March 25, 2017
BALTIMORE – The No. 15 Virginia Cavaliers (5-4) overcame a three-goal deficit in the final 1:51 to force overtime, but fell in sudden death to the No. 18 Johns Hopkins Blue Jays (5-3) on Saturday afternoon, 18-17, at Homewood Field.
Johns Hopkins wins the Doyle Smith Cup for the first time since 2013 and for the fourth time overall. Five of the last six regular season games between UVA and Johns Hopkins have been decided in overtime, including four in a row (three UVA wins). Since 2006, the Doyle Smith Cup goes to the winner of the regular season matchup between UVA and Johns Hopkins.
“I could not be luckier to coach a group of men that believe,” said Virginia men’s lacrosse head coach Lars Tiffany. “It is easy to say as a coaching staff ‘hey, we are still in this – we can still do this,’ and we are down three goals with two minutes left. For our men to continue to believe and to continue to worry about the next play – I am a very lucky coach. I coach men with tremendous heart.
“The challenge for us is to take our game to the next level. That starts for us on Monday with practice and with the next contest at Richmond. We are a team with great heart, but we obviously have to get better with our team defense. We did not provide enough support to our freshman goalkeeper. I thought Griffin [Thompson] did as much, if not more, of what we could ask of him in his second career start. He was simply fantastic in the first half and continued to make saves in the second half.”
Johns Hopkins went on a 5-0 run in the fourth quarter, leading 17-14 with 2:15 left to play when Cody Radziewicz scored unassisted to cap the spurt. It was the first time all game Johns Hopkins led.
UVA gained possession back and scored with 1:51 left to play when Zed Williams took a dandy pass from Ryan Conrad, cutting the UVA deficit to two goals, 17-15. UVA won the ensuing faceoff and Conrad stuck a zinger off a Dox Aitken pass with 1:13 left. UVA forced an unsettled turnover on the ensuing faceoff and Aitken found Williams for the game-tying goal with 11 seconds left. UVA had a chance in regulation after UVA won the ensuing faceoff and Conrad’s bullet of a shot with two seconds left was rejected.
Virginia won the overtime faceoff, but Mike D’Amario was called for crossing the mid-line, turning the ball over. Shack Stanwick stuck the game-winning goal on the doorstep of the crease 58 seconds into the sudden death period, giving Hopkins the triumph.
UVA led early, taking a 3-0 lead to start the game on goals by Conrad, Dave Smith and Joe French. A 7-3 UVA run gave the Cavaliers a 10-4 lead with 9:05 left in the second quarter. Aitken scored twice during the run, as did D’Amario.
The Blue Jays finished the first half on a 4-1 run, cutting UVA’s lead to 11-8 at the intermission.
Virginia for most of the third quarter had the only two goals, extending its lead to five, 13-8. But with 2:48 left in the frame a goal by Alex Concannon started a 9-1 Hopkins run to take the 17-14 advantage before UVA’s frantic finish in regulation.
Johns Hopkins won the battle of shots (62-41), ground balls (38-34) and faceoffs (21-18). UVA had more saves (16-10) and turnovers (13-10).
Michael Kraus led UVA with four goals, while Aitken added four points on two goals and two assists. Conrad, Ryan Lukacovic and Williams all had three points in the losing cause. Conrado and Williams had two goals and one assist, while Lukacovic had one goal and two assists.
Virginia returns to action on Saturday at in-state rival No. 14 Richmond. Faceoff is set for 1 p.m.