February 22, 2011

Blue Hens No Match for Blue Jays

by Tim Mastro | Special to Lacrosse Magazine Online | Game Blog Replay

Hopkins sophomore Zach Palmer scored a career-high four goals and dished three assists Tuesday, as the ninth-ranked Blue Jays blew out 16th-ranked Delaware, 18-5.

NEWARK, Del. – Youth was served Tuesday night at Delaware Stadium.

Johns Hopkins' young team got off to a quick start, and never looked back, defeating Delaware 18-5.

"As I listen to announcements its 'senior, senior, senior,'" head coach Dave Pietramala said about the Blue Hens' starting lineup. "Then I'm listening to ours and its 'sophomore, sophomore, freshman.' I'm proud that we went on the road, in a place where there are a lot of seniors, and it's a talented group -- I'm proud that we came up here and got a win."

The ninth-ranked Blue Jays (2-0) have won two straight on the road to open their 2011 campaign. They defeated Towson 10-6 on Saturday. Last year they won one game on the road all season.

Sophomore Zach Palmer had a career-high four goals and three assists. Freshmen Eric Ruhl and Rob Guida each had big days. Ruhl notched his first career hat trick, while Guida scored his first two career goals to open the game and begin the Johns Hopkins rout.

Everyone seemed to get involved. Sophomore John Greeley and freshman Brandon Been scored once. Sophomore John Ranagan assisted on three goals.

The upperclassmen were not left out of the scoring either. Senior Kyle Wharton registered his second straight hat trick and picked up an assist. Fellow senior Chris Boland scored two goals and added a pair of assists. Senior Mike Maydick also scored, and junior Hunter Rodgers ended the scoring with his first goal of the year.

Delaware (3-1), ranked 16th nationally, experienced its worst lost since losing 18-2 to Towson in 2002.

"We didn't execute," Delaware head coach Bob Shillinglaw said. "You can't go into a game against a team the caliber of Johns Hopkins and not do the fundamentals."

The Blue Jays quickly jumped out to a 3-0 lead after the first quarter, and led 6-1 at halftime. They put the hammer down in the second half, specifically in the third quarter, in which they scored eight goals.

Penalties were a big part of the game. Delaware was called for 10 and gave Johns Hopkins nine man-up opportunities. The Blue Jays only converted two of them, but welcomed the added time of possession the penalties provided.

When Hopkins possessed the ball, players were in constant motion, passing around to find the open man. The Jays tallied 25 shots on goal and kept Delaware goalie senior Noah Fossner busy all night long.

"Throughout practice so far we've been good in terms of working well together," Palmer said. "It's a lot of fun just slinging the ball around; it's good stuff."

Pierce Bassett stood strong in goal for Johns Hopkins, setting the tone early with a first quarter shutout. The sophomore turned away 11 of the 15 shots he faced before backup Steven Burke came in when the game was well out of reach with 5:40 remaining in the fourth quarter.

John Austin led the Blue Hens with two goals. Nick Elsmo, Taylor Burns,and Anthony Ruiz added the other three, while Eric Smith contributed two assists.

Delaware played right into the Blue Jays' defensive game plan -- often taking the first shot available. Basset was never really challenged, with most of the shots from long range heading straight for his stick.

"We knew they were going to shoot the ball," Pietramala said. "We just wanted them to generate the shots from where we wanted them to come from, and I thought we did a really good job of that."

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