Chris Boland made his first appearance in a Johns Hopkins game this year, and it didn't take him long to make an impact.
The senior attackman, who had been suspended for the team's first three games for violating an undisclosed team rule, entered Saturday's game against Princeton after a Blue Jays timeout with 9:58 left in the first quarter. He promptly scored back-to-back goals in a span of 3 minutes, 43 seconds.
Boland did not register another point in No. 5 Johns Hopkins' eventual 11-10 overtime loss to the No. 8 Tigers at the Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic at M&T Bank Stadium, but returning to the field was joyous enough.
"It's always tough to sit there and watch, but we have a group of guys that are good enough to get the job done," said Boland, a Jessup native and Boys' Latin graduate. "There's no one person that holds this team back. I'm just like any other player watching from the sideline. I just support our players."
Boland, who said he knew he was going to play before Saturday, said he didn't feel lost in his first game back.
"It felt good," he said. "I've been practicing and stuff, so I've been prepared to play and be in that position. So it felt good to get back out there and run around a little bit."
Boland led the Blue Jays in scoring last season with 46 points on 28 goals and 18 assists. Without Boland, senior Tom Duerr had started in Boland's place, and he scored two goals against Princeton.
"It's nice to have Chris back," coach Dave Pietramala said. "I'd like to have him all back, but that's not the case. As Chris said, there's no guy that wins a game or loses a game for us. This is a 'we thing,' not a 'me thing.' When one guy isn't available or goes down, it's the next man up and someone else's job to step up, and thus far, the guys have done that."
Return to full strength
A year ago, junior long-stick midfielder Brian Farrell
was preparing for surgery as his Maryland teammates prepared for Duke at the 2009 Face-Off Classic. On Saturday, Farrell proved he was back.
Farrell, a Boys' Latin graduate who played in just three games last season because of rib and lung injuries, helped ignite the fast break that resulted in junior attackman Grant Catalino's game-winning goal in overtime as the Terps edged the Blue Devils, 11-10.
"I was in the hospital listening to this game on the day of my surgery," recalled Farrell, who finished with four ground balls and two caused turnovers. "I'm listening to the whole game, and we're up at the end of the third quarter. They go, 'It's time for your surgery.' I say, 'Are you serious? Can we delay this about a half an hour or something?' She says, 'I don't think the doctor would allow it.'
"So I go in, and the first person I see [after surgery] is my dad. He gives me two thumbs up and I know it's OK."
Maybe the only person as happy as Farrell to see him return is Maryland coach Dave Cottle.
"You see what we missed," Cottle said. "He picks that ball up. We don't have anyone else on the team that can make that play."
It's a family affair
Saturday's game between Duke and Maryland ended a family feud for the Webster, N.Y.-based Catalino family, which is represented by Maryland's Grant Catalino
and Duke senior midfielder Mike Catalino
Grant Catalino led all scorers with five goals and one assist, while his older brother finished with a goal.
"This was the last time on the same field in a competitive atmosphere," Grant Catalino said. "This was a good way to end the rivalry. I'll have bragging rights as long as we're on Earth."
Johns Hopkins has only two days to prepare for Tuesday night's contest against No. 19 UMBC, and Pietramala, who coordinates the team's schedule, mockingly chastised himself for the short week. "I'm not really sure who makes the schedule around here, and I'm not sure he's the brightest guy," Pietramala said. "But maybe in the end, the best thing for us is to play again, to get back out on the field." ... An announced attendance of 19,742 watched the Face-Off Classic, which is the second-largest crowd at the Baltimore event. The record of 20,180 was set in 2007, the event's inaugural year.