In the end, the game turned into a shootout, but top-ranked Johns Hopkins held on for a 14-11 victory over sixth-ranked Navy before 6,688 yesterday in Annapolis.
Craig Bubier, who finished with eight goals and one assist, put Johns Hopkins (8-1) ahead for good, 5-4, in the third quarter.
Navy, playoff bound with a final regular season record of 8-3, moved within one goal four times in the last period.
Bubier scored twice, Brendan Kelly and Del Dressel once each to give the Blue Jays two-goal leads in the fourth quarter. Bubier's final goal came with 19 seconds to play.
Hopkins' Brian Wood had three goals and three assists and Glen Miles four goals and two assists. Navy's Jeff Bellistri, Tom Hanzsche and Pat Gugerty each had two goals.
Navy Coach Bryan Matthews was hardly disappointed with his team's effort, considering it had dropped from fourth to sixth in the polls after losing to Maryland and Virginia.
"We showed today that we learned a lot during the last two weeks," he said. "We gave them everything they could handle."
In the first half, Navy hustled to a 1-0 lead. It went up by 4-1 when Miles converted a pass from Hanzsche with 7:21 in the first half.
The Blue Jays closed within 4-3 with a minute left in the half on Bubier's extra-man goal.
But momentum didn't swing until early in the third quarter when Bubier scored three goals within 1:39. Saying he has a few shots in his repertoire is like saying Johns Hopkins knows something about lacrosse.
"My teammates started to find me," he said. He bounced in a pass from Wood to tie it at 4-4. He converted Bruce Chanenchuk's cross field pass at the mouth of the crease for Hopkins' first lead and he made it 6-4 when he worked the right side of the field, spinning and cradling the ball and finally scoring.
*Mount St. Mary's 12, Georgetown 10: Greg Tolker scored four goals and Brad Messenger three to lead the Mountaineers (9-2) at Emmitsburg, Md. Mike Mauboussin had five goals for the Hoyas (1-11).
*Virginia 11, North Carolina 9: Jeff Nicklas' six goals helped fourth-ranked Virginia clinch its fourth-straight ACC title before 4,800 in Chapel Hill, N.C