The Press Release:
BALTIMORE, MD - Sophomore attackman Kevin Huntley (Towson, MD/Calvert Hall) scored three goals, sophomore midfielder Paul Rabil (Gaithersburg, MD/DeMatha) scored two goals and added two assists and the sixth-ranked Johns Hopkins men's lacrosse team held off a furious late-game rally by 12th-ranked Towson as the Blue Jays picked up an 11-10 win in front of 4,826 at Homewood Field Saturday afternoon. The win is the 11th straight for Hopkins over Towson and improves the Blue Jays' record to 7-4 on the year. Towson had a four-game winning streak snapped and falls to 8-5.
The Blue Jays led 6-5 at the half before opening the third quarter with three straight goals to take a 9-5 lead. Huntley ignited the run with his third goal of the game with 11:29 remaining in the period. Sophomore Jake Byrne (Potomac, MD/Landon) and junior Drew Dabrowski (Syracuse, NY/West Genessee) scored in a span of less than three minutes midway through the quarter to give the Blue Jays the first of two, four-goal leads. Byrne beat Towson goalie Mark DeGroat (Camilus, NY/West Genessee) from 10 yards out after senior Greg Peyser (Lloyd Harbor, NY/Cold Spring Harbor) drew a double team and found him all alone, while Dabrowski's goal came after a quick clear by the Blue Jays as Rabil found him cutting from behind the goal to DeGroat's right and he wasted little time punching home his sixth goal of the year.
The Tigers got back in the game with two goals in the final 77 seconds of the third quarter as Oliver Bacon (Charlotte, NC/Charlotte Country Day) dodged from behind the goal and beat Jesse Schwartzman (Pikesville, MD/Owings Mills, MD) down low to make it 9-6. Bacon then fed Phil Grillo (Baltimore, MD/Loyola) with just 25 seconds left in the quarter and Grillo picked the far post to make it 9-7 entering the final quarter.
Hopkins appeared to take control of the game by scoring the first two goals of the fourth quarter to push the lead to 11-7. Freshman Brian Christopher (Springfield, PA/Springfield) ran his goal-scoring streak to eight games with an unassisted goal just 55 seconds into the final period and Rabil added an unassisted extra-man goal with 6:34 left. Towson, however, made one final push.
Matt Eckerl (Baltimore, MD/Calvert Hall) won the faceoff after Rabil's goal and drove hard to the goal from Schwartzman's left and beat him up high, while Brian Vetter (Annapolis, MD/Annapolis) drove to the goal from the opposite side and bounced one home to make it 11-9 with 5:45 remaining. That lead held until Steve Mull (Fallston, MD/Fallston) scored a man-down goal with 42 seconds remaining to make it 11-10. A delay of game by Towson on the ensuing faceoff gave the Blue Jays possession, but the Tigers came up with a loose ball 13 seconds later and worked the ball into the offensive end of the field, where they called timeout with nine seconds remaining. The late-game hero in wins over UMBC and Drexel earlier this season, Nick Williams (Baltimore, MD/Calvert Hall) stumbled at the top of the box after the restart and Hopkins' Matt Drenan (San Diego, CA/Rancho Bernardo) came up with his career-best sixth ground ball and ran out the clock to seal the win.
The Blue Jays got off to a quick start as Huntley and Peyser scored back-to-back goals in a span of just over three minutes midway through the first quarter to give Hopkins a 2-0 lead. A Vetter extra-man goal with 4:42 remaining in the period was answered by Peyser's second goal of the game to make it 3-1 after the first quarter.
Towson's Bobby Griebe (Bel Air, MD/Boy's Latin) scored three of the first four goals of the second quarter - a spree that was answered only by a Michael Doneger (Hewlett, NY/Lynbrook) extra-man goal for the Blue Jays - to account for the only tie of the game (4-4), a tie that lasted exactly eight seconds. Stephen Peyser (Lloyd Harbor, NY/Cold Spring Harbor) won the faceoff after Griebe's third goal and found Byrne on the wing, where he zipped a pass to Huntley on the doorstep and he beat DeGroat in tight to give the Blue Jays the lead for good at 5-4. The first of Rabil's two unassisted extra-man goals with 1:38 remaining in the first half was answered by Eckerl to account for the 6-5 halftime score.
Huntley's three goals improve his team-leading total to 26, while Rabil ran his season totals to 17 goals and nine assists with his two goals and two assists. Greg Peyser had the two goals and one assist, while Stephen Peyser won 13-of-16 faceoffs and grabbed eight ground balls.
Griebe scored his three goals on just four shots, while Eckerl and Vetter added the two goals apiece. DeGroat registered eight saves for the Tigers, who held a 35-31 advantage in shots, but lost the ground ball (35-29) and faceoff battles (14-10).
Johns Hopkins will close the regular season next Saturday at Loyola, while Towson will host Delaware in the CAA Semifinals on Wednesday.