BALTIMORE, MD – Second-ranked Johns Hopkins used a 9-0 run that bridged the second and fourth quarters and held visiting Towson scoreless for more than 31 minutes during that stretch as the Blue Jays eased past the Tigers, 12-6, at Homewood Field Friday evening. The win is the 150th in the career of Johns Hopkins head coach Dave Pietramala, who improves to 150-58 overall and 127-41 during his time at Hopkins.
Towson held a one-goal lead three times in the opening 18:30, including a 3-2 advantage after Robby Zoppo scored on an ally dodge with 11:43 remaining in the second quarter. The Blue Jays needed just 15 seconds to answer Zoppo’s strike as senior Chris Boland scored the second of his four goals off a cross-field pass from junior Zach Palmer in an unsettled situation off the ensuing faceoff and that ignited the 9-0 run for the Blue Jays.
Junior Lee Coppersmith and Palmer both struck in the final six minutes of the second quarter to give the Blue Jays a 5-3 lead at the half and Boland added extra-man and even-strength tallies in the first six minutes of the third quarter to push the lead to 7-3. Coppersmith completed his two-goal showing with an unassisted goal less than a minute after Boland’s goal to make it 8-3 midway through the third period. By this point, the Tigers’ drought had reached nearly 18 minutes.
Sophomore Brandon Benn helped put the game out of reach with back-to-back goals. His first, off an assist from Palmer, made it 9-3 at the end of the third quarter and he added his second just over 90 seconds into the fourth period when he underhanded home a pass from freshman Wells Stanwick. Senior Marshall Burkhart closed the run nine seconds later when he grabbed a long rebound and blew a 12-yarder past Towson’s Andrew Wascavage.
The Tigers, who by this point hadn’t scored since Zoppo’s tally early in the second quarter, needed just nine seconds to score twice early in the final period. Sean Maguire got his hands free and beat Blue Jay goalie Pierce Bassett from seven yards out on a quick feed from Matt Hughes and Andrew Hodgson scored off the ensuing faceoff to make it 11-5.
An extra-man goal by Palmer, which completed his fourth career hat trick, closed the scoring with just under three minutes remaining for the Blue Jays, while Zoppo added his second goal of the game off an assist from Maguire with 33 seconds left to close the scoring.
The Blue Jays’ starting attack of Palmer, Boland and Benn combined for nine goals and three assists in the win with Palmer punching up three goals and three assists to lead the way. Bassett faced just 18 shots and posted seven saves as the Blue Jay defense kept the Tigers away from the goal for long stretches. Hopkins held advantages in shots (42-18) and ground balls (30-21) and forced the Tigers into 21 turnovers and a 17-of-25 showing on clear attempts.
Zoppo’s two goals the way for the Tigers, who also got one goal and one assist from both Hughes and Zoppo. Wascavage posted 11 saves for Towson, which got a strong showing on faceoffs from Matt Thomas, who won 12-of-20 on the night and grabbed six ground balls.
Towson (1-1) 2-1-0-3/6
#2 Johns Hopkins (1-0) 2-3-4-3/12
Goals: T: Zoppo-2, Maguire, Hughes, Hodgson, Sheehe. J: Boland-4, Palmer-3, Benn-2, Coppersmith-2, Burkhart. Assists: T: DeNapoli, Hughes, Maguire. J: Palmer-3, Stanwick-2, Greeley, Ranagan. Saves: T: Wascavage-11. J: Bassett-7. Shots: T-18. J-42. EMO: T: 0-for-0. J: 2-for-3. Attendance: 2,320.