No. 7 Hopkins Rallies with Six-Goal Run to Down Villanova

BALTIMORE, MD The seventh-ranked Johns Hopkins lacrosse team outscored Villanova 5-0 over the final 22 minutes to break away from the visiting Wildcats, as the Blue Jays picked up a 13-7 victory at Homewood Field Wednesday night. The win is the fifth straight for the Blue Jays, who improve to 10-3 on the year. Villanova slips to 5-8 with its second straight loss.

The Blue Jays led 7-5 at the half, but the Wildcats got a Devin McNamara goal just 77 seconds into the second half to make it a one-goal game. After Ryan Brown extended the lead back to two with an goal in transition four minutes later, the 'Cats answered with a Jack Curran rip from the wing just inside the near post to make it 8-7 with 7:15 remaining in the third quarter.

The one-goal lead ballooned to four by the end of the third quarter as Brown, Wells Stanwick and Brandon Benn all scored unassisted goals in the final 6:31 of the period to stake the Blue Jays to an 11-7 lead. The goals by Brown and Stanwick came less than two minutes apart, while Benn's goal beat the buzzer at the end of the quarter after he got top-side on his defender 10 yards from the goal and to the right of goalie Dan Willis. Benn picked the far post with his buzzer-beater.

Any hopes for a Villanova comeback were dashed by the middle of the final period as the Blue Jays methodically worked the clock to their advantage while getting four saves from goalie Eric Schneider in the period to extend Villanova's game-ending scoreless drought to 22:15, the third longest scoring drought for a Johns Hopkins opponent this season.

Goals by Connor Reed midway through the period and Holden Cattoni in the final minute closed out the scoring for Johns Hopkins, which handed Dave Pietramala a victory in his 250th game as a collegiate head coach.

While the Blue Jays ended strong it was Villanova that was quick out of the gate as the 'Cats jumped out to leads of 2-0 and 3-1 in the first eight minutes. Back-to-back goals by Johnny Gallaway in the first 2:24 prompted a quick Blue Jay timeout before Benn finally broke through for Hopkins with his first goal of the game at the 7:49 mark.

Benn's strike was answered 49 seconds later by an extra-man goal from Kevin O'Neil, but the first of Cattoni's three goals on the night late in the quarter jumped started a 6-0 Blue Jay run that took less than nine minutes.

Cattoni's goal was followed 50 seconds later by the first of Rob Guida's two goals to draw the Blue Jays even at the end of the first quarter.

The next four goals in the six goal run strikes by Cattoni and Guida and two extra-man goals by Stanwick came by the 8:23 mark of the second quarter and gave the Blue Jays a 7-3 lead and seemingly all the momentum.

But Villanova, which had played nine games decided by two goals or less entering the game against the Blue Jays, sliced the four-goal deficit in half before intermission as Matt McIver and Austin Frederick scored back-to-back goals in a span of 75 seconds midway through the second quarter. That set the stage for the McNamara and Curran tallies in the third quarter that were wrapped around the first of Brown's two goals to make it 8-7. From there, the Blue Jays slowly pulled away to secure their seventh straight win in the series with the Wildcats.

The Blue Jays' starting attack and first midfield accounted for all 13 Johns Hopkins goals and two of the team's four assists in the game. Stanwick (3g, 1a) and Cattoni (3g) registered hat tricks, while Brown, Benn and Guida all scored twice.

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