Navy won the opening faceoff today but little else as top-ranked Johns Hopkins dominated the Mids, 17-10, in lacrosse.
The Blue Jays scored the game's first four goals to quickly relax a Homewood Field homecoming crowd of 8,700. Eleven different players scored as Hopkins rang up its most goals in a game this season.
Even Blue Jay Coach Henry Ciccarone, who does not lack confidence in his players, was surprised by the ease of Hopkins' 10th victory, which wrapped up its first unbeaten regular season since 1942. The Jays have won their last 17 games.
"Navy has a good team, but things just went our way today," Ciccarone said. "(Goalie Mike) Federico made some great saves in the first half. This was definitely our best game of the season. I'll tell you, this team does keep surprising me."
But Ciccarone also noted that the unbeaten season would mean little if Hopkins does not win three more games in the NCAA tournament for its second consecutive national title.
The Blue Jays host a first-round game May 16 against an as-yet undetermined opponent. Pairings will be announced May 13.
Ciccarone was not at all surprised today by the play of his defensemen, who, as usual, thoroughly dominated the opposing attackmen.
All-America Mark Greenberg constantly hounded Navy's leading scorer, Mike Buzzell (68 points). Buzzell, who gave up three inches and 30 pounds to the 6-4, 190-pound Greenberg, did not score the first of his two goals until 3 minutes 34 seconds had expired in the third period. That narrowed Hopkins' lead to 10-5, but the Blue Jays quickly built it back to 16-7.
When the Mids (7-3) were able to get past the knock-down, body-and-stick checks of the hustling Greenberg and fellow defenders Curt Ahrendsen and Leroy Katz, All-America Federico was there to make several outstanding saves.
Federico also picked up nine ground balls before yielding to substitute Wally Kidd and an ovation from the crowd with six minutes left in the game.
Navy goalkeeper Jeff Johnson played as well as could be expected while being hampered by defenders who were always one step behind the Hopkins' attackmen.