March 20, 2010

White Bounces Back, Stymies Kimmel in SU Win

by Nelson Coffin | Special to Lacrosse Magazine Online | Game Blog
BALTIMORE –  In the wake of a disappointing 10-7 loss to Syracuse on Saturday night at a jam-packed Homewood Field, Johns Hopkins coach Dave Pietramala is still looking for answers.

"We're a team searching for an identity," Pietramala said, noting that Syracuse (4-1) was in a similar boat until it pulled out a 15-12 triumph over Georgetown last week. "That was a Syracuse team that found themselves. They've done what we're trying to do."

What the Orange did on an almost-balmy spring evening is take the crowd out of the game by jumping to a 5-1 halftime advantage and then weathering a 4-0 Blue Jay run in the second half to secure the victory.

"We're on spring break, so we had a lot of time to prepare for the Blue Jays," Syracuse coach John Desko said.

That preparation included getting longstick middie Joel White to bounce back from what some might consider a subpar performance in an 11-10 setback to Virginia on March 7 in Charlottesville. The junior did just that, scoring the Orange's final goal while holding Hopkins senior middie Michael Kimmel without a point.

"Joel and I talked a lot about that this week," said winning goalie John Galloway, who finished with nine saves. "He took a lot of heat from the Virginia game, so he went and proved that he's what I consider the best longstick middie in the country."

Hopkins (4-3) had pulled to within a 9-7 deficit with 2:47 remaining on freshman John Greeley's second goal of the contest when White scooped the ball from the wing on the ensuing faceoff — Syracuse dominated at the "X," grabbing 14 of 20 draws — and grabbed a groundball, carried it into the box and whistled in a shot over Blue Jay goalie Michael Gvozden's shoulder to stem the tide.

"We were thinking about calling a timeout there," Desko admitted. "I wasn't sure if he was going to shoot, and then I saw him wind up... I wasn't close enough to the official. It was comforting to have a three-goal lead instead of a two-goal lead."

Trailing 8-1 late in the third quarter after Syracuse unheralded senior attackman Max Bartig erupted for his first three goals of the season and Stephen Keogh added two more, Hopkins finally broke through against Galloway after a 22-minute drought. Senior Steven Boyle trickled a drive through Galloway's legs before freshman Zach Palmer, Boyle and sophomore Tom Palasek also rippled the net.

Jeremy Thompson then answered for the visitors before Palasek and Greeley struck again, setting up White's convincer.

Considering what he did to Kimmel at the other end, White's play was crucial to the Syracuse victory.

"Kimmel was one of our main focuses," Desko said. "It was big for us to concentrate on him. But I think they found a little bit of an answer by bringing Palasek in."

So was the faceoff work of Gavin Jenkinson and Jeremy Thompson, who combined to overwhelm Hopkins.

Calling the results "unacceptable," Pietramala added that "it's something that need to be addressed. It's an issue."

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