BALTIMORE, MD — For the fifth time this season, the 19th-ranked Johns Hopkins men’s lacrosse team played a game that was decided by two goals or less. Unlike the previous four, it was the Blue Jays who made the key plays down the stretch as Johns Hopkins came from behind to knock off visiting Rutgers, 9-7, in the first ever Big Ten men’s lacrosse game.
With Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany on hand, the Blue Jays jumped out to a pair of three-goal leads, watched Rutgers use a 4-0 run to grab a 7-6 lead entering the fourth quarter and then scored the final three goals to improve to 4-5 overall and, more importantly, 1-0 in Big Ten play.
Johns Hopkins faced the 7-6 deficit entering the final 15 minutes after the four-goal Scarlet Knight spree turned a 6-3 deficit into the one-goal lead.
The Blue Jays turned to their Canadian connection to pull even as freshman midfielder Joel Tinney sprung junior middie Holden Cattoni in free and Cattoni picked the far corner on the run with 10:36 remaining to force the fourth and final tie of the game.
Hopkins had the lead for good just over three minutes later when junior Connor Reed swept in on an angle from the top of the box and dumped a pass to classmate Ryan Brown, who buried his fourth goal of the game to give Hopkins an 8-7 lead.
That lead held only because of two point-blank saves by Blue Jay goalie Eric Schneider, who stoned Ryan Hollingsworth in tight less than 90 seconds after Brown’s goal and then robbed Jules Heningburg with 2:26 on the clock to preserve the one-goal lead.
Johns Hopkins, which had lost two straight tight decisions to top-ranked Syracuse and seventh-ranked Virginia, got the insurance goal it needed when Cattoni found senior Wells Stanwick alone just off the crease and Stanwick beat Kris Alleyne with 1:25 remaining to account for the final scoring.
The first quarter settled nothing as Heningburg and Scott Bieda wrapped tallies for Rutgers around strikes by John Crawley and Cody Radziewicz to account for a 2-2 score at the end of the opening 15 minutes. For the record, the first goal in a Big Ten history was scored by Heningburg and didn’t take long as he scored just 12 seconds into the game.
Hopkins grabbed its first three-goal lead with a three-goal spurt to open the second quarter as Cattoni slipped home an extra-man goal from the crease and Brown scored back-to-back goals to make it 5-2 midway through the period.
Jack Sikora scored off the faceoff following Brown’s second goal to slice the deficit o 5-3, but Brown completed his first-half hat trick when Stanwick skipped a pass to the backside and Brown had time and room to bury his third of the game with 5:09 on the first-half clock.
After scoring four goals in nine minutes in the second quarter, the Blue Jays went cold and Rutgers capitalized. With faceoff specialist Joe Nardella winning 4-of-5 third-quarter faceoffs, the Scarlet Knights outshot the Blue Jays 9-4 and outscored them 4-0 in the third quarter.
It took less than four minutes for Rutgers to make it a one-goal game after halftime as Jeff George and Connor Murphy scored unassisted goals and Christian Trasolini added an unassisted marker of his own two minutes after Murphy scored to make it 6-6. The Murphy and Trasolini both came after they scooped up loose balls in front of the goal after a Schneider save and scored from the doorstep.
Heningburg completed for the four-goal run for Rutgers when he scored at the end of a long Scarlet Knight possession with 70 seconds left in the third quarter. As it turned out, that would be the final goal of the game for Rutgers as eight fourth-quarter RU possessions ended with six turnovers and the two clutch saves from Schneider.
Brown’s and Stanwick led the Blue Jays with four points each as Brown had the four goals and Stanwick added the one goal and three assists. Cattoni chipped in with the two goals and one assist.
Schneider went the distance in goal and posted 11 saves for the Blue Jays, who outshot the Scarlet Knights 33-30 and converted 1-of-3 extra-man chances.
Heningburg was the only multi-goal scorer for Rutgers as he had the two goals in the game, while Murphy added one goal and one assist. Nardella was 10-of-19 on faceoffs and added two assists on the day for Rutgers, which also got 12 saves from Alleyne.
Notes: Stanwick became the sixth player in school history to reach the 100-assist mark as his three today give him 101 · Stanwick extended his point-scoring streak to 28 games and Brown extended the nation’s longest active goal-scoring streak to 25 games · Johns Hopkins improved to 32-4 all-time against Rutgers.