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Blue Jays Edge Men's Lacrosse Despite Late Rally
April 30, 2011
BALTIMORE - Loyola University Maryland outshot second-ranked Johns Hopkins University, 16-4, in the second half, but a late three goal rally was not enough for the No. 18 Greyhounds to overcome the Blue Jays, and Loyola ended its regular-season with an 8-7 loss on Saturday afternoon at Homewood Field.
Mike Sawyer made it a one-goal game with 1-minute, 53-seconds to play, but Johns Hopkins (11-2 overall) survived despite two turnovers thereafter.
The Blue Jays won the face-off after Sawyer's goal, but Chris Boland's cross-field pass coming out of a timeout went long, and Loyola took possession deep in its defensive end.
The Greyhounds (8-4) cleared the ball successfully, but Matt Langan's low shot was blocked, and Johns Hopkins picked up the ground ball. The Blue Jays, however, could not successfully clear it to their box, and Loyola had the ball again with 27 seconds left.
Loyola's initial offensive play was disrupted by the Blue Jays' defense, and the ball trickled out to ward the edge of the box where Sawyer picked it up. He fired a sidearm shot from 15 yards out that slipped just right of the cage as time expired.
Johns Hopkins took an 8-4 lead with 10:23 left in the fourth quarter on an unsettled play. Reid Acton appeared to cause a Blue Jays' turnover, checking it from an offensive player's stick, but the Greyhounds could not pick up a ground ball, and Eric Ruhl grabbed it for the Blue Jays on the left sideline.
He cut toward the goal and fired a pass to the weak side where Kyle Wharton was alone near the crease. Wharton scored after a stick fake on a low shot to give the Blue Jays their biggest advantage of the game.
Loyola took possession after winning the face-off following Wharton's goal, and Chris Palmer used a face dodge on the right side of the goal to beat his defender, and his hard shot deflected down off the cross bar and into the cage for Loyola's fifth goal.
John Schiavone again won the face-off for Loyola, but two Greyhounds shots missed the cage. Loyola had the shots backed up both times, and the Greyhounds got a third opportunity and this time cashed in.
Chris Basler's stutter-step from the top of the offensive box helped him elude a defender, and he shot a hard pass to D.J. Comer who was camped out on the top left of the crease. Comer's stick-fake moved Johns Hopkins goalie Pierce Bassett, and Comer scored his second of the game.
The teams traded turnovers twice following Comer's goal before Loyola took over with 2:37 on the clock leading to Sawyer's goal.
"I thought that we played awful hard today," Loyola Head Coach Charley Toomey said. "We saw some guys grow up a lot who are in our locker room today, and we will need that for next weekend in the ECAC Tournament."
The teams traded goals one-for-one in the first and second quarters and were knotted at 3-3 when Davis Butts executed a spin move on goal-line extended to Bassett's right, beating his defender and hitting the top right corner of the net with a high-to-high shot with 9:14 to go.
Neither team could convert for the next five-plus minutes until John Ranagan scored for the Blue Jays with 4:30 to go in the first half.
Rob Guida extended Johns Hopkins' lead by a goal, and Lee Coppersmith made it a three-goal lead going into the locker room.
Matt Langan took a Comer pass and scored with 8:51 to play in the third quarter, pulling Loyola within a pair, but Chris Boland tallied a goal before Wharton's to push the Blue Jays ahead by four.
Boland, Wharton and Zach Palmer, who led the Blue Jays with 26, 22 and 17 goals, respectively, entering the game, were held to one-goal each, but their midfield teammates chipped in for the other five. Ranagan was the only Johns Hopkins player to score more than one goal, finishing with two.
Comer and Palmer each scored twice for Loyola, while Butts, Sawyer and Langan each had one. Chris Basler tallied two assists, while Butts and Comer each had one.
Jake Hagelin finished with six saves for Loyola, but five came in the first half with several at close range.
Loyola will travel this week to Denver, Colo., to play in the first-ever ECAC Championships, hosted by Denver University. The Greyhounds will be the No. 2 seed in the tournament and will play No. 3 seed Fairfield at 4 p.m. (Mountain)/6 p.m. (Eastern).