BALTIMORE, MD – The highly anticipated 50th all-time meeting between men’s lacrosse heavyweights Johns Hopkins and Syracuse was colored Columbia Blue on Saturday as the second-ranked Blue Jays used a 4-0 run to turn a 6-4 lead into a 10-4 advantage that the Orange never seriously threatened before falling 11-7 before 5,970 sun-drenched fans at Homewood Field. The win runs Hopkins’ home winning streak to 11, it’s regular season winning streak to 14 and its record this season to 7-0. Syracuse had its five-game winning streak against the Blue Jays snapped and slips to 3-2.
After sprinting out to leads to 4-1, 5-2 and 6-3, the Blue Jays led just 6-4 late in the second quarter after the third of Derek Maltz’s three first-half goals with 3:29 remaining before the half.
Playing for the first time in more than two weeks, freshman Wells Stanwick pushed the lead back to three as he converted from the slot off a nifty feed from sophomore Brandon Benn with 2:42 remaining in the second quarter. The goal ignited the game-turning run, which saw the Blue Jays outscore Syracuse 4-0 over a 20-minute span that bridged the second and fourth quarters.
After Stanwick’s tally late in the second period, it was Benn and the Blue Jays’ first midfield doing the damage as Benn scored all three Hopkins goals in the third period with each assisted by a different member of Hopkins’ top unit.
It didn’t take long, nine seconds to be exact, for the Blue Jays to strike in the third quarter as junior John Ranagan scooped up the loose ball on the opening faceoff of the second half and found Benn on the point. Benn had time and room to step in and blow a shot past a defenseless Matt Lerman to give the Blue Jays their first four-goal lead of the game.
Benn added his third of the game just under four minutes later off an assist from John Greeley and completed his three-goal third quarter showing with his career-high fourth goal of the game with 2:30 left in the period to make it 10-4. By then the Orange had gone more than 15 minutes without scoring and the Blue Jays had the six-goal lead.
The drought ended for Syracuse less than two minutes into the fourth quarter when Tom Palasek slipped inside a defender and got to the crease before beating Pierce Bassett in close.
Neither team scored over the next eight minutes as the Blue Jays nursed the 10-5 lead. A Tim Desko goal with 4:49 remaining gave the Orange life, but Hopkins eventually got an empty-net goal from junior Zach Palmer with 62 seconds remaining before Henry Schoonmaker fired home the game’s final goal with 15 seconds left to account for the 11-7 final score.
Like they did in the third quarter, the Blue Jays scored early in the first period as junior Mike Poppleton won the opening faceoff and the Blue Jays worked a nifty play of deception between Greeley and Ranagan that freed Greeley in the middle of the field and he found the top shelf to stake JHU to a quick 1-0 lead just 35 seconds into the game.
Maltz and Greeley traded goals in a two-minute span midway through the quarter before Benn and Ranagan added tallies in the final 3:14 to give the Blue Jays a 4-1 lead after the opening 15 minutes.
Three times the Orange sliced the deficit to two in the second quarter, only to have the Blue Jays answer quickly each time. A Maltz tally in the first two minutes was matched by Ranagan, while a Bobby Eilers strike at the 7:54 mark was answered by Guida with 5:40 remaining in the first half. Guida’s goal gave the Blue Jays a 6-3 lead that held until the Maltz goal made it 6-4. The two-goal lead lasted just 47 seconds before Stanwick’s goal sparked the 4-0 run that Syracuse was unable to answer.
Benn’s four goals and one assist paced the Blue Jays, who also got two goals and one assist each from Greeley and Ranagan and one goal and two assists from Guida. The five goals and four assists the trio combined for was four goals and two assists better than the Syracuse first midfield managed. Stanwick returned to the lineup and totaled one goal and one assist and Poppleton won 12-of-18 faceoffs for the Blue Jays.
Bassett registered nine saves, including several crucial stops with the Blue Jays playing short. He came up with a big first-quarter save with the Blue Jays playing two men down and added a point-blank save on a Maltz shot early in the third quarter that would have cut an 8-4 deficit to 8-5. Instead, Benn added the second of his three straight goals less than a minute later and Syracuse was never closer than four over the final 25 minutes.
Maltz led the Orange with three goals and JoJo Marasco (2a) and Palasek (1g, 1a) also registered multi-point games for SU, but the Orange couldn’t over a 7-of-20 showing on faceoffs and didn’t score consecutive goals in the game until the fourth quarter.
The win potentially sets up a one vs. two matchup next weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia as the second-ranked Blue Jays travel to face the top-ranked Cavaliers next Saturday (new rankings will be released on Monday, March 19).
Notes: Johns Hopkins is 7-0 for the first time since 2005 and the seventh time since 1977 • Palmer’s goal extended his scoring streak to 19 games • Hopkins now leads the all-time series against Syracuse, 27-22-1 • The Blue Jays have scored on their first shot of the game three times this season and their first or second shot of the game six times in seven games • Syracuse went scoreless for 20:14 at one point …the Blue Jays have held all seven of their opponents scoreless for a stretch of at least 19:30.
#6 Syracuse (3-2) 1-3-0-3/7
#2 Johns Hopkins (7-0) 4-3-3-1/11
Goals: S: Maltz-3, Palasek, Desko, Eilers, Schoonmaker. J: Benn-4, Ranagan-2, Greeley-2, Guida, Stanwick, Palmer. Assists: S: Marasco-2, Coleman, Palasek, Ward. J: Guida-2, Benn, Greeley, Ranagan, Stanwick. Saves:S: Lerman-8. J: Bassett-9. Shots: S-29. J-36. EMO: S: 2-for-7. J: 2-for-4. Attendance: 5,970.