BALTIMORE, MD – The third-ranked Johns Hopkins men’s lacrosse team built a five-goal, third-quarter lead then held off a furious rally by 16th-ranked Delaware as the Blue Jays improved to 2-0 on the year with an 8-6 win over the Blue Hens at Homewood Field Tuesday evening. Hopkins also extended its home winning streak to eight games with the win and moved to 9-0 all-time against the Blue Hens.
After batting to a 2-2 tie through the first 20 minutes, the Blue Jays slowly began to take control. The second of Brandon Benn’s three goals with 9:34 remaining in the second quarter gave JHU a 3-2 lead and sophomore Rob Guida pushed the lead to 4-2 seven minutes later when he spun inside a defender and beat Delaware goalie Chris Herbert to the near post.
The two-goal lead held until midway through the third quarter, when sophomore Greg Edmonds got free on the crease and slipped home his first goal of the season off a nifty feed from freshman Wells Stanwick, who spun away from a defender behind the goal and found Edmonds to pick up the assist.
Benn completed the first hat trick of his career just over five minutes later when he scored from in tight – also off a Stanwick assist – and junior Lee Coppersmith added a transition goalie just under two minutes after Benn’s strike to give JHU what seemed to be a comfortable 7-2 lead.
The Blue Jays won the faceoff after Coppersmith’s goal and junior John Ranagan unloaded on Herbert, but he was equal to the task and jump-started the Blue Hen transition, which ended with a Grant Kaleikau goal just 24 seconds after Coppersmith’s goal.
Delaware had gone more than 29 minutes without scoring before Kaleikau’s goal, but needed just seven seconds after that to score again as Mark Yetter blew home his third goal of the season off a skip pass form Kaleikau off the ensuing faceoff and the Hens had quickly sliced into the lead and grabbed the momentum.
JHU’s 7-4 lead held until midway through the fourth quarter, when Delaware struck twice in less than 45 seconds to draw within a goal. Danny Keane’s ninth goal of the year made it 7-5 with 6:27 remaining and Tom Holland got topside on his defender and beat JHU goalie Pierce Bassett from eight yards out while falling to the ground to make it 7-6.
Delaware had two possessions in the final five minutes, but the Blue Jay defense, which has now allowed a total of just 12 goals in two games this season, held the Hens off the board and Ranagan added an insurance goal – an extra-man tally – with 31 seconds remaining to seal the victory.
Benn led the Blue Jays with the three goals and one assist, while Stanwick tallied the first goal of his career and added the two assists as well. Guida (1g, 1a) was the only other Blue Jay with a multi-point game and Bassett posted six saves to pick up the win in goal. JHU held advantages in shots (35-23) and ground balls (30-27) and got a boost from junior Mike Poppleton, who returned to the lineup after missing the season-opener vs. Towson and won 9-of-15 faceoffs with six ground balls.
Kaleikau scored the one goal and added three assists, while Yetter chipped in with the one goal and one assist. Herbert was solid in goal for the Blue Hens as he posted 12 saves, but UD failed on 9-of-26 clears and had 22 turnovers as well.