March 3, 2007
BALTIMORE, MD - The Johns Hopkins men's lacrosse team dropped a 7-6 overtime decision at then top-ranked Princeton in the 1997 season-opener. Fast forward 10 years and the teams and the score were the same, but this time it was the Blue Jays who pulled out the 7-6 double-overtime victory as junior midfielder Paul Rabil scored his second goal of the game 56 seconds into the second extra session to lift the Hopkins to the win in the inaugural Inside Lacrosse Face-Off Classic at M&T Bank Stadium. The Blue Jays have now won seven straight overtime games and the attendance of 20,180 is a regular-season record for a lacrosse game.
In a game that saw the Tigers jump out to a pair of early two-goal leads, it was Hopkins that scored six of the final nine goals to earn the win. Princeton led 3-1 after Josh Lesko's goal with 10:53 remaining in the second quarter before the Blue Jays got untracked with back-to-back goals by Rabil and freshman Steven Boyle in a three-minute span midway through the period. Rabil picked the top near post on a dodge from the top, while Boyle's goal was his second of the game after he dodged from behind to make it 3-3 at the half.
The Tigers sandwiched an extra-man goal by Peter Trombino and an even-strength goal by Michael Biles around an extra-man tally by Kevin Huntley in the first seven minutes of the third quarter to make it 5-4 Princeton. Freshman Michael Kimmel fed Huntley for the first of his three assists on the day.
Boyle drew the Blue Jays even with 1:31 remaining in the third quarter as he polished off a nifty tic-tac-toe passing sequence for his third of the game. A seven-minute scoreless drought carried the game into the middle of the fourth quarter before junior Michael Doneger converted Hopkins' second extra-man goal of the game off another assist from Kimmel to give the Blue Jays their first lead of the game, 6-5.
Princeton needed less than two minutes to knot the game as Mark Kovler swept in from the top of the box after scooping up a loose ball and beat Johns Hopkins goalie Jesse Schwartzman low to the far post. Both teams had chances down the stretch with Hopkins' Jake Byrne getting stopped in-close in the final seconds to send the game to overtime.
Princeton won the opening faceoff in the first overtime and maintained possession for three minutes, but misfired on three shots before the Blue Jays controlled the ball and cleared. Princeton defended the Blue Jays well and kept Hopkins away from the goal before Jake Byrne fired one past Princeton goalie Alex Hewitt, but the clock expired after Bryne shot and before it crossed the goal line.
The Blue Jays won the faceoff to open the second overtime and needed less than a minute to secure the win. A Jake Byrne shot hit the post and caromed high in the air to Stephen Peyser, who flipped a pass to Rabil. Rabil took the pass on the fly and ripped a shot past Hewitt inside the far post for the game-winner.
A sloppy first quarter saw the teams combine for five turnovers and two failed clears, but it was the Tigers who broke through with a pair of goals to take a 2-0 lead. Scott Sowanick opened the scoring with an unassisted goal with 6:22 remaining in the first quarter and a failed Hopkins clear in the final 30 seconds of the quarter led to a Tommy Davis goal with seven seconds remaining in the period.
Boyle got the Blue Jays on the board less than a minute into the fourth quarter when JHU turned a broken clear into an odd-man break that Boyle finished when he slipped a shot past Hewitt low to the far post. Lesko's goal came just over three minutes later and that set the stage for Rabil and Boyle's goals before halftime.
Boyle (3) and Rabil (2) were JHU's only multi-goal scorers, while Kimmel's three assists were a game-high. Schwartzman posted 17 saves, including several of the highlight reel variety. The 17 saves are tied for the third-highest total of his career.
Sowanick and Davis each had one goal and one assist and Hewitt posted 10 saves for the Tigers, who held advantages in shots (43-35), ground balls (27-26) and faceoffs (10-7).
The Blue Jays return to action on Tuesday night when they travel to UMBC.
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