Hopkins Stops Navy for 33rd Straight Time
BALTIMORE, April 21 — Navy men’s lacrosse coach Richie Meade ended the day dabbing his tears with a towel. It was moments after Johns Hopkins had beaten Navy, 10-9, before nearly 7,000 fans on homecoming at Homewood Field on Saturday. The Midshipmen (9-3) lost their 33rd straight game to the Blue Jays dating from 1974.
The third quarter was most problematic. The Midshipmen had the ball for 2 minutes 58 seconds; they failed on 3 of 5 clears, lost 4 of 5 faceoffs and were outshot 12-4. They entered the quarter leading 5-4 following a goal on a no-angle shot by freshman Tim Paul with 18 seconds left in the first half.
When the quarter ended, Hopkins led 7-6. The trend continued for much of the fourth. The Blue Jays led 10-8 following a goal on a left-handed shot by junior Paul Rabil with 4:20 to play. Navy closed to 10-9 following a goal by Paul with 24 seconds left, but Hopkins junior Stephen Peyser won the next faceoff and the Midshipmen did not take another shot.
The Midshipmen had the ball for less than six minutes in the fourth quarter. For the game, they were successful on 10 of 19 clears.
“They always had the ball,” Meade said. “We knew what they were doing and I thought we were defending it well, but to play that much defense, there are going to be breakdowns.”
Peyser was the reason Johns Hopkins (6-4) had so much possession. He won 14 of 17 faceoffs and had 12 ground balls. His work earned him a plaque (as the game’s most valuable player), a banana (the gift the pep band gives to its player of the game) and the one game ball that Coach Dave Pietramala gave out.
“When Stephen wins faceoffs, it builds confidence in [starting mid- fielder Michael Kimmel] and I,” Rabil said. “If Mike and I score goals, Stephen goes out and wins the next faceoff.”
Rabil finished with three goals — all on left-handed shots, even though he is naturally right-handed — and Kimmel, a freshman, added three goals. Paul had three goals and junior Nick Mirabito added a goal and three assists for Navy.
Lacrosse is a big deal at Johns Hopkins. The public-address an- nouncer’s testing pattern isn’t a countdown of five, four, three, two, one; it is 80, 84, 85, 87, 05 — the most recent years the Blue Jays won the national title. The university is one of the few to hold its homecoming in the spring for lacrosse rather than in the fall for football.
And it therefore was a rather big deal when, on Friday, Peyser bucked tradition. He put a sign with a quote from “Henry V” — the one that ends, “we few, we happy few, we band of brothers; for he to-day that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother” — over the locker room door. The sign previously there — “I will give my all for Johns Hopkins today” — was moved to the side.
Overall, it culminated a good weekend for Peyser. Navy senior William Wallace entered the game winning 70 percent of his faceoffs, one of the top percentages in the nation; on Saturday, he won 2 of 10.
Navy scored on its first three shots against senior goalkeeper Jesse Schwartzman and in the end was left to lament it did not take more than 21 shots. Peyser’s work on faceoffs saw to that.
“We threw everything at him that we had,” Meade said of Peyser. “But he’s pretty good.”