Blogs and Commentary

posted 04.17.2011 at 1.11 p.m. by Corey McLaughlin

Sunday Leftovers: Johns Hopkins-Maryland

The 107th meeting of Johns Hopkins and Maryland Saturday night at a rainy Byrd Stadium in College Park left plenty to talk about. Here are some hefty leftovers that didn't make Saturday night's original story.

Bill Belichick is Really Taking Lacrosse Season Seriously

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick, a friend of Johns Hopkins coach Dave Pietramala, was in attendance and congratulated Hopkins players' on their win in the locker room after the game. Belichick also watched the second half of the Army-Navy game earlier Saturday at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis with Pietramala and Hopkins assistant Bobby Benson. Thought bubble: Belichick's son does play for Rutgers, right?

Ruhl The Day

Johns Hopkins freshman midfielder Eric Ruhl scored twice and assisted on the Jays' goal that made it 10-9 in his first game of extended playing time after dealing with an unspecified injury the previous three games. "It's pretty much my first game back," said Ruhl, a freshman from Dublin Jerome (Ohio). "I got a few runs against Albany (an 11-6 win April 8). I pretty much just wanted to come out tonight and play as hard as I could. I knew it was huge rivalry. We practiced hard all week and I guess things just fell into place."

Niko's Learning

Two of Hopkins' goals, including one of its two in the first half when the offense was struggling, were the result of intercepted outlet passes from Maryland redshirt freshman goaltender Niko Amato.

"We discussed it," Maryland coach John Tillman said. "Niko made some big saves for us (12). He's had a terrific year for us. Like any young goalie ... he's learning as he goes. There's some things that he can improve upon, just like myself and the two guys here (Joe Cummings and Ryan Young). We'll keep fixing it and work at it. His goal is to be the best goalie in the country."

10-on-10 or 3-on-3?

Maryland's Curtis Holmes and his wingmen neutralized Hopkins' Matt Dolente for the most part. The Jays' only won 4-of-11 first-half faceoffs. Maryland ended up winning the faceoff battle, 15 to 12. Dolente had entered this week leading the NCAA in winning percentage (.702).

"We didn't have our best day at the faceoff X, though we were much better in the second half," Pietramala said. "They make it a 10-man type of ground ball. We talk a lot about it being a 3-man game. We felt like Matt has done a real good job of winning it to himself, and we've talked about trying to keep their wings off, and letting Matt win it himself before they could get there. We weren't able to do that tonight. That was extremely difficult because of Curtis Holmes (who took all faceoffs for Maryland). When he didn't win one, and we didn't win one clean, it was a ground ball scrum. I thought our wings did a solid job. I don't think we gave them a lot of transition off the faceoff, which was one of our huge keys. No transition. No faceoff transition."

On Close Games and Comebacks

The result was the eighth time in the last 14 meetings of these two teams to be decided by one goal. Four of the last five went into overtime. ... It was the first time Johns Hopkins overcame a five-goal deficit since March 18, 2005. In that game, the Jays' trailed Syracuse, 7-1, in the second quarter before winning, 12-11, in overtime; coincidentally, the same score from Saturday night.

No Comment on Calls

Tillman was asked if he agreed about two late-game penalties assessed to his team. A 30-second push with 2:10 left in the fourth quarter and the one-minute slash on Ryder Bohlander that gave Hopkins a man-up chance the led to Wharton's winning goal in overtime. Tillman basically had no comment.

"I'm not going to comment on their play," Tillman said of the officials. "We have to play well enough to overcome weather or anything else that comes our way. I'm focused more on us playing better. Whether I agree with some of the calls or not, it doesn't really matter. I can't change that."

Petro's Press Conference Ender

As if reminding his players to be polite at dinner, Pietramala told Kyle Wharton, Chris Boland and Ruhl at the end of a postgame press conference in Maryland's football dining hall, "Push your chairs in boys. Let's go home." They did both.