By Stan "The Fan" Charles
While not an instant classic from the outset, the 48th meeting between Johns Hopkins University (6-7) and Loyola (9-3) played out as one would have expected. That is when you consider both schools needed the win to punch their ticket to the lacrosse version of the Big Dance. Hopkins, the 9-6 winner of the May 8 game, now has 45 wins and just three losses in this long-running matchup between the two Charles Street schools.
|Johns Hopkins defeated Loyola, 9-6, Saturday. (Kathryn Goldman/PressBox)|
It took a full 22 seconds for either team to gather control of the opening faceoff, and it took a full 7:59 to get goal No. 1 as junior midfielder Chris Basler, assisted by Cooper MacDonnell, put the Greyhounds in the lead, 1-0. However, it took only 1:54 for Hopkins to even the score as sophmore Tom Palasek gathered in a pass by Marshall Burkhardt and pushed it past goalie Jake Hagelin.
And while, JHU would score the only other goal of the first quarter, it was more goaltender defense that kept it low-scoring as the action moved end to end. That style of play carried on throughout the first five minutes of the second stanza. Suddenly, as if a switch were turned off, the game evolved into decidely more half-court-style match.
It was this change in tempo that played into Hopkins' ability to stymie Loyola's half-court offense.
Dave Pietramala said after the game, "We played them like they like to play others, and the shots they got were the shots we wanted them to take."
That statement was backed by the facts as Loyola outshot Hopkins by a 41-22. Hopkins goalie Pierce Bassett had his career-high in saves with 20. At the end of the first half JHU had opened up a 5-3 lead and the Blue Jays were serving notice that on this day, the Greyhounds would be hard-pressed to score enough.
The second half continued at a pace favoring the more motivated visitors. With just 2:35 gone in the quarter, Kyle Wharton rattled the nets with his third goal of the day and ninth career hat trick, putting Hopkins ahead, 6-3.
Loyola would battle to within two at 6-4 with a goal from freshman Patrick Fenshaw. But, within 44 seconds, Wharton added to his hat trick with his fourth goal of the day and Hopkins was in charge again at 7-4.
The fourth quarter didn't start much better for Loyola when senior Michael Kimmel struck less than two minutes into stretch the lead, 8-4. Wharton capped off the scoring with his fifth goal at the 10-minute mark of the final quarter. Loyola's Chris Hurst scored two goals to close out the scoring at 9-6, Hopkins.
Now two teams and two coaches will play the waiting game for the selection committee.
May 8's game was televised on WMAR with Scott Garceau and Mark Dixon behind the microphones. ... This was the 48th time these two teams have played each other. Only two schools Towson (51) and Penn State (50) have faced the Greyhounds more. ... This game marked the first time since May 6, 2000 that the Greyhounds came into this matchup ranked higher than the Blue Jays. ... Loyola finished 4-0 in April. But just eight days into May, at a critical time, Loyola has lost back-to-back games, giving up a total of 21 goals and scoring only 10. ... Hagelin came into the game with a 7.58 goals against average but just over five minutes into the second half, he was pulled and graduate student Alex Peaty finished the game for the Greyhounds. ... Loyola head coach Charlie Toomey is on the selection committe that will decide the fate of his teams' making the NCAA tournament. ... Whatever happens now regarding Loyola's playoff hopes, Colin Finnerty and his fellow seniors played their last regular-season home game today.
Posted May 9, 2010