BALTIMORE, MD — The eighth-ranked Johns Hopkins men’s lacrosse team had fought its way back from an early 3-0 deficit and was locked in back-and-forth battle with 10th-ranked Navy as the clocked ticked towards the late stages of the third quarter. A 7-7 tie — the fourth tie since the Blue Jays had dug themselves out of the early three-game deficit — held for just over four minutes before Johns Hopkins junior Joel Tinney put his stamp on the game.
An emotional player with a flair for making the dramatic play, Tinney did just that as he scored on a perfectly executed hidden ball trick with senior John Crawley with 5:30 left in the third, added another goal in an unsettled situation 36 seconds later and then assisted on a Crawley goal with 13 seconds left in the period to jump start an 8-1 game-ending run that turned the 7-7 tie into a 15-8 season-opening victory.
Tinney, playing in his first game since the NCAA Semifinals against Maryland at the end of the 2015 season, ended with career-high-tying totals of three goals, two assists and five points to spark an offense that misfired on all six of its first-quarter shots, but connected on 15-of-31 in the final 45 minutes.
The Blue Jays had a 12-8 lead early in the fourth after Colin Flounlacker halted a five-goal Hopkins run, but neither team scored over the next five minutes to keep the outcome in doubt. Junior Shack Stanwick’s extra-man goal with 6:24 was the first of three straight for the Blue Jays, who got another man-up goal by junior Patrick Fraser and a final tally from Wilkins Dismuke in a span of 54 seconds to account for the final scoring.
A seven-goal Hopkins win didn’t look like it was in the cards as Navy opened with a Flounlacker goal less than four minutes into the game, added a Ray Wardell goal late in the period and had its three-goal lead just 22 seconds into the second quarter when sophomore Greyson Torain came from behind the goal and scored.
It took Navy 15:22 to build its three-goal cushion — it took Johns Hopkins 99 seconds to draw even. Tinney found Dismuke in the slot less than two minutes after Torain’s goal and Dismuke scored from in tight and Crawley added the first of his two goals 41 seconds later. When freshman Cole Williams grabbed a rebound out of the air and scored into an open net 58 seconds later, the Blue Jays had forced the first of what would become four ties.
A 5-5 halftime tie was pushed to 7-7 less than six minutes into the third quarter after Tinney and Kieran Eissler gave Hopkins short-lived leads of 6-5 and 7-6. When Jack Ray scored his second of the game off the third of Ryan Wade’s four assists with 9:34 left in the period, the Midshipmen had seemingly withstood a 7-4 Blue Jay spurt that had answered the Mids’ three-goal game-opening spree.
That 7-7 tie held until Tinney sparked the deciding Blue Jay run with the second hidden-ball goal of his career. The last had fueled another seven-goal Blue Jay win — a 16-9 victory against Michigan on Homecoming in 2015; this one helped Hopkins improve to 15-2 in season-openers under head coach Dave Pietramala and score a win for the Blue Jays against the first of six games they will play this season against teams that advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals a year ago.
While the Blue Jay offense was busy putting up 15 goals against a Navy team that finished second in the nation in scoring defense a year ago, the Johns Hopkins defense was tying the school record for caused turnovers (12) and holding the Midshipmen to just three goals in the final 35 minutes and just one in the final 24.
Graduate transfer Gerald Logan made eight saves in his Hopkins debut and his starting defense of seniors Nick Fields and Trevor Koelsch and freshman Jack Rapine combined for seven ground balls and five caused turnovers.
Tinney, Dismuke and Fraser all finished with hat tricks, while Stanwick added two goals and two assists to extend his point-scoring streak to 34 games. In all, seven different players scored goals and six different players had assists for the Blue Jays, who played 27 different players through three quarters.
Johns Hopkins will return to action on Saturday, February 11 when the Blue Jay welcome UMBC to Homewood Field (1 pm).