the ground ball battle 45-29, but Navy countered with a good game from goalie Seth DiNola. The sophomore made just three saves and let in nine goals on 18 shots against Air Force.

"The coach challenged us to respond and I think we did that," said DiNola, who made 10 saves. "I thought our defense outplayed their offense, but they got a couple of breaks that cost us."

Walker, who had picked up a loose ball after Mike Hammer's pass was deflected by a Navy defender, sidestepped Dan Griffin and fired a shot from 12 yards that DiNola got a shoulder on but couldn't prevent from going in.

"They fed it inside to Neil Goldman and someone checked his stick and it just bounced to me," said Walker, who also scored an extra-man goal in the first quarter, tying the game at 1. The Hoyas led 2-1 at halftime.

"I just tried to hit the net, so we can get out of here."

What started as rain turned to sleet and then was all snow by the start of the fourth quarter, making life miserable for the players and the game hard to watch for the spectators.

Even the most basic lacrosse tasks, throwing and catching, were treacherous, resulting in a shortage of offense and a deluge of turnovers. "The kids' hands were so cold and it was very hard to execute on offense," said Hoyas coach Dave Urick, who also credited the Mids' close defense. "It took away from the quality of play, but it didn't take away from the intensity."

Navy turned the ball over on its first six possessions of the fourth quarter and didn't even manage a shot on two out of its three unsuccessful extra-man opportunities.

The Hoyas got the go-ahead goal with 3:41 left in the fourth quarter as senior Mike Hammer fed an unmarked Phil Vincenti, who scored from in close to give the Hoyas a 3-2 lead.

Navy answered back with just 1:29 to play. Freshman attackman Jon Birsner got a favorable matchup with shortstick Dave Paolisso, took him to the goal and beat sophomore goalie Rich D'Andrea (six saves) to tie the game at 3.

The Mids won the first faceoff of overtime but turned the ball over. They also had a couple of chances to clear the ball before Walker scored.

It was a frustrating loss for Navy, which has a great win over No. 7 North Carolina on its resumM-i, but has now lost four of its past five games and has to regroup against No. 8 Maryland on Saturday.

"I told the guys that there are no moral victories at this level. You don't get a gumball and a pat on the head," Meade said. "On the other hand, I was extremely proud of the way they responded. We didn't win the prize today, but I thought they did a very good job of fighting back from the adversity."

Georgetown 1 1 0 1 1 - 4

Navy 1 0 1 1 0 - 3

Goals: G-Walker 2, Vincenti, Boynton; N-Birsner, I. Dingman, Bossi. Assists: G-Hammer, Vincenti; N-Birsner, Conklin. Saves: G-D'Andrea 6; N-DiNola 10.

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