WASHINGTON -- Attackman Brandon Cannon had been struggling with injuries and scoring, enough that Georgetown coach Dave Urick was about to make some serious inquiries about his junior attackman. And then came yesterday.
"I guess now I won't have to be making those phone calls," said Urick, smiling.
Cannon finished with three goals and three assists, including two in a third quarter dominated by the Hoyas, as No. 8 Georgetown defeated third-ranked Navy, 10-9, yesterday, in college lacrosse. Combined with solid play from goalie Miles Kass, who finished with 11 saves, the Hoyas beat Navy for the fourth straight time.
"Maybe this is an indication of getting the leadership that we need," Urick said. "That doesn't come from coaches, but players. These two teams are evenly matched, and nothing comes easy against Navy. It was important for our guys to understand that the Naval Academy plays with great passion and great effort, but that doesn't mean we can't do the same thing."
It was Navy's first loss of the season and its first major test. The Mids (8-1) went almost 16 minutes without a goal before senior attackman Ian Dingman scored with 9:44 left in the game to pull Navy within 9-8.
But Cannon scored with 7:41 left in the game to put Georgetown ahead 10-8, and Navy didn't answer until there were 25.9 seconds remaining.
The game was close. Georgetown outshot Navy 41-36, but Navy had an edge in ground balls, 40-39. Navy was successful on 18 of 32 clears, and Georgetown converted 24 of 31. Georgetown won 11 faceoffs compared to 12 for Navy, and neither team scored an extra-man goal.
But the difference for the Hoyas (5-2) was Cannon. Before yesterday, he was tied for the team lead in scoring with 17 points in six games but had only six goals. The goal-scoring problem ended yesterday as Cannon beat Navy defender Jordan DiNola repeatedly. There were twisting, dodging shots, and at other times he simply dodged DiNola. When he wasn't scoring from around the crease, Cannon was feeding cutters.
He was like a New York City policeman directing traffic.
"This was a good win for us; our games are always close," Cannon said. "When you play the Naval Academy, you know they have hard-nosed kids. We matched them in ground balls and hustle plays."
And what about his performance?
"That guy is a great defender, and I just got a couple to go for me," Cannon said. "I got some really good bounces. I haven't felt really good out there all year, and I haven't had a hot one like today."
Cannon's biggest moments came in the third quarter. He beat DiNola on a twist and roll to score with 11:49 left in the period and then muscled him for another goal 20 seconds later to give Georgetown a 7-6 lead. He had an assist to attackman Trevor Casey with seven minutes remaining. In that quarter, the Hoyas outscored the Midshipmen 5-2, took control of the game and led 9-7 going into the fourth period.
"All of a sudden, he put us on his back for two straight plays, maybe three, where he said he was going to score, and he did," Urick said of the third quarter.
While Cannon was scoring, Kass was shutting Navy down. The Mids had some opportunities. If Kass didn't stop them, their mistakes did. Navy also lost sophomore attackman Bruce Nechanicky early in the first quarter with a knee injury. He was third on the team in assists with seven and had scored nine goals.
Navy 3 2 2 2 - 9
Georgetown 1 3 5 1 - 10
Goals: N-Dingman 4, Looney 2, Mirabito, Daratsos, Wallin; G-Cannon 3, Samperton 2, Dowd, Brancaccio, Casey, Wilson, Kocci. Assists: N-Looney 2, Mirabito; G-Cannon 3, Dowd. Saves: N-Finnegan 13; G-Kass 11.