BALTIMORE, MD – One week after struggling to find a rhythm on both ends of the field, the 10th-ranked Johns Hopkins men’s lacrosse team found its stride early in Saturday’s game against 14th-ranked Virginia and posted its most impressive win of the season as the Blue Jays raced past the Cavaliers, 15-8, in the second game of the Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic. Hopkins used a 9-0 run and held UVA scoreless for more than 31 minutes to fuel its third straight win in the series and return the Doyle Smith Cup to Homewood.
The Blue Jays (6-2) led 2-1 midway through the first quarter after Brandon Benn and Mike Poppleton scored goals just three seconds apart and Mark Cockerton answered less than 90 seconds later for Virginia. When the Cavaliers finally found the net again with less than six minutes remaining in the third quarter, the Blue Jays had stretched the 2-1 lead to 11-1.
Entering the game with 63% of its goals having been assisted, the Blue Jays won their individual battles during the game-deciding run as the first six goals in the spree were unassisted.
Sophomore Wells Stanwick and freshman Ryan Brown tallied first-quarter goals in the final 6:17 to push the lead to 4-1 and Lee Coppersmith and Drew Kennedy added strikes just four seconds apart before the second quarter was four minutes old to push the led to 6-1. A slow developing transition goal by Phil Castronova made it 7-1 and it looked like that score might hold until the half, but JHU struck twice in a seven-second span in the final minute of the second quarter to carry a 9-1 lead into the break.
Any hopes for a Virginia (5-4) comeback were dashed early in the third quarter when Stanwick completed his hat trick and Sanders added his second strike in a span of just 44 seconds to complete the 9-0 run and give JHU an 11-1 lead – the largest Johns Hopkins has held against Virginia since 1995, when the then second-ranked Blue Jays beat top-ranked Virginia, 22-13, at Homewood Field.
The Cavaliers, who were just 1-of-20 shooting in the first half, found their stride offensively late in the third quarter as a Nick O’Reilly strike and back-to-back goals by Cockerton trimmed the deficit to 11-4. Holden Cattoni’s opportunistic goal with 27 seconds left in the period made it 12-4 and Cockerton scored again just nine seconds later to make it 12-5 entering the final period.
The teams combined for six goals – three each – in the final 8:57 of the game to account for the 15-8 final. Charlie Streep scored two of Virginia’s three goals in the period, while Brown scored twice and Sanders once to complete their first career hat tricks for the Blue Jays.
Stanwick make it four straight games with four or more points as he added an assist to his three goals, while Brown added one assist to his three goals as well for a career-high four points. Sanders’ three goals boost his season total to 11 after he entered the season with just one in his first two years combined. In all, nine different players scored goals for JHU, which scored on 15 of its 44 shots. The Blue Jays were particularly sharp in the second quarter, when they scored on 5-of-12 shots; Virginia was 0-for-13 in that period as JHU took control.
While the 15 goals grabbed the headlines, the play of senior goalie Pierce Bassett was also strong. Bassett posted 16 saves – tied for the second-highest total of his career – including seven in the first half when Hopkins built its lead.
Cockerton, who entered the game ranked third nationally in goals per game, led the Cavaliers with four goals, while Streep scored twice and O’Reilly added two assist to his one goal. Virginia held advantages in shots (52-44), ground balls (32-30) and faceoffs (14-13), but the early Hopkins run was more than it could overcome.
#14 Virginia (5-4) 1-0-4-3/8
#10 Johns Hopkins (6-2) 4-5-3-3/15
Goals: V: Cockerton-4, Streep-2, O’Reilly, Emery. J: Stanwick-3, Sanders-3, Brown-3, Cattoni, Benn, Coppersmith, Poppleton, Kennedy, Castronova. Assists: V: O’Reilly-2, Van Arsdale, Harbeson. J: Brown, Cattoni, Greeley, Pellegrino, Stanwick. Saves: V: Heller-13. J: Bassett-16, Schneider-0. Shots: V-52. J-44. EMO: V: 1-for-3. J: 1-for-3. Attendance: 10,487.