Johns Hopkins controlled 15 of 23 faceoffs and won a lot of crucial loose balls for fast breaks against Towson State. Blue Jays sophomore attackman Brian Piccola had six goals by the end of the third period, and most of the crowd was filing out with 14 minutes left in the game.
It was that easy.
Final score: Johns Hopkins 15, Towson 8 in the quarterfinals o the NCAA Division Itournament last night before a Minnegan Stadium standing-room-only crowd of 7,812, an attendance record.
Despite how lopsided the final score was, it was a game unti Piccola scored goals Nos. 4, 5 and 6 in the last seven minutes of the third period to put the Blue Jays ahead 12-7 at the end of the quarter.
But don't get the impression fifth-seeded Johns Hopkins (8-4) was a powerhouse. No. 4 Towson (9-3) was never in sync, possibly being hurt by an opening-round bye last week.
The Blue Jays, though, seemed more inspired, and the #i motivation may have come from a 14-13, last-second loss to Towson two weeks ago.
"We were excited when we saw the draw because we knew we'd get another chance at Towson State if we beat Notre Dame," said Hopkins coach Tony Seaman. "We won and we're going to Philadelphia."
Hopkins will play Syracuse (12-1) in the semifinals Saturday (1 p.m.) in a homecoming of sorts for Seaman because the game will be played at the University of Penn's Franklin Field, where Seaman coached for eight years before he came to Hopkins two years ago.
Top-seeded Syracuse, which beat No. 9 Yale, 17-8, yesterday, is no stranger to the Blue Jays either. Seaman is 2-1 against the Orangemen at Hopkins, beating Syracuse, 15-14, earlier this season.
"We've been playing very well the last few games with the exception of eight minutes about two weeks ago against Towson State," Seaman said. "Now, we get a chance to face our dear friends from upstate New York [Syracuse] and we'll be ready for that."
Hopkins will have to slow it down against Syracuse, something i did successfully against Towson State after taking a 9-6 lead against the Tigers with 10:54 left in the third period.
The Blue Jays went to stall ball, and once they drew Towso defenders out, passed inside mostly to Piccola on the crease.
"Let's give a lot of credit to Jeff Wills [Hopkins attackman wh had five assists]," Piccola said. "It's easy to score when you're that open on the crease."
Towson State coach Carl Runk said there was a reason why Wills and Piccola were so effective. Defensemen Carl Beernink and Jason Scarborough were both slowed by ankle injuries. Scarborough also missed four slides on which Hopkins scored.
"Injuries hurt our defense and we knew we were in a hole," Run said. "Hopkins was ready this time. They dominated loose-ball play and hurt us off the transition."
"I don't want to use the off week as an excuse," Runk said "Hopkins played well. It seemed like every time we fought for a score, Hopkins would come right back and score."
There were times when Towson had a tough time simply playin pass and catch. Hopkins took advantage to take an 8-4 lead at the half. Johns Hopkins went ahead 1-0 on a goal by midfielder Adam Wright nearly three minutes into the game. Piccola pushed it to 2-0 on a fast-break goal with 7:27 left in the first quarter and fellow attackman Terry Riordan, after juking Towson goalie Jerry DeLorenzo who came out of the goal, scored with 4:24 remaining to make it 3-0.
Towson finally scored when attackman Joe Genovese scored on a high shot with 4:02 remaining. Genovese scored again on another high shot with 26 seconds left in the quarter to pull Towson within 3-2.
Genovese scored 1:19 into the second period, but the goal wa called off because of an illegal procedure penalty against Towson.
Brian Lukacz, stopped early in the first period, scored on a hig shot with 10:29 left in the half to give Johns Hopkins a 4-2 lead.
But Towson attackman John Blatchley, rolling around the goal to his right, beat a Johns Hopkins defender for a goal outside the crease for a goal with 5:51 left in the second quarter.
Johns Hopkins answered with a goal 36 seconds later as Lukacz scored from 15 yards out. Towson continued its error-prone ways later in the quarter as Wright, after the Blue Jays scooped up a loose ball at midfield, scored from the right of the crease with 3:54 left to put the Blue Jays ahead, 6-3.
The Blue Jays took control of the game when attackman Jef Wills scored with 2:41 remaining, but Towson seemed to get a lift when midfielder Lindsay Dixon scored with 18 seconds left in the half.
But Hopkins got an even bigger lift, winning the ensuing faceof and getting a goal from Piccola with two seconds left for an 8-4 halftime lead.
Towson picked up the pace in the third period. Attackman Stev Carcaterra scored 2:15 into the quarter, and Genovese scored his third goal 21 seconds later to pull Towson within 8-6.
Johns Hopkins 3 5 4 3 -- 15
Towson State 1 3 3 1 -- 8
Goals: JH--Piccola 6, Riordan 3, Lukacz 4, Wright 2; TS--Genovese 3, Barger, Dixon, Carcaterra, Blatchley. Assists: JH--Wills 5, Piccola 2, Lukacz 2, Vecchione; TS--Myers, Crotty. Shots: JH--44; T--40. Saves: JH--Giardina 16; T--DeLorenzo 16. Faceoffs: JH--15; T--8. Ground balls: JH--57; TS--57. Clears: JH 39/8; T 33/7. Extra man: JH 2 of 6; T 0 of 4. Penalties: JH 4 of 2:30; T 6 for 5:00.