Virginia defeats Hopkins

March 27, 1994|By Mike Preston | Mike Preston,Sun Staff Writer

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- The problems are back, the ones that keep a good Johns Hopkins lacrosse team from being a great one.

The go-to guys didn't take charge, especially in crunch time. The Blue Jays' goaltending is no longer suspect, but has been exposed as a problem area. And Johns Hopkins can't seem to maintain a level of consistency for an entire game.

No. 5 Virginia scored three consecutive goals during a two-minute stretch in the final five minutes to defeat No. 2 Johns Hopkins, 11-8, yesterday at Klockner Stadium.

The loss came one week after the Blue Jays (3-2) scored seven straight goals midway in the second half in their upset of then-No. 1 Syracuse.

Yesterday, it was Virginia (4-1) that took control late in the game. Cavaliers midfielder Michael Watson scored on an underhand, extra-man goal with 4:24 remaining to put Virginia ahead, 9-7.

Virginia midfielder Andrew Dausch beat Hopkins defender Brian Kuczma to the left of the crease for a goal with 3:08 left. Virginia midfielder Greg Traynor scored his third goal of the game with 2:34 left, and that gave the Cavaliers a four-goal lead with 2:34 remaining.

"This is the biggest win for us under him," said Traynor, pointing to second-year coach Dom Starsia. "He asked for a lot of people to step up for this game, and we responded."

A week ago, Johns Hopkins coach Tony Seaman made a similar challenge to his offense, and the Blue Jays responded with 19 goals against the Orangemen.

Yesterday, he got little from his two biggest stars, attackmen Terry Riordan and Brian Piccola, who were corralled by Craig Ronald and Matt Crisp, respectively.

Piccola had two goals and one assist, but his last goal came with 19 seconds left. Riordan had one goal.

"We match up well with them," Ronald said. "I think we did our jobs, but the unsung heroes may have been our midfielders."

Piccola and Riordan are dangerous shooting off picks from passes behind the goal. Virginia midfielders cut down their passing lanes and forced them to dodge more. "We just didn't feel they were strong with the ball on the dodge," Starsia said. "I think we got to their short sticks well."

Seaman said: "Terry and Brian played well, but the other two guys just played better. They shot better, played well and they won. That's it."

Seaman was mildly upset about the Blue Jays' play (Virginia held a 59-43 edge in ground balls and outshot the Blue Jays, 44-34), but more disturbed at the call that allowed Watson's extra-man goal.

Players from both teams were involved in a pileup for a ball outside the Hopkins crease when Blue Jays defender Carmen Cavolo was called for a one-minute illegal body check.

"The official closest to the play didn't make the call, the one from here did," said Seaman, pointing to the penalty area. "It was unbelievable. He never told me what was the call. They soon score and then go up by two."

"That's the biggest play. It turned the game around," said Seaman, whose team was penalized six times, the same as Virginia.

Seaman had other problems with the officials. At halftime, as his team cleared the field, Seaman stood on the sideline and stared at the crew standing at midfield. A Johns Hopkins assistant drew unsportsmanlike conduct penalty with five seconds left.

But Hopkins had another problem. Blue Jays goalie Jonathan Marcus had 18 saves, but this wasn't one of his better games. Marcus has allowed 74 goals this season.

The Cavaliers think he might be over-coached. "You could tell he watched a lot of film," Traynor said. "He knew I liked to shoot low, so in the first quarter he would have his stick there before I shot. After he stopped a couple, I just decided to go high, and he had trouble. Then I would fake high and then go low."

Some of the other Cavaliers had success against Marcus early as Virginia led 3-1 after the first quarter. The Blue Jays scored the first three goals in the second period, but couldn't hold the lead. Blue Jays midfielder Chris Macon had to score on a low bouncer with 5:05 left to force a 5-5 tie at the half.

Virginia had a 7-5 lead with 8:56 left in the third period and held it at the end of the period when midfielder Chris Drigg scored on a running shot with 18 seconds left that caught Marcus out of position and gave Virginia an 8-6 lead at the end of the quarter.

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