Two late goals get JHU past Hofstra for first win, 7-6

Attack struggles again, before Doneger wins it

College Lacrosse

March 11, 2001|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

Down by a goal late and looking straight at the prospect of its first 0-2 start since 1971, Johns Hopkins instead persevered in its home opener against Hofstra yesterday at Homewood Field.

Sophomore Adam Doneger made sure, taking a feed from freshman Joe McDermott and going high from the left side with 1:32 left to send the No. 5 Blue Jays to a 7-6 win that gave first-year coach Dave Pietramala his first win at his alma mater.

Controlled in an 8-4 season-opening loss at Princeton last weekend, Hopkins' young attack didn't exactly break out yesterday against a Hofstra team that surrendered 17 goals each in losses to Massachusetts and Loyola.

But the Blue Jays found the answers when needed, getting the equalizer from sophomore Bobby Benson (McDonogh) just two minutes before Doneger's game-winner.

"I give our guys a lot of credit. They showed a lot of character today for a young team in the offensive end to be able to come back and get big goals when we really needed it," said Pietramala. "We just need to experience some success. I think today was a great opportunity to grow in a tight situation. When we called on them, we got a big goal and I got to hope they'll take some confidence from that."

Content on slowing down the tempo on offense while getting a solid afternoon from goalkeeper J.P. Brazel (14 saves) at the other end, No. 16 Hofstra (0-3) was looking for a quick cure to its slow start and appeared to be onto something.

Scott Dooley provided a 6-5 lead with 4:41 left, but the Pride's slow-down approach turned out to only slow it down in the closing minutes.

"Offensively, we tried to be real patient, but sometimes that goes against you," said Hofstra coach John Danowski. "We would really like to play up-tempo, but we felt in order to be successful, we had to play the slower tempo. And you saw at the end of the game, we had a whole bunch of opportunities and we didn't make them."

Freshman Conor Ford (St. Paul's) scored his first career goal and added another in the first half for the Blue Jays. Senior Conor Denihan also scored twice, the second his 50th career goal. McDermott assisted on three goals - including the last two.

The game-winner came shortly after the Blue Jays gained possession of a loose ball at midfield. McDermott worked his way from behind the cage from the right before finding Doneger sneaking in from the left side.

"Our midfielders practiced that all week - dodge hard, draw the guy and it was there," said McDermott. "Adam came hard, I saw him and that was a nice shot he took - right in the top corner, perfect."

Ford said the Blue Jays' patience after the Pride slowed things down prevailed.

"On the offensive end for us, it makes us sort of want to do something right away. But the times we did that, we ended up getting turnovers and not making good decisions," he said. "But when we settled it down, we got some good looks and scored goals."

The Blue Jays got another strong performance at the defensive end, something they will count on as the inexperienced attack continues to settle in.

"We got a lot of youth in the offensive end and I think what you're going to see right now from Hopkins is our defense carrying us as our offense continues to grow," said Pietramala. "And we need to grow at a quicker pace. I'm not going to hide anything."

Hopkins travels to Syracuse next Saturday.

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