Hopkins Tops #11 Towson to Keep NCAA Hopes Alive

BALTIMORE, MD Johns Hopkins jumped out to an 8-0 lead at the half and never looked back en route to a 13-6 win over 11th-ranked Towson at Homewood Field Wednesday evening. The win snaps a two-game losing streak for the Blue Jays (6-7), who kept alive their hopes of earning an at-large bid to the upcoming NCAA Tournament. Towson had a five-game winning streak snapped and slips to 6-6.

On senior night at Homewood, it was a sophomore, midfielder Marshall Burkhart, who opened the scoring as he sliced through the defense from the top of the box and slipped a shot past Towson goalie Travis Love. Senior Michael Kimmel and junior Mike Maydick added unassisted goals in a span of just under three minutes midway through the period.

Junior Kyle Wharton closed the first quarter with an extra man goal off an assist from Kimmel with just 45 seconds left in the opening period. In blanking Towson for the first 15 minutes it marked the second straight game that JHU has not allowed a goal in the opening quarter.

Unlike last Saturday, when JHU squandered a 5-0 first quarter lead in a 9-8 loss to Navy, the Blue Jays kept the pressure on the Tigers in the second quarter with four more goals that pushed the margin to 8-0 at the half.

A transition goal by junior Matt Dolente opened the scoring in the second period, which also included another goal by Kimmel and unassisted goals by sophomore Tom Palasek and senior Steven Boyle. Palasek got inside his defender and dodged hard to the goal from the side, while Boyle dodged from behind the goal and bounced home the first of his two goals on the night.

Towson broke through with its first goal of the game on a nice individual effort by Carl Iacona with 11:39 remaining in the third quarter, but the Blue Jays answered with goals by Palasek and Boyle midway through the quarter to push the margin out to 10-1.

The Tigers sliced the deficit to 10-4 with three straight goals bridging the third and fourth quarters, but the Blue Jays answered with a three-goal run of their own to make it 13-4 before the Tigers added a pair of late goals to account for the final scoring.

Kimmel led a balanced Johns Hopkins offense with three goals and one assist, while Boyle added two goals and three assists. Wharton and Palasek both chipped in two goals and one assists for the Blue Jays, who also got 12 saves in goal from freshman Pierce Bassett. The hat trick was the 11th of Kimmel's career.

Stephen Norris was the only multi-goal scorer for the Tigers, who fell for the 15th straight time to Johns Hopkins and the 35th time in 38 all-time meetings. Midfielder Christian Pastirik was the only other multi-point scorer for the Tigers, who got nine saves in goal from Love, but never recovered from the early deficit.

Johns Hopkins will return to action on Saturday, May 8 when the Blue Jays play at sixth-ranked Loyola. A win would give the Blue Jays a .500 record (7-7) and make them eligible for selection to the NCAA Tournament. Johns Hopkins has currently qualified for the NCAA Tournament in each of the last 38 years. That ranks as the longest active streak of qualifying for the NCAAs in any Division I team sport.

Towson, which has already secured the top seed in the upcoming CAA Tournament, will close the regular season on Saturday with a game at Hofstra before opening play in the CAA tourney next Wednesday night at home.

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BALTIMORE, Md. Senior midfielder Michael Kimmel (Loyola Blakefield H.S./Towson, Md.) scored three goals and added an assist as Johns Hopkins University (6-7) sprinted out to an 8-0 lead in the first half en route to a 13-6 non-conference victory over 11th-ranked Towson University (6-6) on Senior Night at the Blue Jays' Homewood Field on Wednesday evening.

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