Hopkins strikes out vs. Syracuse, 14-13 Jays fail on 3 chances to tie in last 2 minutes

March 15, 1998|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Johns Hopkins' Dave Marks and A. J. Haugen sat side-by-side after the game, each staring at the floor with a hollow look and seemingly fuming inside.

Flashing before them were the three chances to tie Syracuse in )) the final two minutes. And one by one, the replays remained the same -- Hopkins self-destructed.

An overthrown ball. Offsides. Illegal procedure.

Those three mental mistakes sealed the defeat as No. 5 Hopkins bowed to top-ranked Syracuse, 14-13, yesterday before 4,234 at Homewood Field.

Orangemen attackman Casey Powell provided a lasting memory his last collegiate appearance in the area, scoring five goals and adding two assists. Syracuse got its first win at Homewood in seven years and is off to its first 3-0 start since 1990.

"We don't go offsides very much," Hopkins coach Tony Seaman said. "We don't make those kind of mistakes very often. I don't think we've done that five times in my career here. I wish I had an answer -- we could have corrected that before it happened.

"We were excited to get the ball across, excited about the opportunity to score with 45 seconds and counting. There are a couple of things that we have to find answers so you don't do that in May, where there is no tomorrow."

Trailing 14-11 midway through the fourth, the Blue Jays (2-2) rallied behind Dudley Dixon on two extra-man opportunities.

Dixon cut the deficit to two goals with a low, bouncing shot from 16 yards out. Less than a minute later, Dixon drove through Syracuse's man-down zone and found Matt O'Kelly in front of the goal to get Hopkins within 14-13 with 6: 18 remaining.

Then the Blue Jays' composure slowly dissolved with two minutes left.

First mistake: Kevin Kaiser's throwing a cross-field pass out of bounds on a clear with 1: 51 remaining. Second mistake: John Paleologos' going offsides on a clearing situation 38 seconds later. Third mistake: goalkeeper Brian Carcaterra's stepping out of the attack zone and back into it, turning the ball over for the final time with 35 seconds left.

That's three opportunities, and all ended without Hopkins moving the ball past midfield. The Orangemen ran out the final seconds as Casey and Ryan Powell took turns controlling the ball.

"I think we're a very good lacrosse team with a lot of potential to be better," Seaman said. "I think we have to improve upon decisions that we make. If you do that, we're going to be a force to reckoned with. That's the No. 1 team in the country, they tell us, and it's just a one-goal difference."

Syracuse looked impressive early, pulling out to a 6-2 lead when Casey Powell hit a cutting Matt Cutia for an extra-man goal 1 1/2 minutes into the second quarter. After a crease violation overturned a Ryan Powell goal for the Orangemen, Hopkins responded with a 5-1 run and tied the game at 7 on a Haugen dodge three minutes before halftime.

"The big thing was we were rushing," Seaman said. "We were not giving ourself offensively the time to set up and allowed them to concentrate on the guy with the ball. Once we started moving it around and making them worry about other people, we started to shoot better, too."

While Hopkins never led, Syracuse couldn't expand its lead past two goals until Casey Powell and Devin Ockerman scored back-to-back goals in a 19-second span to put the Orangemen ahead 14-11 with 8: 56 left in the game.

"We never play well with sand in our shoes and a suntan," said Syracuse coach Roy Simmons, referring to the Orangemen's stay in Boca Raton, Fla., this past week. "We played a little better today. We did what it takes. After they came back to tie it before halftime, we had a 30-minute dogfight."

Pub Date: 3/15/98

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