May 11, 2008
BALTIMORE, MD - Senior midfielder Paul Rabil (Gaithersburg, MD/DeMatha) scored a game-high four goals and host Johns Hopkins used a 6-0 run to break open a close game as the fifth-seeded Blue Jays knocked off Hofstra, 10-4, in the first round of the 2008 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Tournament Sunday afternoon. The win, which avenges an 8-7 overtime loss at Hofstra during the regular season, is the sixth straight for the Blue Jays, who improve to 9-5 and will play Navy in the NCAA Quarterfinals next Saturday at Navy. Hofstra had a four-game winning streak snapped and ends the season at 10-6.
Despite controlling the action for most of the opening 20 minutes, the Blue Jays found themselves in a 2-2 tie after Hofstra's Michael Understein (Shoreham, NY/Shoreham-Wading River) netted an unassisted goal with 8:47 remaining in the second quarter. The Blue Jays needed just 54 seconds to answer as Rabil swept across the top of the box and blew a 14-yard laser past Hofstra goalie Danny Orlando (South Hempstead, NY/South Side) to give the Blue Jays the lead for good. The Pride held the Blue Jays away for six minutes before Rabil gave the Blue Jays a two-goal cushion with 1:53 remaining in the first half as he scored the 100th goal of his career on a left-handed shot inside the far post on an ally dodge. The first of sophomore Michael Kimmel's (Towson, MD/Loyola) three goals with 23 seconds remaining in the first half pushed the lead to 5-2 at intermission.
If not for the play of Orlando, the deficit could have been larger at the half as he posted seven first-half saves as the Blue Jays outshot the Pride 24-8 in the first 30 minutes. Any hopes of a second half Hofstra comeback were short-lived as the Blue Jays maintained possession for nearly the first seven minutes of the third quarter and tallied twice during that stretch to push out to a 7-2 lead.
An extra-man goal just under four minutes into the second half by senior Michael Doneger (Hewlett, NY/Lynbrook) on a nifty pass to the crease by Kimmel made it 6-2 and Doneger scored his second of the game just under two minutes later as he picked the top corner from 10 yards out on a quick pass from senior Stephen Peyser (Lloyd Harbor, NY/Cold Spring Harbor). Kimmel closed the 6-0 run with 2:09 remaining when he quick-sticked a pass from Steven Boyle (Derry, NH/Pinkerton Academy) past Orlando from in tight to make it 8-2 at the end of three quarters.
The teams traded goals in the fourth quarter with Unterstein and Tom Interlicchio (Yorktown, NY/Yorktown) sandwiching goals around Rabil's fourth of the day in the first nine minutes of the period. Kimmel polished off his second straight hat trick and the sixth of his career when he closed the scoring with 2:47 remaining with a six-yard shot off a nice feed from Boyle.
Johns Hopkins held the Pride scoreless for the first 16:06, but led only 1-0 after one quarter as a Peyser goal with 6:27 remaining in the first quarter was the only tally for either team in the first 15 minutes. Hofstra finally pushed through with 13:53 remaining in the second quarter when Dan Stein (Merrick, NY/Calhoun) worked from behind the goal and scored on a wrap-around shot to tie the game. Rabil got his day started just over a minute later when he scored the first of his four goals with an unassisted tally at the 12:50 mark. Unterstein's goal four minutes later forced the second and last tie of the game as the Blue Jays embarked on the 6-0 run, during which they held the Pride scoreless for 25:33, shortly after.
Rabil's four-goal effort not only led the way for the Blue Jays, but also pushed him to the top of the all-time goal-scoring list among Hopkins midfielders as he now has 101. The four goals also tied Rabil's career high. Kimmel added the three goals and one assist, while Boyle assisted on three goals for the Blue Jays. The three goals tied Kimmel's career high, while Boyle matched his personal best with the three assists. Sophomore Michael Gvozden (Millersville, MD/Severna Park) anchored the Blue Jays' defensive effort as he posted nine saves while allowing just the four goals.
Unterstein's two goals led the way for Hofstra, which didn't have any assisted goals in the game. Orlando posted 14 saves for the Pride, who were outshot 40-25, won just 7-of-18 faceoffs and lost the ground ball war 34-27.
Johns Hopkins, which improved to 25-5 in the month of May under head coach Dave Pietramala, advances to the NCAA Quarterfinals for the 18th consecutive year. The Blue Jays will be meeting Navy for the 81st time in a series that dates to 1908, but this will be the first time the two teams have met in the NCAA Tournament.
#16 Hofstra (10-6) 0-2-0-2/4
#4 Johns Hopkins (9-5) 1-4-3-2/10
Goals: H: M. Unterstein-2, Stein, Interlicchio. J: Rabil-4, Kimmel-3, Doneger-2, Peyser. Assists: H: None. J: Boyle-3, Peyser-2, Kimmel. Saves: H: Orlando-14. J: Gvozden-9. Shots: H-25. J-40. EMO: H: 0-for-1. J: 1-for-1. Attendance: 2,219.
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