Midway into the second period, with Navy leading 3-2, Army actually threatened to steal the game. Behind brutally hard checking the Cadets scored a stunning three goals in a minute and 13 seconds, all on assists from the sharp-passing Bob Miser. Yet at halftime Navy, trailing 5-3, was grandly unconcerned. "They think they've got us beat," Bilderback told his team, "but we've got them."
Not the most optimistic admiral, however, could have foreseen the finality with which Navy would take over. Army, using only two midfield units, was tiring, and Navy suddenly was scooping up every loose ball. Navy's Hank Chiles scored on a pass from Rippelmeyer, then did it again. Attackman Tom Mitchell scored. Then Rippelmeyer scored unassisted (beating Carpenter again), giving Navy a 7-6 lead and the game. In all, Navy scored seven straight goals to win 10-7, while treating All-America Miser like a floundering trout in a net. Army, which had 24 shots in the first half, got only eight in the second.
The Navy victory took the lacrosse title back to Maryland, a state that considers the game its natural monopoly. The Baltimore area has long been the heartland of lacrosse. Old lacrosse sticks are cut down for Baltimore grammar schoolers, high school games draw thousands of spectators, and football is considered primarily a good conditioner for the only real "up" sport in the area. Thus it wasn't surprising that more than 100 Marylanders drove to West Point for Saturday's game, and that one of them, a Baltimore matron, should have the last word.
Each time Navy began moving the ball she would stand up and cheer wildly. And each time a prim Army officer behind her would say: "Madam, please sit down." She couldn't understand his calm attitude.
"You know," she confided to a friend after the game, "they don't deserve lacrosse up here!"