Gvozden picks up save

no. 11 johns hopkins 10 no. 15 maryland 9

Goalkeeper's late stop seals physical victory for Blue Jays over Terps

April 12, 2009|By Mike Preston | Mike Preston,mike.preston@baltsun.com

In the end, the game came down to a great pass, a great shot and an exceptional save.

No. 11 Johns Hopkins and No. 15 Maryland engaged in another physical, exciting lacrosse game Saturday in the Smartlink Day of Rivals. The only thing that separated the two teams was a magnificent save by Blue Jays goalie Michael Gvozden as time expired, giving Hopkins a 10-9 win.

The Blue Jays had taken a 10-8 lead on Kyle Wharton's goal with 11:17 left in the game, and Johns Hopkins tried to seal the win by going to a stall.

But Maryland midfielder Dan Groot scored his third goal to cut the lead to 10-9 with 26 seconds remaining. Then, with about five seconds left, Terps attackman Ryan Young shuffled a low pass at the top of the crease to Grant Catalino.

Catalino made a great catch and, while falling, tried to aim a shot past Gvozden, who made a leg save. That ended the game and touched off a wild celebration by the Blue Jays as nearly 21,000 fans left M&T Bank Stadium buzzing.

"That was weird," Gvozden said of the last shot. "He caught it real low to the ground. Instead of shooting it low, he just kind of picked it back up and shot it high. I just tried to throw my body in front of it."

Gvozden finished with 12 saves, including six in the fourth quarter. He played with more confidence as the game went on, and Hopkins coach Dave Pietramala is hoping the Blue Jays (5-4) found their confidence.

Hopkins converted on three of seven extra-man opportunities and held Maryland's attack without a goal in the second half. Hopkins' defense slid well from the back and cut off penetration from Maryland's attackmen. And when Maryland (6-5) went ahead 8-7 on a goal by midfielder Jeremy Sieverts with 5:30 left in the third quarter, the Blue Jays didn't panic as they had several times this season.

Wharton, an attackman, paced the Blue Jays with three goals, and attackman Michael Kimmel had two. Kimmel also had two assists. Besides matching the Terps physically, the Blue Jays were poised, running nearly 5 1/2 minutes off the clock at the end of the game.

It was a gamble by Pietramala, but Hopkins showed its discipline by turning down several open shots.

"We were not under instruction to not shoot," Pietramala said. "We wanted to be smart, be patient, and we wanted to force them to defend an extended possession."

Maryland seemed to lose its composure in the third quarter. Coach Dave Cottle drew an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty that eventually led to a goal by Hopkins.

"We went from having a man up to five on five, and they end up scoring," Cottle said. "I've been coaching for 30 years, and never got a penalty in my life. I got one for saying, 'No one knows the call.' There were no curse words. It was loud, and I was saying to the official that no one can hear the call."

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