The Navy lacrosse team played an outstanding second quarter yesterday and ended five years of frustration against Maryland, hanging on for an 11-9 win in front of 7,433 in sundrenched Byrd Stadium.
The seventh-ranked Mids (6-1), who had lost seven games in a row to the Terps since their last victory in 1975, outscored Maryland, 7-0, in the second quarter for a 7-3 halftime lead.
"The key thing was that we didn't get rattled the first quarter when they were playing so well," said Navy Coach Dick Szlasa as he watched his victory. "We kept our poise and kept together, especially the freshman."
Two of Navy's five starting Plebes played key roles -- attacker Rich Wehman, who had four goals and an assist, and goalie Scott Bartkowski, who made several good saves early when Maryland (4-3) threatened to dominate.
"First quarter we looked pretty good, real good," said Maryland Coach Bud Beardmore, clearly distressed by his fifth-ranked team's play one week before the John Hopkins game. "I don't know what happened in the second quarter. But they must have been doing something right."
Navy did everything right during the second 15 minutes. Maryland had taken a 3-0 first quarter lead on two goals by Peter Worstell, who finished with five, and one by Bob Boneillo.
But in the second quarter the Terps appeared to be moving in slow motion. Every ground ball seemed to go to Navy. Midshipmen were wide open all over the field. It looked as if the Mids had a permanent man advantage.
Don Benzing scored the visitors' first goal after a nice pass from Syd Abernethy (four assists) 49 seconds into the quarter to make it 3-1. John Korn made it 3-2 with a 50-yard run culminating in a bouncing shot past Maryland goalie Rich Shassian.
Beardmore called a timeout at that pont -- 3:25 -- but it didn't help. At 4:27, Wehman fed David Guill for a 3-3 tie, and Navy scored twice more in 48 seconds to take a 5-3 lead. Wehman made it 6-3 two minutes later before Maryland finally began to regain its composure.
"We've been behind early in a lot of games this season," said Bartkowski. "But we never seem to lose our confidence. We know if we hang tough, the goals will come."
The final indignity of the second quarter for Maryland came at 11:34. Shassian, trying to clear, handed a pass to Wehmam, who scored easily for a 7-3 lead. Beardmore yanked Shassian in favor of Steve Grace for the remainder of the half.
Wehman's third goal of the game, 3:01 into the second half, made it 8-3, Navy, before Boneillo ended the drought for the Terps on a pass from John Thompson.
Abernathy scored again for a 9-4 Navy lead at 8:21, but from that point on, Maryland dominated again.
"I think we got tired, especially the last quarter," Szlasa said. "We hadn't played on a warm day all season and it affected us."
Gradually, the Terps came back, pulling within 10-8 at 8:51 of the fourth quarter on Worstell's fifth goal. It looked as if Navy might fold.
But back-to-back penalties to Barry Mitchell and Mike Blair cooled the Terps. During Blair's penalty, Szlasa tried to score rather than hold the ball. The strategy worked. Abernathy fed William Anderson in front for an insurance goal with 3:32 left.
The loss marked the first time since 1975 the Terps have lost three games in a season. It was also the first time since 1975 that Maryland has lost to both Virginia and Navy and the first time Szlasa, a Maryland alumnus, has beaten Beardmore.