Breaking News:

So Much Sports Baltimore has officially shut down on August 7, 2017, but would like to thank all of our readers, writers and everybody who helped make this website possible.

Duke overwhelms JHU in first round of NCAAs

When the Johns Hopkins Blue Jays were announced as the number six seed in the 2017 NCAA men’s lacrosse tournament during last Sunday’s selection show it did not really seem right. The Blue Jays had some good wins, but some more troubling losses and two in a row heading into the tournament.

Entering Saturday’ first round game at Homewood Field, Johns Hopkins was actually ranked lower than their opponent, Duke. And the No. 9 Blue Jays were not able to defend it as they suffered their worst postseason loss at home in program history, falling to the No. 6 Blue Devils, 19-6. It also matched the biggest margin of defeat in program history when they fell to the Blue Devils in 2010, 18-5.

But it did not start out too bad for Johns Hopkins. There was actually plenty of reason to believe they could extend their 17-game home NCAA tournament winning streak after they took a 2-0 lead in just the fourth minute of the game.

John Crawley scored his 100th career point just 66 seconds into the game and just two and a half minutes later, Shack Stanwick extended his consecutive point-scoring streak to 48 games after Forry Smith found him for a goal.

Then things opened up for Duke.

The Blue Devils scored four straight goals over the next seven minutes to take a 4-2 lead. They never relinquished their lead after that.

“We got beat by a better team than us; that played bigger, strong and faster than us,” Johns Hopkins head coach Dave Pietramala said. “They are a very good team and I give them all the credit, but we didn’t help ourselves. You can’t have 20 turnovers, lose the amount of faceoffs that we lost, lose the possession game. I’ll be honest, 19-6. I felt like it was 30-6.”

Duke outshot Johns Hopkins 37-25, beat them on ground balls 34-25, on faceoffs 19-9 and held the Blue Jays to just 19-for-23 on clears and without a single extra-man opportunity. Johns Hopkins also turned the ball over 20 times in the game.

“I can’t say we feel good about our play in any phase of the game today,” Pietramala said.

Duke took advantage of the Johns Hopkins turnovers by immediately putting pressure on the defense with a quick transition charge. Justin Guterding, who was questionably left off the list of Tewaaraton finalists after coming into the postseason with 45 goals and 39 assists, was unguardable and added 10 more points to his total with four goals and six helpers.

Guterding had a hand in two of Duke’s goals in their early 4-0 run that put them in the lead. Then, after Robert Kuhn cut the JHU deficit in half with a score off a feed by Joel Tinney, Guterding dished three straight assists to help the Blue Devils take a 7-3 lead just 32 seconds into the second quarter.

The third goal was a man-up goal by Brad Smith. While JHU was held without an extra-man attempt, Duke went 4-for-4 on the EMO.

“I thought they dodged hard and executed their game plan well,” JHU senior defender Nick Fields said of the Duke offense. “I liked our effort today but sometimes we just didn’t get the stops and that was the disappointing part when you know a group could offer more. I just thought that it was disappointing that we didn’t get the stops.”

Making things tougher for the defense was the announcement about 90 minutes before the game that scheduled starting goalkeeper Gerald Logan would be unable to participate because of academic ineligibility. Pietramala said Logan was declared ineligible the night before the game and forced a switch to Brock Turnbaugh, who did have plenty of experience and started six games this year.

But with the defense struggling in front of him and the offense unable to maintain lengthy possessions. Turnbaugh gave up 11 goals on 14 shots faced in the first 27:33 before being pulled for graduate student Will Ryan. He did not fair any better and allowed four goals with only two saves in 8:41. Turnbaugh eventually returned and finished the game with 14 goals allowed and only seven saves. Ryan Feit also played in the net and gave up a goal on the only shot he was faced with in the 4:46 he played in.

Kieran Eissler scored a JHU-best two goals in the second quarter, but the Blue Devils were able to build up to a 12-5 lead at halftime. They then scored all five of the goals scored in the third quarter to pull away even more. Duke had an overall eight-goal run extend into the fourth quarter. Johns Hopkins scored just once in the final 32:59.

“We spent the majority of the second half on defense and when we did make a play we would shoot ourself in the foot and throw it away,” Pietramala said. “I don’t think we handled pressure well.”

Johns Hopkins used four different players at the faceoff X in the game but never could figure it out as Duke’s John Prendergast went 18-for-24 with 15 ground balls in the game. Johns Hopkins lost all five faceoffs in the third quarter and were just 3-for-10 in the second half. Ten turnovers in the second half made it even more impossible for them, considering how few possessions they were getting as it was.

“[The turnovers] hurt the whole team,” Stanwick said. “That was the most turnovers (20) we’ve had all year, by far, and that puts way too much pressure on the defense and it spirals and they go up by that many goals.”

Johns Hopkins suffered a first-round loss in the NCAA tournament in each of the past two seasons and have also ended their season with three straight losses for the second consecutive year.

The following two tabs change content below.

Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

Latest posts by Corey Johns (see all)

Comments are closed.