Solid Second Half Gives Men’s Lacrosse 8-4 Win At Johns Hopkins
BALTIMORE – Loyola University Maryland held Johns Hopkins University scoreless for the final 29-minutes, 18-seconds of regulation on Saturday afternoon at Homewood Field, and the Greyhounds snapped a 13-game losing skid to the Blue Jays with an 8-4 victory to close the regular-season.
Loyola’s last victory in the series came in 1999 when the Greyhounds beat the host Blue Jays, 14-5. The previous seven games, however, had been decided by only 13 goals with Johns Hopkins winning four times by a single tally.
The seventh-ranked Greyhounds opened the second half on a man-advantage that carried over from late in the second quarter, and after the teams returned to even strength, Justin Ward skipped a pass to Sean O’Sullivan at the top of the offense, and the midfielder scored on a low shot from 13 yards out 36 ticks into the half.
O’Sullivan’s goal put Loyola (11-3 overall) in front 5-3, but the 11th-ranked Blue Jays (8-5) pulled back within a goal just five seconds later when they won the faceoff on a Greyhounds’ violation. Mike Poppleton ran the ball into the offensive zone and snuck a shot into the top right corner at 14:19.
That, however, was the last goal Johns Hopkins would score in the game. Greyhounds’ goalkeeper Jack Runkel made six of his 10 saves in the final half, and the rest of the Blue Jays’ 11 shots went off goal.
Johns Hopkins also committed 10 turnovers in the second half, and the Greyhounds had just eight in the entire game.
Mike Sawyer scored his third of the day, rolling off a short-stick defensive midfielder and slinging a sidearm shot into the net with 6:10 to go in the third quarter, pushing Loyola out to a two-goal advantage for the third time in the game.
The score remained 6-4 Loyola until nearly six minutes had passed in the fourth quarter. Davis Butts beat a short-stick from below goal-line extended on the right side and bounced a shot past Johns Hopkins goalkeeper Pierce Bassett.
Loyola tacked on its eighth and final goal with 3:13 remaining on a man-up possession. O’Sullivan faked a pass to the right and doubled back with one to Kevin Ryan on the left side of the crease, and Ryan finished past Bassett.
The Greyhounds opened scoring in the game early in the first quarter after Scott Ratliff picked up a ground ball off a Blue Jays’ turnover and sent the ball to Ryan who carried it into the offensive half for Loyola. He then sent a pass to Josh Hawkins who scored from 10 yards out at the 12:20 mark.
Johns Hopkins, however, tied the game 2:25 later when John Kaestner scored on a fading jumper after running from ‘X’. The Blue Jays took a 2-1 lead at 7:23 when Brandon Benn ripped a high-to-low shot off a John Ranagan pass.
The Blue Jays held the lead for nearly five minutes until Zach Herreweyers rolled from behind the cage and snuck a no-look underhand shot into the net, tying the score at 2-2- with 2:24 left in the second quarter.
Less than a minute later, Sawyer struck with his first of the game with a sidearm shot after Harry Kutner rolled back to the middle and passed it to Sawyer.
Sawyer then scored his second of the game with 13:54 to go in the second quarter, finishing the end of a transition run for Loyola. Runkel started the sequence with a save, and Joe Fletcher picked up one of his team-high five ground balls. Hawkins ran the clear and threw a pass to Sawyer who finished with a high shot.
The goal made it 4-2 Greyhounds, but Poppleton won the faceoff for Johns Hopkins, sent a pass to Wells Stanwick who got the ball to Benn for a goal six seconds after Sawyer’s at 13:48 in the second half.
Neither Loyola, nor Johns Hopkins scored after that point in the half, and the teams went to the locker room with the Greyhounds in front, 4-3.
The Blue Jays outshot Loyola 36-28 in the game, but the Greyhounds held them to a .111 shooting percentage in the game.
On the defensive end, Fletcher led the team with five ground balls, while Pat Frazier, Ratliff and Hawkins each had three. Reid Acton and Pat Laconi both picked up a pair, while Laconi and Frazier each caused six turnovers, and Acton and Hawkins had one apiece.
The Greyhounds open play in the third-annual ECAC Lacrosse League Championships on Thursday, May 2, as the No. 2 seed. They will take on No. 3-seed Ohio State Unviersity at Hobart College in Geneva, N.Y. at a to be determined time.