Hopkins dominates opener, 15-3

No. 1 Jays top Providence, will face UNC in quarters

College Lacrosse

May 16, 2004|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,SUN STAFF

Providence men's lacrosse coach Chris Burdick knew what awaited him at Homewood Field yesterday, and Johns Hopkins offered no surprises.

From the opening faceoff of its 15-3 trouncing of the unseeded Friars in an NCAA tournament first-round encounter, top-seeded, top-ranked Hopkins looked like the program that has maintained a longtime presence in May, and resembled the deep, talented, balanced team that has rolled through the 2004 season.

Hopkins is appearing in its 33rd straight NCAA tournament. Providence was tasting its first postseason trip. The Friars did all they could to interrupt the Blue Jays' flow. Providence slowed the game at times in the first half by holding the ball for as long as three minutes before shooting. They threw zones and junk defenses at Hopkins.

The Blue Jays (12-1), who won for the 27th consecutive time at home, earned a rematch with eighth-seeded North Carolina on Saturday in the quarterfinals at Virginia and are determined to win their first NCAA title in 17 years, refused to break stride in any area.

Eight different players scored. Hopkins recorded 11 assists, ripped through the Providence defense with unerring ball movement and scored 11 unanswered goals in the middle of the game to stretch its lead to 15-2 at the end of the third quarter. Three different Blue Jays combined to win 17 of 21 faceoffs, and Hopkins only had to attempt eight clears.

Defensively, Hopkins was airtight. It shut out Providence (9-8) for a stretch of 41:07 and permitted just seven shots in the second half. Freshman goalie Jesse Schwartzman replaced sophomore Scott Smith after he suffered a groin injury during pre-game warm-ups, and the freshman from Pikesville High cruised while making nine saves.

"Offensively, they move the ball as well as any team I've ever seen, and I've been following Hopkins athletics since I was a kid," Burdick said. "Eventually, they get themselves in a one-on-one matchup situation. They bury their shots, and they're so unselfish."

Attackmen Conor Ford and Kyle Barrie led Hopkins with three goals apiece, but the day belonged more to senior midfielder Kevin Boland and junior attackman Peter LeSueur.

Boland finished with two goals and two assists, and took over the career assist lead among midfielders in Hopkins history by passing four-time first-team All-American Del Dressel. Boland, who has 77 career assists, seized the record with his first feed, which resulted in a goal by LeSueur that put the Blue Jays up 3-1 in the first quarter.

LeSueur finished with two goals and a team-high four assists.

Hopkins, which has qualified for the quarterfinals for 14 straight seasons, scored at will yesterday while taking 41 shots in the first three periods. After Tom Kelly (two goals) scored to cut the Blue Jays' lead to 4-2 with 4:25 left in the first quarter, the Blue Jays went on an 11-0 run over the next 31:25.

"I'm really glad to see how well-dispersed our scoring was," said Hopkins coach Dave Pietramala, whose Blue Jays came from behind to edge Carolina, 10-9, on April 3. "Now we've got to get back to work. North Carolina is playing as well as any team in the country. They're a formidable opponent."

Providence 2 0 0 1 - 3

Johns Hopkins 5 6 4 0 - 15

Goals: P: Kelly 2, Kornobis. JH: Ford 3, Barrie 3, LeSueur 2, Boland 2, Harrison 2, Rewkowski, Dowd, Potucek. Assists: P: Bosco. JH: LeSueur 4, Byrne 2, Boland 2, Barrie, Ford, Rewkowski. Saves: P: McMinn 7, Westgate 9, JH: Schwartzman 9.

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