Cavs cruise to 15-6 win over Jays

No. 1 Virginia 15, No. 8 Johns Hopkins 6

March 27, 2010|By Edward Lee | | Baltimore Sun reporter

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — The Southern hospitality extended to the No. 8 Johns Hopkins men's lacrosse team usually ends at the gates of Klockner Stadium here, and Saturday was no different.

The Blue Jays overcame a slow start and tied the score midway through the second quarter, but the offense ran out of gas and answers as No. 1 Virginia settled in for a comfortable 15-6 victory before an announced attendance of 6,366.

The Cavaliers have won the last six meetings with Johns Hopkins and 10 of 13 games since Dave Pietramala became the Blue Jays' head coach before the 2001 season. Johns Hopkins has not left Charlottesville with a win since 1998 — a span of six consecutive visits.

The first quarter was symptomatic of the Blue Jays' struggles this season.

Johns Hopkins, which has dropped its last three games to fall to 4-4, lost the first two face-offs, wasted three possessions (including an extra-man opportunity) with turnovers, and failed to clear once. Meanwhile, the Cavaliers (9-0) took advantage by scoring three goals in a span of 5 minutes, 29 seconds.

Senior midfielder Michael Kimmel finally got the Blue Jays on the board with a goal with 11.9 seconds left in the first quarter.

"Offensively, I don't think we had that bad of a day," sophomore attackman Tom Palasek said. "It was, rather, that they had the ball a lot. I'm not exactly sure what the time of possession was, but I know they had the ball a lot. We did a lot of waiting around on offense."

After Virginia scored the first goal of the second period, Johns Hopkins scored three straight with the first two coming from Palasek in a 39-second span. Freshman midfielder John Ranagan (one goal and one assist) capped the run with a goal with 8:29 left in the quarter.

But after winning the ensuing face-off, senior face-off specialist Michael Powers missed a centering pass from Palasek, and the Cavaliers went on a 3-0 spurt of their own to take a 7-4 lead into halftime.

"We were able to get into a rhythm in the second quarter, but just when we seem to get over the hump, there's common theme for us right now," Pietramala said. "We get over the hump and then we just shoot ourselves in the foot. We don't check up or we don't slide or we throw a ball away or we don't cash in on a lay-up when we have an opportunity. Against a team like this — which is as good of a team we've faced — you can't do that."

Any hope the Blue Jays had of mounting a comeback was extinguished when Virginia scored back-to-back goals in a 24-second span and outscored Johns Hopkins, 5-1, in the third quarter.

Not only will the Blue Jays welcome No. 3 North Carolina to Homewood Field on Saturday, but they may also have to spend the upcoming week before Saturday's contest solving a dilemma at goalie. For the second time in three games, senior Michael Gvozden was pulled — this time, in favor of freshman Pierce Bassett — after Virginia assumed a 10-5 lead with 3:41 left in the third quarter.

Gvozden finished with five saves, while Bassett made four stops. Pietramala, who cited the need for a spark as the reason behind his decision, declined to say who will start against the Tar Heels.

Cavaliers midfielders Brian Carroll (Gilman) and Shamel Bratton led all scorers with five points each. Carroll posted two goals and three assists, while Bratton registered three goals and two assists.

Notes: Kimmel's goal was his first goal and point since he scored 36 seconds into the third quarter of Johns Hopkins' 14-6 loss to No. 6 Hofstra on March 13. That broke a drought of 104 minutes, 12.1 seconds. Junior attackman Kyle Wharton, who had scored a team-high 34 goals last season, scored for the first time since March 9 when the Blue Jays defeated UMBC, 16-10. It was his first goal in 176 minutes, 43 seconds. Since senior attackman Chris Boland was lost for the season with a torn right anterior cruciate ligament on March 9, Johns Hopkins has scored a total of 19 goals in three games. The offense has converted just one of its last eight extra-man situations. ENDIT

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