Hopkins tops Towson, keeps NCAA hopes alive

Johns Hopkins 13, No. 19 Towson 6

April 28, 2010|By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun

History was denied Wednesday night.

The Johns Hopkins men's lacrosse team snuffed out No. 19 Towson's attempt to keep the host Blue Jays out of the NCAA tournament for the first time in 39 years by crushing the Tigers, 13-6, at Homewood Field in Baltimore.

A Towson victory would have guaranteed Johns Hopkins a sub-.500 finish, which would have automatically made the team ineligible for consideration for the NCAA tournament -- a feat that hasn't happened since 1971, the first year of the tournament.

But the Tigers (6-6) did not play with the kind of determination or urgency they had demonstrated during their five-game winning streak. The offense committed turnovers on its first three possessions and took low-percentage shots that freshman goalkeeper Pierce Bassett (nine saves in the first half) easily stopped.

The Tigers also committed six penalties in the first half -- four of which were of the one-minute variety -- and failed to convert five extra-man opportunities over the same span, including a six-on-four situation with 8:09 left in the second quarter.

Meanwhile, the Blue Jays (6-7) flexed their muscles, racing past Towson's defenders for easy scores -- six of which came from in front of the cage.

The 12 goals marked the first time the Tigers had surrendered double-digit tallies since then-No. 1 Virginia notched a 15-10 victory March 21.

On Senior Night, the Blue Jays were paced by senior attackman Steven Boyle's game-high five points on two goals and three assists and senior midfielder Michael Kimmel's three goals and one assist. Junior attackman Kyle Wharton and sophomore attackman Tom Palasek each added two goals and one assist for Johns Hopkins, which now prepares for a critical game against No. 6 Loyola on May 8 at 12 p.m. at Ridley Athletic Complex in Baltimore.

Sophomore midfielder Carl Iacona's goal 3:21 into the third quarter spoiled the Blue Jays' bid for a shutout and also broke a Towson drought of 41:22 dating to the 8:01 mark of the fourth quarter of Saturday's 10-9 win over Penn State.

Sophomore attackman Stephen Norris led the Tigers with two goals, and fifth-year senior midfielder Christian Pastirik contributed one goal and one assist.

Notes: Johns Hopkins' 8-0 advantage at halftime was the team's largest since March 1, 2008, when it led Princeton, 10-1, at the Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic. The Tigers went scoreless in a half for the first time since March 11, 2009, when Virginia shut out Towson in the second half of an eventual 11-2 loss. The game was delayed for several minutes in the fourth quarter after Wharton's goal with 10:47 left ripped a hole in Towson's net. The cage was replaced.

edward.lee@baltsun.com

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