#2 Hopkins Edges #18 Loyola Despite Late Rally

BALTIMORE, MD - Second-ranked Johns Hopkins built a 6-3 halftime lead, pushed the margin to 8-4 early in the fourth quarter, and then held off a furious rally by 18th-ranked Loyola to secure an 8-7 win over the Greyhounds before a crowd of 5,727 at Homewood Field Saturday afternoon.

The win, Johns Hopkins' sixth straight overall and 12th straight against Loyola, improves the Blue Jays' record to 11-2 on the year. Loyola, which entered with a five-game winning streak of its own, slips to 8-4.

After battling to a 3-3 tie through the first 25 minutes of the game, the Blue Jays gave themselves some breathing room with a three-goal spurt in the final 4:30 of the second quarter to take the 6-3 halftime lead.

Sophomore John Ranagan picked the top corner on an ally dodge to jump-start the spree, which also included goals by freshman Rob Guida and sophomore Lee Coppersmith. Guida worked his way up field from behind the goal and blistered a left-handed shot just inside the cross bar to far post, while Coppersmith scored on an ally dodge of his own to give the Blue Jays the three-goal lead.

After the teams traded goals in the third quarter, the Blue Jays took their largest lead of the game at 8-4 just under five minutes into the fourth quarter when senior Kyle Wharton slipped inside a defender and scored from in close with 10:23 remaining.

As it turned out, that would be the only shot the Blue Jays would take in the fourth quarter and Loyola took advantage. Chris Palmer's 11th goal of the season 68 seconds after Wharton's goal ignited the 'Hounds game-ending three-goal run, which also included D.J. Comer's second goal of the game less than 90 seconds later. When leading scorer Mike Sawyer stuck his only goal of the game with 1:53 remaining, the Greyhounds had all of the momentum.

Twice Loyola had possession in the final 90 seconds inside the Blue Jays' zone, but a shot attempt by Palmer was blocked and Sawyer's final shot went wide as time expired.

Palmer opened the scoring for Loyola when beat JHU's Pierce Bassett after sweeping across the top of the box and firing home a left-handed shot that found the bottom corner. Zach Palmer and Ranagan scored back-to-back goals in a 70-second span midway through the first quarter to give the Blue Jays a 2-1 lead.

That lead held until Comer and Davis Butts wrapped goals around a John Greeley tally for the Blue Jays in a nine-minute span that bridged the first and second quarters. Ranagan's second goal five minutes after the Butts tally gave JHU the 4-3 lead that eventually swelled to 8-4 before Loyola's late-game rally.

Ranagan (2g) and Greeley (1g, 1a) were the only Blue Jays to register multi-point games. Bassett posted seven saves in goal for JHU, which also got a 10 of 17 showing on faceoffs from senior Matt Dolente, who also grabbed a game-high eight ground balls.

Comer netted a game-high three points on two goals and one assist, while Palmer (2g), Butts (1g, 1a) and Chris Basler (2a) also had multi-point games. Jake Hagelin posted six saves in goal for the Greyhounds.

* * * *

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.

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2011-04-30



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