Johns Hopkins at Navy: Halftime thoughts
Navy leads No. 15 Johns Hopkins, 6-5, at halftime before an announced 10,128 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis Saturday, and if the Blue Jays end up losing this game, they will be kicking themselves for squandering the 5-0 advantage they had built in the first quarter.
Johns Hopkins (5-6) opened the game with five unanswered goals – including three in a span of 3 minutes, 22 seconds – and appeared to have its 37th consecutive win against the Midshipmen in hand.
But the Blue Jays got sloppy in the second quarter. Despite winning 4-of-7 face-offs, the team committed six turnovers in the period and maintained possession long enough to take just four shots.
It is believed that Johns Hopkins, which has lost five of its last six contests, must win the final three games of the regular season – against Navy, Towson on Wednesday night and No. 7 Loyola on May 8 – to grab one of 10 at-large bids to the NCAA Tournament.
One more setback, and Johns Hopkins’ streak of 38 straight tournament appearances would rest in the hands of the NCAA selection committee, which is the least reliable option.
Meanwhile, Navy (5-7) overcame a slow start and scored all six goals in the second quarter, mounting a furious comeback. The Midshipmen scored three in a 1:59 span, and the middle tally was the result of a fortuitous bounce. Senior midfielder Joe Lennon hit the right post with a shot, but the rebound appeared to carom off of junior midfielder Matt Dolente’s body or stick and trickled past freshman goalkeeper Pierce Bassett into the net.
In the second quarter, Navy took 15 shots, collected 12 groundballs, and committed just two turnovers.
*The Midshipmen have five different scorers, and junior attackman Andy Warner has recorded two assists. Johns Hopkins has gotten most of its scoring from the big three of seniors Steven Boyle and Michael Kimmel and junior Kyle Wharton. Kimmel and Wharton have each scored twice, while Boyle has posted two assists.
*Bassett has made seven saves thus far, appearing to outplay Navy sophomore goalie R.J. Wickham (two saves).