Late pelting sends Jays swooning, 16-8

6-0 burst in final 6: 17 propels No. 2 Virginia

Hopkins falls to 1-3

March 26, 2000|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,SUN STAFF

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- After getting pounded by a relentless Virginia offense during a fourth quarter his team would rather forget, all Johns Hopkins goalkeeper Brian Carcaterra could do was salute the Cavaliers.

Carcaterra was far from the only one to blame for a crunch-time collapse that underscored yesterday's 16-8 rout by No. 2 Virginia before 3,428 at Klockner Stadium.

No one had a better vantage point from which to view Virginia's dominance than Carcaterra. He weathered an unanswered six-goal burst over the final 6: 17 that closed out the scoring and sent the No. 6 Blue Jays home on an embarrassing note.

It was the largest victory margin by Virginia in the 69-game series with Hopkins that dates to 1904. The 16 goals scored by the Cavaliers matched the highest number ever surrendered by the Blue Jays in the series. That last occurred 10 months ago in the NCAA semifinals, a 16-11 Virginia victory that was its next-to-last step toward a national championship.

One might say the Cavaliers have the Blue Jays' number.

"They take such precision shots. They don't waste any," said Carcaterra, who had 17 saves. "They are a patient team that waits for their chances, and they don't take too many shots outside of 6 or 7 yards.

"We fouled a lot, turned the ball over too much, extended ourselves too much trying to make a big play," he added. "There's only so many times you can give them second opportunities before the bubble bursts. They whipped us."

The Blue Jays (1-3) concluded a March schedule in which they failed for the third time to beat a team ranked in the top five. This was the most discouraging loss of the trio.

Virginia, which has won four straight after dropping its season opener to Syracuse in overtime, won with the style of a champion.

The Cavaliers took a 7-3 halftime lead, running excellent transition offense while capitalizing on sloppy ball-handling and poor extra-man offense by the Blue Jays. They took Hopkins' best shot in the third quarter, when the Blue Jays got great midfield play and a combined four goals by freshman attackmen Bobby Benson (team-high four goals) and Adam Doneger to cut the lead to 8-7 at the end of the period.

With sophomore attackman Conor Gill leading them, the Cavaliers then put Hopkins in their rearview mirror, first by easing to a 10-8 advantage early in the fourth quarter, then by blowing them out with superior depth and tremendous shooting.

"We kind of exploded," said Gill, who led the way with four goals and two assists, including two goals in the decisive run. "We never really got nervous. We knew what we were capable of doing."

David Bruce, a redshirt senior who shifted from attack and has become a key performer on Virginia's second midfield unit, added three goals, along with front-line midfielder Jay Jalbert.

Bruce symbolizes the Cavaliers' depth. He already has 12 goals this season, more than any Hopkins player has produced thus far. And after Gill started the game-ending run with an unassisted goal, Bruce poured in two straight to make it 13-8 with 4: 14 left.

Gill added his final goal with a behind-the-back shot on the crease to make it 14-8 with 3: 02 left.

Virginia coach Dom Starsia thought Hopkins wore down in the face of too many numbers. The Cavaliers ran three solid midfield groups at Hopkins, which is still shuffling its roster.

Hopkins coach John Haus, trying to get production out of a second midfield unit that had one goal in three games, moved Ryan Quinn and Joe Driscoll into the second group yesterday.

It didn't work. What's more, the Blue Jays' front-line players were barely visible. When he wasn't picking off passes, Virginia's All-America defenseman Ryan Curtis was stuffing attackman Dan Denihan, who was held to two assists. Midfielder Conor Denihan, fresh off a five-goal effort in Syracuse, was scoreless.

The Blue Jays did not help themselves by failing on four of five extra-man chances, or by missing 27 of 35 shots.

Haus wore a look of disgust after the game, and dismissed the notion that the Blue Jays got tired.

"We're just too inconsistent right now. We've got too much selfish play," he said. "I'll take responsibility for that. I've got to get them to play well on a consistent basis, not just for a quarter.

"We have to become a team. We are not a team right now."

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