UNC Nips Hopkins In OT, 10-9

UNC Nips Hopkins In OT, 10-9

UNC Nips Hopkins In OT, 10-9

UNC Nips Hopkins In OT, 10-9

CHAPEL HILL, NC - One week after a tough 16-15 loss to unbeaten and top-ranked Virginia, the Johns Hopkins men's lacrosse team suffered an even more hard-to-swallow setback on Saturday afternoon at North Carolina as the Tar Heels got a goal from Sean Delaney 2:29 into overtime to slip past the Blue Jays 10-9. Hopkins, which trailed for nearly the entire game before scoring twice in the final 5:16 to force the extra session, slips to 3-4 on the year, while the Tar Heels improve to 8-3.

Johns Hopkins won the faceoff in overtime, but never seemed comfortable getting setup and senior Brian Christopher turned the ball over 15 yards in front of the goal in the middle of the field. After a North Carolina clear and timeout, the Tar Heels worked the ball behind the goal to Bitter, who started to come up the left side before finding Delaney unchecked 12 yards in front of the goal. Delaney had time and room to set his feet and beat Michael Gvozden with a low shot to win it.

The Blue Jays trailed 9-7 with just over six minutes remaining in regulation after Bitter and Bart Wagner scored back-to-back goals in a 25-second span. The Blue Jays drew within one 59 seconds after Wagner's goal when senior Mark Bryan slipped a pass inside to junior Chris Boland, who one-timed a shot past North Carolina goalie Grant Zimmerman from doorstep. After winning the ensuing faceoff and withstanding a turnover, the Blue Jays regained possession and tied the score with 1:01 remaining when Bryan found senior Josh Peck six yards from the goal and Peck picked the far corner to force overtime. That set the stage for Delaney's game-winner, which gave the Tar Heels their third straight win over the Blue Jays.

One week after Hopkins and Virginia combined for 12 first quarter goals, the Blue Jays and Tar Heels needed more than 13 minutes to find the back of the net as goalkeepers Gvozden and Zimmerman held firm until the `Heels scored in transition with 1:41 remaining in the opening period. The Blue Jays had worked the ball in tight on offense, only to turn the ball over. North Carolina quickly worked the ball down field and Wagner fired one home off a feed from Delaney.

The Blue Jays needed less than two minutes - 14 seconds really - to take the lead early in the second quarter as midfielders Michael Kimmel and Matt Dolente scored back-to-back goals to give the Blue Jays a one-goal lead. Kimmel swept across the top of the box, gained an edge on his defender with a stutter-step and beat Zimmerman low to the far post. Dolente scored off the ensuing faceoff to give the Blue Jays what would turn out to be their only lead of the game.

The Tar Heels tallied three times in the final 6:54 of the second period to carry a 4-2 lead into halftime. Sean Burke opened the three-goal spree with a nice spin-move along the goal line that gave him a step on his defender and he beat Gvozden with a high-to-low shot from in tight. Bitter streaked to the goal from the back corner 75 seconds later and beat a late slide to make it 3-2 and Gavin Petracca scored in transition after a Blue Jay turnover with 1:14 left in the first half to account for the 4-2 halftime score.

The Tar Heels threatened to run away with the game early in the third quarter as they scored back-to-back goals just 10 seconds apart. Delaney scored the first of his two goals off a feed from Ben Hunt as he rifled a 10-yard shot just inside the far post and Petracca handcuffed Gvozden right off the following faceoff as he slipped one inside the near post.

The Blue Jays hopped back in the game as Austin Walker and Marshall Burkkart scored back-to-back goals three minutes apart midway through the third quarter. Walker scored off a feed from Steven Boyle as he dropped down and beat Zimmerman from 10 yards, while Burkhart took a cross-field feed from freshman Tom Palasek and blew his third goal of the season past Zimmerman. When Brian Christopher scored two minutes after Burkhart in a scramble situation, the Blue Jays seemingly had all the momentum, but a turnover less than two minutes later cost the Blue Jays again as Cryder DiPietro scored an identical goal to Delaney's game-winner to give the Heels a 7-5 lead.

Bryan had a hand in both goals that forced a 7-7 tie as he found Boyle in front of the goal just over a minute into the fourth quarter and Boyle quick-sticked it home to make it a one-goal game. Bryan added the equalizer five minutes later when he found the far post from his knees seven yards to Zimmerman's right.

Bitter's goal that made it 8-7 came just under two minutes after Bryan's goal and set the stage for the nail-biting finish, which Delaney sealed with his game-winner with 91 seconds remaining in overtime.

Bryan's three assists and four points are both career-highs. Kimmel (1g, 2a) and Boyle (1g, 1a) were the only other Blue Jays who registered multi-point games as Hopkins had nine different players score goals in the game. Gvozden posted 10 saves in goal for the Blue Jays.

Bitter, Petracca, Delaney and Wagner all scored twice for the Tar Heels, who held advantages in shots (45-28) and ground balls (42-30). Zimmerman posted eight saves in goal for North Carolina.

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Deja Vu For Hopkins
    by (#136419) on 3/29/09 @1:18PM
Just like this season, after the first 7-8 games in both 2007 and 2008, Hopkins was right around .500. But then they turned it on, won it all in 2007, and went to the Title Game in 2008. I don't know if they will go that far in 2009, but I think that they will turn it on again and continue their streak of Quarterfinal(or beyond) appearances. They have made at least the Quarterfinals every year since 1991.
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News to Me
    by (#7572) on 3/29/09 @2:35PM
Wow Naptown. We don't see that same post every time Hopkins loses a regular season game. Thanks for informing us all of that. I didn't realize Hopkins would be turning it on in the playoffs. History hasn't told us that. Thanks you are full of lacrosse insight.
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Well-It Is Okay To Make Predictions, Right?
    by (#136419) on 3/29/09 @5:28PM
I am just saying that Hopkins is in a similar position and will turn it on later. But UNC beat them, fair and square. This could be looked at as a breakthrough win for Joe Breschi. And this is just the first of many good moments the Heels will have with him.
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(no subject)
    by (#72283) on 3/29/09 @5:46PM
Its great to see UNC shine this year, and it'll be interesting to see how they make out once Breschi's recruitment starts to take shape.

As for Hop, their last two loses were very close games against very competitive opponents, so I think its safe to say that they'll probably finish out this season in the usual fashion.
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Breschi Is Off To A Great Start In Recruiting!
    by (#136419) on 3/29/09 @11:11PM
Absolutely! Breschi has some solid players coming in for 2009. But, he already has several great players committed for 2010. In fact, I have a bold prediction:

Breschi is going to bring in an all-time great recruiting class in 2010.
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(no subject)
    by (#72283) on 4/01/09 @10:59AM
I've heard UNC is spending a lot of scouting time up in Canada, which was very successful for OSU in the past.

Breschi's future goal as coach of this team ought to be winning his conference. UNC is playing well so far, but they won't win the ACC again.
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All-time great recruiting class?
    by (#142666) on 4/03/09 @1:05PM
Nap -- Are you forgetting that Willie Scroggs' build a dynasty that went 2 straight years without a loss? 5 of his Tar Heels were on the '82 All-American first team. Breschi can't and won't match that.
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Maybe All-Time Great Wasn't The Right Word
    by (#136419) on 4/03/09 @3:36PM
You are right that Willie Scroggs' classes were awesome. And, due to there being much more parity in the game, Breschi's classes probably won't match them. In fact, those teams were among the best ever, and very seldom will we see teams with such talent. But, I do think it is possible that his 2010 class could be one of the most hyped and highly touted classes in quite some time-maybe not the most, but one of the most.

In terms of easy sells for talent, Carolina should be right under UVA. And, with a coach like Breschi, I think they have a lot to look forward to in recruiting.
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Glad You Mentioned Scroggs & Those 80's Teams
    by (#136419) on 4/03/09 @3:52PM
They may actually have been THE best ever. I know that they featured attackman Michael Burnette, goalie Tommy Sears, & defender John Haus. And of course, they were led by Scroggs, who remains one of the best coaches & recruiters ever. That coaching staff was sick:

Willie Scroggs-head coach
Don Zimmerman-assistant coach
Dave Klarmann-assistant coach
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