The action started right off the bat when Hopkins' Kyle Harrison cleanly pushed the face forward and took off on a break down the middle. At the top of the box Harrison dumped left to Barrie, who was at the point of the 4-3 break, and Barrie grabbed it righty, face-dodged his way through a gauntlet of checks, and nailed the top corner as he was falling to the turf on a trip (the flag would be waved off). A whole :40 seconds went by before the Hop struck again for a 2-0 lead: Adam Donegar, on the first of five for the day, pulled off a powerful split dodge at the top of the box and unleashed a lefty cannon on the run that had Umass goalie Bill Schell looking stunned.
The scoring would then stop for a while. A sharp Umass high-to-low thread got disrupted by Murtha, but Murtha's bobble on the GB allowed Leveille to stick a garbage collection goal -- it was disallowed on a toe in the crease. Hopkins cleared and controlled for an extended set of iso's, often driving hard to one side, drawing a little bit of a double, and then looking back across the grain for a button hook cutter. Umass shorti Paul Hutchen was shutting off Hopkins' Barrie at this point, even following him to the back corner when Barrie sought to let his teammates go 5 on 5. But Hopkins drew a stall warning and decided to press the issue a little prematurely, resulting in a clean ground ball for Schell off of the table scraps from a force feed. Schell initiated the clear and Umass got their first real run on O.
Their strategy, which would remain consistent all game long, was to attack from the top with their side-stepping, quick footed middies and either rip it on the run or bump it around the horn quickly to the backside. Umass was getting their space and drawing second slides but the outside rips were off the mark or relatively slow, although Hop goalie Nick Murtha also had a little say in the matter. When Chris Fiore broke Harrison's ankles at the top of the box and darted into the middle, it was Murtha who gobbled it up high. When Dusty Smith, on the next series, leaned in and blasted one from the lefty shooter's spot, it was Murtha again with a huge high save. With about 5:00 left in the first Umass had not even attempted to drive (or let alone work the ball) from X until Neil Lundburg, working against a shorti, tried to post up around the right pipe. Lundberg, who's got some height, managed to snap off a quick feed to Dan Paccione
cutting down to the left pipe, but Murtha was huge yet again.
Hopkins managed another series of good ball movement and iso's (everyone tried their hand at going to the hoop, but no one really held on to the ball all that long). But Umass preferred to attack with double-teams, rather than just slide to, Hopkins' iso's against Umass shortsticks. It worked well only because Umass was able to get around on their 3rd and 4th slides and then recover on the backside. When Hopkins got whistled for their 2nd warding call in the quarter (they would amass about 5 of those on the day), Umass' Fiore produced another lightening quick split dodge up top, but got picked from behind while cocking his stick back (that would be a relatively common snafu for Umass' middies -- they all seemed to have giant bags, so every shot required about a 2-second windup to the back of their ankles).
On Hopkins' recovery, and with just :10 seconds left in the first, Bobby Benson drove lefty in an arc from GLE to the top of the box and found Tim Muir hanging on the opposite pipe. Benson threaded it through heavy traffic and Muir finished on a righty set-foot rip that caught Schell moving across the mouth of the goal. The Hop was up 3-0 to end the first.
Kyle Harrison started the second in the same fashion as the first, by dominating yet another face. After Harrison's shaft got violently slapped about 3 times while bringing it into the box, Hopkins moved it along the outside to Joe McDermott behind right. McDermott just pushed a routine pass to Kyle Barrie in the righty shooter's spot and Barrie burned it high past Schell. It was one of many shots that Schell got a good look at and should have swallowed; he was shaky all day. The Jays' Harrison then went to work at the top left of the box after winning another face. He busted out a little shuffle step on shorti Paul Hutchen and then burst to his right across the middle of the box and rifled a righty sidearm just below the pipe. It was another that Schell, on a decent day, should have bagged. 5-0 Hopkins.
Harrison won yet another face, but lost possession on a ward call while driving right. Umass' Marc Morley finally got a chance to work it a little bit from directly behind the goal, and put on a footwork display, but he was never able to fully turn the corner; he hucked one for the far the far pipe without his shoulders turned that just sailed wide. That shot would only be Umass' second from in tight -- everything else was a launch from outside. With 7:00 minutes and change to go, the Hop bumped their lead to 6-0 on well-timed Ford-to-Benson-to-Ford give and go along the right wing that finished with Ford's righty bouncer to Schell's offside.
Umass finally got on the board when Chris Fiore took a run on Hop freshman shorti Benson Erwin from the top of the box. Fiore split to his left, got inside of Erwin, then pulled a sidewinder over to his right for a running righty jumper that Murtha finally lost the battle on. Harrison won another face - Umass' only wins at the center circle came on 2 illegal procedure calls - and pushed it to Conor Ford for a nasty rip that caught the crossbar and ricocheted out on the sideline. Hopkins retained but lost possession when Kevin Boland stepped out of the box just as the refs threw in a stall warning. The call was maybe a little early, but the refs correctly picked up on the Blue Jays intentions -- there was just over 2:00 minutes to go in the half and they were just going through the motions, not even trying to take on shorti Hutchen (whom they seemed to target most of the afternoon).
Umass brought it down and Don Little, at the top of the box, greased it into Leveille on the crease but Leveille oddly switched from left to right hand, killing his angle and giving Murtha another full second to pick up the shot. Leveille missed anyways and Hopkins called a TO on the out of bounds. Hopkins came back out in a zone, which seemed to momentarily confuse Umass up top, until Marc Morley found Leveille on the paint while moving right to left. Leveille turned and dunked for a 2-6 deficit. But in a sign of things to come, another round of scoring would accompany the last :30 seconds of the half. Donegar pulled off a rehearsal of his game winning rip when drove hard at the top of the box -- Hutchen lost a step on him, went for a behind-the-neck check, and Donegar burned it by Schell. Then with just 1 second left on the clock Bobby Benson took a loose ball feed from Harrison, after Harrison grabbed the GB out of an ugly midfield scrum, and ripped it lefty top corner for an 8-2 lead and an end to the first half. The taunts from the largely pro-Hopkins crowd were getting brutal.
sorry, still more coming on tuesday...i got slammed with some biz stuff all day today
Johns Hopkins vs. Massachusetts