February 25, 2012

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Fourth-Quarter Surge Powers Hopkins Past Siena

from press release

BALTIMORE – The third-ranked Johns Hopkins men's lacrosse team scored three goals in a five-minute span early in the fourth quarter to extend a 6-5 lead over visiting Siena to four goals and the Blue Jays held the Saints scoreless for the final 19:30 in a 9-5 victory at wind-swept Homewood Field Saturday afternoon. The win runs JHU's regular season winning streak to 10 games dating back to last season and the Blue Jays improve to 3-0 on the year.

Hopkins had a chance to build on the 6-5 lead in the final seconds of the third quarter, but Siena goalie Tom Morr stoned Hopkins' Zach Palmer from in tight to keep it a one-goal game entering the final 15 minutes.

It took the Blue Jays just over two minutes of the fourth quarter to jump start their game-ending three-goal run as senior Marshall Burkhart forced a turnover in the defensive end and started a transition opportunity that ended with Palmer beating Morr from in tight off a nifty skip pass from freshman Wells Stanwick.

It took the Blue Jays less than a minute – 54 seconds to be exact – to push the lead to 8-5 as sophomore Brandon Benn scooped up a loose ball in front of the cage off a Morr save and fired into and open net. Junior Lee Coppersmith added his second goal of the game and fifth of the season off an ally dodge with 8:05 remaining to close out the scoring and secure JHU's ninth consecutive home victory.

In a game the Blue Jays seemed to control, they couldn't pull away until the three-goal spurt in the fourth quarter. Stanwick, senior Mark Goodrich and Coppersmith all scored in the first quarter as the Blue Jays crafted a 3-1 lead after the opening period, but the Saints hung tight and pulled within a goal four times (3-2, 4-3, 5-4 and 6-5) after JHU had edged ahead by two on four different occasions beginning with the 3-1 advantage.

A Conor Prunty goal for the Saints with 4:31 remaining in the third quarter drew Siena within one for the final time at 6-5, but Palmer's goal 2:08 into the final period ignited the final spree for the Blue Jays, who improved to 4-0 all-time against the Saints with the victory.

Palmer paced the Blue Jays with two goals and two assists, while Stanwick (2g, 1a) and Coppersmith (2g) also enjoyed multi-point games for Hopkins, which also got 10 saves from junior Pierce Bassett. Junior Mike Poppleton enjoyed the finest game of his career for the Blue Jays as he won 15-of-18 faceoffs and grabbed three ground balls in the victory.

Siena got two goals from Chris Roth and one goal and one assist from Danny Martinsen, while Morr posted 12 saves in goal. The Johns Hopkins defense did a nice job of containing the dynamic attack unit of Martinsen, Colin Clive and Bryan Neufeld, who combined for just two goals and one assist.


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