BALTIMORE, MD – The 11th-ranked Johns Hopkins men’s lacrosse team got four goals from senior Brandon Benn, sophomore Ryan Brown and freshman John Crawley and one goal and five assists from junior Wells Stanwick as the Blue Jays powered past visiting Towson, 15-8, at blustery Homewood Field Saturday afternoon. The Blue Jays move to 2-0 on the year with the win, while the Tigers slips to 1-1.
The Tigers led 5-3 after Greg Cuccinello scored three straight goals for Towson to cap a 4-0 run that bridged the first and second quarters and took jut over seven minutes.
Brown answered with the first of his four goals just 45 seconds after Cuccinello completed his first-half hat trick and that ignited a 10-1 Blue Jay run that extended through the end of the third quarter.
Stanwick and Brown added unassisted goals 76 seconds apart shortly after Brown’s initial goal to give the Blue Jays a 6-5 lead at the half, but Towson’s Max Siskind drew the Tigers even just over a minute into the third quarter when he took a pass from Ryan Drenner and dipped inside his defender just above the goal line and scored from in tight. From there, it was all Johns Hopkins.
Brown completed his hat trick just over a minute after Siskind scored and Crawley dodged from behind the goal on consecutive possessions and scored both times to give the Blue Jays their first three-goal lead at 9-6.
Six days ago the Blue Jays scored six times in the third quarter of a 10-9 triple overtime win against Ohio State. This week, Brown’s strike and Crawley’s pair jump-started a seven-goal third quarter for the Blue Jays, who got another goal from Brown and one each from Holden Cattoni, Benn and freshman Kieran Eissler before the end of the period to push the lead to 13-6 entering the fourth quarter. Stanwick assisted on Brown’s first goal of the quarter and the goals by Benn and Eissler. Eissler’s goal was the first of his career.
Mike Lowe and Cuccinello sandwiched goals around two more Benn strikes in the fourth quarter as the Blue Jays put the finishing touches on their 19th consecutive victory over the Tigers.
A seven-goal Johns Hopkins victory was the last thing anyone at Homewood Field thought they’d see early on as Towson dug out of an early 2-0 hole (courtesy of Crawley’s first two goals in the opening seven minutes) with a 5-1 run that bridged the first and second quarters and covered exactly 12 minutes.
Freshman Joe Seider ripped one home from 12 yards to slice the 2-0 deficit in half, only to have Benn answer with an extra-man goal late in the first quarter. Junior Justin Mabus again made it a one goal game when he split a pair of defenders and beat Blue Jay goalie Eric Schneider from six yards out to make it 3-2 Johns Hopkins at the end of the first quarter.
The one-goal Blue Jay lead was a two-goal deficit 6:01 into the second quarter as Cuccinello scored twice in a 41-second span early in the quarter and then picked the far post at the 8:59 mark to give the Tigers the 5-3 lead. The 3-0 Blue Jay run to end the first half followed shortly after and set the stage for the pivotal third quarter, which saw the Blue Jays hold decisive advantages in goals (7-1), shots (21-2), ground balls (12-4) and faceoffs (8-1).
Crawley is the first Johns Hopkins freshman midfielder to score four goals in a game since Paul Rabil had four in a 12-11 overtime victory at Syracuse on March 18, 2005. Brown’s four goal and six points were both career highs, while Stanwick matched his career high with five assists for the second consecutive game. The four goals for Benn mark his eight career four-goal game.
Towson got an early spark from faceoff specialist Conor Pequigney, who won 5-of-6 faceoffs in the first quarter, but Johns Hopkins’ Drew Kennedy rebounded from the slow start and won 16-of-23 faceoffs and added 10 ground balls in the victory.
Cuccinello led the Tigers with his four goals and Drenner added three assists, but Seider and Thomas DeNapoli, who combined for seven goals and two assists in Towson’s 11-8 win over High Point in the season opener, were held to a combined one goal and two assists. Despite the loss, sophomore goalie Tyler White was strong in goal for the Tigers as he posted 18 saves.
Notes: Johns Hopkins is 62-8 all-time under head coach Dave Pietramala against teams from the state of Maryland • The Blue Jays are now 18-3 all-time in games played in the month of February • 10 of JHU’s 15 goals today were scored by freshmen and sophomores and 15 of JHU’s 25 goals through two games have been scored by members of those classes.
Towson (1-1) 2-3-1-2/8
#11 Johns Hopkins (2-0) 3-3-7-2/15
Goals: T: Cuccinello-4, Seider, Siskind, Mabus, Lowe. J: Brown-4, Crawley-4, Benn-4, Stanwick, Cattoni, Eissler.Assists: T: Drenner-3, DeNapoli, Seider. J: Stanwick-5, Brown-2, Kelly, Reed. Saves: T: White-18, Hoy-0. J: Schneider-8, Feit-0. Shots: T-31. J-55. EMO: T: 0-for-2. J: 2-for-4. Attendance: 937.