Navy attackman Bob Wehman scored four goals, two of them on assists from linemate John Hawley, as the 13th-ranked Midshipmen upset sixth-ranked Maryland, 7-5, before 6,835 tonight at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
"We shot better tonight and we executed better," said Navy Coach Bryan Matthews, whose team improved to 4-4. The loss, the second straight for the Terrapins, dropped them to 5-2.
Wehman's third goal, which came on a pass from Jeff Bellistri, gave Navy a 5-1 lead with 8:19 left in the third quarter.
Going into the game, Wehman had scored only six goals. Last year, he scored six the entire season.
"The last few games, I was hesitant to take the ball," said the sophomore, who, at 5 feet 10 and 170 pounds, was one of the smaller players on the field tonight. "I read an article on confidence today by Pete Rose and I decided I was going to take the ball more."
Not only did Navy outshoot its intrastate rival, 45-30, but the Midshipmen employed a deliberate, ball-control offense that allowed them to maintain possession for extended periods.
Navy took a 3-1 lead just before the half, when Bellistri, who finished with two goals and one assist, converted a pass from Hawley. "Coach (Richie) Meade put in a new offense with cutters moving inside," said Hawley, who finished with three assists. "This game we worked on the inside . . ."
Eric Korvin had two goals for the Terrapins and Pat Burke, Brian Willard and Tony Olmert each had one. Navy goaltender Steve Nims finished with 13 saves and Maryland goaltender Jim Beardmore had 15.
Bellistri's goal on a scoop shot from in front of the net gave the Midshipmen a 4-1 lead with 13:23 in the third quarter. After Wehman's third goal, Burke pulled the Terrapins to within three when he scored in a man-up situation.
But Glen Miles' unassisted goal with 13:28 remaining in the game gave Navy a 6-2 advantage. Olmert scored on a pass from Willard with 11:58 remaining with a man up to make the score 6-3.
Wehman's unassisted goal with 11:07 left completed Navy's offensive effort. After that, the Midshipmen controlled the game by intercepting Terrapin clearing passes and working the ball around the perimeter of Maryland's zone.
Korvin's goal, a blind shot, made the score 7-4. Willard added a goal with 1:15 remaining when the Terrapins gained a two-man advantage after two Navy penalties.
"We're back at .500," said Nims. "We have the second-hardest schedule in Division I. Next week is a big game (at Virginia). If we can pull that off, we have a shot at the (NCAA) playoffs."