February 19, 2011

Hopkins Surges in Second Half

from press release

TOWSON, Md. – Led by senior attackman Kyle Wharton (Haverford School/Garnet Valley, Pa.), who scored three goals, 11th-ranked Johns Hopkins (1-0) used a four-goal spurt midway through the third quarter to snap a 4-4 tie and hand Towson (0-1) a 10-6 loss in the season opener for both teams at Johnny Unitas Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

“I thought we played pretty well except for a four to five minute stretch in the third quarter,” Towson coach Tony Seaman said. “We were right in that game. Each quarter was pretty equal except for that third quarter, but we didn’t get it done.”

Wharton, who recorded the 10th hat trick of his career, scored two of his goals during a 4:47 period of the third quarter when the Blue Jays took an 8-4 lead.

Wharton’s goal with 7:56 remaining in the third quarter broke the 4-4 tie and was the Blue Jays’ first goal in more than 16 minutes.

After the teams played to a 4-4 tie through the first half, the Blue Jays dominated the second half, outscoring Towson by a 6-2 margin and out-shooting the Tigers by 18-17 after halftime.

With the victory, Johns Hopkins became the first college lacrosse program to win 900 games. In its 124th season, Johns Hopkins has an all-time record of 900-291-15.

The Blue Jays jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead as they converted their first two shots of the game. Just 25 seconds into the game, Wharton drilled a shot past goalkeeper Travis Love (Winters Mill H.S./Westminster, Md.) for a 1-0 advantage. With 10:45 remaining, sophomore Zach Palmer (Oshawa, Ontario, Canada) upped the lead to 2-0 with an unassisted goal.

After the Tigers’ Matt Thomas (Urbana H.S./Monrovia, Md.) won the ensuing face-off, he fed the ball to senior attackman Tim Stratton (Seneca Valley H.S./Germantown, Md.). Stratton gave the ball right back to Thomas, who scored the Tigers’ first goal of the game only seven seconds after the Hopkins goal.

Freshman Eric Ruhl (Dublin Jerome H.S./Powell, Ohio) extended the Blue Jays’ lead to 3-1 when he scored his first career goal off a terrific feed from senior attackman Chris Boland (Boys’ Latin School/Columbia, Md.) with 7:27 remaining in the first quarter.

An acrobatic goal by sophomore attackman Matt Hughes (Central Bucks East H.S./Doylestown, Pa.) coming from behind the cage cut the Tigers’ deficit to 3-2 with 5:23 left in the opening period. An unassisted goal from junior attackman Matt Lamon (St. Mary’s H.S./Annapolis, Md.) with 4:01 remaining in the first quarter tied the game at 3-3.

With 10:30 left in the first half, junior midfielder Carl Iacona (Massapequa H.S./Massapequa, N.Y.) gave the Tigers a 4-3 lead when he scored his first goal of the game. For Iacona, it marked the eighth straight game in which he scored a goal.

Just 1:27 later, sophomore midfielder Lee Coopersmith (Saint Andrew’s H.S./Boca Raton, Fla.) scored for the Blue Jays to tie the game at 4-4.

The game remained tied until midway through the third quarter when the Blue Jays’ offense came to life. With 7:56 left, Wharton scored on a 15-yard shot off a pass from sophomore midfielder John Greeley (Lafayette H.S./Lafayette, N.Y.) to put the Blue Jays ahead, 5-4.

A slashing penalty on the ensuing face-off on Towson’s Alec Jernstedt (Wilsonville H.S./Wilsonville, Ore.) gave the Blue Jays a golden opportunity to increase their lead.

Just 16 seconds into the extra man opportunity, Palmer scored his second goal of the game off a pass from freshman attackman Brandon Benn (Brampton, Ontario, Canada), giving Hopkins a 6-4 lead.

The Tigers missed out on a great opportunity to cut into the deficit with 6:05 left in the quarter when it appeared that Hughes had scored his second goal of the game. However, the goal was disallowed when it was ruled that Hughes had stepped into the crease.

With 3:35 left in the period, Wharton’s third goal of the game increased the advantage to 7-4. When Boland scored on a fast break just 26 seconds later, the Blue Jays owned an 8-4 lead.

After scoring four goals in 4:47, the Blue Jays relied on their defense to protect the lead. The Tigers, who were shut out for the final 10:30 of the first half, could not score in the third quarter as Hopkins owned a 10-7 advantage in shots in the period.

With 5:55 remaining in regulation, Boland extended the lead to 9-4 when he scored off a pass from sophomore midfielder John Ranagan (Yorktown H.S./Yorktown, N.Y.).

The Tigers finally ended a nearly 36-minute scoring drought with 5:08 left in the game when senior midfielder Pat Britton (Seneca Valley H.S./Germantown, Md.) scored on a ten-yard shot from the right side.

With 4:35 left, Benn scored off a pass from Palmer to put the Blue Jays ahead, 10-5, before Britton’s unassisted goal closed out the scoring less than a minute later.

While Wharton led Hopkins with three goals, Palmer had a career high five points as he scored two goals with three assists. Boland added two goals and had an assist for the Blue Jays, who beat Towson for the 16th consecutive game.

Sophomore goalkeeper Pierce Bassett (Brophy Prep/Scottsdale, Ariz.) led the Blue Jays’ defense by making nine saves.

Britton led the Tigers with two goals while senior midfielder Peter Mezzanotte (West Islip H.S./West Islip, N.Y.) had four ground balls.

With victory, JHU Coach Dave Pietramala improved his record to 12-0 against Towson. He is 9-2 in season openers.

The Tigers return to action next Saturday afternoon when they host Loyola University Maryland at Unitas Stadium at noon in a game that will be televised on WMAR-TV in Baltimore and broadcast on ESPN3.com.

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