Conor Gill scored for Virginia in the FOURTH OVERTIME to defeat Hopkins 9-8 in front of 2,820 fans at Homewood Field. This was a very physical game filled with exciting plays on both sides of the ball. Each team had multiple opportunities to win in regulation as well as the extra periods. Big performances from young players, Gill and Tilman Johnson were the difference. Once again, the low scoring trend in men's college lacrosse this year continued.
This was an intense match-up from before the opening whistle as Coach Pietramala stood at midfield and stared down the entire Virginia team as they took their warm-up lap. Hopkins looked tough as each player warmed up in a black rain suit and it was Hopkins that came out strong. Conor Denihan scored first on an overhand bounce shot from 10 yards out while being covered by a pole. Bobby Benson put up a second goal for JHU when he caught a feed from Adam Doneger as he was cutting from up top. Virginia got their first of the game when they were two men-up as a result of a slash and push call against Hopkins. A.J. Shannon stuck it top left. Hopkins ended the first quarter as strong as they started with two extra-man goals. Denihan got his second of the game when he finished a pass from Rob Frattarola. Then Conor Ford, the freshman from St. Paul's, scored off a pass from Benson. Before those goals Hopkins was 0-10 in EMO for the season.
Ford scored again on another EMO situation for the Hop. He knocked in a shot and despite a protest from UVA goalie Tillman Johnson the goal counted. Senior David Jenkins took the game into his hands and brought Virginia within three as he won the face-off and took it straight in for a goal. That face-off match-up between Jenkins and Eric Wedin was great to watch but give the edge to Jenkins. Ian Shure brought UVA a little bit closer as he snuck around from behind the cage and dunked it. But Hopkins answered with two of their own. First it was Benson who completed a feed from Pat Miller but paid for it as he was planted but the slide. The hit was determined to be a dead-ball foul and Hopkins took possession with out a face-off and scored again. It was Ford completing his hat-trick on a quick stick off Benson’s pass. Virginia closed out the scoring in the half with Gill who came from behind. Goalie Rob Scherr made an interesting decision when he came out of the cage to play the ball but was unsuccessful. The score was 7-4 in favor of Hopkins at halftime.
Virginia looked like they took the momentum of the late goal and went on a tear. Sophomore Billy Glading scored first but paid the price when he was decleated in front of the goal. He did not return to action. Shure got his second of the game when he completed a feed from Gill to bring the Cavaliers within one. Hopkins did score again to protect their lead when Doneger scored unassisted. Rotelli put Virginia back within striking distance when he scored as they were two men-up.
Neither team had much offense in the fourth quarter except Virginia which scored with 2:35 left in regulation. It was Rotelli again taking it himself. Hopkins could have taken a two goal lead with about ten minutes left but Johnson made a huge point-blank save. There were a lot of loose balls and both teams certainly had their opportunities to win it in regulation. But the score ended 8-8 and we went to the extra session.
Hopkins won the face and immediately called time-out. They managed to get a quality shot off but Johnson caught it. UVA tried to clear the ball but were hit with a holding call which sent possession back to Hopkins. Benson was open in front of the crease but was handcuffed by Brett Hughes and unable to get off a shot. UVA cleared the ball and called time-out. Gill takes the ball and drives to X. He feeds Rotelli who puts it off the pipe. P.J. DiConza made a big clear and dumped it to his attack who lost the ball. A scramble for the ball bounced to UVA. Gill took the ball to cage and scored but the goal was disallowed because he was in the crease. It was possibly a push but the no-call was probably the better decision. Rotelli got off another shot for UVA but to no avail.
Jenkins won the face in the second overtime and as expected UVA called time-out. Once again Gill took the ball to X and tried to run the same play. A.J. Shannon had a shot with some open net but was unable to convert. Wedin picked up a big ground ball and ran it into Hopkins territory where they called time-out. Benson had possession and took a shot just high. A collective sigh could be heard through the stadium. UVA got the ball back but failed to get a shot off as time expired and we moved into the third overtime.
Hopkins won the face-off to start this period because of a heads-up coaching move by Petro. He noticed that on most of Jenkins’ face-offs he pushes it forward so Perto moved DiConza down the line and it worked as Hopkins got possession and called time-out. McDermott got a shot off but it was high. UVA stole the ball and surprisingly did not call time-out. Holcomb got a great look but it bounced high. UVA retained possession and this time did call time-out. Rotelli got a shot off but it was saved. UVA stole the ball riding and Rotelli had another shot that sailed wide. Gill took the ball behind and was picked clean. JHU took the ball upfield and Doneger shot one wide. Hopkins took another shot as time expired but it was no good.
The fourth overtime started with a loose ball push on Hopkins and UVA took a time-out. Once again Gill took the ball to X and this time he took it himself and scored to put an end to the game. This was the longest game in Virginia’s school history. It is the first multiple overtime game for Hopkins since they played against Virginia in the 1980 NCAA Championship game.
This game was huge for UVA because without it they probably would have been on the bouble for the NCAA tournament. Gill said that “we haven’t begun to think about that.” Coach Pietramala felt that his team “made too many mistakes and those mistakes came back to haunt us.” Johnson credited the victory to the defense, “They played great. They kept us in it. That is why we won this game.”
Johns Hopkins vs. Virginia