In tuneup, Hopkins hits a few sour notes

With Terps game looming, lethargic Blue Jays down unranked Ohio State, 17-8

April 12, 1999|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,SUN STAFF

Johns Hopkins' minor tuneup created some major headaches yesterday.

The No. 3 Blue Jays disavowed any notions of looking ahead toward Friday's showdown with rival Maryland, but seemed distracted in laboring to a 17-8 victory over Ohio State in front of 422 at Homewood Field.

Ahead only 10-7 late in the third quarter, Hopkins (6-1) bailed itself out with a 7-1 game-ending run. The Buckeyes (4-3) surprised many by hanging around so long since they have no scholarship players on their roster and were routed 21-0 just three weeks ago by Virginia, their only other contest against a top 10 opponent.

"As a team, I don't think we really looked ahead," said attackman Dylan Schlott, who had six goals and two assists. "At the beginning, we were a little sloppy and didn't adjust to a couple of defenses they threw at us. But we got it going."

Ohio State devised a unique scheme especially for the Blue Jays.

The Buckeyes set up in a box-and-two zone, assigning their two short-stick defenders to shut off Dan Denihan and the Blue Jays' top midfield threat on the field while their four long-stick defensemen packed in the middle. That formation confused Hopkins in the first half and limited the Blue Jays to 23 percent shooting (7-for-30).

"I told the guys: We have nothing to lose," said Ohio State coach Joe Breschi, whose Buckeyes will be fully funded in two years. "This is the No. 3 team in the country, we're at the mecca of lacrosse and we're on TV. The pressure is not on us, so just go out there and enjoy it."

Hopkins also seemed to be off on its pre-game assessment of Ohio State goalkeeper Mike Abeles and the Buckeyes' offense.

The Blue Jays tested the 6-foot-6, 230-pound Abeles exclusively low early in the game, but managed just three goals in the first 21 minutes as Abeles turned away 10 shots.

Then, Hopkins found itself flat-footed on defense against Ohio State's deliberate, spread attack. Slipping players behind the Blue Jays' defense, the Buckeyes had a virtual layup drill against Hopkins goalkeeper Brian Carcaterra.

So although Ohio State took only 13 shots in the first 35 minutes, it converted on seven. The Buckeyes exposed Hopkins with 5: 12 left in the third quarter when they found Buddy Lange and Sandy Boyce wide open on the crease in a span of less than two minutes to cut the margin to 10-7.

"They had some set plays that caught us off guard a little bit," Hopkins coach John Haus said. "We've been working hard on the defensive end because we feel we're not where we need to be right now."

To Hopkins' credit, the Blue Jays didn't become anxious and patiently discovered the seams in Ohio State's zone, as well as varying their shots. Schlott's goal with 3: 07 left in the third initiated a game-turning, seven-goal spurt over the next 11 minutes.

Blue Jays first-team All-America midfielder A. J. Haugen, who had been sidelined for the past month with a hamstring injury, made an impact in his first game back, scoring twice including an extra-man goal in that final run. Haugen said he is about 90 percent healthy heading into the Maryland game.

Pub Date: 4/12/99

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