Lacrosse drops heartbreaker to Johns Hopkins

Navy returns to action next Friday (April 29th) when it plays host to Lehigh in the first round of the Patriot League Tournament. Action is set for 2 p.m. at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. The Army vs. Bucknell game will follow 45 minutes after the conclusion of the Navy contest.

BALTIMORE, Md. - Senior midfielder Kyle Harrison scored Johns Hopkins' last three goals of Saturday afternoon's contest against Navy, including the game winner 1:47 into the extra period to lead the top-ranked Blue Jays (10-0) to a 9-8 overtime victory over the fifth-ranked Midshipmen (9-3) at Homewood Field. The victory extended Hopkins' win streak over Navy to 31-consecutive games.

The 9-8 loss marked the second-consecutive season in which the Mids have lost to the Blue Jays in overtime. Meanwhile, it is the fifth time in the last eight games (15-14 '98, 7-6 OT '00, 9-8 '02, 10-9 OT '04) in which JHU has claimed a one-goal advantage over the Mids. The one-goal loss is also the closest game the Mids have lost to the Blue Jays since April 25, 1987, in which Navy dropped a 10-9 decision.

For Hopkins, the win was its third overtime victory of the season, defeating Syracuse (12-11) and Duke (11-10) in one-goal decisions. Navy, on the other hand, is 0-2 in extra-period contests, dropping an 8-7 game to Bucknell in its league opener.

Harrison, who scored five of Hopkins' nine goals and was the game's leading scorer, turned in a pair of goals in the fourth quarter, including the game-tying goal with 23 seconds remaining in regulation. His game-winner in overtime extended the Blue Jays' home win streak to 33-straight victories.

"I thought both teams played a great game," said Navy head coach Richie Meade. "Kyle Harrison is a great, great player and he was the difference today. We defended Kyle as good as we could, but he makes good judgements and has great skill."

In a game of streaks, Johns Hopkins opened the game with a two-goal lead that featured a score by Harrison just 49 seconds into the contest. The Blue Jays' second goal, just the third this season by midfielder Matt Rewkowski, looked to have been stopped by Navy keeper Matt Russell (Madison, Conn.), but the ball rolled to Russell's left and into the goal.

Navy, though, went on to score three unanswered goals, including a strike on the right side by sophomore midfielder William Wallace (Bloomfield Village, Mich.) which gave the Mids a 3-2 lead with 2:53 remaining in the opening period.

The Blue Jays dominated the second period, outscoring the Mids 3-0 to take a 5-3 lead into the locker room at the half.

Johns Hopkins continued its momentum with a goal by Joe Malo at 10:37 in the third period. Malo scored an open-net goal after Russell slipped to the ground while trying to defend Peter LeSueur who then fed Malo.

Faced with a 6-3 deficit, Navy rallied and scored four-straight goals, including back-to-back goals within five seconds of one another. Sophomore midfielder Tommy Wallin (Mountain Lakes, N.J.), who had one of the best all-around games of his young career, bounced a shot past JHU keeper Jesse Schwartzman from 10 yards out at the 5:09 mark. Senior draw specialist Chris Pieczonka (Hamburg, N.Y.) won the ensuing face-off and fed classmate Ben Horn (Mill Valley, Calif.) for the go-ahead goal at 5:04. The goal by Horn extended his goal-scoring streak to 13-consecutive games. Meanwhile, the strikes by Wallin and Horn tied the NCAA record for fastest back-to-back goals.

Navy held a 7-6 advantage going into the fourth quarter when Harrison took the game into his owns hands. He knotted the game at seven apiece tossing a fastball over Russell's right shoulder.

The Mids, however, regrouped and utilized the clock to their advantage. With just 58 seconds left in regulation, junior attack Jon Birsner (Levittown, N.Y.) found rookie Nick Mirabito (Binghamton, N.Y.) two yards in front of the goal to give Navy an 8-7 lead. Thirty-five seconds later, Harrison tied the game on a spectacular shot in which he went up and over two defenders and threaded in the goal.

"I'm not sure there are a lot of guys who can get up in the air, turn and shoot," said Meade.

Pieczonka won the face-off at the start of overtime and fed the ball to junior middie Steve Looney (Silver Spring, Md.). Looney's shot went wide and the ball was awarded to Johns Hopkins, but not without question from the Navy sideline.

"It would devalue the effort of both players on both teams," said Meade in response to his take on the possession call in overtime. "The official in front of our bench ruled that we had possession and it sort of felt like deja vu because it was the same thing that happened last year."

Hopkins called a timeout after clearing the ball and Harrison stuck the ball in for the game winner.

"Kyle Harrison's athleticism is amazing," said Russell. "He had an incredible shot to tie the game, but obviously I thought I should have had it

"On the game winner, his stick got checked and I just lost track of the ball."

"This isn't the end of the season for us," added Meade. "It's the beginning of the season. We can only hope that we learn from our mistakes, move forward and respond. That's what makes coaching college lacrosse so exciting."

Goals By Period      1 2 3 4 OT F
Navy (9-3)           3 0 4 1 0 8
Johns Hopkins (10-0) 2 3 1 2 1 9

Navy: (G-A-P) Jon Birsner 1-1-2, Ben Horn 1-1-2, Graham Gill 1-0-1,Billy Looney 1-0-1, Steve Looney 1-0-1, Nick Mirabito 1-0-1, William Wallace 1-0-1, Tommy Wallin 1-0-1, Chris Pieczonka 0-1-1.
Johns Hopkins: (G-A-P) Kyle Harrison 5-0-5, Matt Rewkowski 2-0-2, Peter LeSueur 0-2-2, Jake Byrne 1-0-1, Joe Malo 1-0-1, Greg Peyser 0-1-1, Paul Rabil 0-1-1.

Shots: Navy (30) 7-2-10-10-1; Johns Hopkins (27) 9-5-6-6-1
Ground Balls: Navy (34) 8-8-8-9-1; Johns Hopkins (31) 8-11-6-5-1
Saves: Navy (7) 2-1-2-2-0; Johns Hopkins (7) 2-1-3-1-0
Face-Offs: Navy 9 of 21, Johns Hopkins 12 of 21
Clears: Navy 11 of 16, Johns Hopkins 15 of 18
Extra-Man: Navy 0 of 1, Johns Hopkins 1 of 1
Penalties: Navy 1 (1:00), Johns Hopkins 1 (1:00)

Scoring Summary
PD Time Team EMO Scorer/Assist

1 14:11 JH E Kyle Harrison (13) unassisted
1 11:12 JH E Matt Rewkowski (3) from Peter LeSueur
1 9:21 N E Graham Gill (11) unassisted
1 3:43 N E Billy Looney (14) unassisted
1 2:53 N E William Wallace (5) unassisted
2 8:21 JH Up Matt Rewkowski (4) from Paul Rabil
2 7:31 JH E Kyle Harrison (14) unassisted
2 5:44 E E Jake Byrne (14) from Greg Peyser
3 10:37 JH E Joe Malo (6) from Peter LeSueur
3 8:46 N E Jon Birsner (9) unassisted
3 6:31 N E Steve Looney (19) from Ben Horn
3 5:09 N E Tommy Wallin (9) unassisted
3 5:04 N E Ben Horn (20) from Chris Pieczonka
4 12:20 JH E Kyle Harrison (15) unassisted
4 0:58 N E Nick Mirabito (19) from Jon Birsner
4 0:23 JH E Kyle Harrison (16) unassisted
OT 2:13 JH E Kyle Harrison (17) unassisted

() - # goals this year

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