Hopkins rallies past Loyola, 9-6

Hopkins rallies past Loyola, 9-6

Hopkins rallies past Loyola, 9-6

Hopkins rallies past Loyola, 9-6

The Johns Hopkins Blue Jays topped the Loyola Greyhounds, 9-6, after trailing5-3 midway through the third quarter. The Blue Jays got their fifth win in a row with three goals from Michael Kimmel, 14 saves from Michael Gvozden and 12 groundballs from Matt Bocklet. Loyola’s six goals were spread out over five different scorers.

Today’s game completed the nearly exact repeat of last year’s regular season for the Blue Jays. A year ago, the Blue Jays found themselves at 4-4 and needing to win at least three of their last five games to make the NCAA Tournament. This year the Blue Jays dropped five games in a row (three in overtime and sat at 3-5 with five games to play. They needed to win at least four of their last five. Instead the Blue Jays won all five, all were dominant except for the performance against the Greyhounds. Last year’s team won the national championship, while this team still awaits their seeding on Sunday night.

The Blue Jays started slowly and took a while to find a rhythm offensively. While Loyola’s defense played hard forcing the Blue Jays into mistakes and not letting them get settled. Loyola freshman goalie Jake Hagelin also made some nice saves to stifle the Hopkins attack. Both teams traded long possessions throughout the game. As Loyola grabbed a 5-3 lead midway through the third, Hopkins’ offense came to life. First, Tom Duerr grabbed a rebound off a Hagelin save and put it into the back of the net to make it a one-goal game. Shortly after midfielder Brian Christopher dodged from behind, just barely getting topside on his defender and let go a shot as he turned the corner which knotted the game heading into the fourth, which prevented Loyola from testing their 7-0 record when leading after three quarters.

Paul Rabil wasted little time giving Hopkins the lead in the fourth with a left-handed shot that he snuck in low. Shortly after a slight defensive miscommunication gave Hopkins’ Michael Kimmel a couple of good opportunities. It seemed that some on the defense thought Kimmel was a lefty, while others were yelling he was a righty. In any case, on back-to-back possessions, Kimmel iso’ed on a short-stick from X and drove to his right. Both times he turned the corner and put a right-handed shot past Hagelin in a 69-second span.

Loyola would get possessions late in the game, but couldn’t manage to find the back of the net.

Both teams will await to see their NCAA fates on Sunday night. Loyola is assured of an NCAA berth due to their ECAC championship and AQ, while Hopkins isn’t officially guranteed a spot, their 8-5 record, impressive strength of schedule and quality wins all but assures them of a spot and likely a high seed.

Both teams’ defenses played hard throughout the game and made some nice takeaways. Hopkins senior Matt Bocklet stood out once again as he scooped up a career high 12 groundballs. He continues to prove that he’s one of the best, if not the best, longpoles in the country at getting the ball up off the ground and moving towards the offense.

While Hopkins offense struggled at times today, it wasn’t all bad as they showed yet another way that they can get the job done offensively. Early in the season their offense was mainly started by dodges by midfielders Paul Rabil or Stephen Peyser. During their losing streak teams seemed like they figured out how to stop it. It took the Blue Jays awhile, but their offense started moving the ball and attacking more from the attack. Today when the attack was slowed down by Loyola’s defense, other midfielders stepped up. As long as they figure out how to adapt quicker in the NCAA tournament, the Blue Jays have the potential to cause some damage, especially with the experience, coaching and tough defense as their staples.

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From Press Release

BALTIMORE, MD - The fifth-ranked Johns Hopkins men's lacrosse team used a 6-0 second-half run to erase a 5-3 deficit en route to a 9-6 win over host Loyola at Diane Geppi Aikens Field Saturday afternoon. The win is the fifth straight overall and the ninth straight against Loyola for the Blue Jays, who improve to 8-5 on the year and have likely secured their 37th straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Loyola, champions of the ECAC and recipient of the league's automatic bid to the upcoming NCAA Tournament, slips to 7-6 with its second straight loss.

Loyola rattled off three consecutive goals in a span of just over three minutes midway through the third quarter to take a 5-3 lead, but an opportunistic goal by junior Tom Duerr jump-started the game-turning run for the Blue Jays. Duerr's fourth goal of the season came after Loyola's Jake Hagelin made a save, but failed to handle the rebound. Duerr scooped up the loose ball seven yards in front of the cage and fired home his only goal of the game to pull the Blue Jays within one. Junior Brian Christopher knotted the game three minutes later when he dodged from behind the goal and beat Hagelin upstairs. Both teams had chances to take a one-goal lead before the end of the third period, but Hagelin made a nice save on a Mark Bryan shot in the final minute and Michael Gvozden made a save at the buzzer to keep it 5-5 entering the final quarter.

Hopkins needed just 71 seconds of the fourth quarter to take the lead for good as senior Paul Rabil dodged down the ally and snuck a low left-handed laser between Hagelin and the pipe for his 22nd goal of the season. The Blue Jay defense then forced four straight Loyola turnovers before sophomore Michael Kimmel gave the Blue Jays some breathing room with back-to-back goals in a 69-second span. Out of a timeout he isolated behind the goal and stuck one inside the cross bar after dodging to Hagelin's right and the Blue Jays ran the same play a minute later with the same result to push out to an 8-5 lead. Christopher's second goal of the game with 2:23 remaining sealed the victory, although the `Hounds got the last goal of the game with two seconds remaining on a transition goal by Cooper MacDonnell off an assist from Paul Richards.

A defensive struggle in the first half produced a 2-2 tie at intermission. Shane Koppens gave the Greyhounds an early 1-0 lead as he got a step inside his defender and beat Gvozden with a behind-the-back shot from in tight with 12:53 remaining. Kimmel answered with a 10-yard left-handed blast after spinning inside his defender off an ally dodge. The 1-1 tie lasted just under two minutes before Collin Finnerty drove to the goal and scored from the three yards out with 7:54 remaining in the opening period. The Blue Jays took a short-lived 3-2 lead early in the second half as Peyser dodged from the top and netted his 18th goal of the season with a left-handed rocket, but Loyola answered quickly with a 3-0 run that gave the Greyhounds the 5-3 lead. Koppens' second goal of the game less than two minutes after Peyser's goal forced the third tie of the game and Taylor Ebsary scored nine seconds later from the doorstep of a nifty feed from Koppens to make it 4-3. A transition goal by Chris Basler just over three minutes later after a Blue Jay turnover gave the `Hounds the two-goal lead, but Duerr's goal three minutes after that ignited the game-turning 6-0 run. The Blue Jay defense held Loyola scoreless for 23:44 between Basler's goal and the final tally by MacDonnell in the closing seconds.

Kimmel's three goals led the way for the Blue Jays, who also got two goals from Peyser and Christopher. Gvozden continued to sparkle late in the season as he posted 14 saves while allowing just the six goals. Senior Matt Bocklet was dazzling with the ball on the ground as he registered a career-high 12 ground balls. With his efforts leading the way the Blue Jays won the ground ball war 33-24 and were successful on 21-of-22 clearing attempts.

Koppens was the only multi-point scorer for the Greyhounds as he had the two goals and one assist. Hagelin was strong in goal for Loyola as he posted 10 saves, including eight through three quarters as the teams battled to a 5-5 tie after 45 minutes. Loyola held a 31-27 advantage in shots and won 12-of-19 faceoffs.

#5 Johns Hopkins (8-5) 1-1-3-4/9

#17 Loyola (7-6) 2-0-3-1/6

Goals: J: Kimmel-3, Christopher-2, Peyser-2, Rabil, Duerr. L: Koppens-2, MacDonnell, Finnerty, Basler, Ebsary. Assists: J: None. L: Koppens, Landry, Ricci, Richards. Saves: J: Hagelin-10. J: Gvozden-14. Shots: J-27. L-31. EMO: J: 0-for-2. L: 0-for-2. Attendance: 3,410.

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Could This Be Deja Vu For Hopkins?
    by (#136419) on 5/03/08 @11:47PM
Hopkins is in an almost identical position right now that they were in last year when they were going into the NCAA Tournament. Going into the Maryland game in both 2007 and this year, it looked like, if Hopkins lost, their NCAA Tournament hopes would be in bad shape. But, both this year and last year, Hopkins beat Maryland and proceded to win the rest of their regular season games. And this year, just like in 2007, they seem to be on the verge of peaking at the right time and getting it done on both sides of the field.

But, even though they appeared to be playing much better ball at this time in 2007, not many people considered them to be a big title threat. But they were in for a surprise. Hopkins beat Notre Dame, Georgetown, Delaware, and Duke to win it's second title in three years. And, I am sure that not many people are picking them to win THIS YEAR'S title. I bet you if you took a poll as to who will win the title this year, most people would say Duke, Syracuse(even though they lost to Colgate), or UVA.

Can Hopkins do it again? I think they could. They have a great team, plenty of experience in the NCAA Tournament, and very good senior leadership.
 
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Is it that time already...
    by (#65281) on 5/05/08 @11:57AM
Ok nap town time to talk tourney with you again this year. Your right that this year is much like it was last, but I think this year has been a touch worse then last. And having hop as your champs this year is tough because well hopefully they will meet Duke in the semis on Saturday rather then the finals on Monday like last year, And that game is going to be tough one matter what. There will be emotions behind that game like no other year in the past. Toss 2005 and 2007 out the window as great games between the two teams this will be one to remember. Now I am a blue jay fan, but I have to say that duke will take care of business. Tell me the game on Saturday will not be a great one no matter what. Depending on how far Md makes it I will probably not even go in for that game, but the Duke Hop game will defiantly have my attention. Picking UVA over UMBC? I agree with you, but I think we might be proved wrong. I think UMBC might pull it out down in C-ville I think UVA has too many young individual players this year, and that might hurt them in the 1st round. Look for them 09 in Boston, but this year I am not so sure.
 
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