BALTIMORE – A dominating defensive performance and four goals from junior Owen Blye propelled the No. 10 Maryland men’s lacrosse team to a 9-6 victory over No. 3 Johns Hopkins in the 108th meeting of Lacrosse’s Greatest Rivalry Saturday evening in front of a sold-out crowd at Homewood Field.
The victory lifts Maryland to 7-3 on the season, while Hopkins stands at 9-2.
The first quarter started off rocky for the Terps as the Blue Jays took an early 2-0 lead, capitalizing on some saves by Hopkins goalie Pierce Bassett. Rob Guida scored the first for JHU less than three minutes into the quarter. Lee Coppersmith upped the lead to 2-0 at the 11:41 mark with an unassisted goal.
But Maryland used a patient offense and clamped down on the defensive end to stay within striking distance and the Terps closed the quarter with two scores in the final 1:23 to tie the game heading into the second.
Junior Kevin Cooper put Maryland on the board with a terrific jumping left-hand shot from the right alley. He took the ball from Blye and Cooper then beat Guida to the inside and slipped the ball inside the near pipe.
The Blue Jays had the ball with the clock winding down, but they stepped out of the box after a stall warning was issued giving the ball to the Terps. Junior Landon Carr picked up the ball for the quick restart and raced down the right side of the field. He pulled up and beat Bassett low from 14 yards out to knot the score with just 20 seconds left in the quarter.
Hopkins regained the lead at the 10:34 mark of the second when Greg Edmonds scored from the right side.
Sophomore Niko Amato made a save on a John Ranagan shot, but a turnover on the clear attempt gave Hopkins another possession and this time Ranagan connected with 9:27 left, making it a 4-2 JHU lead.
Amato made another terrific save at the 5:11 mark on a Chris Boland shot and sophomore Brian Cooper came up with the tough groundball, but a quick turnover gave Hopkins another crack at the Terps and Brandon Benn capitalized with a quick shot off a feed from Boland to up the Blue Jay lead to 5-2 with 3:35 remaining in the second.
The tables were turned when Hopkins’ John Greeley turned the ball over to the Terps just under the 2:00 mark. Brian Cooper again scooped up the groundball and Maryland’s offense took over. Senior Drew Snider dodged down the left side from the high slot and passed back to junior John Haus. Haus fired a quick pass from near the top of the box to the top-right of the crease where junior Billy Gribbin lost his defender. Gribbin then beat Bassett to make the score 5-3 with 54 seconds left.
Hopkins’ Mike Poppleton won the opening faceoff of the third quarter and Boland quickly made it a 6-3 Blue Jay advantage, scoring off a feed from Greeley just 43 seconds into the third.
The Terps responded with a terrific look by Mike Chanenchuk to the right side of the crease for Blye. Maryland’s good ball movement moved the Blue Jay defense out of position and Blye had enough time to make six fakes before slipping a bouncer past Bassett with 9:04 remaining.
Terrific defensive pressure by junior Jesse Bernhardt created a turnover for the Terps and Blye scored his second straight to make it a one-goal Maryland deficit. The goal was in question for a moment as Hopkins’ defender Robert Enright got tangled in the net tracking Blye from behind the cage and actually pulled the net onto its side as Blye shot. The officials counted the goal, making it a 6-5 game at the 6:16 mark.
The Terps continued their comeback as the third quarter came to a close. Kevin Cooper took the ball behind the net and initiated the offense with around 20 seconds left on the clock. He went around the right side and moved the ball on the senior Michael Shakespeare, who was able to step into a high-to-low shot from the right alley, tying the game at 6-6 going into the fourth quarter.
It appeared as if Wells Stanwick regained the lead for the Blue Jays with under 10 minutes to play, but he was ruled to be in the crease, which waived off the goal.
Maryland capitalized on the opportunity as Blye scored for the third time to give the Terrapins their first lead of the game at the 8:46 mark. Blye started from behind the cage and came around the left side of the goal. He continued up the field, creating some space to get his hands free and his shot beat Bassett low.
A slashing call on sophomore Michael Ehrhardt put the Blue Jays up a man, but sophomore Emmett Cahill picked off a pass by Boland and Carr raced the ball into Maryland’s offensive zone, ending the threat.
Maryland killed off the remaining time on the penalty and was given a stall call as the Terps worked the clock up by a goal. That didn’t stop Blye from exploiting a mismatch with Hopkins shortie Nikhon Schuler and beating Bassett low again for an 8-6 Terrapin lead with 5:05 remaining.
Some terrific transition lacrosse gave the Terps a three-goal lead with 2:31 to go in the game. Haus picked up a loose ball inside the Maryland defensive box and quickly found Bernhardt breaking up the field. Bernhardt pump-faked the Blue Jay defense, drawing them to him. He moved the ball to senior Joe Cummings, who made the one-more pass to Kevin Cooper on the doorstep for the easy goal.
Hopkins had one last chance to get back in the game, but Amato rose to the occasion, stopping a shot by Boland with 49 seconds left. Amato finished with a flourish, making eight saves for the game.
Maryland’s defense dominated the second half, holding the Blue Jay offense, which entered the game scoring 11.0 goals per game, to just one goal in the second half and none over the game’s final 29:17.
Maryland next heads to the ACC tournament as the No. 4 seed where it will meet up with No. 1 seed Duke. The Terps and Blue Devils will play in the 5 p.m. game, while No. 2 seed Virginia and No. 3 seed North Carolina play in the 7:30 p.m. game at the Cavaliers’ Klöckner Stadium in Charlottesville, Va.
• With today’s 9-6 win, Maryland is now 39-61-1 all-time vs. Johns Hopkins.
• The victory is the first for Maryland at Homewood Field since 2006.
• With four points on four goals, junior Owen Blye now has three hat tricks, 17 multi-point and 11 multi-goal games for his career.
• With three points on two goals and an assist, junior Kevin Cooper now has eight multi-point and three multi-goal games for his career.
• Maryland shutout the Blue Jays in the fourth quarter, which marks the fourth time this season the Terps have held an opponent scoreless for a quarter.