WASHINGTON -- Navy's path to the NCAA lacrosse tournament got a lot tougher yesterday.
Faced with the tempting probability of winning an automatic berth by beating Georgetown at Kehoe Field, the Midshipmen were blitzed by a five-goal burst in the first four minutes and never quite recovered, dropping a 14-10 decision before 3,189 sun-splashed fans at Kehoe Field.
Seventh-ranked Georgetown (7-1, 3-0) thus gained the inside track on the title in the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference, whose champion qualifies for the Division I playoffs. The Hoyas have three league games left on the road and will be favored in all of them.
"Both teams knew this was a huge game," said Georgetown's leading scorer, Scott Urick, whose three consecutive second-half goals broke the last of five ties and shoved the Hoyas into a 12-9 edge.
"With the automatic qualifier on the line and the fact that the second-place team in the ECAC might not get in, it was big. Some good teams are going to get snubbed this year."
"If we had beaten them, we would have been kind of secured [for tourney play]," said Navy midfielder Adam Borcz (Calvert Hall), the hero of last season's matchup against Georgetown with a game-winner four seconds before sudden-death overtime expired. "Now, we can't rely on anything. We're probably going to have to win out our season."
Navy (6-2, 4-1) fought back gamely from its early deficit, achieved when the Hoyas won the first five faceoffs and fired the first 11 shots of the game.
The first true possession for the Midshipmen came after nearly seven minutes had elapsed, and their first goal -- unassisted by Brett Duthie -- was at the 3: 19 mark of the first quarter.
At 9: 11 of the second period, Borcz produced the first tie at 5 with an assist from Eddie McKinnon. From that point until Urick unleashed his spurt, it was taut.
"In the third quarter, had we gotten a chance to take the lead and get a momentum shift, it might have been different," said Navy coach Richie Meade. "Then, they're playing with a sense of urgency. I thought we fought hard and made some good plays. The ball just didn't go in."
The Hoyas cashed in for four extra-man goals against the nation's top-ranked defense, which had been allowing less than five goals an outing. And eight penalties against the Midshipmen hurt a team that had committed just 28 in its previous seven starts.
It didn't hurt Georgetown, either, when Scott Doyle "made a great play. He caught it down on his knees and got it in," said teammate Mike Henehan, whose assist on the goal was one of his five. That goal occurred a tick before the halftime horn.
Hoyas coach Dave Urick thus registered his 100th victory in 10 seasons at Georgetown and seemed relieved that he didn't have to face Navy goalie Mickey Jarboe (Calvert Hall) again.
"We found some plays inside," said Urick. "We got the kind of looks you need against a goalie like this."
Jarboe bounced back from the quick assault to record 13 saves against an opponent with one of the more potent offenses in lacrosse. Both Scott Urick and fellow senior Andy Flick extended streaks of goal-scoring games to 19 and they, plus Peter Velepec, could give the Hoyas three 30-goal scorers for the third straight year.
The defeat ended a five-game Navy winning streak.