May 8, 2010
BALTIMORE, MD – Johns Hopkins freshman goalie Pierce Bassett posted a career-high 20 saves and junior attackman Kyle Wharton tied his career high with five goals to lead the visiting Blue Jays past Loyola, 9-6, at the Ridley Athletic Complex Saturday afternoon. The win is the second straight for the Blue Jays (7-7), who must now wait until Sunday night to learn their NCAA Tournament fate. Today’s win makes the Blue Jays eligible for one of the at-large bids to the tournament.
“I’m proud of the way our guys stepped to the plate today to give us a chance (at the NCAA Tournament),” Johns Hopkins head coach Dave Pietramala noted in the post-game press conference. “I’m happy with the effort I saw and I think we are now in the conversation.”
Bassett got going early as he posted seven of his 20 saves in the first quarter and Wharton put the Blue Jays over the top as he scored four of his five goals during a 6-1 JHU run that turned a 3-3 tie late in the second quarter into a 9-4 Hopkins lead midway through the fourth.
The first of Chris Hurst’s three goals tied the game at 3-3 with 6:25 remaining in the first half, but a 15-yard laser by senior Dave Spaulding just over 30 seconds later and an extra-man goal by Wharton with just over three minutes remaining in the half gave the Blue Jays a 5-3 halftime lead. As it turned out, the Greyhounds were never closer than two over the final 33 minutes.
Wharton pushed the lead to 6-3 early in the third quarter when he one-timed a nifty pass from Tom Palasek past Loyola (9-4) goalie Jake Hagelin from in tight. A Patrick Fanshaw goal for Loyola two minutes later temporarily halted the run, but Wharton blew home a 10-yarder after some nice ball movement 51 seconds later to make it 7-4 and senior Michael Kimmel and Wharton both scored in the first five minutes of the fourth quarter to make it 9-4.
Hurst added his second of the game with 7:25 remaining, but Bassett made five saves in the fourth quarter and the ‘Hounds didn’t find the back of the net again until Hurst completed his hat trick with 58 seconds remaining to close the scoring.
Chris Basler opened the scoring in the game with a nice cut to the crease and finish off a Copper MacDonnell feed from goal line extended, but the Blue Jays led 2-1 less than three minutes later as Palasek and Wharton scored back-to-back goals in a span of 43 seconds.
The 2-1 lead held until the opening minute of the second quarter, when John Schiavone scored after a long scrum on the opening faceoff of the period. Kimmel scored on an ally dodge less than a minute later and Hurst forced the 3-3 tie seven minutes after that. That tie lasted until Spaulding’s first of the season ignited the game-turning 6-1 run.
Bassett’s 20 saves are the most by a Johns Hopkins goalie since Michael Gvozden had 20 in the 2008 national championship game against Syracuse. Over the last three games he now has 46 saves while allowing just 19 goals (.708 save percentage).
Wharton’s five goals, which came on just five shots, matched a career high that he originally set against Hofstra on March 7, 2009. The hat trick is the ninth of Wharton’s career. Kimmel added two goals and one assist, while Palasek added the one goal and one assist.
Hurst’s three goals are a career-high, but he was the only Loyola player to register a multi-point game. Hagelin entered the game ranked 10th in the nation in save percentage (.571), but allowed seven goals and posted just three saves in just under 38 minutes of action.
The bracket for the 2010 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship will be announced on ESPNU at 8:30 pm on Sunday, May 9. Johns Hopkins has currently qualified for the tournament a record 38 straight years – the longest active streak of qualifying for the NCAA Tournament in any Division I team sport.
Johns Hopkins (7-7) 2-3-2-2/9
#8 Loyola (9-4) 1-2-1-2/6
Goals: J: Wharton-5, Kimmel-2, Palasek, Spaulding. L: Hurst-3, Basler, Schiavone, Fanshaw. Assists: J: Boyle, Burkhart, Kimmel, Palasek, Ranagan. L: Ebsary, Finnerty, MacDonnell. Saves: J: Bassett-20. L: Hagelin-3, Peaty-4. Shots: J-22. L-41. EMO: J: 1-for-2. L: 1-for-3. Attendance: 2,926.
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