Hopkins holds off the cold, UMBC, 9-6

Harrison, G. Peyser deny determined Retrievers

College Lacrosse

March 09, 2005|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,SUN STAFF

Top-ranked Johns Hopkins expected a fight last night, and UMBC brought it to Homewood Field, where windy, bitter cold conditions turned the turf into a parking lot and the Blue Jays needed their resourcefulness to avoid a major upset.

Hopkins junior midfielder Greg Peyser scored a career-high four goals to put the Blue Jays in seemingly comfortable position, but it was senior midfielder Kyle Harrison who nudged the Blue Jays over the top. His 10-yard shot caromed off Retrievers senior goalie Kevin Cepelak and trickled into the goal with 3:24 left, stopping UMBC's momentum, and proving to be the decisive score in a 9-6 victory before 624.

The Blue Jays (2-0) won their 28th consecutive home game by dropping the Retrievers to 0-3 for the first time since 1985. UMBC also faced Hopkins for the first time since 1984, when current Retrievers coach Don Zimmerman was beginning his coaching stint at Homewood, where he won the first of three national titles that year.

Last night, Zimmerman had his team in position to take down his old school. The Retrievers, who got three goals from junior attackman Brendan Mundorf, won seven of nine faceoffs in the first half and controlled the tempo with a slow-down attack. They fed off a courageous 14-save effort from Cepelak, who took a shot off his right knee during an eight-save third quarter.

But UMBC could not convert on four extra-man opportunities, could not stop a relentless Hopkins offense or break a steady Blue Jays defense that wobbled early in the fourth quarter. After Mundorf, senior midfielder Joe Cahill and freshman midfielder Terry Kimener scored to pull the Retrievers within 7-6 with 8:40 left, Harrison stopped the comeback.

"There were times when we got out of our rhythm, but we got it back together," said Harrison, who had two goals and two assists. "I'd seen where [the UMBC defense] was sliding from, and I was able to step down to about 10 yards [out]. I was fortunate enough to get it into the back of the net and give us a cushion."

"That's the coldest weather I've ever played in," added Peyser, who helped stake the Blue Jays to a 7-3 lead after three quarters, before sealing it with an open-net score with 1:19 left. "It was hard to catch, hard to throw. The turf was as hard as concrete."

Although Hopkins outshot UMBC 45-20 and got another solid effort from sophomore goalie Jesse Schwartzman (eight saves), the Blue Jays were tested, early and late.

After Hopkins took a 3-2 lead into the second quarter, the Retrievers had a chance to grab some momentum three minutes into the period. Hopkins committed two penalties, including a slash on Schwartzman. Into the game came freshman backup Graydon Locey, who had replaced normal backup Scott Smith (bruised collarbone). Locey promptly made a save on a 5-yard shot, and UMBC barely got a shot off the rest of the period.

Harrison and senior attackman Peter LeSueur then scored unassisted goals late in the quarter to give the Blue Jays a 5-2 halftime lead.

"UMBC is a good team. They were kind of like a trapped rat needing a win," Hopkins coach Dave Pietramala said. "Tonight was good for us."

"This team is a bunch of scrappers. For three outings, they've given what I consider a terrific effort," said Zimmerman, whose Retrievers have lost by a total of six goals.

UMBC 2 0 1 3 - 6

Johns Hopkins 3 2 2 2 - 9

Goals: UMBC-Mundorf 3, Gallagher, Cahill, Kimener; JH-Peyser 4, Harrison 2, Byrne, LeSueur, Huntley. Assists: UMBC-Cahill 2, Gallagher 2, Mundorf, Westerfield; JH-Harrison 2, Byrne, LeSueur, Rabil. Saves: UMBC-Cepelak 14; JH-Schwartzman 8, Locey 1.

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