Paul Rabil would not be denied this time.
With the memory of his zero-point effort against Hofstra's Kevin Unterstein in March still fresh, Rabil out-dueled him in the rematch, scoring a game-high four goals to pace Johns Hopkins to a 10-4 victory over the Pride in the first round of the NCAA men's lacrosse tournament yesterday at Homewood Field.
The fifth-seeded Blue Jays (9-5) extended their winning streak to six and earned a quarterfinals meeting with Navy on Saturday at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. The Midshipmen (10-5) upended fourth-seeded North Carolina, 8-7, on Saturday night.
Rabil, a senior midfielder and Tewaaraton Trophy finalist, got the defending national champions to their 18th straight quarterfinal with three consecutive Hopkins goals in the second quarter - a burst that fueled a 7-1 run that spilled into the third quarter.
Rabil, who has scored 101 goals in his career and passed Dave Huntley for the most goals by a Hopkins midfielder, posted the hat trick while being guarded by Unterstein, a senior defensive midfielder.
"He's a great defenseman," Rabil said, sidestepping a question about his matchup against Unterstein. "We come into these games not thinking at all what we did in the regular season. ... It just comes down to ourselves. If we win, we advance. If we lose, we go home. That should be enough right there for any team."
If Rabil was diplomatic about his scoreless showing that contributed to Johns Hopkins' 8-7 overtime loss to Hofstra on March 8 - the first of five straight losses by the Blue Jays - his coach was definitive.
"I think Paul was embarrassed," Dave Pietramala said. "He got covered with a short stick the last time and walked away without a point. When you're a senior captain All-American, you take that pretty personally."
With the score tied at 1 with 13:53 left in the second quarter, Rabil juked his way past Unterstein and deposited a left-handed shot into the lower right corner of the net.
After senior midfielder Mike Unterstein scored unassisted to send the Pride to another tie, Rabil answered with a high shot from 15 yards out with 7:53 left. Six minutes later, Rabil fired another long-range shot past sophomore goalkeeper Danny Orlando (14 saves).
"He's a great player," Kevin Unterstein said of Rabil. "Especially after we shut him out in the [regular] season, we knew he was going to come hard."
The Blue Jays scored four more goals - two each from senior attackman Michael Doneger and sophomore midfielder Michael Kimmel - to effectively put the game out of reach.
Mike Unterstein led the Pride (10-6) with two goals, but Hofstra was held scoreless for 25 minutes, 35 seconds, spanning the final three quarters. Johns Hopkins sophomore goalie Michael Gvozden made nine saves, and the Pride was outshot 40-25.
"Today wasn't our day. It's tough for a coach to say that," said Hofstra coach Seth Tierney, a former Hopkins assistant. "A large part of today not being our day goes to the other locker room. Those guys did a great job."
Hofstra 0 2 0 2 - 4
Johns Hopkins 1 4 3 2 - 10
Goals: H-MUnterstein 2, Interlicchio, Stein; JH-Rabil 4, Kimmel 3, Doneger 2, Peyser. Assists: JH-Boyle 3, Peyser 2, Kimmel. Saves: H-Orlando 14; JH-Gvozden 9.