The guys with the long sticks got the short end at Homewood Field yesterday.
Johns Hopkins outgunned Towson State, 22-16, in the first round of the NCAA tournament, and the 38 goals made it the highest-scoring game in the 24-year history of the tournament.
"Welcome to another defensive struggle," Blue Jays coach Tony Seaman said. "Seriously, the only thing in the world that matters is the scoreboard, and the fact that we're going to Princeton. A lot of the energy and dedication that we've put into this season involved getting another chance to play them."
Sixth-seeded Hopkins (9-4) began the season with a 20-11 loss to Princeton, and the Blue Jays will travel to New Jersey for Saturday's quarterfinals seeking revenge and their third straight berth in the Final Four.
In All-America goalie Scott Bacigalupo and company, Hopkins will face a different kind of Tiger than the ones they blew by yesterday.
The Blue Jays established a fast pace yesterday, then prospered in settled situations or in transition, one-on-one or on the rebound. Hopkins connected on 45.8 percent of its shots, and that's with five shots hitting pipe and Towson State sophomore goalie Brian Whalen stopping another five from point-blank range.
It was the most goals allowed by Towson State since 1982, when the Tigers were bombed by North Carolina State, 29-19.
The Blue Jays last exceeded that goal total against a Division I opponent in 1985 when they beat Navy 24-10. The 22 goals matched their previous NCAA tournament high, established against Maryland in 1977.
Hopkins was also involved in the old NCAA tournament record-holder for most combined goals, a 21-16 semifinal loss to Syracuse two years ago.
Two weeks ago, Johns Hopkins squeaked past 11th-seeded Towson State, 13-9. The Tigers owned the faceoffs that day, but Seaman took a bite out of their dominance by matching Milford Marchant against national leader Mark Goers, sending regular Peter Jacobs out against Tim Lucky, and pushing for better work from the wings.
Goers and Lucky still gave Towson State a 24-16 edge in faceoffs, but just as in their earlier meeting, the Tigers (7-5) didn't take good care of the ball.
Towson didn't attempt to slow the pace this time, either, and found itself down 5-1 after 13 minutes. Johns Hopkins took control with a 4-0 spurt that actually was fueled at its defensive end, where the Tigers threw the ball away when it wasn't being checked out of their sticks.
Terry Riordan hit three pipes and had a one-on-one stopped by Whalen in the first 20 minutes, but Hopkins still had an 8-2 lead. Towson answered with four goals in less than two minutes to cut it to 8-6, and got within two again early in the third quarter. But Riordan scored twice in a 4-1, three-minute spurt, and the Tigers couldn't get closer than four goals in the last 20 minutes.
Riordan and 1993 first-team All-American Brian Piccola each had four goals, raising their three-season totals to 131 and 111, respectively, Nos. 3 and 5 all-time at Hopkins.
Gilman grads Chris Macon and Casey Gordon had three goals apiece and Marchant (Severn) collected two goals and three assists, but the Blue Jays' top point-getter was sophomore feeder Dave Marr, who had two goals and four assists.
Poor shooting led to midseason losses to Virginia and North Carolina in which Hopkins scored a total of only 17 goals, but Riordan said there were other reasons for the slump.
"We weren't shooting well, but we were also getting out of the offense," Riordan said. "There are six guys on offense, and all of them were trying to go one-on-one. We're working better together now."
The Blue Jays need the goals, because their defense has been on the mend all season. Sophomore goalie Jonathan Marcus is directing one starter who was around at the beginning of the season, two regulars having gone out with knee injuries. Senior Carmen Cavolo (Dulaney) is in the back with freshmen Brian Kuczma and Aaron Van Horn.
Towson coach Carl Runk is encouraged because his team is young. The Tigers have only three seniors among their top 19. Freshman Dudley Dixon and junior David Quinn led them with four goals apiece.
LACROSSE TOURNAMENT RESULTS
MEN'S DIVISION I
Hopkins 22, Towson 16 Duke 14, Maryland 9
Brown 12, Navy 5 Virginia 23, Notre Dame 4
WOMEN'S DIVISION I
Loyola 9, Harvard 4 Virginia 8, Wm. & Mary 4
Coverage: 12C, 14-15C