Johns Hopkins vs. Army
May 10, 2003
The Game Story:
BALTIMORE, Md. --Top-seeded Johns Hopkins got three goals from senior Bobby Benson (Baltimore, MD/McDonogh), junior Joe McDermott (Rockville Centre, NY/South Side) and sophomore Kyle Barrie (Narberth, PA/The Haverford School) and junior Kevin Boland (Jessup, MD/Gilman) had one goal and a career-high five assists as the Blue Jays knocked off visiting Army, 14-2 in the first round of the 2003 NCAA Division I Men's Lacrosse Tournament. The win, Hopkins' ninth straight overall and 19th straight at Homewood Field, improves the Blue Jays' record to 12-1. Army, which dropped its 16th straight in the series and 16th straight at Homewood Field, ends the season at 8-8. The two goals allowed are the fewest by Johns Hopkins in 72 all-time NCAA Tournament games.

Hopkins led just 2-1 at the end of the first quarter after senior midfielder Adam Doneger (Hewlett, NY/Lynbrook) and Benson sandwiched goals around a tally by Army's John Walker (Dix Hills, NY/Half Hallow Hills West). The Blue Jays began to pull away in the second half as sophomore Kyle Harrison (Baltimore, MD/Friends) pushed the lead to 3-1 with his only goal of the game at the 10:40 mark. Doneger and McDermott made it 5-1 with back-to-back goals just 18 seconds apart midway through the quarter and Benson's second goal of the game with 2:14 remaining in the second quarter made the halftime score 6-1.

"I thought Army did a good job of holding onto the ball and slowing the game down in the first half," Johns Hopkins head coach Dave Pietramala noted after the game of Army's deliberate attack. "We have played at a different pace every week this season and sometimes it just takes a while to adjust to what our opponent is trying to do. In the second half we were a lot more efficient and did a nice job of executing against what Army was trying to do."

Walker pulled the Black Knights to within four at 6-2 with his second goal of the game with 10:13 remaining in the third quarter and Army had a goal disallowed for a player being in the crease several minutes later that would have made the score 6-3 midway through the period. Hopkins quickly pushed the lead to 9-2 by the end of the third quarter as Barrie scored twice and McDermott in the final 4:33.

Hopkins ensured its largest winning margin in an NCAA Tournament game since an 18-5 win over Loyola in the 1995 quarterfinals by outscoring Army, 5-0 in the fourth quarter. McDermott jump-started the game-ending run with his third goal of the game less than four minutes into the final quarter. Goals in the final seven minutes by Greg Peyser (Lloyd Harbor, NY/Cold Spring Harbor), Benson, Boland and Barrie closed out the scoring. Boland and Barrie's fourth quarter goals came with the extra man, as did Barrie's goal with 31 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.

"Our players came out and played hard and did what we asked them to do," Army head coach Jack Emmer stated. "They weren't intimidated or nervous, but Hopkins shoots the ball as well as any team I have seen in a number of years and they execute very well. We had opportunities early in the game (the shots were 9-9 in the first quarter), but their goalie did a nice job and we didn't take advantage of the chances we had early in the game."

Boland's six points led the way for Hopkins and his five assists are tied for the second most ever by a Johns Hopkins player in an NCAA Tournament game. Benson added one assist to go along with his three goals and Doneger had the two goals as well. Senior goalie Rob Scherr (Reisterstown, MD/McDonogh) registered 10 saves in goal for the Blue Jays before giving way to freshman Scott Smith (Wilton, CT/Wilton) late in the game. In addition to being the fewest goals Johns Hopkins has ever allowed in an NCAA Tournament game, the two goals are the fewest Hopkins has allowed in any game since knocking off Navy, 11-1 on April 24, 1999.

Walker's two unassisted goals accounted for all of Army's scoring. Sophomore goalie Matt Darak (Lake Grove, NY/Sachem) played very well in goal for the Black Knights as he registered 15 saves in goal before being relieved with just over seven minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. The ground ball battle was even (29-29) and Hopkins won 12-of-19 faceoffs on the day. The Blue Jays also held a 47-33 advantage in shots and were 3-for-4 with the extra man. Army was 0-for-2 in extra man situations.

The 12-1 run for the Blue Jays to end the game was the latest in a long line of overwhelming scoring runs for Johns Hopkins this season. The Blue Jays have now had a scoring run of 10-1 or better in the last four games and the Blue Jays outscored the opposition, 126-41 in eight games at Homewood Field this season.

Johns Hopkins, which will be making its 31st appearance in the NCAA Quarterfinals, will play the winner of the Towson-Penn State first round game. The game between the Blue Jays and either the Tigers or Nittany Lions will take place at Towson University on Sunday, May 18.