BALTIMORE, MD – Sophomore Rob Guida provided the emotional spark the Johns Hopkins men’s lacrosse team needed when he opened the scoring with an unassisted goal less than three minutes into Saturday’s showdown at top-ranked Loyola. Guida did himself one better with 2.3 seconds remaining in overtime when he quick-sticked home a pass to the crease from junior Zach Palmer to lift the 10th-ranked Blue Jays to a 10-9 win before a capacity crowd of 6,000 at Loyola’s Ridley Athletic Complex.
In a game that saw the Blue Jays lead 9-5 with less than 13 minutes remaining in regulation, Guida netted his game-winner after Loyola hit the post with its second shot in overtime and the Blue Jays failed on an extra-man opportunity. With the clock winding down, Hopkins midfielder John Ranagan worked to an ally dodge, but was trail-checked nicely and the ball flew out to Palmer along the goal line. There, he threaded a pass to the crease, where Guida caught it for the briefest time and slipped a quick shot between the legs of Loyola goalie Jack Runkel. The goal completed Guida’s first career hat trick and improved Hopkins’ record to 19-9 all-time in overtime games under head coach Dave Pietramala.
A late goal in overtime didn’t look like it would be necessary for the Blue Jays after Guida’s extra-man goal early in the fourth quarter gave JHU a 9-5 lead. To that point, the ‘Hounds hadn’t been closer than three since the first quarter and the Blue Jays appeared to be in control.
It look less than two minutes for Davis Butts to answer Guida’s tally and less than a minute after that before a Sean O’Sullivan strike made it 9-7 with more than 11 minutes remaining.
The 9-7 lead held for the Blue Jays (10-3) for more than eight minutes as Runkel and his counterpart, JHU goalie Pierce Bassett, traded saves. Still, the Greyhounds made it a one-goal game with 54 seconds remaining when Justin Ward found Pat Laconi alone in the high slot and Laconi picked the near post for his first goal of the season.
Loyola (12-1), which had its 12-game winning streak snapped, won the ensuing faceoff and worked the ball to Ward behind the goal. Hopkins senior Gavin Crisafulli bodied up with Ward along the goal line and appeared to be in solid position, but Ward worked topside just slightly and rifled home the equalizer to force the extra period.
Loyola maintained possession for more than 90 seconds in overtime and Eric Lusby rang the far post with the ‘Hounds second shot, but Guida came up with the ensuing ground ball and drew a flag for a hold while trying to clear. Hopkins maintained possession after the penalty expired and Palmer threaded his pass to a tightly-marked Guida a short time later to seal Hopkins’ 13th straight win over the Greyhounds.
After back-to-back losses the Blue Jays were looking for something positive early in the game and Guida, Mark Goodrich and Lee Coppersmith provided just that with first quarter goals that gave JHU a 3-0 lead at the end of the opening quarter. It marked the 15th time Hopkins has held an opponent scoreless in a quarter this season and the first time all year that Loyola failed to score in the opening quarter of a game.
The Blue Jays pushed the lead to 5-0 when Coppersmith and Wells Stanwick scored in the opening 2:03 of the second period, but Loyola got goals by Butts, Lusby and Chris Layne in the final 11:15 of the period with only a Palmer strike in that time for JHU to account for a 6-3 score at the half.
The teams traded third-quarter goals to make it 8-5 entering the final period and Gudia’s extra-man goal 47 seconds into the fourth quarter gave JHU the 9-5 lead. Butts ignited Loyola’s 4-0 run a short time later when he scored on an ally dodge and Ward capped the spree in the final seconds with his only goal of the game. That set the stage for the overtime period, which went nearly the full four minutes before Palmer and Guida put an end to the dramatics and lifted Hopkins to its 47th all-time win in the 50-game series with Loyola.
Guida, who had scored previously scored a career-high two goals in a game six times in his career, led the Blue Jays with his three goals, while Palmer added two goals and two assists. Coppersmith and Goodrich added two-goal efforts for the Blue Jays, who held advantages in shots (40-28) and ground balls (34-30). Bassett posted nine saves in goal and freshman Michael Pellegrino added a game-high seven ground balls for the Blue Jays, who picked up their second win of the season against a team ranked number one and have now won 7-of-11 against teams ranked number one under Pietramala.
Loyola got two goals from Lusby and Butts, one goal and two assists from Layne and the one goal and one assist from Ward, while Runkel was solid in goal with 14 saves on the day. J.P. Dalton took all 23 faceoffs in the game for Loyola and won 14 of them, although the Blue Jays won 7-of-11 in the second half.
Johns Hopkins will return to action next Saturday, when the Blue Jays welcome Army to Homewood Field for JHU’s annual Homecoming game. Loyola has a quick turnaround as the Greyhounds will play at Denver in the ECAC Semifinals on Wednesday.
#10 Johns Hopkins (10-3) 3-3-2-1-1/10
#1 Loyola (12-1) 0-3-2-4-0/9
Goals: J: Guida-3, Palmer-2, Coppersmith-2, Goodrich-2, Stanwick. L: Lusby-2, Butts-2, Layne, Ward, Sawyer, O’Sullivan, Laconi. Assists: J: Boland-2, Palmer-2, Burkhart. L: Layne-2, Ratliff, Ward. Saves: J: Bassett-9. L: Runkel-14, Bonitatibus-0. Shots: J-40. L-28. EMO: J: 2-for-4. L: 0-for-1. Attendance: 6,000.