UNC fights back, tops Hopkins, 13-10

UNC fights back, tops Hopkins, 13-10

UNC fights back, tops Hopkins, 13-10

UNC fights back, tops Hopkins, 13-10

Chapel Hill, NC - The 15th ranked North Carolina Tarheels fought back from deficits of 3-0 and 9-7 to overtake the 5th ranked Johns Hopkins Blue Jays, 13-10. UNC was able to reel off the last three goals of the game. UNC had a very balanced day on the score sheet as five players contributed two goals each and three others added solos. Sophomore goalie Grant Zimmerman was the difference maker, however, with his 15 saves, eight of which came in the first half. Hopkins was led by senior Jake Byrne's four goals.

The first quarter pace was pretty much controlled by Hopkins. The Blue Jays managed twelve shots in the quarter, but Zimmerman came to play early. He stopped eight shots in the opening stanza. UNC couldn’t capitalize on it as Hopkins forced turnovers on the ride on three of the eight clears in the period. Despite controlling the pace early, Hopkins wasn’t able to get the scoreboard moving until Jake Byrne put his first of four on the day with 1:31 to play in the quarter from Austin Walker. With :12 left in the period, Steven Boyle found Michael Kimmel on a man-up and Kimmel found the back of the net.

Byrne would strike again early in the second off a nice offensive possession. Carolina’s offense got a kick-start when they drew an illegal body check foul on Hopkins’ Dave Spaulding. On the ensuing man-up Carolina displayed some nice ball movement until Gavin Petracca found Nick Tintle who put UNC on the board with 12:23 left in the half.

“I think there were plays in the game that were big moments where we didn’t make good plays. We’re up 3-1, we foul, boom-boom, now it’s 3-3. We’ve gotta make better plays at critical times. It’s one of the things that in the Virginia game I said. Virginia made critical plays when they had to. Today, in the first half we made the critical plays that we had to, in the 2nd half we didn’t,” said Hopkins head coach Dave Pietramala.

Both teams decided to put on a show for the rest of the quarter, the result was arguably the most exciting stretch of lacrosse so far this season. To start, Boyle seemingly scored for Hopkins, but the goal was waved off for what appeared to be a moving pick. Carolina cleared the ball as defenseman Brian Burke carried the ball up into the offensive box. His younger brother Sean, an attackman, made a nice backdoor cut completely leaving his defenseman. The two connected and he had essentially a one-on-one with Hopkins goalie Jesse Schwartzman to cut the lead to 3-2 (8:40 left in the half). Carolina midfielder Brian Connors was given just a tiny bit of room, enough that he was able to rip a lefty shot in to tie the game (7:16).

On the next face-off, there was a little bit of a tie-up, but Carolina’s FOGO Shane Walterhoefer directed the ball back to himself. He picked up the groundball and looked to carry it back to outlet to his goalie out in the alley. As he was doing that, Hopkins’ LSM, Brendan Skakandi got his stick on his. Tom Duerr came up with the turnover and put in the empty netter for Hopkins eight seconds later (7:08). The next face-off, Walterhoefer again directed the ball out, this time he got a play-on push call. UNC longpole Tim Kaiser came up with the looseball ending the play-on. He pushed it downfield. No slide came, and he put a right-handed shot in to tie the game again (6:54).

The next face-off, Carolina was called for illegal procedure awarding Hopkins the ball. Off the whistle, Paul Rabil drove and gave Hopkins the lead once again (6:36). The 3,582 fans in attendance were given a little breather, until UNC attackman Gavin Petracca banged the ball from X to Rob Driscoll. Despite having little angle, Driscoll squeezed it past Schwartzman tying the game at 5 (4:49).

Shortly after, UNC was successful in stopping Hopkins’ offense and had to clear the ball. A longpole was carrying it up and basically had to run down the sideline to cross midfield as Steven Boyle was trailing. Instead, he turned back to throw it back to the goalie. Boyle made a nice jump to swat the ball down. Zimmerman came flying for the groundball and got it. It looked like he was pushed with possession of the ball, but no call was made. So there was a scrum with the goalie well above the restraining line. The ball was slowly directed towards the corner, but neither team could come up with it. Eventually, Carolina was called for a 20-second failure to cross midfield. Hopkins ball. They called a timeout. Off the timeout, they worked it around to sophomore midfielder Brian Christopher. Christopher drove down the right side and took a righty jump shot. The slow bouncer fooled Zimmerman and just bounced over him high into the net (3:25 left). UNC would strike before the end of the half to send the game tied at 6 into the locker room.

“There are a couple of areas that concern me. We came in at halftime and it’s 6-6. They’re excited that it’s 6-6, we’re disappointed that it’s 6-6. I think we have to be mentally tougher. All 6-6 means to me, is that we’ve got thirty minutes to go win a ball game and we didn’t do that,” said Pietramala.

The third quarter was just as dramatic. Petracca again assisted to give Carolina their first lead on the day on a Nick Tintle goal on a man-up. Down 7-6, Hopkins reeled off three straight goals. The first came from Kimmel at the end of a long possession. That was followed by an Austin Walker jump shot. Their 9th came when Stephen Peyser pulled the ball out, drove down the wing and banged it over to Byrne. Byrne ripped it low past Zimmerman to give Hopkins a 9-7 lead.

UNC answered with a three goal run of their own. It started with a Driscoll unassisted goal, followed by Sean Delaney from Sean Burke to tie the game at 9 heading into the 4th quarter. To get the 4th quarter started, Bart Wagner fed a cutting Brian Connors. Running out of an angle to shoot from, Connors caught the pass righty and put a behind-the-back shot in giving UNC a 10-9 lead.

“He was open in the middle, he made a nice handle there. That was the shot that he had to take at that time. Brian has been one of those unsung guys for us all year long. He’s done all that little stuff for us. Today he played a tremendous game,” said UNC coach John Haus.

Not fazed, Hopkins had a decent possession, but Tim Kaiser beat out an errant shot to the end-line giving UNC possession behind the goal. On the clear, they overthrew it at the midfield. Hopkins defenseman Eric Zerrlaut came up with the groundball. He made a nice rollback towards the middle away from traffic and found Rabil across midfield. Rabil pushed it down and hit Byrne. Byrne nonchalantly ripped a sidearm shot past Zimmerman. No celebration, all business, as the senior notched his 4th on the day, and 13th on the year.

With a man-up and the game tied, Hopkins had a chance to take some momentum with 8:15 left in the game. To start the man-up, Hopkins quickly executed a play and got a player open on the doorstep. The pass was slightly high and he jumped and landed in the crease awarding the ball to UNC. Off the turnover, Carolina capitalized as Brian Connors found Michael Burns. Burns put a bounce shot in giving Carolina the lead for good with 7:11 to play. On the next possession, Sean Burke ran through the Hopkins defense and found himself one-on-one with Schwartzman. He faked him out and found the back of the net and a 12-10 lead for the Tarheels.

From there, Carolina played stall ball. Hopkins wasn’t without their opportunities; they just didn’t capitalize on them. With just over five minutes to play, Carolina made a nice defenseive stop and pushed it down on offense. They had a chance on the doorstep, but dropped the pass. A Carolina player came up with it and put the ball in the net for what appeared to be their 13th goal. However, he had stepped in the crease, so no goal. Schwartzman took the ball and sprinted to the alley to win the whistle and push the transition. Unfortunately, defenseman Matt Bocklet was down on the field with a cramp. They turned it over. Midfielder George Castle was clearing the ball later and he too went down with a cramp. Hopkins retained possession however as no one was near Castle when he went down.

With 1:59 to go, Carolina had just stopped Hopkins again and needed to clear the ball. Hopkins used a timeout and set up a ride. The ride forced the first pass to be all the way across the field to the top of the box. It was set up as they wanted and as Skakandi closed on the clearing middie, he slipped, basically giving him a free clear to the midfield. Hopkins recovered and the UNC middie felt pressure. So he just flicked it behind him into the middle of the box area. A UNC attackman came up with it and was pressured immediately. Just before the ball was knocked down, the UNC coaching staff made a heads-up timeout call to keep possession. Hopkins would get the ball back once more, but a miscommunication left them off-sides on the clear. Carolina would add one more with :28 to play, but it didn’t matter because Hopkins wouldn’t get the ball of the face-off.

The big differences in the game came on the success Carolina had facing off and the play of Zimmerman in net. They also had a 42-31 groundball advantage.

“When you look at face-offs and groundballs, that’s just too many defensive possessions. You know on a hot day like today, we wind up cramping up a little bit. But give North Carolina credit. Their goalie had a spectacular day, I would say he was a big difference in the game as he made some terrific saves. But we’ve been on the other side of that as well, it’s all a part of it. I just don’t think we played particularly great, and I don’t think we’re playing particularly great lacrosse right now. We’re playing hard, we’re trying, but we’re not getting the job done at the face-off X. We didn’t get the job done on the groundballs today. When push came to shove, our defense didn’t do a great job in the 2nd half. We didn’t really do a great job defensively. But this is a team loss. As I told them in the locker room, we have a choice right now. We’re 4-3, we’re right where we were a year ago. The difference is a year ago we weren’t playing Duke, we were playing Mount St. Mary’s. This year we’re playing Duke and Duke is a tough game, it’s a challenge, but it’s an opportunity. We need to be a little bit more determined,” said Pietramala.

“When you lose, you still got to do something well and riding’s something that we are doing well. If you want to talk about did we match their emotion, you look at the riding game and say ‘are you riding hard?’ That’s an intense part of the game; we are doing a good job there. We’re just giving the other teams too many possessions. When you’re 9 of 25 facing off, that’s seven more possessions for them. And on a hot day, that’s a factor. Hey, hat’s off to Carolina, we need to go back to work. We need to start playing better lacrosse. We’re not playing great lacrosse right now. I think the word for us right now is determined, we need to be a little more determined every day at practice.”

For UNC, this was a huge win coming off of two ACC losses. It should give them extra confidence as they head to Virginia next weekend.

“I think most importantly it means a lot to the players. That’s the most important thing here. Now they have the confidence to start believing,” said Haus.

“I think I liked our emotion, the way our kids were prepared for the game. They were emotionally ready to go, both mentally, which is real important, and physical too. And they played with confidence. We got down by three early, we got down by two late, they just played with confidence and kept making plays. I was really proud of that. You’re going to win lacrosse games by getting groundballs. You gotta have saves. We talked to our goalie about that. I think it was important for him to get off on the right foot. He probably made three or four saves in that first quarter right away and that helps you as a team, especially defensively. Facing off, if you can control the ball, you’re going to give yourself obviously that many more opportunities to score. Shane’s [Walterhoefer] a warrior on the inside and Coach Lattimore’s worked with him and they’ve done a great job,” Haus added.

“The thing is, especially with our schedule, the tournament’s way, way down the road. We told our guys three weeks that every game it gets tougher and tougher. We’ve gotta go to Charlottesville next weekend. They’re defending national champs and they’re as good a team as we’ll play all year long. It’s important that you continue to work hard, you continue to get better and you just stay focused on your opponent each week.”

For junior midfielder Rob Driscoll, who scored two goals on the day, he could hardly hide his excitement after the game.

“We said all week. We hadn’t beaten them in thirteen years. We had our freshmen pull up the starting rosters from that year and throw it up in the locker room. We ripped it up when we won. It feels good,” said Driscoll.

Post A Comment To This Story >

Congratulations to Carolina and Coach Haus!
    by (#136419) on 4/01/07 @5:54AM
I know that I have been negative towards Carolina and Coach Haus at times. However, I still hope they can turn things around, and it looks like they might be well on their well with this impressive win. I said last week that, for Carolina to go into next season on a real positive note, they would need to beat either Hopkins, UVA in the regular season, or their first round opponent in the ACC Tournament. Well, they have now accomplished one of those, and they very well might make the playoffs this year. I think that, if they win one of those other 2 games I mentioned, they are definitely in. Maybe they are in period. They have already beaten Notre Dame and Ohio State, who are not bad at all.

Either way, congratulations to Carolina and Coach Haus on a huge win and good luck the rest of the way.

P.S.-I think this might be the year Hopkins finally beats Navy!!
Reply to this

Oops! I spoke backwards!!
    by (#136419) on 4/01/07 @5:55AM
I just got out of bed! I meant, this is the year Navy finally beats Hopkins after almost 40 years!
Reply to this

penaltys ?
    by (#142750) on 4/01/07 @10:17AM
in the picyures it seems that there were some bad body checks
Reply to this

how come????
    by (#161678) on 4/01/07 @8:24AM
How come they didn't put UVA beating Maryland on this. I mean there are some UVA fans so why cant u just put them on it will make me happy.
Reply to this

You are right!
    by (#136419) on 4/01/07 @11:03AM
They should put UVA-Maryland on this, and Ben Rubeor should be the Tewarton winner. That dude is tearing it up!
Reply to this

    by (#161678) on 4/02/07 @7:22AM
at least there is one person that agrees with me. And i agree with Rubeor winning the Tewarton
Reply to this

and again???
    by (#161678) on 4/04/07 @10:44AM
HOW come they didnt put up the Cavs victory over the bearcats...are they forgettiung who won the title last year
Reply to this

They will put up the Virginia-North Carolina game
    by (#136419) on 4/04/07 @11:03AM
If they don't, there is something very wrong. By the way, even though the Cavs are the top program right now, it wouldn't be fair to put up every game of theirs. Besides, the goal for many is to have more parity in the game-not just in talented teams but in teams at least getting recognized.

However, the Cavs are the top program right now. Look for that to continue for a long time. Dom Starsia is an awesome recruiter and UVA is the world's easiest sell for talent.
Reply to this

This game was played at Kenan Stadium!!
    by (#136419) on 4/01/07 @11:06AM
You can tell it was because there are loads of seats and you can see the goalposts in the background. I thought that Carolina usually plays their lacrosse games at Fetzer Field, where the soccer team plays. Maybe they figured the crowd for this game would be too big for the game to be held at Fetzer.
Reply to this

Picture of Coach Haus
    by (#136419) on 4/01/07 @12:52PM
In that picture of Haus at the bottom, he is holding play cards. The one you can see says "Blue Jay." How fitting for yesterday's game. Also, maybe Haus still feels some allegiance to Hopkins, so he has a play with their team name in it.
Reply to this

Are you smoking something?
    by (#142595) on 4/01/07 @10:37PM
what are you talkin about, are you bored with life always trying to start random things on here. When you play another team you make different plays and defenses based on the other team so its easy to pick up, EXample: blue jay play card could possibly let them team know to shut off rabil or press out on near man.
Reply to this

UNC FOGO's stick is illegal
    by (#16732) on 4/02/07 @12:29AM
you can see the ball clamped in the underside of his stick in that one pic, but who cares, it seems like half the sticks in all of D1 are illegal nowadays...
Reply to this

not anymore!
    by (#143077) on 4/02/07 @1:04AM
its alot harder to play with an illegal stick, because after every goal they check the scorer's and the defensman's sticks.
Reply to this

Pick it up Jays...
    by (#136520) on 4/03/07 @6:23PM
Despite it still being relatively early in the season, Hopkins needs to stop giving up games that they SHOULD win. If they want a good seed this May, the Jays need to elminate those close losses from early in the season and get out there and start winning for once!
Reply to this

To make the TOURNAMENT, the Jays need to win!
    by (#136419) on 4/03/07 @9:27PM
I think that the Jays should be okay, unless they have a total collapse. Due to their name and schedule, unless they finish under .500, they should be fine. However, nothing is a given. Hopkins is not in as big a hole as Syracuse is, but they need to start winning some games. Right now, the Jays stand at 4-3.

Hopkins' remaining schedule is not exactly a cakewalk. Here are their remaining games, in order:

Mount St. Mary's

IMHO, all of these teams except for MSM can beat the Jays. Yes, even Towson. Man, how sweet would it be for Tony Seaman if his Tigers upset Hopkins, the school that fired him, and how extra sweet would it be if they ended up knocking Hopkins out of the tournament!? And how awesome would it feel for Navy to do the same thing, since they haven't beaten Hopkins in almost 40 years.

Like I said, I am confident that Hopkins will win enough to make the tournament. However, I think it is time to start getting just a little bit concerned if you are a Hopkins fan and time to get very focused on winning.

With Syracuse's Final Four streak over in 2005 after 22 straight seasons, I think that, hands-down, the most impressive streak now is Hopkins' NCAA Tournament run. Since it started in 1970, Hopkins has been in it every year. And they are the only team who has been in it every year.

What do you all predict will happen?
Reply to this

    by (#143077) on 4/03/07 @10:21PM
Lose to Duke and Maryland, But i think they can pull through against navy. I dont see towson beating hopkins, nor mount saint mary's. And loyola is a toss up, they've been playing some very good lacrosse and have some quality wins. Where as Navy i don't think has those big wins they need to prove themselves against hopkins.
Reply to this

Could Navy's easy early part of schedule hurt?
    by (#136419) on 4/03/07 @11:41PM
Navy played Georgetown last weekend, and lost 10-9. Georgetown was the first real solid team on their schedule. Do you all think that Navy's easy early-season schedule hurts them at all? Of course, Navy plays Maryland this coming Friday in Annapolis, so Navy will have played at least 1 more solid team before they play Hopkins.
Reply to this

    by (#143077) on 4/04/07 @12:50PM
I think jumping off against a good team in the start of their season is key to figuring out mistakes and errors, while those other teams are still fresh in the season as well. Albany jumpstarted theirs with a win over hopkins and never looked back.
Reply to this

(no subject)
    by (#163239) on 4/05/07 @4:50PM
unc is god this year.
Reply to this

I wouldn't go that far!
    by (#136419) on 4/06/07 @2:15AM
Yes, UNC seems improved. But they definitely are not God! No doubt this was a big win for the Tarheels, but this is not one of the best Hopkins teams of the past some years. UNC could proove to be God in future years, but not this year. Okay! UNC still has to play UVA in the regular season and then play in the ACC Tournament. If they win at least a couple throughout those games, they still are not God, but I would consider them being quite a bit closer than they are right now!
Reply to this