Before one of the Washington Wave's preseason scrimmages last month, rookie goalkeeper Jim Beardmore was without a uniform. The Wave's 250-pound coach, Glen Little, handed Beardmore the jersey he wore last year when he was a goalie.

At 175 pounds, Beardmore was overwhelmed by the red and white shirt. "It went down to my ankles. It was a monster!" he laughed.

Unlike Little and many present Major Indoor Lacrosse League goalkeepers, Beardmore is thin and quick. In the Wave's two victories this season -- both against the Philadelphia Wings -- Beardmore has electrified the fans with his daring style.

The Wave will try to make it three wins in a row at 2 today against the Baltimore Thunder (0-2) at Baltimore Arena.

Beardmore had some problems in the opener two weeks ago, allowing eight goals, five in the first 4:47 of the fourth period before the Wave won, 14-13, in overtime. But last Saturday, before 13,814 at the Spectrum, Beardmore was spectacular, allowing only four goals in the second half of a 11-10 victory.

"He made some big, key saves," Little said. "He was phenomenal."

As his defensive skills improve, Beardmore has sparked the Wave's offense. In the overtime win, he keyed a five-goal surge. In the second win, Beardmore had two assists.

"I was a little tentative to come out of the net at first," said Beardmore, who was an all-America at the University of Maryland last spring. "But they {Philadelphia} gave me the lane a few times so I just tried to get something going."

Beardmore twice sprinted down the field to set up goals in the opener, the second resulting in the tying goal with 1:15 left in regulation. In the second game, he assisted on goals by Bill Wyker and Joe Gold in the third quarter.

"Jim plays extremely smart, as far as coming out of the net," said Buddy Beardmore, the Wave's general manager and Jim's father. ". . . We were afraid he'd be running all over the place, but I think he's been very conservative. When he does come out, he has been very effective."

Beardmore's risky style cost him in the opener when he got caught out of the crease and was nailed by Philadelphia's Pat Lamon and suffered a broken nose.

"I'm not going to race up the floor every time," Beardmore said, "but if there's an opening, I'm going to see what I can do."

After leading the Terrapins to the NCAA final four last year, Beardmore was the Wave's fourth-round pick in October's draft. He shares goaltending duties with veteran Tim Hastings, who has allowed 11 goals in two games.

"We knew Jimmy had talent, but we didn't think he would develop this fast," Little said. "He is a natural, a true athlete. He's a cocky, team player. Goalkeepers are a little loony to begin with and I think he brings a lot of excitement to the team and the game."

The transition from the wide-open outdoor game to the compact indoor version is not easy, Beardmore said.

"There's no comparison. In the field game, I'd make one save and that would be it. I could relax," he said. "But inside, there might be six or seven shots in 40 seconds. It's a completely different game. It will take a while to get used to, but I've been learning more every day."