April 23, 2011
BALTIMORE, MD - A year ago, the Johns Hopkins men's lacrosse team jumped out to a 5-0 first quarter lead against Navy, only to watch the Midshipmen storm back for a 9-8 overtime victory that snapped JHU's 36-game winning streak in the series. On Saturday night at Homewood Field, the Blue Jays again jumped to a 5-0 lead, but instead of wilting, they pushed the lead to 10-0 at the half and cruised to a 14-5 victory before a crowd of 4,682. The win is the fifth straight for the Blue Jays, who improve to 10-2 on the year, while the Midshipmen dropped their fifth straight and finish the season at 4-9.
The Blue Jays needed just 45 seconds to open the scoring as senior Chris Boland capped JHU's first possession with an unassisted goal to give JHU a quick 1-0 lead. It look far less time than that - six seconds to be exact - for the Blue Jays to push the lead to 2-0 as graduate student Ben Smith worked his way to the high slot off the ensuing faceoff and scored off a nifty feed inside from senior Matt Dolente.
Boland and fellow starting attackmen Zach Palmer and Kyle Wharton combined for seven goals and seven assists in the win and at least one of the three had a hand in six of JHU's next eight goals as the Blue Jays stormed to the 10-0 lead.
Palmer's extra-man goal just under six minutes into the game pushed the lead to 3-0 and he added the first of his career-high five assists three minutes later when he got the helper on an extra-man goal by sophomore John Greeley. Sophomore John Ranagan and Boland added unassisted goals in a 93-second span late in the quarter to make it 6-0 at the end of the first period.
Any hopes for a Navy comeback were gone in the second quarter as Wharton bookended a four-goal period for the Blue Jays. He got the first of his four goals on the night just over three minutes into the period off a feed from freshman Eric Ruhl and then capped the first half with an extra-man goal that was assisted by Palmer. In between, freshmen midfielders Ruhl and Rob Guida scored for the Blue Jays. Palmer assisted on Ruhl's goal as he drew the defense in tight with a dodge from behind before finding Ruhl alone 10 yards out with time and room, while Guida scooped up a loose ball on the crease and beat Navy goalie RJ Wickham from in close for his ninth goal of the year.
The Midshipmen finally broke through with 11:37 remaining in the third quarter when freshman Sam Jones scored on a dodge from behind the goal, but Hopkins answered with three goals in a span of just 96 seconds midway through the period to take its largest lead at 13-1. Greeley netted his second man-up goal of the night to jump-start the three-goal run, which included back-to-back goals by Wharton - with the first assisted by Boland and the second by Palmer.
Navy, as expected, never quit and scored the next four goals to make it 13-5. The first three of those goals - an extra-man strike by Harrison Chaires late in the third quarter and tallies by Nikk Davis and Taylor Reynolds early in the fourth - came in a span of just under four minutes, while Sean Dinn's first goal of the season with 3:22 remaining in the game made it 13-5. Greg Edmonds' first career goal in the final minute of the game closed the scoring for the Blue Jays and accounted for the 14-5 final score.
Palmer's six points (1g, 5a) paced the Blue Jays, while Wharton (4g) and Boland (2g, 2a) added four points apiece for JHU, which held advantages in shots (41-32) and ground balls (35-30). Dolente won 13-of-19 faceoffs and grabbed a game-high seven ground balls for Johns Hopkins, which also converted on 4-of-7 extra-man chances.
Jones and Dinn paced Navy with one goal and one assist and Wickham posted seven saves in goal for Navy, but an 0-for-10 showing on faceoffs in the first half contributed to a 27-7 advantage in shots for JHU before intermission and helped lead to the 10-0 halftime score that was just too much for the Midshipmen to overcome.
Navy (4-9) 0-0-2-3/5
#2 Johns Hopkins (10-2) 6-4-3-1/14
Goals: N: Jones, Dinn, Chaires, Davis, Reynolds. J: Wharton-4, Boland-2, Greeley-2, Palmer, Ruhl, Ranagan, Guida, Edmonds, Smith. Assists: N: Dinn, Jones, Warner. J: Palmer-5, Boland-2, Dolente, Ruhl. Saves: N: Wickham-7. J: Bassett-8, Burke-0. Shots: N-32. J-41. EMO: N: 1-for-3. J: 4-for-7. Attendance: 4,682.
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