Jays Come Back

College Lacrosse

Hopkins Falls 4 Goals Behind Twice Before Forcing Ot

April 23, 2009|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,edward.lee@baltsun.com

Brian Christopher acknowledged that his third and final goal wasn't pretty. But it counted.

The senior midfielder scored with 1.2 seconds left in the second overtime Wednesday night to propel the No. 8 Johns Hopkins men's lacrosse team to an 11-10 win against Towson before an announced 3,509 at Johnny Unitas Stadium in Towson.

On a restart with 7.2 seconds left, Christopher sprinted from the left sideline toward the middle, spun back to his left and fired a shot that appeared to short-hop Tigers goalie Rob Wheeler and bounce over his right shoulder into the net.

"I only had one move to make and one shot," said Christopher, who scored the game-tying and game-winning goals. "There was some kind of skip. Sometimes you get a lucky bounce."

The initial plan involved junior attackman Steven Boyle handling the ball on the restart. But recognizing that Boyle would be paired up with a long-pole defenseman, assistant coach and offensive coordinator Bobby Benson switched to Christopher, who was guarded by a short-stick defender.

"Your chances of scoring are better against a short stick than a long stick," Hopkins coach Dave Pietramala said. "Brian had shown throughout the game that he could get to the goal."

The victory was the Blue Jays' 34th in 37 meetings with the Tigers, and Johns Hopkins averted a potential loss to Towson for the first time since April 27, 1996, when the Tigers beat a Tony Seaman-coached Blue Jays squad, 13-12.

On Wednesday night, Seaman stood on the other sideline as he watched Towson squander two four-goal leads in the third quarter. Seaman is now 0-12 against Hopkins since taking over the Tigers in 1999.

Junior midfielder Michael Kimmel (Loyola) paced Hopkins (7-4) with a game-high five points on two goals and three assists, and Boyle added a goal and two assists. Junior goalkeeper Michael Gvozden (Severna Park) made 15 saves, including four in the overtime periods.

Senior midfielder Justin Schneider's second goal of the game gave Towson (6-8) a 9-6 lead with 2.8 seconds left in the third quarter. But when Kimmel capped a 3-0 run with 3:49 left in the final period, it revived memories of the last time the Tigers tried to nurse a lead against a top-10 opponent.

On April 11, Towson enjoyed a 10-7 advantage on then-No. 6 Hofstra with 8:33 leftbut the Pride scored four unanswered goals - including the final score with 3.2 seconds left - to avoid the upset.

"That's the Hofstra game we could've won, and that's a Hopkins game we could've won," Seaman said. "I thought we did some really good things tonight. ... We've got to grow from it."

Attackman Bill McCutcheon, a former Blue Jay, gave the lead back to the Tigers just 25 seconds after Kimmel's goal, but Christopher scored with 2:12 left to tie the score at 10. Christopher finished with three goals.

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