Virginia stuns Hopkins on Gilbert's goal in OT

Resurgent Cavaliers deal No. 1 Jays first loss, 9-8

March 28, 2004|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,SUN STAFF

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The Johns Hopkins men's lacrosse team returned to its house of horrors last night and again couldn't figure out a way to beat the Virginia Cavaliers.

Sophomore Foster Gilbert scored at the 2:43 mark of the first overtime, giving the 14th-ranked Cavaliers a 9-8 victory over top-ranked Johns Hopkins before 4,910 at Klockner Stadium.

It was the Cavaliers' seventh victory in eight games over the Blue Jays (5-1) in Charlottesville. Virginia (3-4), which has beaten Hopkins in nine of the teams' past 12 meetings - including last year's national championship - also improved to 11-3 under coach Dom Starsia when playing the nation's top-ranked team.

"It was tough to be in the middle of this," said Starsia, whose team's NCAA tournament hopes were thought to be in big trouble two weeks ago. "We aren't used to losing around here. It was tough on me, it was tough on the kids. You need to see the results of your hard work."

Gilbert, who also scored to inch the Cavaliers to within 8-7 at the 9:52 mark of the fourth quarter, was isolated on Blue Jays short-stick midfielder Benson Erwin behind the net. Gilbert worked around Erwin to the front of the goal before beating Blue Jays goalie Scott Smith up high to spur a wild celebration.

"We just said if they went man and I [drew] the short stick ... I was going to try to get a shot off," said Gilbert, whose two goals moved his career total to three. "[Erwin] gave me the whole side and I just sprinted to the goal."

Gilbert's heroics were made possible because of a fabulous save by Virginia's All-American goalie, Tillman Johnson. After the Blue Jays' Kyle Harrison won the first faceoff of overtime, Conor Ford was wide open from five yards out, but the Cavaliers senior, who was so dazzling in Virginia's 9-7 win over Hopkins in last year's final, made a fantastic reaction save.

"We knew when Tillman made a save like that, you know that they were going to come down and give us our money's worth," said Smith, who made 12 saves.

Hopkins nearly won the game in regulation. With Johnson out of the goal directing the clear attempt with 59 seconds left and the game tied at 8, the Blue Jays forced a turnover. Hopkins long-stick midfielder Corey Harned scooped the ball up and took a shot on goal, which was saved by Cavaliers midfielder Kyle Dixon, who had dropped back to protect the empty cage.

The Blue Jays trailed 6-5 to start the fourth quarter before going on one of the quick runs that are becoming their trademark this year.

Peter LeSueur finished a feed from Kevin Boland to tie the game at 6. Sophomore midfielder Kyle Dowd fired a bounce shot past Johnson (eight saves) 90 seconds later.

Boland gave Hopkins an 8-6 lead when, in transition, he received a feed from Harrison, took a couple of steps in and ripped a high shot past Johnson at the 11:27 mark of the fourth quarter.

Gilbert answered, and Matt Poskay followed by culminating a near four-minute possession with a high shot from 15 yards out that beat Smith to tie the game at 8 with 2:20 to play.

"We made a lot of mistakes and they capitalized," said Hopkins coach Dave Pietramala. "We lost to a good team tonight."

Johns Hopkins 2 1 2 3 0 - 8

Virginia 2 1 3 3 1 - 9

Goals: JHU-LeSueur 2, Boland 2, Rewkowski, Harrison, McDermott, Dowd; V-Dixon 2, Yevoli 2, Gilbert 2, Ward, Poskay, Gentry. Assists: JHU-Boland 2, LeSueur, Harrison, Ford; V-D. Thompson 2, Yevoli, Christmas, Gilbert, Little. Saves: JHU-Smith 10; V-Johnson 8, Dixon 1.

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