NEWARK, DE – Ninth-ranked Johns Hopkins scored the first three goals of the game and nine of the first 10 and never looked back in an 18-5 win at 16th-ranked Delaware at chilly Delaware Stadium Tuesday night. The Blue Jays got goals from nine different players and scored on eight of 12 third-quarter shots to fuel the 13-goal victory. Johns Hopkins improved to 2-0 on the year, while the Blue Hens slip to 3-1. The 13-goal margin of victory is JHU’s largest against a team ranked in the top 20 since a 19-6 win over then 14th-ranked Albany on April 5, 2005.
Freshman Rob Guida jump-started the Blue Jays as he scored his first career goal on the first shot of the game just 43 seconds into the first quarter to make it 1-0. Guida added his second goal six minutes later after coming up with a loose ball at the top of the box and senior Kyle Wharton made it 3-0 when he scored off an assist from sophomore John Ranagan. Johns Hopkins has scored on its first shot of the game in each of its two games this season.
The Hens drew within two at 3-1 when Anthony Ruiz snuck one inside the far post for an extra-man goal three minutes into the second quarter, but that would be as close as they would get as Zach Palmer stuck the first of his four goals just over four minutes after the Ruiz tally to ignite a 6-0 run that carried into the third quarter. Unassisted goals by Wharton and freshman Eric Ruhl made it 6-1 at the half.
Any hopes for a Delaware comeback were dashed less than three minutes into the second half as Palmer had a hand in three JHU goals in the first 2:21 of the period. After scoring his second of the game 45 seconds after halftime, he assisted on back-to-back goals by John Greeley and Wharton in a 35-second span to push the lead to 9-1.
Delaware’s Taylor Burns and John Austin sandwiched goals around a pair of goals by senior Chris Boland to make it 11-3 midway through the quarter, before freshman Brandon Benn ignited a 5-0 Blue Jay run with an extra-man goal. Palmer struck for two more goals and added an assist during the spree, which extended the lead to 16-3 before each team closed with a pair of goals in the final six minutes.
Palmer led the way for the Blue Jays as his four goals and seven points are both career highs. Wharton and Ruhl both registered hat tricks and Boland added the two goals and two assists to lead a balanced scoring attack that posted 18 goals on 38 shots and counted 11 assisted goals among the 18.
The eight goals for the Blue Jays in the third quarter are the most by JHU in one quarter since an eight-goal outburst against Marist in the first round of the 2005 NCAA Tournament. Hopkins scored at least three goals in each quarter and put pressure on the Hens in both settled and unsettled situations. Delaware goalie Noah Fossner posted just seven saves as the Blue Jays moved the ball well and got high percentage shots throughout the game.
While the offense did its part in putting up 18 goals, the defense was solid again. Sophomore Pierce Bassett posted 11 saves and allowed just four goals in just over 54 minutes of action. He helped hold the Blue Hens scoreless for the first 17:58 and UD had other scoring droughts of 14:26 and 16:19. Hopkins has held its first two opponents to six goals or less for the first time since 2005.
Austin led Delaware with two goals and Eric Smith added a pair of assists, but junior Grant Kaleikau, who entered the game with a 15-game scoring streak to his credit, was held scoreless and Delaware’s starting attack of Smith, Kaleikau and Sean Finegan managed just the two assists by Smith as the JHU starting defense of Tucker Durkin,Chris Lightner and Jack Reilly played well in front of Bassett.
Johns Hopkins will return to action on Saturday, February 26 when the Blue Jays host Siena in their home-opener.
#9 Johns Hopkins (2-0) 3-3-8-4/18
#16 Delaware (3-1) 0-1-2-2/5
Goals: J: Palmer-4, Wharton-3, Ruhl-3, Boland-2, Guida-2, Greeley, Rodgers, Benn, Maydick. D: Austin-2, Elsmo, Burns, Ruiz. Assists: J: Palmer-3, Ranagan-3, Boland-2, Burkhart, Greeley, Wharton. D: Smith-2, Cooney. Saves: J: Bassett-11, Burke-1. D: Fossner-7. Shots: J-38. D-29. EMO: J: 2-for-9 D: 2-for-6.Attendance: 1,501.