March 26, 2011
BALTIMORE, MD - A youth-filled Johns Hopkins men's lacrosse team rode the emotion of a quick start to build an 8-3 lead against second-ranked Virginia early in the third quarter of Saturday's showdown at Homewood Field. When the run by the senior-laden Cavaliers came - as everyone knew it would - many in the crowd of 3,200 figured the Blue Jays had given Virginia its best shot and the experienced Cavaliers would ride its momentum to victory.
A funny thing happened after the Cavaliers grabbed a 10-9 lead with just over nine minutes remaining in the fourth quarter; it was the Blue Jays who responded, not just once but three times to grab a 12-11 victory that answered the question of how they would respond to last week's 5-4 double-overtime loss at top-ranked Syracuse.
After Virginia's Rob Emery capped a 7-1 Virginia run that turned the 8-3 deficit into the 10-9 lead with 9:17 remaining, the Blue Jays turned to sophomore Lee Coppersmith, who completed his first career hat trick with a bullet that beat Virginia goalie Adam Ghitelman upstairs. The Cavaliers answered with an unassisted goal by junior Steele Stanwick 62 seconds after Coppersmith's strike, but that would be the last time Virginia would beat JHU goalie Pierce Bassett and the Blue Jays struck twice down the stretch off the creative play of freshman Rob Guida.
Guida needed less than a minute after Stanwick's goal to pull the Blue Jays even at 11 as he spun past a defender 10 yards from the goal and fired home a left-handed shot that beat Ghitelman.
The Blue Jays failed to convert on an extra-man opportunity shortly after Guida's goal, but scored what proved to be the game-winner with 1:39 remaining when Guida, working from the side of the net, slipped a nifty pass to the slot and senior Chris Boland one-timed it home to complete his hat trick.
Virginia won the ensuing faceoff and had possession in the Blue Jay zone for most of the final 85 seconds, but Bassett came up with one save and the Cavaliers couldn't get off a final shot on a loose ball situation in front of the goal as the final horn sounded.
A late-game flurry didn't look like it would be necessary early on as the Blue Jays jumped to a quick 2-0 lead on goals in unsettled situations by Chris Lightner and Phil Castronova. The 2-0 lead held until late in the first quarter, when JHU struck for goals by Mark Goodrich and John Greeley in a 66-span to double its lead to 4-0. Goodrich's tally came with the extra man and the goose egg in the first quarter by Virginia marked the first time this season UVa failed to score in a quarter.
The Cavaliers finally broke through with an extra-man goal by Matt White with 9:28 remaining in the second quarter and the Cavs pulled were within 5-3 after a Boland tally was answered by back-to-back goals by Colin Briggs and Chris Bocklet midway through the quarter.
Coppersmith, who moved to the first midfield after Greeley left the game with an injury, struck for the first two of his three goals in a 69-span late in the period and the Blue Jays moved out to the 8-3 lead when Guida capped JHU's first possession of the second half with the first of his two goals on the day.
When Boland answered back-to-back goals by Stanwick and John Haldy midway through the period the Blue Jays still led 9-5, but that's when Virginia, the highest scoring team in the nation, answered - quickly.
Senior Shamel Bratton ignited a four-goal outburst that took all of 63 seconds as he scored with 1:36 remaining in the third quarter and Stanwick followed with a goal six seconds later off the ensuing faceoff. Emery added the first of his two goals 28 seconds after that and Bratton capped the flurry with his second goal of the day with 33 seconds remaining in the period to make it 9-9 at the end of the third quarter.
The scoring slowed early in the fourth quarter before Emery gave Virginia the 10-9 lead just under six minutes into the fourth quarter. That set the stage for a frantic final nine minutes, which saw Hopkins score three of the final four goals to secure the victory.
Boland led the Blue Jays with three goals and one assist, while Coppersmith added the three goals. Guida chipped in with the two goals and one assist and sophomore Zach Palmer added three assists for the Blue Jays, who also got 14 saves from Bassett and a 14-of-24 performance from senior Matt Dolente on faceoffs.
Stanwick paced all scorers in the game as he had three goals and four assists, but Virginia's first midfield managed just three goals on 14 shots and only Bratton and Emery managed more than one goal for the Cavaliers, who were held scoreless for more than 20 minutes to open the game. The Cavaliers held slight advantages in shots (44) and ground balls (37-30) and Ghitelman posted nine saves.
Johns Hopkins, which snapped a six-game losing streak to Virginia, earned the Doyle Smith Cup with the victory. The Doyle Smith Cup is awarded annually to the winner of the Johns Hopkins-Virginia game in honor of Johns Hopkins graduate and longtime Virginia lacrosse media relations director Doyle Smith.
#2 Virginia (7-2) 0-3-6-2/11
#11 Johns Hopkins (6-2) 4-3-2-1/12
Goals: V: Stanwick-3, S. Bratton-2, Emery-2, White, Briggs, Bocklet, Haldy. J: Boland-3, Coppersmith-3, Guida-2, Goodrich, Greeley, Castronova, Lightner. Assists: V: Stanwick-4, O'Reilly-2, Ince, White. J: Palmer-3, Boland, Guida. Saves: V: Ghitelman-9. J: Bassett-14. Shots: V-44. J-42. EMO: J: 2-for-5. V: 2-for-2. Attendance: 3,200.
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