Navy falls to Georgetown, 11-6

Mids' defense flat as game resumes day after tragedy

College Lacrosse

April 04, 2005|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,SUN STAFF

In coach Richie Meade's eyes, even while Navy was getting off to a 7-1 start, mainly by knocking off inferior Patriot League opponents, the Midshipmen have lacked the consistency and attention to detail that defined them during their memorable run a year ago.

After yesterday's 11-6 drubbing at the hands of ninth-ranked Georgetown, No. 5 Navy was left to take a hard look at itself. The Mids (7-2), who played in last year's NCAA title game, do not like what they see right now.

This was not the way Navy wanted to start its regular-season stretch run, and the Mids' pain stretched out over two days of uninspired play.

On Saturday, when the game began amid driving rain and swamp-like conditions at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium, the Mids came out flat-footed on defense and sloppy in the pass-and-catch game and fell behind 2-0 at the end of the first quarter. Then, tragedy struck when official Scott Boyle collapsed on the field and died of a heart attack.

The game was suspended and resumed yesterday at Rip Miller Field, where, before 1,413, Navy was once again short on fire. Georgetown (5-2), which opened up a 6-0 second-quarter lead and led by as much as 9-2 with 3:24 left in the third, played probably its best game of the spring.

After Navy freshman attackman Nick Mirabito (two goals) opened the second quarter with a shot that caromed off the Georgetown goal, the Hoyas scored twice in an 81-second span to take a 4-0 lead with 12:35 left in the second period. With that, the tone was set.

"Defensively, we haven't played that way in several years. As the game unfolded, [Georgetown] was getting the ground balls. We couldn't throw and catch. We couldn't do anything," Meade said.

Navy, which entered the game with the best scoring defense in the NCAA at 4.73 goals a game, broke down repeatedly yesterday, allowing a season-high 11 goals.

The Hoyas, who were led by senior midfielder Nick Miaritis (four goals) and got two extra-man goals from junior attackman Derek Mills, sliced up the Mids' man-to-man with hard cuts, sharp passes and stellar shooting.

Miaritis punctuated the day by cutting through the middle of the Navy defense untouched and scoring from point-blank range to make it 9-2. The Mids had three unanswered goals after that but would get no closer.

"Hands down, Georgetown played a better game than we did. They were ready to come. We didn't show up with our game," said Navy junior goalie Matt Russell, who had only four saves.

Georgetown, which needed a dose of confidence after last week's 12-3 home loss to No. 2 Duke, feasted on Navy turnovers with a good transition game, played Navy to a stalemate in the faceoff area, and made 11 of 34 shots. The Hoyas entered the contest shooting just 21 percent.

"Scoring first [again] was huge," said Georgetown senior faceoff specialist Andy Corno, who won 10 of 18 attempts to keep the Navy offense at bay. "Getting off on that right foot to make it 3-0 just got the momentum going."

Navy, which has one victory over a top 20 team (No. 19 North Carolina), must regain its momentum in a hurry. The Mids play host to No. 4 Maryland on Friday, then face No. 8 Army and top-ranked Johns Hopkins before the Patriot League tournament.

Georgetown 2 4 3 2 - 11

Navy 0 1 3 2 - 6

Goals: Georgetown, Miaritis 4, Mills 2, Denihan, Casey, Cannon, Wilson, McBride; Navy, Mirabito 2, Horn 2, Gill, Steve Looney. Assists: Georgetown, Casey 2, Denihan 2, Queener 2, Cannon, Paolisso. Navy, Birsner 2, Gill, Billy Looney, Mirabito. Saves: Georgetown, D'Andea 6; Navy, Russell 4.

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