ANN ARBOR, MI – Up three, down two, up five. That’s not the play sheet that Johns Hopkins men’s lacrosse coach Dave Pietramala uses to direct the Blue Jay defense, that was the flow of Saturday night’s Big Ten Men’s Lacrosse Championship Game. When the dust settled, it was the Blue Jays who went from three up early, two down in the middle and five up late en route to a 13-10 win over Maryland that secured Hopkins’ second Big Ten Tournament title (2015).
The down-two portion of that equation came early in the second half, when Maryland broke a 5-5 tie with back-to-back goals in a span of just over two minutes. From there, the Blue Jays used a stunning 8-1 run that quickly turned the two-goal deficit into a 13-8 advantage with just under five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
Sophomore Cole Williams jump-started the game-turning run with an unassisted goal just 65 seconds after Will Snider had scored his second straight goal to give the Terps the 7-5 lead.
The Williams goal opened up a Blue Jay offense that would score on eight of 16 second-half shots. The 7-6 deficit after Williams’ first goal was a one-goal lead in a span of less than a minute as Kyle Marr’s third of the game and a goal from senior Brinton Valis – off a slick feed to the crease from Marr – 32 seconds later gave the Blue Jays the lead for good.
Senior Thomas Guida, who entered the game with one career two-goal game, polished off his first career hat trick with back-to-back goals in the final four minutes of the third quarter to make it 10-7 at the end of three quarters.
Maryland (12-3) briefly halted the run early in the fourth quarter as Justin Shockey scored off the opening faceoff of the final period, but Williams scored twice in a 29-second span before the quarter was three minutes old to push the lead out to 12-8 and he completed the natural hat trick as the clock dripped under the five-minute mark to make it 13-8.
A pair of Maryland goals from Louis Dubick in the final 3:47 accounted for the final scoring, but any hopes for a Maryland comeback were dashed by Blue Jay senior goalie Brock Turnbaugh, who capped his MVP performance with six of his 14 saves in the final 15 minutes.
The first 30 minutes had solved nothing as the teams battled to a 5-5 halftime tie on the strength of 4-1 scoring advantages in the first (Hopkins) and second (Maryland) quarters.
It took all of 18 seconds for the Blue Jays to grab an early 1-0 lead as senior Hunter Moreland scored in transition off the opening faceoff of the game. Seven minutes later, Maryland stuck the equalizer a Tim Rotanz took a cross-field skip pass from Connor Kelly and went high-to-low.
The 1-1 tie was a 4-1 Blue Jay advantage by the end of the first quarter as Hopkins scored three goals in the final 6:21. Guida and Marr scored back-to-back goals in a span of just over two minutes – both off assists from behind the cage from senior Shack Stanwick – and Williams added a transition goal with six seconds remaining in the period to give the Blue Jays the three-goal lead. Williams’ goal would be the first of three the Blue Jays would score in the final 12 seconds of a period on the night.
The three-goal lead was a one-goal deficit 11 minutes into the second quarter as Maryland reeled off four straight to grab a 5-4 lead with just over four minutes left in the opening half. Kelly scored twice during the spree and assisted on a Bubba Fairman goal that jump-started the run, which was capped by Kelly’s goal in transition with 4:16 on the first-half clock.
Hopkins (11-4) had things even at the half as Marr and Tinney connected with nine seconds remaining in the half. Working from the top of the box, Tinney threaded a pass through the Maryland defense to the crease, where Marr snagged it, turned and bounced one home from in tight to account for the 5-5 halftime score.
The tie would last for just under four minutes in the third quarter before Snider picked the far post on an ally dodge. He added his second of the night 123 seconds later to give Maryland the two-goal lead. By the time Shockey scored 15 seconds into the fourth quarter, the Blue Jays had reeled off five straight and taken a three-goal lead they would never relinquish.
Williams finished with a career-high five goals, while Marr added three goals and two assists. Turnbaugh finished with 14 saves and was named tournament MVP as he had tied his career high with 16 saves in a 6-5 win over Ohio State in the semifinals.
With the win, Johns Hopkins secures the Big Ten’s automatic bid to the upcoming NCAA Tournament. The bracket for the tournament will be announced on Sunday, May 6 at 9 pm (ESPNU).
JHU’s All-Tournament Team Selections: Brock Turnbaugh (MVP), Kyle Marr, Cole Williams, Patrick Foley, Robert Kuhn
Notes: Stanwick finished with three assists and became the 11th player in school history to top the 200 career point mark (202) • Tinney’s assist was his 30th of the season – that’s just two shy of Kevin Boland’s JHU single-season record for assists by a midfielder and he extended his point-scoring streak to 21 games.