Hopkins' 11-0 closing run sinks Towson

Blue Jays win, 17-9, after losing top scorer Barrie

College Lacrosse

April 27, 2003|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,SUN STAFF

Dave Pietramala, Johns Hopkins located its composure about the time Towson lost its cool, and the result was two college lacrosse games for the price of one.

The top-ranked Blue Jays lost leading scorer Kyle Barrie to a bruised hand in the 19th minute, fell behind at the half for the first time all season and trailed by three in the third quarter, but ran off the final 11 goals to repel the Tigers' upset bid and post a 17-9 victory last night.

"Earlier in the year, I questioned the character of our team," Hopkins coach Dave Pietramala said. "I will challenge it, but I would never question it again."

Minnegan Field at Towson Stadium and a crowd of 4,025 enjoyed a game loaded with angles, as the Blue Jays won their seventh straight this season and seventh in a row in their series with the Tigers.

Ninth-ranked Towson wanted to give Tony Seaman his 200th win as a college lacrosse coach. He had plenty of personal motivation, since 77 of those came at Johns Hopkins, which forced him out after the 1998 season.

Towson (6-5), which is unbeaten when it reaches double figures, had nine players score a single goal in the first 34 minutes, but none found the net over the final 26. Hopkins (10-1) required a balanced effort, as Barrie took his 27 goals and 17 assists to the bench with 11:37 left in the first half.

A game of runs ended with the Blue Jays' biggest of the season.

Hopkins scored three goals in a row to go up 3-1. Towson had a 5-1 spurt, then took a 9-6 lead on Ryan Obloj's goal with 11:08 remaining in the third quarter.

Long-stick midfielder Danny Cocchi had silenced Adam Doneger in particular, and an assortment of ploys had quieted the Blue Jays offense in general. The Tigers were tamed by a series of penalties, blown clears and other self-inflicted wounds, however, as Hopkins exploded over the final 23 minutes.

Down a man and clinging to a 9-8 lead with five minutes left in the third quarter, Towson goalie Reed Sothoron turned back shots from Bobby Benson and Conor Ford. Ford knotted it seconds later, however, Benson put Hopkins ahead for good with 1:02 left in the period and the Tigers surrendered seven goals in the fourth quarter.

The Blue Jays had two extra-man opportunities in the first half, eight in the second.

"The turn of events was unbelievable," Seaman said. "We played as well as we can play, but then we lost our composure and they [the Blue Jays] shot great. It's tough to play with eight or nine guys."

In Barrie's absence, Ford (St. Paul's) moved to attack and had a career-high five assists. Kevin Boland (Gilman) had four goals, and Benson (McDonogh) and Doneger waited the Tigers out to finish with three apiece. At the other end, goalie Rob Scherr (McDonogh) had eight of his 12 saves in the second half.

"The first half was the worst of my life," Scherr said. "I couldn't save anything, but then we settled down."

Johns Hopkins 4 1 5 7 - 17

Towson 4 3 2 0 - 9

Goals: JHU-Boland 4, Benson 3, Doneger 3, LeSueur 2, G. Peyser 2, Ford, Barrie, Harrison; T-Chane, Cittadino, DeFelice, Florio, Lochte, Myers, Monaco, Obloj, Spear. Assists: JHU-Chane 2, Lochte, Obloj, Pfarr, Rutledge; T-Ford 5, LeSueur 2, Barrie, Benson, Boland, McDermott. Saves: JHU-Scherr 12; T-Sothoron 12.

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