Navy shocks No. 15 Johns Hopkins in overtime, 9-8

Loss further dims Jays’ hopes of making NCAA tournament

  • Navy attack Andy Warner sprints downfield after scoring the game-winning goal in overtime.
Navy attack Andy Warner sprints downfield after scoring the… (Colby Ware / Photo for The…)
April 25, 2010

The streak is over for the Navy men's lacrosse team. The same might be said of Johns Hopkins' postseason aspirations.

Junior attackman Andy Warner scored with 10 seconds left in overtime to lift the host Midshipmen to a 9-8 victory over the No. 15 Blue Jays before an announced 10,128 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis on Saturday.

The win ended Navy's 36-game losing streak to Johns Hopkins, which hadn't dropped a contest in the series since May 4, 1974.

Navy (6-7) also ended a three-game losing skid.

Warner, who had two assists in regulation, scored as he ran off a pick set by sophomore midfielder Nikk Davis behind the Johns Hopkins cage, losing senior defenseman Matt Drenan in the process. Warner curled around the right post and fired a shot over freshman goalkeeper Pierce Bassett.

"Early in the overtime, I had the same opportunity," Warner said. "We ran a big-little pick, and they've been playing it soft all day. I faked like I was going around the pick, came topside, took an extra step, and buried it near-side."

Warner's goal set off a raucous celebration near midfield. For many seniors, it was a brief respite in what has been a difficult season.

"My last game in this stadium, and we beat Hopkins and ended a however-many streak," said senior long-stick midfielder Zack Schroeder, who stripped Blue Jays senior midfielder Michael Kimmel of the ball just before Warner's heroics. "It's unbelievable. It's surreal now."

The Midshipmen trailed 5-0 after the first quarter but scored all six goals of the second period.

During that time, Navy outshot the Blue Jays 15-4, collected 12 ground balls to their seven, and committed four fewer turnovers.

"We always fight back," said sophomore goalkeeper R.J. Wickham, who finished with nine saves. "So it's not like we were freaking out. We knew we had to get out there and make some stops, which we did. Our offense started clicking and started scoring some goals.

"A couple of our young guys, Jay Mann and Bucky Smith, came up huge today, scoring goals. Our offense really picked it up, which made our defense play a lot better."

Senior midfielder Patrick Moran and senior attackman Brendan Connors each scored twice for the Midshipmen, who will play in the Patriot League tournament Friday as either the No. 2 or No. 3 seed.

If Navy can capture its sixth tournament crown in seven years, the team will secure an automatic qualifier and make its seventh consecutive appearance in the NCAA tournament.

The scenario is much murkier for Johns Hopkins, which has lost six of its past seven games and dropped to 5-7 for the season.

With two games left in the regular season, the Blue Jays likely need to defeat No.20 Towson on Wednesday and No.7 Loyola on May8 to remain in competition for one of 10 at-large bids to the NCAA tournament. Even then, the school's streak of 38 consecutive tournament appearances is not considered a lock.

Dave Pietramala, whose teams had never lost seven games in the regular season since he became the head coach before the 2001 season, said the team is well aware of the task ahead.

"It challenges us, that's for sure," he said. "If we can gather ourselves up and have a couple of good days at practice and get ourselves to a .500 record, we have to be at least considered. Our schedule is too good. Our games are too close, and the teams that we're playing are just too good. But we put our fate in other people's hands — that I know."

Sophomore attackman Tom Palasek led Johns Hopkins with his first career hat trick. Senior midfielder Michael Kimmel and junior attackman Kyle Wharton each scored twice, and senior attackman Steven Boyle contributed one goal and two assists.

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