The beginning of the end for Navy came with about three minutes remaining in the second quarter. The Midshipmen's best all-around player, Nick Mirabito, went one-on-one with Johns Hopkins goalkeeper Michael Gvozden from left of the crease.
Gvozden made an excellent save and threw an outlet pass, and, nine seconds later, Blue Jays attackman Kevin Huntley finished a fast break. Instead of going ahead by a goal, Navy was down 4-3.
And the Mids kept falling and falling and falling.
No. 5 seed Hopkins then scored four straight goals, and Navy was held scoreless for more than 33 minutes as the Blue Jays defeated the Mids, 10-4, yesterday in an NCAA quarterfinal game.
There wasn't much suspense left after halftime for a record quarterfinal announced crowd of 17,017 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium as the Blue Jays led 5-3 at the half with the Mids failing to score a goal in the second quarter. Navy was also held scoreless in the third.
Hopkins (10-5) will advance to the semifinals next weekend in Foxborough, Mass., where the Blue Jays will meet the winner of today's quarterfinal game between No. 1 seed Duke and Ohio State.
Hopkins' lopsided victory was its seventh straight.
"It has been a long road," Blue Jays coach Dave Pietramala said. "There have been a lot of bumps and hiccups, and a lot of challenges. This was not one of our prettiest performances. We knew we were going to have to grind this one out. I am really proud of our guys. I think this is one of my prouder moments at Johns Hopkins considering where we have been and what we had to go through."
Navy (10-6) played reasonably well and stayed within its game plan. The Mids gave up two goals in the fourth quarter because they gambled trying to get the ball back on defense.
Navy won 11 of 18 faceoffs and outshot the Blue Jays 35-23, but its shooting was horrendous. Only 17 of the Mids' shots were on goal. Gvozden made some nice saves, but he got a lot of help from Navy's erratic shooting.
"We had a chance to go up 4-3," Navy coach Richie Meade said. "They made the play and we didn't, and it took the wind out of us. Defensively, we were good. Had we scored some goals and gained some momentum, the game may have gone a little different."
Mirabito said: "We took a lot of shots and only scored four goals. I'm not a math major, but that wasn't a good percentage."
Hopkins midfielder Paul Rabil and attackman Steven Boyle each scored three goals. Huntley added two.
Navy led 3-2 at the end of the first quarter. But once Huntley scored off a fast break, Hopkins dominated the game. Blue Jays attackman Tom Duerr scored with 58 seconds left in the second quarter to push Hopkins ahead 5-3 at the half.
Rabil opened the scoring in the third quarter with a 15-yard bounce shot with 8:52 left, and Huntley split two defenders to make it 7-3 with 1:36 remaining.
Nine seconds later, Boyle scored on a fast break off the faceoff as Hopkins led 8-3 after the third quarter.
Navy finally scored with 12:42 left in the game to break Hopkins' scoring run.
"The score was not too indicative of how we played," Navy defenseman Jordan DiNola said. "I thought that six-on-six we played pretty well. They are very talented on the offensive side of the ball. You can't really key on one player. Everyone really has the ability to score. We knew what we had to do to be successful. We just weren't able to capitalize on their mistakes."
Johns Hopkins 2 3 3 2 - 10
Navy 3 0 0 1 - 4
Goals: JH-Rabil 3, Boyle 3, Huntley 2, Duerr, Christopher; N-Mirabito, Beggins, Visgauss, Clement. Assists: JH-Kimmel, Peyser, Rabil; N-Sullivan. Saves: JH-Gvozden 13; N-Phelan 6.