BALTIMORE, MD – It took nearly 11 minutes for the second-ranked Johns Hopkins men’s lacrosse team to find the back of the net in Tuesday afternoon’s game against Manhattan as sophomore Rob Guida finally broke through with an unassisted goal 11:35 into the game. As it turned out, that would be all the offense the Blue Jays would need as the defense limited the Jaspers to just 14 shots, eight of which were saved by a combination of four Johns Hopkins goalies in an 11-0 JHU win at Homewood Field Tuesday afternoon.
The shutout is the first for Johns Hopkins since March 26, 1988, when the Blue Jays blanked Princeton, 9-0. Two key members of the Blue Jay defense on that day nearly 24 years ago were currently Blue Jay head coach Dave Pietramala and current associate head coach Bill Dwan.
Guida’s goal ignited a scoring flurry for the Blue Jays (5-0), who added four goals in the final two minutes of the quarter to take a 5-0 lead after the opening 15 minutes. Junior John Greeley sandwiched goals around a strike from John Kaestner in a 72-second span and Lee Coppersmith added an unassisted goal of his own with just 13 seconds remaining in the opening quarter to account for the five-goal spurt.
The spree would stretch to six goals in less than three minutes as John Ranagan, who had assisted on Greeley’s second goal, took a skip pass from Greeley and blew his third goal of the season just inside the far post. The lead swelled to 7-0 at the half when Guida added his second goal of the game late in the period.
Junior Pierce Bassett, who played the first three quarters, posted five of his seven saves in the first half as the Jaspers generated 10 of their 14 shots before intermission. Twice he hugged the post to stop shots in tight and Hopkins blanked an opponent for a half for the first time since the first half of last season’s game against Navy.
The scoring in the second half was limited to four Blue Jay goals in the third quarter. Senior Mark Goodrich fired home his fourth goal of the season and third in the last two games less than four minutes into the period and Brandon Benn, Zach Palmer and Greeley all scored in a span of just under three minutes midway through the quarter to account for the final scoring.
Substituting liberally by the middle of the second quarter, the Blue Jays worked all 44 healthy players into the rotation with the only drama over the last 15 minutes the test to see if Hopkins could preserve its shutout.
Manhattan (1-3) generated just two fourth-quarter shots; one went wide, but the final one by Brendan Rogers in traffic got through to freshman Grant Fitts, who got his body on it to keep it away. The Jaspers came up with the ensuing ground ball, but John Kelly’s forced turnover several seconds later gave the ball back to the Blue Jays, who were able to run out the final 80 seconds to seal the victory.
Greeley led the way offensively with his second career hat trick and one assist for a four-point afternoon. Guida added the two goals, while Palmer, Kaestner and Ranagan all added one goal and one assist. Bassett’s seven saves over 45 minutes of action paced a Blue Jay defense that held its fifth straight opponent to eight goals or less to open the season. Teaming with Bassett on the shutout in goal were Fitts and seniors Steven Burke and Guy Van Syckle. Burke and Van Syckle weren’t forced to make a save during their combined 13:15 in goal.
The final score may have been worse if not for the efforts of Manhattan’s Rich Akapnitis, who played the entire game in goal for the Jaspers and totaled 15 saves and five ground balls.
Johns Hopkins will return to action on Saturday, March 10 when the Blue Jays take on UMBC in the third game of the Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic at Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium. Game time for the JHU-UMBC game is set for 4 pm.
Manhattan (1-3) 0-0-0-0/0
#2 Johns Hopkins (5-0) 5-2-4-0/11
Goals: M: — J: Greeley-3, Guida-2, Palmer, Kaestner, Benn, Coppersmith, Goodrich, Ranagan. Assists: M: — J: Greeley, Kaestner, Palmer, Ranagan. Saves: M: Akapnitis-15. J: Bassett-7, Burke-0, Van Syckle-0, Fitts-1.Shots: M-14. J-40. EMO: M: 0-for-3. J: 1-for-4. Attendance: 420.