The added emphasis on shooting that the Georgetown lacrosse coaches had during practice last week wasn't enough for senior Nick Miaritis. He stayed until it was dark outside taking extra shooting after practice.
The work paid off throughout Georgetown's 11-6 win over No. 6 Navy before 1,413 at Rip Miller Field yesterday.
Miaritis had a career-high four goals on eight shots for No. 7 Georgetown (5-2). The Midshipmen (7-2) entered giving up 4.73 goals per game, best in the nation.
"We started attacking the cage more in practice," Miaritis said. "The coaches made sure we knew it isn't what we do in practice, but also what we do on our own time. All the guys on my midfield line were out there until 7 or 8 o'clock at night, shooting until it was pitch black."
The Hoyas made 11 of 34 shots (32 percent) yesterday. They had made 13 percent and 11 percent of their shots in losses to the Midshipmen last year and in 2001, respectively. They also shot 12 percent in an overtime win over Navy in 2003.
"We didn't play good fundamental defense," Navy senior defender Mitch Hendler said. "We broke down mentally, and they out-executed us."
The game had been postponed from Saturday following the death of referee Scott Boyle of an apparent heart attack between the first and second quarters. There was a moment of silence for Boyle, 55, before the game was resumed.
The Hoyas led 2-0 when play resumed. They extended the lead to 6-0 following a goal by junior Sean Denihan with 5 minutes 15 seconds to play.
Navy's best opportunity for a comeback came after a goal by junior Steve Looney (DeMatha) in an unsettled situation that made the score 9-5 with 8:36 remaining.
But senior Andy Corno won the next faceoff, and Miaritis beat a double-team for a goal and a 10-5 lead with 7:43 left.
Miaritis was part of a strong showing from the starting midfield. Junior Pete Cannon had a goal and an assist and senior Brice Queener added two assists. Queener also played defense on Navy attackman Ben Horn in some situations.
Freshman Nick Mirabito and Horn each had two goals for Navy. Unofficially, however, the Midshipmen had 23 turnovers, and their coaches estimated they had the ball for 3:30 in the first quarter and four minutes in the second.
The teams are certainly headed in different directions schedule-wise. Four of the five remaining games for the Hoyas are against unranked teams.
Meantime, the Midshipmen will play No. 4 Maryland on Friday, No. 5 Army on April 16 and No. 1 Johns Hopkins on April 23.
"You have to question us," Navy Coach Richie Meade said. "Defensively, we haven't played that way in several years. It's obvious we've got to be concerned."
While the teams were warming up yesterday, a few people went up to the referees to offer condolences about Boyle. The two other referees from Saturday -- Butch West and Andy Motsko -- worked yesterday's game, along with Bryan Abbott.
"I thought it was a great effort that those two guys who were with him [Saturday] wanted to come back," Georgetown Coach Dave Urick said.
Said Meade, "Scotty was truly a gentleman, he loved lacrosse for the reason he should, because he loved the kids."