No. 8 Johns Hopkins stifled by No. 2 Syracuse

No. 2 Syracuse 10, No. 8 Johns Hopkins 7

Blue Jays can't keep up with defending-champion Orange

March 21, 2010|By Edward Lee | edward.lee@baltsun.com

The beginning was the end for the Johns Hopkins men's lacrosse team.

The No. 8 Blue Jays took just three shots -- none on net -- in the first quarter, and No. 2 and reigning national champion Syracuse took advantage of a 3-0 run to cruise to a 10-7 victory before an announced 6,504 at Homewood Field on Saturday night.

The first prime-time meeting between two of most storied programs in college lacrosse history -- the schools have combined for 20 NCAA championships and 34 tournament final appearances -- was anything but must-see TV for Johns Hopkins (4-3).

The Blue Jays looked lethargic offensively and had more than twice as many turnovers (seven) as shots in the first quarter. The offense also whiffed on two extra-man opportunities in the period.

The seven goals were the fewest Johns Hopkins had scored in the series since 1988, when the Orange won, 19-7. The Blue Jays have now scored just 13 goals in back-to-back losses to Syracuse and No. 6 Hofstra.

"I thought the defense was very stingy, especially early in the game," Orange coach John Desko said. "I thought they understood the plan and who they were covering."

Meanwhile, Syracuse (4-1) had no such troubles, getting goals from senior midfielder Max Bartig, senior attackman Cody Jamieson and junior midfielder Jeremy Thompson in the first quarter.

Freshman midfielder John Greeley ended the drought for Johns Hopkins -- which has lost four of the past five meetings with the Orange -- with a blast with 12:15 left in the second quarter. But the offense didn't add to that score until senior attackman Steven Boyle's goal with 4:03 left in the third period -- a scoreless span of 23:12.

"Offensively, we were extremely sloppy," Boyle said. "We were too sloppy with the ball. We put way too much of a burden on our defense, and I think in return, we rushed things a little bit in the first quarter."

Syracuse outshot the Blue Jays 19-9 in the first half, and only three of Johns Hopkins' attempts landed on net. Orange junior goalkeeper John Galloway wasn't forced to make his first save until 3:44 remained in the second quarter.

"We needed to come out and jump on them right away," said Bartig, who finished with three goals after scoring twice in the previous four games.

Boyle's goal kick-started a 6-1 run, which included two goals from sophomore attackman Tom Palasek. But junior long-stick midfielder Joel White scored after collecting a loose ball from a faceoff with 2:38 left in regulation, and the deficit proved to be too great for Johns Hopkins to overcome.

Jamieson led Syracuse with four points on one goal and three assists, while junior attackman Stephen Keogh and Thompson each scored twice.

Senior goalie Michael Gvozden, who got the start after being pulled for surrendering three goals in eight minutes of an eventual 14-6 loss to Hofstra last Saturday, was solid, finishing with 14 saves.

But the Blue Jays won just six of 20 faceoffs, and coach Dave Pietramala estimated that the offense turned the ball over 80 percent of the time in the first quarter.

"You can't play that much defense against this team," Pietramala said. "It's amazing we only gave up 10 goals with as much defense as we played."

Boyle paced the Blue Jays with two goals and two assists, and Palasek recorded two goals and one assist.

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