Baltimore, MD – The Hopkins Blue Jays used 11 goals by seniors to handle the Towson Tigers on senior night at Homewood Field. Hat tricks by Paul Rabil, Stephen Peyser and Michael Doneger along with two goals by Kevin Huntley helped move the Blue Jays to above .500 for the first time since March at 6-5. A five-goal first quarter and a six-goal third quarter would prove to be all that Hopkins needed. Senior LSM Matt Bocklet was integral in getting the ball off the ground and up the field with 10 groundballs and an assist and several impressive efforts to save Hopkins’ clears.
Towson looked like they were going to make a game out of it when Jonathan Engelke put the Tigers up 2-1 five and a half minutes into the game. Unfortunately, Hopkins would go on a 9-1 run spanning all the way to the third quarter. The Tigers managed to move the ball well offensively all night, but had trouble finishing and shooting (only 16 of 36 shots on cage). Credit Hopkins goalie Michael Gvozden who chipped in nine saves as well as the longpole group of Hopkins. Hopkins’ defense flew around and helped force Towson into many of their 22 turnovers. Specifically LSM Matt Bocklet swarmed to loose balls all night.
Towson had a great effort from junior Mitchell Rosensweig. Rosensweig won 14-of-23 faceoffs, scooped up seven groundballs, and even picked up a longpole to help out on the defensive end. He added a goal with 12:06 to go in the third quarter right off a faceoff to end Hopkins 9-1 run and give Towson some offensive life that sparked a three-goal Towson run. He managed to limit Stephen Peyser’s effectiveness at draws to just 50% (7-of-7) as Peyser had been winning nearly 59% of his draws coming into the game. He also managed to force Hopkins faceoff men into at least three false starts.
Offensively, Hopkins overcame a double longpole shutoff on senior midfielders Paul Rabil and Stephen Peyser. Both managed to score three goals and add an assist each on only a combined nine shots. It seems that Hopkins has found an offensive rhythm that is more conducive to their strengths and more similar to last year’s style. They don’t appear to be relying on midfield swim dodges to get the offense going. They seem to have really focused on ball movement, attacking from below the GLE and capitalizing on transition. This seems to have taken the pressure off of just Peyser and Rabil to create focusing on Steven Boyle and Michael Kimmel’s ability to carry the ball while Michael Doneger continues to create matchup problems in and around the crease.
With the win, the Blue Jays move to 6-5 with two games left: Mt. St. Mary’s and Loyola. Provided they win at least one of their remaining two games, they will be eligible for the NCAA tournament and with their schedule and quality wins, they are basically a lock. While a lot of people wrote them off after their five-game skid, it might be wise to remember that this season is eerily like last year’s. The only difference being that they dropped a one-goal game to Hofstra this year, whereas they won it last year. This year’s team didn’t need overtime to beat Maryland, or to squeak out a one-goal win over Navy and a two-goal win over Towson. The 2008 team has dominated all three and appears like they’re heading into the playing form that typically brings them success in May.
With the loss, Towson drops to 4-9 on the season with one home game left against Penn. Their post-season hopes rest entirely on the shoulders of 6-5 Sacred Heart. The Tigers need an upset over Delaware by Sacred Heart for a chance to make the CAA playoffs. If the Tigers make the CAAs, as college lacrosse has proven time and time again, anything is possible.
From Press Release
BALTIMORE, MD - On a night when the Johns Hopkins men's lacrosse team honored its seniors during pre-game festivities, the seniors returned the favor by combining to score the Blue Jays' first nine goals to pace a 16-7 victory over visiting Towson at Homewood Field Wednesday night. The win is the Blue Jays' third straight overall and 13th straight against the Tigers. Hopkins, which used runs of four, five and six goals to fuel the victory, improves to 6-5 while Towson slips to 4-9.
The Blue Jays led just 5-3 after Towson's Jonathan Engelke scored early in the second quarter, but responded with a 5-0 run that stretched the lead to 10-3 early in the second half. Seniors Stephen Peyser and Paul Rabil answered Engelke's goal with back-to-back unassisted tallies midway through the second quarter to give the Blue Jays a 7-3 lead at the half and senior Michael Doneger and sophomore Michael Kimmel sandwiched goals around another Peyser tally in the first 2:49 of the third quarter to build what appeared to be a safe 10-3 lead.
The Tigers had other thoughts and needed exactly three minutes to slice the seven-goal deficit to 10-6. Mitchell Rosensweig needed just five seconds to answer Kimmel's goal as he scored right off the ensuing faceoff to jump-start the Tigers' run. Bill McCutcheon added an extra man goal just over two minutes later and Tim Stratton scored 43 seconds after that. Rosensweig won all three faceoffs in that span as the Blue Jays never had possession during the run and called timeout after Stratton's goal.
Whatever head coach Dave Pietramala said during the timeout worked - on both ends of the field. Senior Kevin Huntley netted back-to-back goals late in the third quarter to ignite what would become a 6-0 run that put the game away. Sophomore Steven Boyle added a pair of goals and Mark Goodrich and Nathan Matthews also scored during the spree, which finally ended when Towson's Randall Cooper scored an extra-man goal with just 31 seconds remaining in the game. The Blue Jay defense held Towson scoreless for a span of 23:33 between Stratton's goal and Cooper's game-ending goal. The scoreless stretch represents the sixth time this season the Blue Jays have held an opponent scoreless for 22 minutes or longer. The Tigers answered a game-opening goal by Rabil with back-to-back goals by Adam Hagelin and Engelke in a four-minute stretch before the game was six minutes old. Doneger ignited a 4-0 run over the last 8:04 of the first quarter with consecutive goals in a 72-second span midway through the quarter and Peyser and Rabil both added goals before the period was over to push the Blue Jays out to a 5-2 lead entering the second quarter.
Engelke's goal early in the second quarter was answered by the 5-0 run that eventually built the lead to 10-3. Towson was never closer than the four-goal margin at 10-6 and the Blue Jays methodically built the lead to 10 before ending with the nine-goal margin, the team's largest victory of the season.
Seniors accounted for 11 of the Blue Jays' 16 goals with co-captains Rabil, Doneger and Peyser each netting a hat trick. Rabil and Peyser added assists to pace the team with four points apiece. Huntley's two goals push his career total to 100, which ties with his father, Dave Huntley (1976-79) and Brian Wood (1984-87) for 13th place on JHU's career goal-scoring list. Boyle added the two goals and one assist and Kimmel added a goal and assist to help pace an offense that netted the 16 goals on 37 shots.
Sophomore Michael Gvozden posted nine saves for the Blue Jays, who also got a spectacular individual effort on defense from senior Matt Bocklet, who assisted on Doneger's second goal of the game and grabbed a game-high 10 ground balls, many of which came in traffic after he knocked the ball to the ground. He fueled a defense that also killed off 7-of-9 extra-man opportunities for the Tigers.
Engelke paced the Towson attack with two goals and two assists and Cooper added one goal and one assist. Rosensweig added the one goal and dominated on faceoffs as he won 14-of-23 and grabbed seven ground balls. Matt Antol and Rob Wheeler split time in goal for the Tigers and both posted four saves.
|Paul Rabil||(3, 1)|
|Stephen Peyser||(3, 1)|
|Michael Doneger||(3, 0)|
|Steven Boyle||(2, 1)|
|Kevin Huntley||(2, 0)|
|Michael Kimmel||(1, 1)|
|Andrew Miller||(0, 1)|
|Matt Bocklet||(0, 1)|
|Nathan Matthews||(1, 0)|
|Mark Goodrich||(1, 0)|
|Michael Gvozden||9 (0.600)|
|Nolan Matthews||0 (0.000)|