ANNAPOLIS, MD. - More than 18,000 fans (18,694) watched the top-two teams in the country battle it out on the lacrosse field Saturday, as Johns Hopkins senior attack Conor Ford led the No. 1 Blue Jays to a 10-9 overtime win over second-ranked Navy at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Ford's goal, one of five for him on the afternoon, was scored with just 3.8 seconds remaining in overtime. Hopkins is now 9-1 this spring and has won 30-consecutive games against the Midshipmen (10-2). Each of the last four Navy-Johns Hopkins games played at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium have ended in one-goal victories by the Blue Jays (2004, 10-9 OT; 2002, 9-8; 2000, 7-6 OT; 1998, 15-14).
"This was a great lacrosse game," said Navy head coach Richie Meade. "I can't fault the effort of our team. We played the way we normally play and didn't change what we do."
Navy held an early advantage when rookie Billy Looney (Silver Spring, Md.) found senior midfielder Ben Bailey (Memphis, Tenn.) on the right side of the field about 10 feet out. Bailey looked to go right, but changed directions and shot past Hopkins keeper Scott Smith.
Hopkins countered two minutes later when Kyle Harrison stuck the ball past Navy's Matt Russell (Madison, Conn.) to even the score at one apiece.
A slash by Hopkins' Matt Pinto put the Mids up a man and Navy converted on a Jon Birsner (Levittown, N.Y.)-to-Ian Dingman (Deferiet, N.Y.) score with 2:06 to play in the first quarter.
Down 2-1 to open the second quarter, the Blue Jays outscored Navy, 5-1, in the second period which featured goals by Ford (2), Kyle Barrie, Kevin Boland and Harrison. Sandwiched in between JHU's second and third goals of the quarter, Looney and Dingman hooked up for a second time in the game.
Navy fell behind 6-3 at the half, but didn't lose its will. The Mids scored back to back goals, nearly 10 minutes apart, on Looney goals. Billy Looney fired in a shot at 11:14 in the third, while sophomore Steve Looney (Silver Spring, Md.) took a loose ball coast to coast, tossing in the shot as he was falling to the ground.
With the lead cut to one at 6-5, Johns Hopkins rallied in the closing minute of the quarter. With time running out, Ford scored his third goal of the game with one tick left on the clock to give the Blue Jays a 7-5 lead at the end of three quarters.
The fourth quarter featured a flurry of goals. The Mids scored
four-consecutive goals, two each by seniors Bailey and Joe Bossi (Skaneateles,
N.Y.) to give Navy a 9-7 lead with five minutes to play in
Harrison produced his third goal of the afternoon when face-off specialist Lou Braun found him cutting to the goal and Harrison cut the Navy lead to 9-8 with 4:42 to go.
"Harrison elevated his game when we went up two goals," said Meade. "When he elevates his game, he brings it. That's because that's what Kyle Harrison does. He's a great player."
In the final minute of the game, Ford took the Blue Jay team and strapped them onto his back, as he scored the game-tying goal with 48 seconds to go in he contest. He went on to score the game winner with 3.8 seconds.
"I didn't see the last goal," said Russell. "One of our players was in front of me and I didn't realize he even shot it until it was in the back of the net."
Both teams' goalkeeping play was solid, as Smith posted six saves for the Blue Jays and Russell warded off 13 saves in the contest, including two in overtime.
"In a game like this, what you go through, win or lose, makes you a better team," said Meade. "We were honored to play on the Armed Forces Network today. Hopefully they can be proud of our effort because I'm proud of my team."
"The big difference in today's game is that our season is not over," said Bailey. "In past seasons, we had a different feeling because our season was over after we played Johns Hopkins. Today it feels good to have another shot."
With Bucknell defeating Colgate Saturday, 6-5, and Hobart beating up on Army,
14-8, the scene has been set for next weekend's Patriot League Tournament to be
played in Annapolis at Navy-Marine
Corps Memorial Stadium. Top-seeded Navy will face No. 4 Colgate Friday at Noon. Second-seeded Hobart will battle No. 3 seed Bucknell Friday at 3 p.m. The winners of both contests will play in the Patriot League Championship next Sunday at 2 p.m.
Goals By Period 1 2 3 4 OT
Hopkins (9-1) 1 5 1 2 1 10
Navy (10-2) 2 1 2 4 0 9
Shots: Johns Hopkins (39) 9-10-8-8-4; Navy (35) 12-10-5-5-3
Ground Balls: Johns Hopkins (34) 7-9-6-9-3; Navy (40) 10-12-10-7-1
Saves: Johns Hopkins (6) 2-2-1-0-1; Navy (13) 2-2-4-3-2
Face-Offs: Johns Hopkins 13 for 21, Navy 8 for 21
Clears: Johns Hopkins 13 for 15, Navy 18 for 20
Extra-Man: Johns Hopkins 3 for 7, Navy 1 for 4
Penalties: Johns Hopkins 4 (3:30), Navy 7 (5:30)
Johns Hopkins (G-A-P): Conor Ford 5-0-5, Kevin Boland 1-4-5, Kyle Harrison 3-0-3, Kyle Barrie 1-0-1, Lou Braun 0-1-1, Jake Byrne 0-1-1, Matt Rewkowski 0-1-1.
Navy (G-A-P): Ben Bailey 3-0-3, Ian Dingman 2-1-3, Billy Looney 1-2-3, Joe Bossi 2-0-2, Steve Looney 1-1-2, Jon Birsner 0-2-2.
PD Time Team EMO Scorer/Assist
1 7:20 Navy E Ben Bailey (10) from Billy Looney
1 5:17 JHU E Kyle Harrison (15) unassisted
1 2:06 Navy Up Ian Dingman (28) from Jon Birsner
2 11:48 JHU E Conor Ford (22) from Kevin Boland
2 10:33 JHU Up Kyle Barrie (19) from Jake Byrne
2 8:12 Navy E Ian Dingman (29) from Billy Looney
2 7:36 JHU E Kevin Boland (9) unassisted
2 7:28 JHU E Kyle Harrison (16) unassisted
2 4:51 JHU Up Conor Ford (23) from Kevin Boland
3 11:14 Navy E Billy Looney (8) unassisted
3 1:55 Navy E Steve Looney (9) unassisted
3 0:01 JHU E Conor Ford (24) from Kevin Boland
4 9:10 Navy E Ben Bailey (11) unassisted
4 7:30 Navy E Joe Bossi (31) from Steve Looney
4 5:35 Navy E Ben Bailey (12) from Ian Dingman
4 5:19 Navy E Joe Bossi (32) from Jon Birsner
4 4:42 JHU E Kyle Harrison (17) from Lou Braun
4 0:48 JHU Up Conor Ford (25) from Kevin Boland
OT 0:03 JHU E Conor Ford (26) from Matt Rewkowski
() - # goals this year