By Joe Slaninka
The term "rivalry" could not have been defined better than it was Saturday, when four NCAA Division I men's lacrosse teams gathered in front of 20,732 at Baltimore's M&T Bank Stadium for Inside Lacrosse's Day of Rivals.
Johns Hopkins defeated Maryland, 10-9, in a bone-crushing, back-and-forth battle that came down to a game-winning save by the Blue Jays' junior goalie Michael Gvozden in the final seconds.
|Michael Kimmel scored two goals Saturday to help Johns Hopkins edge Maryland, 10-9. (Sabina Moran/PressBox)|
Down, 10-8, with less than a minute to go, Maryland's senior midfielder Dan Groot cut the Hopkins lead 10-9 with an unassisted goal. Hopkins won the ensuing faceoff, but turned it over despite an illegal procedure call on Maryland, which would have kept Hopkins on the offensive, but they had taken the ball out of the box, giving it back to Maryland.
With less than 20 seconds to play, the Terps had possession when Ryan Young found fellow sophomore Grant Catalino streaking toward the net. Catalino took Young's pass and fired an off-balance shot, but Gvozden stoned him as time expired.
"The guy caught it real low to the ground and instead of shooting it low he brought it high," Gvozden said about Catalino's desperation try. "I just tried to throw my body in front of him because I knew it was a pretty tough shot from shooting on the ground."
Groot said the loss was tough to swallow, but he said he the game made him feel more confident about his team's resilience.
"Coach told us on the sideline, 'Two goals in two minutes is nothing for us,'" Groot said. "We had scored two goals in eight seconds earlier in the season so the fact that we were down two with two minutes left, we thought we could get the ball and score. We were just trying to stay confident and not get too down, and that's what we did."
"I'm a little disappointed in myself," Hopkins head coach Dave Pietramala said. "I thought I made a mistake with personnel at the end of the game which almost cost us, but [Gvozden] bailed us out a little bit."
Pietramala said the team was excited to get the win not only because it came against rival Maryland, but because it was a "must-win situation" for his team. He also said the Blue Jays were excited to win in the setting they did.
"I don't like taking the Maryland-Hopkins game off of the campuses, but this is an opportunity that is too grand," Pietramala said about playing at M&T. "More importantly, the chance to play on a playoff stage in a big stadium where a national championship is won is far too appealing. That's why these guys come to Hopkins, amongst other reasons."
Groot led the Terps with three goals on the day while Jeremy Sieverts and Cantalino chipped in two goals apiece. Young and Travis Reed each added a goal.
"I think the kids played hard, they played tough," Maryland head coach Dave Cottle said. "I'm very proud of them. They competed their tails off."
Kyle Wharton, who won player of the game honors, led the Blue Jays with three goals, while teammate Michael Kimmel netted two goals. Brian Christopher, Chris Boland, Mark Bryan, Josh Peck and Max Chautin each contributed with a goal apiece.
The other rivalry game of the day featured Navy and Army as the Midshipmen won, 8-4, to avenge last year's loss to the Black Knights.
After allowing the first goal of the game, Navy scored four consecutive goals in the second quarter -- and Army never recovered.
"I thought they played with a lot of heart and determination," Navy head coach Richie Meade said. "Like every Army-Navy game, we're thankful to win and have a tremendous amount of respect for them."
Navy came out of halftime with a 4-2 lead and extended it, 5-2, with a goal by Joe Lennon. Army countered with a goal from Kevin LoRusso, his second of the game, to cut the lead back to two, 5-3.
Navy scored two more goals by Patrick Moran and Brendan Connors that broadened the lead to 7-3. Each team scored one goal each in the last eight minutes of the game as Navy went on to win, 8-4.
"The Army-Navy game is always a huge deal -- psychologically preparing for it," said Navy junior Brendan Connors, who led his team in goals scored with three. "The week of you think about it a lot, but for me in the 60 minutes, it doesn't matter [who you are], you just watch the ball and play it the same way."
Posted April 13, 2009