JHU Masters Towson To Open With A Win
By Stan "The Fan" Charles
Just 36 seconds into their opening game of the 2012 season, the Johns Hopkins Blue Jays let Towson defender Sean Sheehe scoot right down the middle of the field and fire an unassisted shot past startled goalkeeper Pierce Bassett.
Towson, which had one game under its belt, a 12-10 win in Jacksonville last weekend, looked like the sharper, more aggressive squad during the early going at Homewood Field. After the Blue Jays' 12-6 win, coach Dave Pietramala touched on that fact: "I think it was obvious in the first five minutes that we were the team that hadn't played a game and that they were the team that had."
While Hopkins would tie it up less than three minutes later, on the first of three goals by junior attackman Zach Palmer, it wouldn't be until less than six minutes were left during the first half that Hopkins would grab its first lead of the game at 4-3 on an unassisted goal by midfielder Lee Coopersmith.
As the first half wound down, Hopkins began to capitalize on Towson mistakes. With just 3:04 left, Zach Palmer extended the Hopkins lead to 5-3. That, coupled with a pushing penalty by Towson defender John Fennessy with just five seconds left, seemed to give all the momentum to the Blue Jays as the two teams headed to the locker rooms.
Sure enough, just as Towson had done during the opening seconds of the game, Hopkins, playing with that man up, scored a goal just 21 seconds into the third quarter by senior attackman Chris Boland. This goal extended Hopkins' lead to 6-3, and seemed to take an awful lot of the starch out of the Tigers. Boland's goal was the fourth consecutive goal by the Blue Jays, a string that would ultimately run to nine before Towson scored again at the 10:36 mark of the fourth quarter.
The game was unusual in that there were just three penalties, all on Towson. Asked after the game whether he thought the lack of penalties was a sign of a lack of intensity, Hopkins Coach Dave Pietramala chuckled: "I think the players that played in the game wouldn't agree with that notion. I think the referees just let the players play."
On this day, those players all seemed to be on the Hopkins side of things.
The win was the 150th in the illustrious career of Blue Jays coach Dave Pietramala. His all-time mark is 150-58 overall. His record at Hopkins is 127-41.
JHU freshman attackman, Wells Stanwick will wear No. 42, and in his college debut, he followed in his illustrious family's footsteps with two points, on two assists.
Chris Boland, with four goals, and Zach Palmer, with three goals and three assists, led Hopkins. Boland was hurt on his fourth goal and will have his knee examined again tomorrow.
Next up for Hopkins is a Tuesday evening tussle with the Delaware Blue Hens at Homewood Field. Like this game, Tuesday's game will also start at 5 p.m., to accommodate ESPNU's television schedule.
Meanwhile, the Tigers will head south just a few miles to play Loyola at the Ridley Athletic Complex Feb. 25. Game time is 1 p.m.
Posted Feb. 17, 2012