No. 15 Johns Hopkins manages to hold off No. 1 Maryland for 7-4 victory
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- No. 15 Johns Hopkins fought hard to earn a 7-4 victory against rival and top-ranked Maryland on Saturday.
The Blue Jays (7-4) never trailed in the game, but it wasn't until junior Brandon Benn buried his only goal with 2:18 remaining that the win was secured.
Senior goalie Pierce Bassett made the first of his 12 saves five minutes into the game and passed to senior midfielder John Ranagan, who took his outlet pass 25 yards from the goal and sprinted into the attack zone, scoring an eight-yard shot to give the Blue Jays a 1-0 lead. The assist was the first of Bassett's career.
Ranagan pushed the lead to 2-0 four minutes later when he made a shot just inside the far post on an alley dodge. Maryland sliced the two-goal deficit in half two minutes later when Mike Chanenchuk found Owen Blye alone on the wing and Blye beat Bassett from seven yards out to make it 2-1.
Johns Hopkins senior attackman John Kaestner scored the first of his two goals just 44 seconds after Blye's strike, but Chanenchuk scored from in tight on a feed from Kevin Cooper with just 98 seconds left in the first quarter to account for a 3-2 Hopkins lead.
Maryland (8-2) outshot Johns Hopkins 12-6 in the second quarter, but never found the back of the net as Bassett made five of his 12 saves in that frame. Junior Niko Amato was nearly as efficient with three stops, but senior Lee Coppersmith hit a 10-yard left-handed shot to the top shelf early in the period to stake JHU to a 4-2 lead that it carried into the half.
With a history of close games in the series (eight of the last 16 have been one-goal affairs), the first goal of the second half was crucial, and Kaestner helped the Blue Jays with his second goal of the game just 37 seconds into the third quarter.
Maryland drew within two goals twice as Chanenchuk found the far post five minutes after Kaestner's goal, but Rob Guida struck for an extra-man goal just three minutes later to give the Blue Jays a 6-3 lead.
Amato kept the Terps in the game with five of his 12 saves in the third quarter and Maryland pulled within two again just under four minutes into the fourth period when Jake Bernhardt scored one inside the post to make it 6-4.
Bassett made a key stop on Bernhardt with the Blue Jays a man-down midway through the period and added his 12th and final save on a Chanenchuk shot with 2:36 remaining. Just 18 seconds later, Benn scored his team-leading 23rd goal of the season to cap the win for the Blue Jays.
Bassett's 12-save performance led a Johns Hopkins defensive effort that held the Terps nine-goals below their season average. The Blue Jay defense of Tucker Durkin, Chris Lightner and Jack Reilly were on point from the start and combined for eight ground balls and five caused turnovers, while repeatedly keeping the Terps' most dangerous players away from the goal.
Ranagan led the Blue Jays with two goals and one assist, while Kaestner added the third two-goal performance of his career. Senior Mike Poppleton won 8 of 15 faceoffs for the Blue Jays, who have now won five consecutive games against Maryland in Byrd Stadium.
Chanenchuk matched Ranagan's effort with a two-goal, one-assist showing of his own and the Terps held advantages in shots (36-31) and ground balls (29-26), but Maryland went more than 11 minutes without scoring three different times and never drew even after Ranagan's two early goals gave the Blue Jays a 2-0 lead.