In Charlottesville, Navy dominated a lethargic Virginia team for three quarters, but the Cavaliers scored six goals in 4 1/2 minutes to tie the game and take control.
With about 10 minutes remaining, Bill Wycher lifted a 15-foot shot over the head of Navy goalie Scott Bartkowski for an 11-10 lead. From there, the No. 4 Cavaliers won easily.
A soggy crowd of 1,500 in Scott Stadium watched the Midshipmen (5-5) take advantage of Virginia's stagnant offense and put together a patient, accurate passing game to move ahead early. With 1:56 left in the first quarter, Navy's Richard Wehman received a feed in the crease from Robert Bianchi and passed goalie J.B. Meyer with a hard shot to provide a 3-1 lead.
The Cavaliers (7-1) came back in the second quarter as Mike Caravana set up behind his net and fed Wycher, who put in an overhead to cut the lead to 3-2.
With a 5-2 lead entering the third quarter, the Midshipmen scored three more goals and seemed to have momentum. But Virginia began to rally.
Trailing, 9-5, in the fourth quarter, the Cavaliers controlled crucial faceoffs and went on to outscore Navy, 9-1. The Midshipmen were playing without their best faceoff man, Richard Hayes, who was injured.
"You could tell we missed him a lot," Coach Brian Matthews said.
Larry Ledoyen's unassisted goal 23 seconds into the final period made the score 9-6. With 11:53 left, Roddy Marino dived and bounced in a shot to cut Navy's margin to 10-9.
Brian Rogers sent a cross-goal pass to Ledoyen for the tying score before Wycher's go-ahead score.
"We didn't play badly in the first half," said Virginia Coach Jim Adams. "They just weren't going in."