Towson vs. Johns Hopkins
February 19, 2011
The Game Story:
TOWSON, Md. - Led by senior Kyle Wharton, who scored three goals, #11 Johns Hopkins University (1-0) used a four-goal spurt midway through the third quarter to snap a 4-4 tie and hand the Tigers (0-1) a 10-6 loss in the season opener for both teams at Johnny UnitasĀ® Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Wharton, who recorded the tenth "hat trick" of his career, scored two of his goals during a 4:47 period of the third quarter when the Blue Jays took an 8-4 lead.

Wharton's goal with 7:56 remaining in the third period broke the 4-4 tie and was the Blue Jays' first goal in more than 16 minutes.

After the teams played to a 4-4 tied through the first half, the Blue Jays dominated the second half, outscoring Towson by a 6-2 margin and outshooting the Tigers by 18-17 after halftime.

With the victory, Johns Hopkins became the first college lacrosse program to win 900 games. In its 124th season, Johns Hopkins has an all-time record of 900-291-15,

The Blue Jays jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead as they converted their first two shots of the game. Just 25 seconds into the game, Wharton drilled a shot past goalkeeper Travis Love for a 1-0 advantage. With 10:45 remaining, sophomore Zach Palmer upped the lead to 2-0 with an unassisted goal.

After the Tigers' Matt Thomas won the ensuing faceoff, he fed the ball to senior Tim Stratton. Stratton gave the ball right back to him and Thomas scored the Tigers' first goal of the game only seven seconds after the Hopkins goal.

Freshman Eric Ruhl extended the Blue Jays' lead to 3-1 when he scored his first career goal off a terrific feed from senior Chris Boland with 7:27 remaining in the first quarter.

An acrobatic goal by sophomore Matt Hughes coming from behind the cage cut the Tigers' deficit to 3-2 with 5:23 left in the opening period. An unassisted goal junior Matt Lamon with 4:01 remaining in the first quarter tied the game at 3-3.

With 10:30 left in the first half, junior Carl Iacona gave the Tigers a 4-3 lead when he scored his first goal of the game. For Iacona, it marked the eighth straight game in which he scored a goal.

Just 1:27 later, sophomore Lee Coopersmith scored for the Blue Jays to tie the game at 4-4.

After the teams combined to score eight goals in the first 21 minutes, the game evolved into a defensive struggle. At halftime, the score was tied at 4-4.

The game remained tied until midway through the third quarter when the Blue Jays' offense came to life. With 7:56 left, Wharton scored on a 15-yard shot off a pass from John Greeley to put the Blue Jays ahead, 5-4.

A slashing penalty on the ensuing faceoff on Towson's Alec Jernstedt gave the Blue Jays a golden opportunity to increase their lead.

Just 16 seconds into the extra man opportunity, Palmer scored his second goal of the game off a pass from Brandon Benn, giving Hopkins a 6-4 lead.

The Tigers missed out on a great opportunity to cut into the deficit with 6:05 left in the quarter when it appeared that Hughes had scored his second goal of the game. However, the goal was disallowed when it was ruled that Hughes had stepped into the crease.

With 3:35 left in the period, Wharton's third goal of the game increased the advantage to 7-4. When Boland scored on a fast break just 26 seconds later, the Blue Jays owned an 8-4 lead.

After scoring four goals in 4:47, the Blue Jays relied on their defense to protect the lead. The Tigers, who were shut out for the final 10:30 of the first half, could not score in the third quarter as Hopkins owned a 10-7 advantage in shots in the period.

With 5:55 remaining in regulation, Boland extended the lead to 9-4 when he scored off a pass from John Ranagan.

The Tigers finally ended their scoring drought with 5:08 left in the game when senior Pat Britton scored on a ten-yard shot from the right side.

Towson went 35:22 without scoring a goal.

With 4:35 left, Benn scored off a pass from Palmer to put the Blue Jays ahead, 10-5.

With 3:38 remaining, Britton's unassisted goal closed out the scoring.

While Wharton led Hopkins with three goals, Palmer had a career high five points as he scored two goals with three assists. Boland added two goals and had an assist for the Blue Jays, who beat Towson for the 16th consecutive game.

Sophomore goalkeeper Pierce Bassett led the Blue Jays' defense by making nine saves.

Britton led the Tigers with two goals while senior Peter Mezzanotte had four ground balls.

With victory, JHU Coach Dave Pietramala improved his record to 12-0 against Towson. He is 9-2 in season openers.