LAX: NAVY BEATS JOHN HOPKINS, 9-8!!

With his television obligations finished following his team's 9-8, sudden-death overtime victory over Johns Hopkins before 10,128 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Coach Richie Meade was the last person to enter the team's locker room.

To that point, dozens of former players and support staff had joined the current team there. As Meade walked in, he received a thunderous ovation.

The victory ended a 36-game losing streak by Navy (6-7) against the Blue Jays (5-7). Navy's last win in the series came in 1974.

Several former and current players had T-shirts that read, "End It," in reference to the streak. But Meade and several seniors said the mantra for the day was simply to believe. Believe in yourself and your teammates and believe you will be the first Navy team to defeat Johns Hopkins in more than 30 years.

"We kept saying, 'Believe,'" said senior longstick middie Zack Schroeder, who caused a crucial loose ball in overtime to set up the winning goal. "We've had a rough season, but we kept saying to believe in ourselves and our teammates and our seniors."

The seniors made numerous big plays down the stretch. The biggest of all, though, came from junior Andy Warner.

Warner took the first and last shots in overtime. The first shot came on a play that began with Warner taking the ball behind the goal. He got a step on his defender -- senior Matt Drenan -- and drove to the goal, but he shot a second too quickly. His angle was a little too acute and freshman Pierce Bassett gratefully saved the high-to-high shot.

There were no mistakes on the second shot. Warner again beat Drenan and this time took an extra step to increase his angle. The shot beat Bassett and set off a wild celebration.

"There was no anxiety the second time," Warner said. "I knew I had to take a second step and put it home."

Warner finished with a goal and two assists and seniors Patrick Moran and Brendan Connors added two goals. Sophomore Tom Palasek scored three goals and Bassett made 14 saves for the Blue Jays.

Johns Hopkins went scoreless over the final 22:30. It missed its final eight shots and, in the final 7 minutes (regulation and overtime), it had the ball for less than one minute. The Blue Jays took two quick shots in the final stages of the fourth quarter, including one on a 1-on-3 and another in transition when a long possession was perhaps more along the lines of what its coaches wanted.

"I thought we played with a complete lack of discipline and Navy took advantage," Johns Hopkins coach Dave Pietramala said. "Give them credit. They earned the win. We were both in the same place at the end of the game and they made the play to win it. My hat's off to them."

Much as when the Navy football team defeated Notre Dame in 2007 to end a 43-game losing streak in that series, there was a long list of contributors to the Navy lacrosse win on Saturday.

*Senior Robby Battle won the opening face-off of overtime and finished 7-for-12; meantime, sophomore Logan West won 6 of 9 face-offs.

*Lawson, starting his third career game, had six groundballs, including a crucial groundball after Schroeder checked the stick of Hopkins senior Michael Kimmel as Kimmel readied to pass on his team's only possession in overtime. Lawson also clamped down on Hopkins sharp shooter Kyle Wharton after Wharton scored two early goals. They were his only goals.

*After going without a shot in the first quarter, senior Patrick Moran scored on a low bounce shot from just outside the crease for his team's first goal. The Midshipmen then scored five more goals, including the first career scores from freshmen Jay Mann and Bucky Smith.

*Navy also had a little bit of luck. One goal went in off a Hopkins player's leg and was called an "own goal." Meantime, Navy nearly lost possession in overtime after sophomore Ryan O'Leary was caught near the endline by Hopkins freshman John Ranagan, who forced O'Leary out of bounds. About two seconds earlier, however, Meade had called for a timeout.

It was much different from the crucial sequence of a 10-9 loss to Towson on March 16. Then, the referees did not hear Meade's screams for a timeout and the Tigers scored the winning goal soon after.

Saturday's victory was particularly sweet for long-suffering Navy fans and former players. Since Meade became coach at Navy in 1995, the Midshipmen had lost seven times to Johns Hopkins by one goal.

"I've walked off this field [after the Hopkins game] and into the locker room having to face my team, knowing they played their hearts out and didn't win," Meade said. "To our players and those guys who weren't successful in beating Hopkins along the way, this means so much to them. And it means a lot to me that it means so much to them."

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