Hopkins' patience masters Hofstra

Ball control, 4 late goals lift Blue Jays to 11-5 win

College Lacrosse

March 13, 2005|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Top-ranked Johns Hopkins proved to Hofstra the importance of two lacrosse basics -- winning faceoffs and controlling the ball -- in recording an 11-5 victory yesterday.

The Blue Jays won 18 of 20 faceoffs and kept possession for long stretches throughout the game at Homewood Field, particularly in the fourth quarter, when they scored the final four goals to pull away.

Hopkins (3-0) basically beat Hofstra at its own game. The Pride came into the contest determined to slow the tempo and did a good job, often staying within two goals and not letting the Blue Jays turn the game into a shootout.

But Hofstra still fell short as the Blue Jays won 90 percent of the faceoffs and showed patience.

The faceoff work of Lou Braun (13-for-15), Kyle Harrison (4-for-4) and Greg Peyser (1-for-1) allowed Hopkins to hold the ball for long stretches, which eventually helped Joe Benson (three goals, one assist), Peyser (two goals, one assist) and Kyle Barrie (two goals) do damage.

It was a major reason Hopkins broke the game open in the fourth quarter. John Keysor scored for Hofstra with 10 seconds left in the third period, cutting the lead to 7-5. But the Blue Jays had possession for the first six minutes of the fourth and broke the game open with three quick goals.

"We needed to be good on faceoffs going into Syracuse [on Friday]," said Hopkins coach Dave Pietramala, working his 100th game at the school. "I thought we were patient, and this was a very workmanlike win."

Hopkins needed the patience as Hofstra (0-3) came into the game trying to hold the ball and slow the pace. The Pride's strategy was to take the ball away from the Blue Jays, and it often fared well.

But Hopkins kept its poise and waited for its chances. It also saw how Hofstra had a short-stick defender or midfielder on Barrie and moved him behind the goal in the second half to give him more operating room -- a move that helped the offense go.

"On offense, you have to stick to your game plan and grind it out," Benson said. "When you know they're holding the ball, you want to get a quality shot. You don't want to come down and just fire it."

But the Blue Jays found good chances to shoot early in the fourth quarter. After winning the opening faceoff and holding the ball for a long stretch, Peyser scored on a low shot from the top of the box with 13:04 left.

Benson added an extra-man goal with 11:39 remaining to make it 9-5. Stephen Peyser then scored on a 10-yard shot with 9:42 left before Kevin Huntley closed the run with a quick move and shot against goalie Matt Southard at 7:04.

"We didn't touch it for the first six minutes of the period," said Hofstra coach John Danowski.

Jesse Schwartzman (six saves) made some big stops in the fourth quarter as the Pride tried to rally, but Hopkins' defense used strong games from, among others, Tom Garvey and Matt Pinto and long-stick midfielders Greg Raymond and Brendan Skakandi, to shut down Hofstra's offense.

Tim Treubig led Hofstra with two goals while Southard finished with 10 saves to keep the Pride close.

"They had a great game plan," Barrie said. "They're an exceptional group that works hard, and they gave us all we could handle."

Johns Hopkins 2 3 2 4 -- 11

Hofstra 0 3 2 0 -- 5

Goals: JH -- Benson 3, G. Peyser 2, Barrie 2, Harrison, Huntley, S. Peyser, LeSeur; H --Treubig 2, Keysor, Ianucci, Moyer. Assists: JH -- Benson, Harrison, Koesterer, G. Peyser, Rabil; H -- Bonaguro, Orsen, Treubig. Saves: JH -- Schwartzman 6; H -- Southard 10.

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