Syracuse holds off Hopkins rally, 14-13 Win is Orangemen's 1st over Jays since '93

March 16, 1997|By Donna Ditota | Donna Ditota,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Johns Hopkins lacrosse coach Tony Seaman stared glumly at the statistics sheet, the one that illustrated his team's effort yesterday at the Carrier Dome.

In particular, he saw the 55 shots that translated into 13 goals, and he wasn't happy with the math.

"Our offense," he said, "let us down today."

The Blue Jays' offense revived late in the game but it wasn't enough, as second-ranked Johns Hopkins fell, 14-13, to No. 4 Syracuse before 9,511 underneath the big, bubbled roof.

The victory was Syracuse's first over Hopkins since 1993, also at the dome.

"We did not want to go home losing," said Hopkins attackman Dudley Dixon, who led the Blue Jays (2-2) with three goals. "It's a long ride home with a loss. Everybody dug really deep."

The problem for the Blue Jays, though, was that by the time they excavated their offense, the Orangemen owned a 14-9 advantage.

The teams were tied 5-5 at halftime, which pleased Seaman. The Blue Jays had shut down Casey Powell, holding the Orangemen's leading scorer to one assist. They had outshot the Orangemen, hustled to more ground balls and held an 8-4 edge in faceoffs.

And the pace was more ponderous than precipitous, which fit Hopkins' plan. The Orangemen, who average 18.3 goals, had attempted 22 first-half shots and connected on five.

"We were playing Syracuse to single digits, and that's what we wanted to accomplish," Hopkins goalie Brian Carcaterra said.

It took 2 minutes, 5 seconds for Syracuse to fix that.

The Orangemen and their developing freshman midfielder, Tim Byrnes, won three straight faceoffs to open the third quarter. And quicker than Hopkins could say "defense," the Orangemen had sprinted to the cage and shoved in a shot.

Powell found Matt Cutia, Cutia fed Doug Jackson, then Matt Caione fired low and left on Carcaterra.

By the time Ryan Cummings, a Hopkins transfer, located Rob Kavovit on the fast break and Kavovit deposited another Syracuse goal, the Orangemen had opened a 9-5 advantage.

"It was 8-5," said Syracuse goalie Jason Gebhardt, "before the ball ever came down to our side of the field."

"That won the game for 'em," said Seaman.

Maybe, but Hopkins still had some fight left.

The Blue Jays scored four goals in the final seven minutes to create some late-game excitement.

Gebhardt, who made a couple of colossal saves earlier, said he couldn't see the ball clearly during the stretch. The Syracuse defense, so stalwart for most of the game, couldn't contain Hopkins in the waning minutes.

A costly Syracuse turnover here, a missed assignment there, and the door opened slightly. Goals by Billy Evans, Dave Marks, Werner Krueger and Andrew Godfrey nearly swung it wide open.

"We would have loved to have 30 more seconds," Dixon said.

By the time Godfrey finished juking past the Syracuse defense to rattle in Hopkins' 13th goal, only six seconds remained. The Orangemen (3-1) had survived.

Pub Date: 3/16/97

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