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May 30, 2011

Maryland vs. Virginia: Halftime thoughts

Maryland’s bid for its first national championship since 1975 isn’t looking too strong as the unseeded Terps trail seventh-seeded Virginia, 5-3, at halftime of the NCAA tournament final at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore Monday.

Maryland (13-4) has had leads of 1-0 and 3-2 in the first and second quarters, respectively, but the Cavaliers (12-5) ended the half with three goals over a span of 2 minutes, 25 seconds for the game’s first two-goal cushion.

The Terps had numerous chances to extend their 1-0 lead in the first quarter. On a 4-on-3 break, sophomore long-stick midfielder Jesse Bernhardt took a shot from the high slot, but missed the cage. Senior long-stick midfielder Brian Farrell’s blast from the high slot rang off the left post, and junior midfielder Joe Cummings took a high shot from the right alley that sailed over the net.

In the second quarter, senior attackman Ryan Young had two opportunities to score. After curling around the left post, his bounce shot hit the right post. And in the final minute, Young curled around the right post, but missed the top half of the cage.

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May 28, 2011

Maryland vs. Duke: Halftime thoughts

Maryland is one half closer to punching its ticket to the title game as the unseeded Terps lead No. 5 seed Duke, 5-2, at halftime of their NCAA tournament semifinal at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltmore Saturday night.

Maryland (12-4) hasn’t played in a tournament final since 1998 when Princeton applied a 15-5 whipping. Since then, the Terps have been 0-3 in their three previous trips to the Final Four.

After sophomore David Lawson converted a pass from junior midfielder Robert Rotanz to give the Blue Devils (14-5) a 1-0 lead just 54 seconds into the first quarter, Maryland embarked on a 3-0 run in 9:27 spanning the first and second periods.

Sophomore attackman Josh Offitt scored to temporarily stop the bleeding with 10:43 left in the first half, but sophomore faceoff specialist Curtis Holmes took the ensuing faceoff courtesy of a Duke violation and scored just five seconds later.

Junior midfielder Joe Cummings’ goal off of a pass from senior attackman Ryan Young gave the Terps their three-goal cushion at intermission.

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Virginia vs. Denver: Halftime thoughts

Denver’s magical run to the Final Four appears to be nearing an end as the sixth-seeded Pioneers trail seventh-seeded Virginia, 9-2, at halftime in the first NCAA tournament semifinal at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore on Saturday.

Denver (15-2) is making its first appearance in the Final Four, but a subsequent debut in the title game doesn’t look good courtesy of the Cavaliers (11-5).

Since freshman midfielder Jeremy Noble converted a feed from sophomore midfielder Eric Law to halve Virginia’s lead to 4-2 with 5 minutes, 25 seconds left in the first quarter, the Cavaliers have scored five unanswered goals.

Virginia junior attackman and Tewaaraton Award finalist Steele Stanwick has registered two goals and one assist, but the Cavaliers are also getting timely contributions from sophomore attackman Matt White (one goal and two assists) and junior attackman Chris Bocklet (two goals).

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May 22, 2011

Roanoke at Salisbury: Halftime thoughts

In a weekend littered with upsets on the Division I level, Salisbury is playing the role of favorite to the hilt as the Sea Gulls have sprinted to an 11-2 advantage over visiting Roanoke at halftime of a NCAA Division III tournament semifinal at Sea Gull Stadium in Salisbury on Sunday.

Salisbury (19-1), ranked No. 1 in the most recent United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association poll, scored the game’s first eight goals in a span of 18 minutes, 56 seconds. The Sea Gulls, who lost to Tufts in last year’s championship final, have appeared faster and confident thus far.

The contest appeared to turn on a three-minute penalty on Maroons freshman defenseman Troy Grogan with 2:38 left in the first quarter for playing with an illegal stick. Salisbury scored twice and got a third goal one second after the penalty expired in the second quarter.

So far, this game is far removed from the March 23rd meeting between these teams when the Sea Gulls escaped with a 10-7. That was the last time Roanoke lost. So barring a complete collapse by Salisbury or a monumental rally by the Maroons, their 12-game winning streak appears to be coming to an end.

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May 21, 2011

Denver vs. Johns Hopkins: Halftime thoughts

Johns Hopkins is in danger of becoming the second higher-seeded team to fall in the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament as the No. 3 seed Blue Jays trail No. 6 seed Denver, 7-3, at halftime at Hofstra University’s James M. Shuart Stadium in Hempstead, N.Y., on Saturday.

The winner of this contest will meet seventh-seeded Virginia (11-5), which bounced second-seeded Cornell, 13-9, in the first quarterfinal here.

Johns Hopkins (13-2) got the first goal of the game when freshman midfielder Rob Guida took a pass from sophomore midfielder John Ranagan and blasted a shot past Pioneers freshman goalie Jamie Faus just 2 minutes, 21 seconds into the contest.

But Denver (14-2) embarked on a 6-0 run punctuated by the midfielders’ abilities to use their speed to blow past the Blue Jays’ short-stick defensive midfielders.

Johns Hopkins did get goals from Ranagan and senior attackman Kyle Wharton within a 43-second span midway through the second quarter, but sophomore midfielder Cameron Flint followed with his third goal of the game to give the Pioneers the 7-3 lead.

Other notes:

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Virginia vs. Cornell: Halftime thoughts

The NCAA tournament quarterfinals are underway with Virginia taking a surprising and commanding 10-4 advantage over Cornell into halftime at Hofstra University’s James M. Shuart Stadium in Hempstead, N.Y., on Saturday.

After barely nipping Bucknell, 13-12, in overtime in the first round on Sunday, the seventh-seeded Cavaliers were considered to be an afterthought against a second-seeded Big Red team that shared with Denver the current longest winning streak in Division I at 11 games.

But after trailing 4-1 with 3:57 left in the first quarter, Virginia (10-5) reeled off nine unanswered goals. The Cavaliers scored all seven goals of the second quarter and have outshot Cornell, 14-6, over the same time span.

The 10 goals the Big Red surrendered in the first half are tied for a season low, which they allowed in the second half of a 13-12 overtime win against Penn on March 26. Cornell has not allowed an opponent to score 13 goals yet this season.

The winner of this contest meets the winner of No. 3 seed Johns Hopkins and No. 6 seed Denver in the national semifinals.

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May 4, 2011

Susquehanna at Goucher: Halftime thoughts

Goucher, the reigning Landmark Conference tournament champion, has asserted itself early, sprinting to a 5-1 advantage against Susquehanna in a tournament semifinal at Gopher Stadium in Towson on Wednesday.

Top-seeded Goucher (10-5 overall and 4-1 in the Landmark) scored the game’s first goal before Crusaders junior midfielder Billy Spack converted a pass from junior attackman Dustin Breakey from the left wing to end a scoreless drought of 24 minutes, 33 seconds.

If the Gophers can maintain this pace, they would play host to either No. 2 seed Scranton (7-7, 3-2) or No. 3 seed Catholic (11-5, 3-2) on Saturday in the conference tournament final.

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April 30, 2011

Loyola at Johns Hopkins: Halftime thoughts

Johns Hopkins has seized control of what began as a tight contest, taking advantage of a 3-0 run to end the second quarter and take a 6-3 lead into halftime against Loyola at Homewood Field in Baltimore on Saturday.

The No. 18 Greyhounds (8-3) took a 1-0 lead after senior attackman Chris Palmer scored 6 minutes, 46 seconds into the first quarter, and both sides traded goals until the score was 3-3 with 9:14 left in the second period.

But the No. 4 Blue Jays (10-2) got goals from sophomore midfielder John Ranagan, freshman midfielder Rob Guida and sophomore midfielder Lee Coppersmith over a span of 3:08 to take the three-goal advantage into intermission.

Johns Hopkins is virtually assured of a spot in the NCAA tournament. Loyola will be the No. 2 seed in the Eastern College Athletic Conference tournament at Denver on Thursday night, but a win against the Blue Jays could strengthen the school’s candidacy for an at-large bid.

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April 23, 2011

Navy at Johns Hopkins: Halftime thoughts

Johns Hopkins is continuing its dominance over area rivals, taking a 10-0 advantage into halftime against visiting Navy at Homewood Field in Baltimore Saturday night.

The No. 4 Blue Jays, who have won four consecutive games, scored two goals in the first 51 seconds of the contest – both within a six-second span – and scored three goals on its first four shots.

Johns Hopkins (9-2) converted 2-of-4 man-up chances in the first quarter and 3-of-5 in the first half, has taken 27 shots, and collected 11 more ground balls.

Under coach Dave Pietramala, the Blue Jays are 51-4 against their in-state rivals, including 10-1 against the Midshipmen. Navy’s lone win in the series occurred last season when the Midshipmen snapped a 36-game skid to Johns Hopkins.

Navy (4-8), which has dropped four straight contests, is in danger of compiling the most losses in a single season under coach Richie Meade since he took over the program prior to the 1995 season.

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April 20, 2011

St. Mary's at Stevenson: Halftime thoughts

St. Mary’s bid to upset top-ranked Stevenson doesn’t look promising as the host Mustangs own a commanding 10-3 advantage at halftime in a Capital Athletic Conference tournament semifinal at Caves Athletic Complex in Owings Mills on Wednesday.

Making their third consecutive appearance in the tournament semifinals, the Seahawks (6-8) have sunk their own cause by committing 15 turnovers and picking up eight fewer ground balls. That has contributed to Stevenson taking a 27-16 lead in shots.

The Mustangs (15-1) scored the first five goals of the contest before St. Mary’s scored two times in a span of 60 seconds.

But just 12 seconds after senior attackman Dennis Rosson’s goal for the Seahawks with 12:57 left in the second quarter, senior midfielder Jake Stocksdale scored and Stevenson was never seriously threatened after that.

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April 16, 2011

Johns Hopkins at Maryland: Halftime thoughts

No. 7 Maryland has jumped out to a 7-2 advantage at halftime over No. 3 Johns Hopkins at Byrd Stadium in College Park, and the Terps have done so in stunning fashion on Saturday night.

None of the seven of the team’s goals have come from the vaunted attack of seniors Ryan Young and Grant Catalino and sophomore Owen Blye. Midfielders have scored six times, and sophomore long-stick midfielder Jesse Bernhardt got the other tally.

That’s not to suggest that the attack’s impact has been minimal. Young has been a non-stop dervish behind the net, and he has assisted on two of junior Joe Cummings’ three goals. Catalino hasn’t put a shot on net, but he has drawn sophomore defenseman Tucker Durkin Chris Lightner out of the middle of the box.

But if Maryland (8-2) is having this kind of success without goals from its attack, it could be a long evening for the Blue Jays (8-2).

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April 9, 2011

Fairfield at Loyola: Halftime thoughts

Defense has taken center stage as No. 20 Loyola leads visiting Fairfield, 3-2, at halftime of a critical Eastern College Athletic Conference meeting at Ridley Athletic Complex in Baltimore on Saturday.

Greyhounds senior goalie Jake Hagelin has made four saves, but he has been outdueled thus far by junior Charlie Cipriano, who has turned away seven shots.

The Stags (5-4 overall and 2-1 in the ECAC) have committed nine turnovers to Loyola’s seven. The Greyhounds have collected 15 ground balls to Fairfield’s eight.

Loyola (5-3, 2-2), which scored the first three goals in last week’s 12-9 victory over Ohio State, appeared destined to take a similar path when sophomore midfielder Davis Butts and sophomore attackman Mike Sawyer scored in the first 2 minutes, 25 seconds of the first quarter.

Junior attackman John Snellman cut the deficit in half with a score with 11.7 seconds left in the period.

Senior attackman Matt Langan gave the Greyhounds another two-goal cushion with 10:12 remaining in the second quarter, but Stags junior midfielder Brent Adams answered with a goal 57 seconds later.

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April 8, 2011

Maryland at Navy: Halftime thoughts

Torrential downpours and a hostile environment haven’t slowed Maryland as the Terps have taken a commanding 7-2 advantage over Navy into halftime at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis on Friday night.

Maryland (7-2), which entered the contest ranked sixth in Division I in scoring with a 12.0 goals-per-game average, scored the first two goals of the game in a 63-second span, added a second pair in a 48-second stretch, and then notched a third pair in a 12-second span – all in the first quarter. It’s the first time this season that the Terps scored six goals in the opening frame.

Meanwhile, the Midshipmen have not possessed the ball long enough to attempt to stage a comeback – a problem that plagued them in a 9-8 loss to Georgetown a week ago. Navy has cleared the ball just 8-of-13 times and has taken just eight shots to Maryland’s 21.

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April 6, 2011

Towson at UMBC: Halftime thoughts

In a meeting between 2-5 teams, host UMBC has taken the first step to getting that third victory by sprinting out to a 6-3 advantage over Towson at halftime at UMBC Stadium in Catonsville Wednesday night.

The Retrievers, which has scored five goals in the first half of their last three contests, scored the first three goals of the first quarter, chasing out senior goalkeeper Travis Love who did not register a save.

The Tigers have not gotten closer than two goals as UMBC has continued to maintain a comfortable distance. The Retrievers’ largest lead of the game was four when junior attackman Rob Grimm converted a pass from sophomore attackman Scott Jones on a man-up chance to give the team a 6-2 lead with 4:17 remaining in the second quarter.

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April 3, 2011

Johns Hopkins vs. North Carolina: Halftime thoughts

Johns Hopkins did not leave its offense behind in Baltimore as the No. 6 Blue Jays enjoy an 8-5 advantage over No. 5 North Carolina at the Konica Minolta Big City Classic at The New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., on Sunday.

Johns Hopkins, which entered the contest ranked 11th in Division I in scoring with an 11.1 goals-per-game average, scored the game’s first four goals with senior attackman Kyle Wharton bookending the run with a pair of goals.

But the Tar Heels (7-2) roared back courtesy of senior attackman Billy Bitter, who beat freshman defenseman Jack Reilly and scored three straight at the 8:37, 6:43 and 1:38 marks of the first quarter. After his third goal, the Blue Jays finally replaced Reilly with sophomore Tucker Durkin.

North Carolina knotted the score at five by scoring two of the first three goals of the second frame, but Johns Hopkins rallied back with three goals in a span of 39 seconds.

Sophomore midfielder John Ranagan scored from the left alley with 2:08 before halftime, then he fed sophomore attackman Zach Palmer for a one-time with 1:47 remaining, and senior attackman Chris Boland scored from point-blank range with 1:29 left.

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April 2, 2011

Hofstra at Towson: Halftime thoughts

Towson has hung tough with No. 10 Hofstra, extending the visiting Pride to a 3-3 tie at halftime.

There have been three ties and two lead changes as the Tigers (2-5) seek to even their record in the Colonial Athletic Association at 1-1. Meanwhile, Hofstra (7-1) is still a game behind in the loss column of No. 12 Delaware and Penn State.

Junior attackman Matt Lamon gave Towson a 1-0 lead with 12:32 left in the first quarter, but senior attackman Jamie Lincoln responded with back-to-back goals at the 12:16 and 2:41 marks of that period.

Senior short-stick defensive midfielder Peter Mezzanotte and Lamon scored the first two goals of the second quarter, but the Pride needed just 10 seconds after Lamon’s tally to tie the score at three on a goal by senior short-stick defensive midfielder Steven DeNapoli.

Towson has outshot the Pride, 20-14, but Hofstra has collected 16 ground balls to the Tigers’ 10.

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April 1, 2011

Navy at Georgetown: Halftime thoughts

The offensive futility that plagued Navy in Saturday’s 5-4 loss to Colgate last Saturday seems to have followed the Midshipmen to Washington, D.C., as they trail Georgetown, 5-2 at halftime at Multi-Sport Field on Friday night.

Navy at least scored three goals and took 9 shots in the first half against the Red Raiders. Against the Hoyas’ pressure defense, however, the offense has been stymied, taking just nine shots to Georgetown’s 24.

The absence of senior midfielder Andy Warner (concussion) has had an impact, but the Midshipmen have also failed to protect the ball. Their first six possessions of the game ended in turnovers. For the contest, Navy has committed 12 turnovers to the Hoyas’ six.

The Midshipmen must re-discover their rhythm – and fast.

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March 26, 2011

Virginia at Johns Hopkins: Halftime thoughts

In what could be a season-changing outcome for Johns Hopkins, the No. 9 Blue Jays lead No. 2 Virginia, 7-3, at halftime at Homewood Field in Baltimore Saturday.

If Johns Hopkins (5-2) could hold on, it would be a significant win for the Blue Jays, who have dropped the last six meetings and 10 of the last 14 to the Cavaliers (7-1). In addition, Johns Hopkins has lost the last 10 contests against both Virginia and Syracuse.

The Blue Jays scored all four of the game’s first quarter goals. Sophomore attackman Matt White’s conversion of an assist from junior attackman Steele Stanwick with 9:28 left in the second quarter snapped a scoreless drought of 20 minutes, 32 seconds for the Cavaliers.

Virginia appeared to regain the momentum when the Cavaliers followed a Chris Boland goal on a 6-on-4 man-up opportunity with a shorthanded goal by junior midfielder Colin Briggs and an even-strength tally by junior attackman Chris Bocklet within a span of 80 seconds.

But back-to-back goals by sophomore midfielder Lee Coppersmith helped Johns Hopkins re-assume a four-goal advantage at intermission.

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March 23, 2011

Tufts at Stevenson: Halftime thoughts

Looks like the game was worth the wait after all.

After a weather delay that lasted 1 hour, 45 minutes, Tufts and Stevenson finally took the field at Johnny Unitas Stadium in Towson, and the visiting Jumbos own an 8-6 advantage at halftime in the showdown between the Nos. 1 and 2 teams in Division III.

Stevenson (8-0) led 6-5 after senior midfielder Kyle Moffitt scored his second goal of the game with 2:02 left in the second quarter.

But Tufts, the 2010 NCAA champion, roared back with three consecutive scores in the final 1:28, including two within an 8-second span. That run was fueled by senior attackman D.J. Hessler, a Monkton native and St. Paul’s graduate, who scored twice.

The Jumbos had capitalized on the Mustangs’ porous interior defense and their shoot-first mentality to take a 5-2 lead into the second quarter. But Stevenson answered back with goals from senior midfielder Neal Barthelme (14:14), Moffitt (13:14) and freshman midfielder Tony Rossi (6:54).

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March 19, 2011

Stony Brook at Towson: Halftime thoughts

A potential upset is brewing as Towson enjoys an 8-5 lead at halftime against No. 4 Stony Brook at Johnny Unitas Stadium in Towson on Saturday.

With 54 seconds left in the second quarter, the host Tigers owned an 8-3 advantage, but a pair of Kevin Crowley-to-Robbie Campbell goals in the final 13 seconds trimmed the deficit to three. The five-goal hole was the largest the Seawolves (3-1) had experienced this season.

After both teams exchanged three goals each in the first quarter, Towson (1-3) scored five unanswered goals, using its speed down the alleys and behind the net to find scoring opportunities.

Campbell’s first goal with 13 seconds remaining snapped a scoreless drought of 17:14 for Stony Brook.

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March 18, 2011

UMBC at Maryland: Halftime thoughts

It appears that UMBC’s search for a turning-point win will continue as Maryland has taken a commanding 10-2 lead into halftime at Byrd Stadium in College Park Friday night.

Any hope the Retrievers (1-3) had of potentially upending the No. 8 Terps were extinguished as the hosts scored two goals within the first 3 minutes, 38 seconds of the game en route to a 4-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Sophomore Scott Jones, who started at attack instead of his customary midfield position, ended the drought 2:17 into the second quarter when he banged home a pass from junior attackman Rob Grimm to make it 4-1, but Maryland scored five consecutive times  before both sides exchanged goals in the final 33 seconds of the second quarter.

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March 16, 2011

Denver at Loyola: Halftime thoughts

Like last season, Loyola finds itself trailing Denver at halftime, but this time, the deficit is not as daunting.

The No. 15 Greyhounds are down 6-5 to the No. 17 Pioneers at Ridley Athletic Complex in Baltimore Wednesday night. Last April, Denver owned a 6-2 advantage at intermission.

Loyola (3-1) got on the scoreboard just 47 seconds into the first quarter when sophomore attackman Mike Sawyer beat his defender from the left wing and slipped the ball past freshman goalkeeper Jamie Faus.

But the Pioneers (3-2) went on a 4-0 run and held the Greyhounds at bay until Sawyer trimmed the deficit to one with 2:16 left before halftime,

Loyola has allowed Denver to score off of three faceoffs, including one that the Greyhounds won. Junior attackman Alex Demopoulos forced a Loyola turnover deep in its own territory and then alley-ooped senior attackman Todd Baxter for an empty-net goal.

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March 15, 2011

Towson at Navy: Halftime thoughts

Two teams that have struggled at times to produce consistently on the offensive end of the field have exploded – by their standards – for a combined 14 goals with Towson and Navy taking a 7-7 lead tie into halftime at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis Tuesday night.

The visiting Tigers (1-3) scored on three of their first four shots to sprint to a 3-0 lead, but the Midshipmen (2-4) answered with a 3-0 run over a 2-minute, 55-second period spanning the first and second quarters.

Towson took another three-goal lead with junior attackman Matt Lamon’s second goal of the game with 4:58 left before halftime, but Navy scored tied the score in the final three minutes.

The Midshipmen got a pair of goals from freshmen attackmen Sam Jones and Tucker Hull with 51.8 seconds and 1.7 seconds left, respectively.

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March 12, 2011

Johns Hopkins vs. UMBC: Halftime thoughts

After more than six hours, it appears the Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic has run out of gripping, tense dramas as No. 14 Johns Hopkins is enjoying a 9-3 advantage at halftime against UMBC at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore in the final game on Saturday.

After top-ranked Syracuse survived a 9-8 overtime contest against No. 15 Georgetown and No. 2 Virginia edged No. 13 Cornell, 11-9, the Blue Jays (4-1) scored the game’s first three goals and five of the first six to put the Retrievers in a significant hole.

Johns Hopkins has attacked UMBC’s short-stick defensive midfielders, initiating from up top and forcing slides that have opened up shooting lanes for the attackmen.

Sophomore midfielder John Ranagan leads all players with four points on two goals and two assists, and fifth-year senior attackman Chris Boland has registered two goals and one assist.

Other notes:

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Syracuse vs. Georgetown: Halftime thoughts

In what may be considered a surprise, top-ranked Syracuse leads No. 15 Georgetown by just two goals, taking a 4-2 advantage into the locker room at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore in the first game of the Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic.

The Orange (3-0) has sandwiched a pair of tallies from sophomore attackman Davey Emala with a pair of goals, but the Hoyas (2-2) have played solid defense.

Georgetown has done a good job of switching assignments to confuse Syracuse’s attack, senior goalkeeper Jack Davis has turned away five shots, and the Hoyas have handcuffed the Orange in transition.

The only issue? Not enough possessions for Georgetown, especially in the second quarter. The Hoyas lost all three faceoffs, were outshot 6-1, and were outscored 2-0.

Other notes:

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March 9, 2011

Detroit at Mount St. Mary's: Halftime thoughts

What good vibes Mount St. Mary’s generated in the first six minutes have evaporated as the Mountaineers are clinging to a 4-3 lead over visiting Detroit at Waldron Family Stadium in Emmittsburg.

Mount St. Mary’s scored the game’s first four goals in a span of 5 minutes, 49 seconds – quite a reversal from the team’s first two games of the season when Virginia and Towson raced out to early advantages of 7-0 and 4-0, respectively.

But the Mountaineers (0-2) have gone dry over the final 24:11 of the first half, opening the door for the Titans to chip into the lead. Detroit scored twice in a span of 26 seconds to end the first quarter and added a man-up goal to trail only by one at halftime.

Mount St. Mary’s has been careless with the ball, turning it over 13 times to only seven times by Detroit. Possession will be key in the second half.

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March 5, 2011

Towson at Mount St. Mary's: Halftime thoughts

Towson has exploded for six goals -- by their standards -- and leads host Mount St. Mary’s by four at the Waldron Family Stadium in Emmitsburg this Saturday afternoon.

It took the visiting Tigers just 2 minutes, 39 seconds to match their output in a 3-2 loss to No. 11 Loyola a week ago. And the six goals match a season high as Towson scored six in a four-goal setback to No. 9 Johns Hopkins in their season opener two weeks ago.

The offense has apparently rediscovered its rhythm and found scoring opportunities in front of Mountaineers senior goalie T.C. DiBartolo (three saves).

The second half will be the key. The Tigers have been outscored 8-3 in the third and fourth quarters this season.

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February 26, 2011

Georgetown at Maryland: Halftime thoughts

Maryland owns a 6-4 lead over Georgetown here at Byrd Stadium in College Park, and it could have been a lot worse – for the Terps.

No. 3 Maryland looked lethargic in the first half and the vaunted starting attack of seniors Grant Catalino, Ryan Young and Travis Reed were pretty much locked up by the Hoyas’ senior trio of Barney Ehrmann, Dan Hostetler and Bobby Boyle.

No. 14 Georgetown won 3-of-4 faceoffs in the first quarter and five of the first eight, but the Hoyas were stymied by redshirt freshman goalie Niko Amato, who made four saves in the first 4 minutes, 3 seconds.

Senior midfielder Max Seligmann’s second goal of the contest gave Georgetown a 3-1 lead with 9:49 remaining in the second quarter, but the Terps responded with a 5-1 run, which included three goals in a 1:54 span.

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February 22, 2011

Johns Hopkins at Delaware: Halftime thoughts

A short turnaround doesn’t seem to have bothered No. 9 Johns Hopkins, which has cruised to a 6-1 advantage over No. 20 Delaware at halftime here at Delaware Stadium in Newark, Del.

The Blue Jays, who are coming off of a season-opening 10-6 win against Towson on Saturday, scored the game’s first three goals – all in the first quarter.

The offense has gotten production from both the attack and midfield. Senior attackman Kyle Wharton scored twice, sophomore Zach Palmer scored once, and fifth-year senior Chris Palmer assisted on one goal.

Freshman midfielder Rob Guida scored the first two goals of his career, sophomore John Ranagan registered two assists, and freshman Eric Ruhl scored once.

Johns Hopkins has been especially proficient at penetrating the Blue Hens’ sagging defense, finding running room and shooting lanes up top and down the left alley.

Other notes:

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February 19, 2011

Navy at Loyola: Halftime thoughts

A week after the freshmen propelled Navy to a six-goal victory over the Virginia Military Institute, the upperclassmen took control against No. 13 Loyola.

The Midshipmen lead the Greyhounds, 7-3, at halftime Saturday behind performances from several veterans.

Senior midfielder Andy Warner registered a goal and an assist, and senior Brian Striffler, juniors Nikk Davis and Taylor Reynolds and sophomore Cade Norris have each chipped in a goal.
Warner, Davis and Striffler scored three of Navy’s first four goals as the offense pushed the Midshipmen to a 4-0 lead just 65 seconds into the second quarter.

Loyola scored two goals in a 44-second span, but Navy notched three straight to pad the lead.

Other notes:

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May 31, 2010

Notre Dame vs. Duke: Halftime thoughts

Unseeded Notre Dame trails No. 5 seed Duke, 3-2, at halftime of the NCAA Tournament final, and improved shot efficiency will be the key for the Fighting Irish (10-6).

Notre Dame has put just three of 19 shots on goal – not nearly enough to test freshman goalkeeper Dan Wigrizer, who made just seven saves in the Blue Devils’ 14-13 win against top-seeded Virginia in the semifinals.

Part of the credit belongs to the Duke defensemen, who are tall and rangy and getting their sticks in the way, but the Fighting Irish have sailed a few high-percentage attempts.

For the Blue Devils, maintaining a lead will depend on getting more contributions from the starting attack. Fifth-year senior Ned Crotty and senior Max Quinzani have an assist each, and junior Zach Howell has scored once. Crotty has been held in check by junior defenseman Kevin Ridgway, Quinzani by senior Mike Creighton, and Howell by sophomore Kevin Randall.

Duke did beat the Cavaliers despite Crotty and Quinzani getting shut out in the first half, but the Blue Devils would probably like to avoid a repeat performance.

Other notes:

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May 29, 2010

Duke vs. Virginia: Halftime thoughts

If Duke can’t rebound from the 7-5 deficit the No. 5 seed Blue Devils have built in a NCAA Tournament semifinal against No. 1 seed Virginia Saturday night, they will have no one to blame but themselves.

Duke (14-4) has hit the post at least three times in the first half, but even more grating is that the Blue Devils have failed to successfully clear the ball on six occasions. They have wilted under the pressure of the Cavaliers’ suffocating ride, which is something Duke usually applies to opponents.

The Blue Devils have never led, but did tie the score at 5 when senior midfielder Jonathan Livadas connected with senior attackman Will McKee for the second time in the game with 5:45 left in the second quarter.

But after Virginia junior goalkeeper Adam Ghitelman stoned senior midfielder Steve Schoeffel on a wrap-around attempt, the Cavaliers got back-to-back goals from midfielders Colin Briggs and Brian Carroll.

Other notes: 

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May 23, 2010

Army vs. Cornell: Halftime thoughts

Unless Army makes a few adjustments at halftime, it would appear that the Black Knights’ run through the NCAA tournament could end one stop short of the Final Four.

Unseeded Army trails No. 7 seed Cornell 8-3 in a quarterfinal at Stony Brook’s Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium, and much of the credit belongs to the Big Red’s ability to dissect the Black Knights defense.

Seven of Cornell’s goals have come from shots in the slot or just outside the crease, giving junior goalkeeper Tom Palesky no chance to making the stop. The eighth tally came from junior defenseman Max Feely, who picked up a loose ball off the faceoff and raced in alone.

Feely’s name will haunt Loyola and its fans as he was the one who scored the game-winning goal in triple overtime to send the Big Red to the quarterfinals and the Greyhounds home for the summer.

Army has done itself any favors either. After Cornell senior attackman Ryan Hurley was whistled for a 30-second penalty for pushing, the Black Knights whiffed on the extra-man opportunity. Hurley, racing out of the box, collected a pass over the midfield line and fed freshman attackman Steve Mock for an easy score to give the Big Red a 5-1 advantage just 2:08 into the second quarter.

Other notes:

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May 15, 2010

Hofstra at Maryland: Halftime thoughts

No. 3 Maryland leads No. 19 Hofstra 4-3 in an NCAA tournament first-round contest at Byrd Stadium in College Park, and the only reason the Terps, the No. 3 seed in the tournament, aren’t enjoying a larger advantage is because of Andrew Gvozden.

The Pride’s sophomore goalkeeper has been simply amazing, turning away 10 of Maryland’s shots in the first half. Gvozden, a Severna Park native and graduate, was especially mesmerizing in the second quarter, when he denied the Terps six times.

He blocked away shots by senior attackman Will Yeatman and sophomore mifielder Drew Snider in the slot, stopped a blast from freshman long-stick midfielder Jesse Bernhardt off of a faceoff, and swallowed an offering from junior midfielder Dan Hart, who was allowed to run uninhibited down the right alley.

Hofstra's season high in saves by a player is 11 by Gvozden against Delaware and freshman Rob Bellairs against St. John's. Maryland has got to figure out Gvozden, who had surrendered 42 goals in his previous four games.

Other notes:

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May 8, 2010

Delaware at Towson: Halftime thoughts

Towson’s season – and perhaps Tony Seaman’s tenure as the head coach – has come down to 30 minutes this Saturday afternoon as the host Tigers trail Delaware, 7-4, in the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament final at Johnny Unitas Stadium.

With a 7-7 record, the Tigers won’t earn a berth in the NCAA Tournament unless they capture the CAA title. And with Seaman in the final year of a three-year contract, he may not get another deal unless Towson gets to the Big Dance for the first time since 2007.

Towson needs to correct a few areas. First, the team must do a better job on face-offs, where the Blue Hens (9-6) won the first nine and finished the first half with an 11-of-13 showing. Sophomore Dan Cooney, in fact, scored off a face-off win just five seconds after junior midfielder Pat Britton had scored to help the Tigers close the gap to one at 5-4 with 3:05 left in the second quarter.

Second, the defense must do a better job on senior attackman Curtis Dickson and junior midfielder Kevin Kaminski. Kaminski helped Delaware battle back from a 3-1 deficit with back-to-back goals over a span of 4 minutes, 2 seconds in the second quarter.

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May 5, 2010

Albany at UMBC: Halftime thoughts

UMBC isn’t having quite the easy time it had against Albany in the regular season.

The Retrievers trail, 6-4, at halftime of an America East Tournament semifinal here in Catonsville – which is a far cry from the teams’ first meeting on April 17 when UMBC sprinted to a 7-2 start en route to a comfortable 12-7 victory.

The Great Danes have taken advantage of a pair of goals off unsettled situations. Senior defenseman Brendan Gleason fed freshman midfielder Mike Woods off of transition, and freshman defenseman Anthony Ostrander scored off of a face-off.

The Retrievers also have not been able to find an answer for redshirt freshman midfielder Dwayne Stewart, who scored both of his goals in the second quarter. On both occasions, Stewart, the conference’s Rookie of the Week, used his quickness to create enough space to fire shots past freshman goalkeeper Adam Cohen (two saves).

UMBC has taken too many high shots against sophomore goalie John Carroll, who has four saves. The Retrievers need to vary their shots and start taking advantage of extra-man opportunities. The man-up offense is 0-for-1 tonight and has not converted on its last 16 chances.

Senior attackman Chris Jones leads UMBC with two goals, and sophomore attackman Rob Grimm has chipped in one goal and one assist. Senior attackman Matt Latham, who leads the team with 25 goals, has been held scoreless.

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April 28, 2010

Towson at Johns Hopkins: Halftime thoughts

History appears to be safe as Johns Hopkins is basically putting a choke hold on No. 19 Towson’s attempt to keep the Blue Jays out of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 39 years.

Johns Hopkins is cruising right now, leading by a comfortable 8-0 at halftime here at Homewood Field in Baltimore.

A Tigers victory would have guaranteed the Blue Jays a sub-.500 finish, which would have automatically made them ineligible for consideration for the NCAA Tournament. But Towson (6-5) has appeared lifeless in the first half, committing turnovers on the first three offensive possessions and taking low-percentage shots that freshman goalkeeper Pierce Bassett (nine saves) has stopped easily.

The Tigers, who own a five-game winning streak, have also committed six penalties – four of which were the 1-minute variety – and are in the midst of their worst deficit of the season.

Meanwhile, Johns Hopkins (5-7) is flexing its muscles and quite easily as the offensive players have raced past Towson’s defenders for easy scores, four of which have come from in front of the cage.

Other notes:

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April 25, 2010

Maryland vs. Virginia: Halftime thoughts

Virginia’s remedy for a slow start? A hot goalie.

Junior Adam Ghitelman has been superb in the first half and is a big reason why the No. 2 Cavaliers lead No. 5 Maryland, 5-4, at halftime of the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament final here at Byrd Stadium in College Park.

Ghitelman has made eight saves in the half, and many of them have been of the spectacular variety. He’s turned away Terps junior attackman Grant Catalino three times, used his stick to block a behind-the-head offering from sophomore midfielder jake Bernhardt in the slot, and made back-to-back saves on junior attackmen Ryan Young and Travis Reed during one sequence.

Ghitelman has pretty much allowed Virginia to settle into the contest after Maryland opened with a 3-0 run over a span of 3 minutes, 18 seconds in the first quarter.

After sophomore midfielder Michael Shakespeare’s goal gave the Terps a 3-0 advantage with 7:34 left in the first period, the Cavaliers responded 45 seconds later with a tally from senior midfielder Brian Carroll (Gilman) , and they proceeded to reel off three more unanswered goals to assume a 4-3 lead with 2:02 left in the second quarter.

Twenty-two seconds later, Maryland knotted the score at four when junior long-stick midfielder Brian Farrell (Boys’ Latin) found Reed (Boys’ Latin) alone on the crease. But freshman long-stick midfielder Jesse Bernhardt threw a lazy pass on an attempted clear that was intercepted by junior midfielder Rhamel Bratton, and he found sophomore attackman Steele Stanwick (Loyola) alone at the left post to give Virginia the 5-4 lead with 13 seconds left.

Other notes:

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April 24, 2010

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.

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April 17, 2010

Maryland vs. Johns Hopkins: Halftime thoughts

Maryland’s start was a lot worse than its finish as the No. 5 Terps trail No. 15 Johns Hopkins, 4-3, at halftime in the second game of the Smartlink Day of Rivals doubleheader at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore Saturday night.

Maryland (7-2), which has dropped the last three meetings and 12 of the last 15, got off to a lethargic start, killing possessions with costly turnovers.

Meanwhile, the Blue Jays (5-5) took advantage by scoring three unanswered goals. The first two came from freshmen midfielders as John Greeley scored with 12:13 left in the first quarter and Greeley connected with John Ranagan with 6:53 left. Senior attackman Steven Boyle capped the run by converting a pass from senior midfielder Michael Kimmel with 4:54 left.

After both teams traded goals, junior attackman Ryan Young converted a feed from sophomore midfielder Jake Bernhardt, and senior midfielder Adam Sear scored on a two-man advantage as the Terps closed to within one before halftime.

If Maryland harbors any hope of ending its recent hex against Johns Hopkins, the team will need a hotter start in the third quarter. The good news is that the Blue Jays have surrendered 28 goals in the third period – the most of any quarter this season.

Other notes:

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Georgetown at Loyola: Halftime thoughts

No. 7 Loyola and No. 9 Georgetown are tied at 4-4 at halftime, but the Greyhounds need to thank junior goalkeeper Jake Hagelin for keeping the team in the hunt.

Loyola (7-2) led, 3-1, after senior midfielder Chris Hurst converted a feed from senior midfielder Taylor Ebsary with 6:45 left in the first quarter, but the Hoyas (7-3) have maintained possession for a majority of the second quarter.

Georgetown took 16 of its 21 shots in the second period. Hagelin (five saves) absolutely stoned senior attackman Rickey Mirabito on the doorstep during a Hoyas’ extra-man advantage, and Hagelin made a diving stop on freshman attackman Travis Comeau after he intercepted a pass from Greyhounds senior face-off specialist John Schiavone.

The Hoyas have whiffed on four man-up situations, but Loyola has got to avoid giving those kinds of chances to Georgetown, which is ranked 13th in Division I in extra-man efficiency (14 of 33 for .424 percentage).

Other notes:

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April 10, 2010

Navy at Maryland: Halftime thoughts

No. 5 Maryland has a 4-3 edge on No. 20 Navy at halftime at Byrd Stadium in College Park, but it's the Midshipmen who should be in front.

Navy took a 3-1 lead just 4:05 into the second quarter after junior attackman Andy Warner found senior midfielder Joe Lennon alone at the left point for a goal. But the team has squandered offensive possessions since then, taking sharp-angled or ill-advised shots at the cage.

The Midshipmen had a golden opportunity to stop the bleeding when redshirt junior long-stick midfielder Brian Farrell was flagged for slashing. But Warner took a shot from a poor angle left of the cage that Terps senior goalkeeper Brian Phipps gobbled up, and Maryland killed off the remainder of Farrell's one-minute penalty. Phiipps made five of his seven saves in the second quarter.

Meanwhile, junior attackman Grant Catalino has put the Terps on his back, scoring all three of the team's goals in the second quarter to reassert the team's dominance thus far. Catalino, who had been shut out in Maryland's 11-10 loss to No. 1 Virginia last Saturday, scored his second and third goals in a span of 15 seconds. 

Other notes:

*Face-offs continue to plague the Midshipmen, who entered the contest winning 43.3 percent of their draws. They've won just 2 of 9 face-offs in the first half and don't seem to have an answer for Maryland's duo of senior Bryn Holmes and sophomore Jake Bernhardt.

*Lennon leads Navy with two goals, and senior midfielder Patrick Moran has chipped in one goal and one assist. Catalino is the Terps' only player with more than one point.

*Maryland is winning the battle of shots (19-13) and groundballs (20-11) and will begin the third quarter on an extra-man advantage after freshman short-stick defensive midfielder Jordan Seivold was assessed a 30-second penalty for holding with 11 seconds left in the second quarter.

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April 7, 2010

UMBC at Towson: Halftime thoughts

Towson is enjoying a 5-3 lead at halftime against visiting UMBC at Johnny Unitas Stadium in Towson courtesy of the team’s work on face-offs and extra-man chances. The Tigers -- who entered the contest winning just 45.3 percent of their face-offs -- won seven of 10 face-offs in the opening frame. That's part of the reason why the team has an overwhelming 23-14 advantage in shots. The offense scored off three of those face-off wins and almost got another, but an official ruled that junior attackman Tim Stratton had violated the crease when he beat Retrievers freshman goalkeeper Adam Cohen with 43 seconds left in the first quarter.

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April 3, 2010

Virginia at Maryland: Halftime thoughts

Coaches usually say that the first quarters are good indicators of the level of play their teams execute. There was hardly anything positive about No. 5 Maryland’s opening against Virginia.

The No. 1 Cavaliers scored the game’s first six goals and won the first seven face-offs en route to enjoying a 7-2 advantage at Byrd Stadium here in College Park.

Sophomore attackman Chris Bocklet, Virginia’s leader in goals with 26, scored the team’s first three, registering his sixth hat trick of the season in a span of 4 minutes, 41 seconds.

Bocklet’s third tally occurred during an extra-man opportunity created when Terps junior attackman Grant Catalino tried to incite Cavaliers senior defenseman Ken Clausen. Instead, Catalino was assessed a one-minute penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct with 10:03 left in the first quarter, and Bocklet scored 51 seconds later.

Maryland (6-1) had just five offensive possessions, with three ending in turnovers. The Terps, who also had a failed clear, avoided a total collapse in the period when senior attackman Will Yeatman converted a feed from junior attackman Ryan Young with six seconds left in the period.

In fact, Yeatman and senior goalkeeper Brian Phipps appear to be the only Maryland players playing with a sense of urgency. Yeatman, who posted two goals and three assists in last year’s seven-overtime thriller in Charlottesville, Va., has scored both of the Terps’ goals in the first half.

Phipps turned away at least five Cavaliers shots in the first quarter and finished with 13 in the first half. He has played superbly considering the sniper fire he has been under.

Other notes:

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April 2, 2010

Georgetown at Navy: Halftime thoughts

No. 20 Navy trails No. 13 Georgetown, 6-4, at halftime here at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, and the Midshipmen have got to be kicking themselves over finding themselves in this situation.

After the teams exchanged goals to open the game, Navy allowed the Hoyas to gain a two-goal lead via some sloppy play. While attempting to clear the ball, sophomore defenseman Matt Vernam got the ball knocked out of his stick by Craig Dowd, and the Georgetown senior attackman raced in alone on a breakaway to score with 4:22 left in the first quarter.

Nine seconds later, freshman midfielder Patrick Murray won his first career face-off and scored his first career goal.

The Hoyas began the second quarter with five turnovers on five possessions, and the Midshipmen took advantage, getting a pair of man-up goals from junior attackman Andy Warner to tie the score with 5:06 left.

But Georgetown ended the period with two straight scores to regain the two-goal cushion. By the way, the Hoyas have taken the lead in groundballs (20-9) and shots (17-13). So the Midshipmen have had their chances to seize control, but have squandered those opportunities.

Other notes:

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March 27, 2010

Johns Hopkins at Virginia: Halftime thoughts

No. 8 Johns Hopkins trails No. 1 Virginia, 7-4, at halftime, here at Klockner Stadium in Charlottesville, Va., and the Blue Jays had kept pace with the Cavaliers until midway through the second quarter.

Johns Hopkins (4-3) got off to a terrible start as the team lost the first two face-offs, wasted two possessions (including an extra-man opportunity) with turnovers, and failed to clear once. Meanwhile, Virginia (8-0) scored three goals in a span of 5 minutes, 29 seconds.

Senior midfielder Michael Kimmel finally got the Blue Jays on the board with a goal with 11.9 seconds left in the first quarter.

After the Cavaliers scored the first goal of the second period, Johns Hopkins scored three straight with the first two coming from the stick of sophomore attackman Tom Palasek in a 39-second span. Freshman midfielder John Ranagan capped the run with a goal with 8:29 left in the quarter.

But after winning the ensuing face-off, senior face-off specialist Michael Powers missed a centering pass from Palasek, and Virginia scored three times to take a three-goal advantage into the break.

Other notes:

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March 20, 2010

Syracuse at Johns Hopkins: Halftime thoughts

No. 8 Johns Hopkins trails No. 2 Syracuse, 5-1, at halftime Saturday night, and someone needs to find out if the offense got a wake-up call for the game.

The Blue Jays have been outshot, 19-9, and only three of those attempts landed on net. Orange junior goalkeeper John Galloway wasn’t forced to make his first save until there was 3:44 left in the second quarter.

A microcosm of the Blue Jays’ struggles: junior attackman Kyle Wharton intercepted a clearing pass late in the second period and had only Galloway to beat. But Wharton missed the net completely and possession reverted back to Syracuse. And Wharton and senior midfielder Michael Kimmel have rung the posts with shots.

 

Johns Hopkins was especially lethargic in the first quarter, taking only three shots to the Orange’s 10 and getting none on Galloway. And the Blue Jays had two 30-second extra-man opportunities, but couldn’t take advantage.

On the heels of just a six-goal display against No. 6 Hofstra a week ago, Johns Hopkins needs to figure things out on offense – and fast.

Other notes:

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March 16, 2010

Navy at Towson: Halftime thoughts

On a night when Towson is seeking its first victory, the host Tigers lead No. 17 Navy, 6-5, at halftime.

Junior attackman Tim Stratton already has a hat trick in the first half, and the third goal involved a little trickery as he and senior midfielder Brock Armour engaged in a ball fake behind the net. As Midshipmen sophomore goalkeeper R.J. Wickham followed Armour to the left wing, Stratton -- who had the ball -- curled around the right post and dumped the ball into the open net.

Senior midfielder Christian Pastirik has a pretty goal of his own when he accepted a pass from freshman attackman Matt Hughes, and as he was running out of real estate while running to the right side of the crease, whipped a shot behind his head into the top left corner of the cage.

Towson, which hasn't trailed in the first half, broke a 3-3 tie with three consecutive goals. But Navy answered with two goals, including a tally from senior defenseman Jake Brosnan with 17 seconds left in the second quarter.

Other notes:

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March 13, 2010

Towson at Maryland: Halftime thoughts

On the strength of a five-goal second quarter, No. 6 Maryland enjoys an 8-3 advantage over visiting Towson at Byrd Stadium Saturday.

Both teams have had to endure a steady rain and wind that has been torrential at times, but the Terps (3-0) appear to be handling it better. The Maryland players appear quicker to the ball, more solid in their footing, and more adept at causing turnovers and protecting the ball.

For the half, the Terps have taken more shots (25-6), collected more groundballs (20-13) and forced more turnovers (9-4) than the Tigers (0-2).

Maryland has also gotten goals from seven different players. Only sophomore attackman Joe Cummings (Loyola) has scored twice -- both on extra-man opportunities. Junior attackman Travis Reed (Boys' Latin) has recorded two assists.

Other notes:

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March 9, 2010

UMBC vs. Johns Hopkins: Halftime thoughts

No. 7 Johns Hopkins leads No. 19 UMBC, 8-6, at halftime at Homewood Field, and the advantage could have been much bigger for the host Blue Jays if they hadn’t been flagged for four penalties in the first quarter.

Senior attackman Steven Boyle, senior long-stick midfielder Greg Harrington, snioe short-stick defensive midfielder Dave Spaulding and senior defenseman Matt Drenan each committed slashing penalties, and the Retrievers converted on three of those four extra-man opportunities.

A few of the penalties seemed iffy, and Johns Hopkins coach Dave Pietramala gave the officials quite an earful for much of the period, but the Blue Jays just need to turn down the volume on the aggression button and stay disciplined.

Other notes:

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March 6, 2010

Princeton vs. Johns Hopkins: Halftime thoughts

At halftime in the second game of the Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic at M&T Bank Stadium, No. 8 Princeton leads No. 5 Johns Hopkins, 7-4, and some of the uncharacteristic mistakes that plagued the Blue Jays seem to be biting them again in this game.

On three of their goals, the Tigers found a teammate alone near the left post for easy goals. Whether that's a breakdown in communication or assignments, the Johns Hopkins defense is giving Princeton players quality shots.

And senior goalkeeper Michael Gvozden -- splendid through the first three games -- has surrendered a pair of goals from at least 12 yards. The shots were hard and fast, but Gvozden had time and room to see the ball pass him.

The seven goals are the most in the first half the Blue Jays have allowed this season.

Other notes:

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February 27, 2010

Maryland at Georgetown: Halftime thoughts

No. 7 Maryland and No. 9 Georgetown have played an entertaining first half at Mult-Sport Field in Washington, D.C., but the Hoyas appear to be the faster team as they enjoy a 10-7 lead.

On at least four goals, Georgetown’s players have either dodged their way past falling Terps defenders or rolled off picks in the slot for easy scores. Another goal occurred when two Maryland players failed to pick up a loose ball in the defensive zone, allowing junior attackman Ryan Schuler to pounce on it and score with 1.7 seconds left in the first quarter to give the Hoyas a 5-2 advantage.

All this is surprising considering that this is Georgetown’s season opener. The Terps, who beat Bellarmine, 12-7, a week ago, just look either slow or out of sync.

Other notes:

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February 25, 2010

North Carolina at Navy: Halftime thoughts

Without senior attackman Tim Paul, No. 11 Navy has struggled to gain some semblance of consistency or confidence on the offensive end.

Trailing No. 3 North Carolina, 6-1, at halftime, the Midshipmen (1-1) have failed to put the kind of pressure they should apply to a first-year starting goalkeeper like Tar Heels junior Chris Madalon.

Navy, which had committed 18 offensive turnovers in last Saturday's 8-7 overtime loss to No. 10 Loyola, has at least half of that in the first half tonight. As a team, the Midshipmen have coughed up the ball 13 times. (By comparison, they surrendered the ball 24 times to the Greyhounds.) That's a big reason why they have taken just 12 shots compared to North Carolina's 19.

Senior attackman Evan Sullivan's extra-man goal with 16 seconds left in the second quarter finally snapped a Tar Heels 6-0 run. But without Paul, Navy doesn't seem to have the player who can quarterback the offense and get it established.

Other notes: 

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February 20, 2010

Delaware at UMBC: Halftime thoughts

The first half has been a tale of differing offenses for the No. 17 Retrievers and the No. 20 Blue Hens, who lead 6-4.

For the first quarter and a good portion of the second, UMBC (0-0) ran its offense through senior midfielder Kyle Wimer, who responded with two goals and one assist. Aside from Wimer, however, the offense has struggled to find a rhythm. Senior midfielder Maxx Davis (Friends) has carried the ball and tried to use his speed to find his teammates, but no one is getting open. Senior attackman Jamie Kimbles and Matt Latham (Liberty) each have a goal, but the Retrievers are going to need more production from their attack.

Similarly, Delaware (1-0) has keyed its offense on senior attackman Curtis Dickson, whose five goals already match the five goals he scored in last year's 14-9 loss to UMBC. Dickson has beaten senior defenseman Matt Kresse often. Fellow attackmen Pat Lombard and Grant Kaleikau each have an assist.

*In his first start of the season, senior Kevin Kohri has been sensational for the Retrievers. He guided a Dickson blast to the side and then took a shot off the mask from junior midfielder Kevin Kaminski. If not for Kohri (five saves), UMBC might have been in a deeper hole than it currently is in.

*Face-offs continue to be a sore spot for the No. 17 Retrievers, who have won just three of 12 attempts. Junior J.D. Harkey and freshman Neill Lewnes (St. Mary's) have tried to beat, tie up, and wrestle Tommy Lee, but the Blue Hens senior who ranked third in Division I in face-off percentage (.598) has been sensational.

Posted by Edward Lee at 2:00 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Halftime thoughts, UMBC
        
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Faceoff is The Baltimore Sun's blog devoted to college and high school lacrosse. Faceoff contributors include Sun reporters Edward Lee, Mike Preston and Katherine Dunn.
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