On a day when sunscreen and shorts were standard issue, Navy didn't enjoy The Beach.
Stopping Kevin Beach was a priority for the seventh-seeded Midshipmen in their NCAA first-round game against No. 10 Loyola at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium last night, and something they were unable to do. The big senior personally doubled the score on Navy in the first half, and the Greyhounds cruised to a 19-8 victory before 5,507.
Loyola, appearing in its sixth straight NCAA tournament, will playa quarterfinal game at defending champion Princeton at 1 p.m. Saturday. The second-seeded Tigers drew one of the four first-round byes.
A 6-foot-5, 220-pound senior out of Mount St. Joseph who earlier in the day received his bachelor's degree in philosophy, Beach added to his All-America credentials. He had six goals, tying the career high he put up March 20, when his overtime goal beat Syracuse. He dominated a Navy unit that wasn't the same without injured defenseman Kevin Boardman.
"Beach did a fantastic job of organizing our offense," Loyola coach Dave Cottle said.
Beach has 43 goals for the season, a total bettered only once in Loyola history. He has 112 career goals, No. 3 all-time at Evergreen, and with 71 career assists -- including 13 this season -- his 183 points are the third-highest in school history.
The combination of Beach and a strong transition game whipped Navy. Before last night, the Mids and goalie Kevin Farrington, who stopped 17 shots, hadn't given up more than 11 goals.
"Our goalie did a great job, but he didn't get a lot of help," Navy coach Bryan Matthews said.
Loyola (8-4) rolled up a 32-18 advantage in shots and an 8-1 lead in the first half, then reacted well to a rally by Navy (8-4) that opened the second half. It was the fourth straight win for the Greyhounds since their April 21 loss at Johns Hopkins.
Beach scored twice in the first 2:30, prompting Navy to shift to a zone that the Mids couldn't rely on once they fell further behind. Beach had four goals in the first 22 minutes, and after 37 minutes, he had personally outscored Navy, 6-5.
The first-half difference got as large as seven goals with 2:57 left, when Andy Martin (Edgewood) took a feed from Kevin Anderson, who had three goals and two assists against Farrington. Anderson and Farrington split goalkeeping duties at Loyola High five years ago.
Jamie Slough briefly revived the Midshipmen with his fourth goal, cutting the margin to 8-5 with 9:14 left in the period. Loyola was hit with a slashing penalty after the goal, but got through that man-down situation and shrugged off the Mids' challenge.
The Greyhounds broke free with three goals in 56 seconds for an 11-5 lead, the first two from Beach and the third from Anderson. Less than two minutes later, Loyola began a 5-1 tear to take a 16-7 lead.
"I think we ran them into the ground," said Anderson, who runs with fellow seniors Paul Cantabene and Dan Burnam on Loyola's first midfield. "We've spent a lot of time on conditioning the last two weeks. Too much, we thought."
Both teams had a two-week break to prepare for the first round, and while Loyola played maybe its best game of the season, the Midshipmen made many unforced errors and repeatedly got beat upfield. Three of Loyola's first seven goals and much of its eight-goal third period came in transition.
Sophomore goalie Tim McGeeney (North County) had nine saves. Martin, Sean Heffernan (Dulaney) and Pat Ervin (St. Mary's) had two goals each.
Loyola will try to advance past the quarterfinal round and into the Final Four for the first time since 1990, when the current seniors lost to Syracuse in the title game. Navy last won an NCAA tournament game in 1989.
"As has been a problem sometimes in May for us, we didn't shoot well," Matthews said.
It was Loyola's first win over Navy. The two last played in 1943.
Loyola 3 5 8 3 -- 19
' Navy 1 1 6 0 -- 8