Johns Hopkins called a timeout and gave the ball to their First-team All-American Paul Rabil after a fight for the looseball in overtime. Rabil dodged right-to-left and won a hard-fought game between two long-time rivals :43 into overtime, 8-7 over Maryland. Juniors Rabil (1g, 2a) and Kevin Huntley (3g) led the way for the Blue Jays with three points each. Seniors Michael Phipps (1g, 2a) and Chris Feifs (3g) provided Maryland's offensive power, also with three points a piece.
College Park, MD – It’s been a couple of years since this game really lived up to the hype. Three epic one goal games in ’01, ’02 and ’03 led to comfortable wins by Hopkins in ’04 (in their 100th meeting) and ’05, and a surprisingly dominating win by Maryland in ’06. For both teams this has been a year of mixed results. Heading into the game, Hopkins was a disappointing 4-4, needing to win 3 of its last 5 games just to be eligible for the NCAA tournament. Maryland was 8-3 with a sound beating at the hands of Duke and UVA, and also a tough loss to Georgetown. Maryland was coming off a must-win last week at Navy that they took in double overtime, whereas Hopkins was coming off a two goal loss to Duke and this was a must-win game.
Maryland got the scoring started early as freshman Bryn Holmes got an unassisted goal 1:45 into the game. Holmes is fitting into a do-it all role for the Terps, slated as a defensive middie, he also went 7 for 11 facing off while causing two turnovers on the night. As the rain came down harder and harder, neither team could get much going on offense for nearly the rest of the quarter. That went on until Paul Rabil dodged as time was running down. Rabil looked hesitant in dodging, but he did anyway, and found Kevin Huntley alone in the middle. Huntley, not known for being ambidextrous, handled the pass with his right (off) hand and put an awkward right-handed shot in. Regardless of whether it was pretty or not, Huntley got Hopkins on the board with just :09 left in the first quarter.
When it rains like it was in the first half, the weather is always a factor. But despite the weather, the stick skills weren’t as bad as you’d expect. Footing appeared to be a little bit of an issue and likely slowed down the offenses in that respect.
To get the second quarter going, Thomas Alford tried to run through the Hopkins defense down the left side. He appeared to beat one guy, only to be sandwiched. Eventually the ball popped out and skittered straight across to Aussie freshman midfielder Adam Sear. Sear handled the ball, put a face-dodge on his defender and beat Hopkins goalie Jesse Schwartzman on the one-on-one. Hopkins would answer with their 2nd line midfielders. Sophomore midfielder Austin Walker (whose older brother John – a 3-time AA attackman at Army was in attendance) set up a nice right-to-left split dodge. Off the dodge he got the separation he needed to put a jump shot off-stick high and beat Maryland’s Brian Phipps with 11:26 to play.
Maryland’s defense came up with a big stop on a long Hopkins possession at around the 8:45 mark. Phipps made the save and defenseman Ray Megill came up with the groundball. The Terps got the ball over midfield but couldn’t hang on to it an quickly turned it over. On the ensuing possession, Austin Walker had a nearly identical split dodge to shot. This time the sophomore gave Hopkins a 3-2 lead as he put the ball in off past Phipps’ hip on the off-stick side. Following Walker’s 2nd goal, Maryland got a shot off, but Schwartzman made the stop. On the clear, he found Stephen Peyser breaking up-field. Peyser carried it himself to the box where he dumped it down the side to senior Jake Byrne. The sharp-shooting Byrne put a shot to the far pipe at about knee height past Phipps to give Hopkins a 4-2 halftime lead.
Maryland’s offense got rolling to start the 2nd half. Michael Phipps found Chris Feifs less than two minutes in to cut the lead to 4-3. Two minutes later, Phipps again got involved, this time receiving a pass from Max Ritz and finishing it himself to tie the game once again. To take the lead, Max Ritz made a nice skip pass on a man-up to Chris Feifs. Feifs ripped a bounce past that seemed to get speed after bouncing that Schwartzman didn’t have much of a chance on. Feifs’ goal gave Maryland a 5-4 lead with 6:23 left in the third quarter.
Maryland’s lead was short-lived. Wasting no time after winning the face-off, freshman Steven Boyle found Kevin Huntley who notched his 2nd on the night, just twenty seconds after Feifs’ goal tying the game once again. Two and a half minutes later, sophomore midfielder Brian Christopher dodged to his right. His defenseman went for a back check and got Christopher’s stick. Christopher was able to hang on to the ball and rip a right-handed sidearm shot. The shot beat Phipps high and gave Hopkins the lead once again, 6-5. Phipps made a huge save as time expired in the third quarter to keep Hopkins from adding another last minute goal.
Hopkins looked like they were going to pull away early in the fourth quarter as Paul Rabil found Huntley, stretching the lead to two and gave him a hat trick on the night. However, Maryland’s offense kept fighting. Sophomore Jeremy Sieverts added an unassisted goal with 9:33 to play, which was then followed up by Chris Feifs completing his hat trick. Feifs’ 3rd goal tied the game at 7 with 7:07 remaining..
Neither team could break the tie in the fourth as both goalies stepped up their game. Maryland only generated four shots in the final quarter, but had a pretty good percentage: two were goals and the other two were saves by Schwartzman. Hopkins, however, generated seven shots and four were turned away by Phipps. Maryland held the ball for nearly the last two minutes as they waited for the final shot. Jeremy Sieverts himself held the ball for over a minute as he ran along the end-line killing time. As Sieverts started to set up their last second play, Hopkins defensive midfielder, Andrew Miller, made a great play to force Sieverts towards the end-line. In desperation, Sieverts flicked the ball towards the middle of the field as he was going out-of-bounds. Hopkins got the loose ball and pushed it up into transition. Brian Phipps again came up big for Maryland as he stopped the last second shot just as the horn was going off.
To start overtime, Maryland sent out longpole Ray Megill for the face-off. Prior to last week’s double overtime win over Navy, Megill had never taken a face-off. In the span of one week he has lined up for the opening face-off against a Top 10 Division I team in overtime…twice. Hopkins’ Jamison Koesterer directed the face-off back towards his defensive side. Maryland immediately came up with it and got a shot off, but sent it wide. Hopkins cleared the ball and called a timeout with about thirty seconds gone in the overtime. Off of the timeout, 1st Team All-American Paul Rabil took the ball, dodged left-to-right. While running to his left, he put a bounce shot past Phipps and won the game :47 into overtime. The Hopkins’ celebration was pretty comical as the team ran after Rabil past the end zone and all slid along he rain soaked ground crashing into the pile-up.
While the win was needed for Hopkins, they can’t afford a let-down. With four games to play, three coming against top-20 teams), they have to win at least two of them to be eligible for the tournament. The next big test comes next week as Navy travels to Homewood Field.
The Terps head up to Franklin Field next weekend to take on Penn, before heading to Durham for a much anticipated ACC Tournament in two weekends.
|Chris Feifs||(3, 0)|
|Michael Phipps||(1, 2)|
|Max Ritz||(0, 2)|
|Bryn Holmes||(1, 0)|
|Jeremy Sieverts||(1, 0)|
|Adam Sear||(1, 0)|
|Brian Phipps||8 (0.500)|