Hopkins weathers Irish in overtime

Kimmel scores winner after game is delayed twice by lightning

Johns Hopkins 11 Notre Dame 10

NCAA men's lacrosse

May 13, 2007|By Mike Preston | Mike Preston,Sun Reporter

Freshman midfielder Michael Kimmel scored one minute into the four-minute, sudden-death overtime period as third-seeded Johns Hopkins defeated Notre Dame, 11-10, in an opening-round game of the NCAA Division I men's lacrosse tournament last night at Homewood Field.

Kimmel beat midfielder Taylor Clagett from behind and right of the goal to pull out the win for the Blue Jays, who advanced to the quarterfinals Saturday at Princeton University. Kimmel, out of Loyola High, didn't have one of his better games this season, but he had his biggest goal.

"I just tried to go to the goal," Kimmel said. "I thought they were pressing out on some other guys, so I thought I had to make a play. I really don't remember everything because it happened so fast. I knew when I fell coming around that if I didn't try to throw the ball toward the goal, it would have been a turnover and gone to the other end. I guess I just kind of tossed it. I didn't see it. I don't practice that shot."

Kimmel's heroics touched off a celebration at one end of the field by Hopkins players, but winning one-goal games has become routine. Hopkins (10-4) has won 16 of its past 17 and 20 of its past 23 one-goal games. The Blue Jays are 29-6 in one-goal games under Dave Pietramala, who became head coach at the beginning of the 2001 season.

"The first thing [goalie] Jesse [Schwartzman] told me is that we're undefeated in overtime," Blue Jays senior attackman Jake Byrne said. "Coach always tells us that we're going to win one-goal games because we work hard."

Hopkins won last night because the Blue Jays played hard. They weren't near the top of their game, but they won faceoffs and ground balls, and they rode the Fighting Irish tough when Notre Dame tried to clear the ball.

Hopkins seemed to have the game won in regulation, but Notre Dame's Mike Creighton stripped the Blue Jays' Paul Rabil of the ball with 35 seconds left in the fourth quarter and Hopkins leading 10-9.

Creighton ran half the field and passed to midfielder Brian Hubschmann outside the restraining line. Hubschmann then threw a low pass to attackman Ryan Hoff, who scored just outside the crease with nine seconds left in regulation to send the game into overtime.

"That was a really good lacrosse game," Pietramala said. `It was sloppy at times, but both teams put together gutty performances. You had two rain delays and momentum changes, and that's tougher than anyone can imagine. Notre Dame is one tough lacrosse team, and they are well coached. We didn't play our best game, but part of it was due to ourselves, and part of it was due to Notre Dame."

There were two lightning delays, one in the third quarter that last 34 minutes, and the other in the first, which lasted 44. After the second one, Notre Dame (11-4) scored two goals in the final minutes of the third period. Midfielder Michael Podgajny, on a double-spin move, scored with 2:19 remaining. Byrne answered with a long-range shot with 1:36 left, but Hubschmann closed out the scoring in the quarter with a goal with one second left to pull Notre Dame within 8-7.

The opening of the third quarter was pretty ragged for both teams, but Schwartzman saved the Blue Jays. During one 30-second span, he saved three point-blank shots, including two back-to-back from Hoff and Hubschmann.

The Blue Jays' first two goals of the third quarter were the results of out-hustling the Fighting Irish for ground balls. After a skirmish near the left sideline, Hopkins attackman Kevin Huntley won the ground ball and then hurled a pass to Rabil. Rabil, standing just outside the restraining line, hurled a low shot past goalie Joey Kemp to tie the score at 4 with 9:40 left in the third quarter.

Byrne picked up a loose ball to the right of the goal 65 seconds later, then scored on a short shot to give the Blue Jays their first lead of the game at 5-4.

Notre Dame, on an extra-man opportunity, got a goal from midfielder Brett Vecchio with 7:40 left in the third quarter, but Hopkins midfielder Drew Dabrowski scored with 4:33 remaining to put the Blue Jays up again at 6-5. Within the next two minutes, the game was delayed for a second time.

Notre Dame opened the scoring of the game when Podgajny scored on a running shot just inside the restraining line 1:01 into the first quarter. Hopkins midfielder Stephen Peyser answered with a goal about three minutes later when he beat Kelly McKenna, and then scored on a 20-shot to tie the score at 1.

Fifty-two seconds after Peyser's goal, the game was delayed 44 minutes.

Notre Dame controlled the tempo in the first quarter but had trouble clearing the ball failing three times. Hopkins, though, had the quarter's biggest turnover when Schwartzman threw short on a clearing attempt outside the box. Hubschmann picked up the loose ball and ran in for an easy goal on a high shot past Schwartzman with 8:41 remaining in the quarter.

Notre Dame pushed its lead to 3-1 with eight seconds left in the first quarter as Podgajny scored from the backside on an assist from Hubschmann. Hopkins outshot Notre Dame 12-10 in the period but the Fighting Irish had a 12-7 advantage in ground balls. Notre Dame extended its lead to 4-1 as Hubschmann opened the second quarter with a goal with 9:50 remaining, but Hopkins dominated the remaining time. mike.preston@baltsun.com

Notre Dame 3 1 3 3 0 -- 10

Johns Hopkins 1 2 5 2 1 -- 11

Goals: ND--Podgajny 4, Hubschmann 3, Hoff 2, Vecchio; H--Byrne 3, Rabil 2, Christopher 2, Peyster, Boyle, Dabrowski, Kimmel. Assists: ND--Hubschmann, Leach, Yeatman; H--Huntley 3, Bryan, Rabil. Saves: ND--Kemp 8; H--Schwartzman 14.

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