Brandon Benn needed just 59 seconds to end the second-longest game in Johns Hopkins men's lacrosse history.
From the left wing, the senior attackman buried a shot between the left post and Ohio State senior goalkeeper Greg Dutton (Calvert Hall) to give the No. 15 Blue Jays a 10-9 win in triple overtime over the No. 13 Buckeyes before an announced 1,338 at Homewood Field on Sunday.
"I've been taught over four years not to worry about previous play because I didn't shoot the ball well today at all," said Benn, who had two goals and one assist on 10 shots and scored for the 17th straight game dating back to last season. "Honestly, I didn't even think about it. I just decided to dodge the guy and shoot and I guess it went in, and it was a good result."
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Second only in duration to the Blue Jays' 9-8 loss to Virginia in four overtime periods on March 24, 2001, the game at times seemed to feature more hits than goals in a prelude to when both teams will join the Big Ten conference next year.
Johns Hopkins junior long-stick midfielder Michael Pellegrino and Buckeyes junior midfielder Reegan Comeault set the tone early when they were flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct while jostling for position on the wing for the opening faceoff. The rest of the game included stiff cross checks, two-handed shoves and a couple slashes.
In the end, however, the Blue Jays recovered after giving up a 9-6 lead midway through the fourth quarter to improve to 5-0 all-time against Ohio State and win their seventh consecutive season opener.
"I felt like, in the past, we've struggled in pressure situations, we've struggled when things have gotten a little tough, a little tight," Johns Hopkins coach Dave Pietramala said. "And I thought our guys handled it very well. … I thought the guys showed mental toughness today, physical toughness."
Junior attackman Wells Stanwick paced the offense. The Boys' Latin graduate, who was the team's primary playmaker with team highs in both assists (23) and points (47) last spring, had one goal and a career best-tying five assists in the win Sunday.
But it took more than a half for the Blue Jays to find their rhythm offensively.
"We weren't putting the ball in the back of the net," Stanwick said. "We were getting really good looks. We just had to finish them, and in the second half, we started putting the ball where we needed to go, just putting it in places where [Dutton] would have to make the save rather than hitting him because he's a really good goalie, and he's going to get those ones up high."
Johns Hopkins also got a boost from a retooled defense that started three newcomers, including senior goalkeeper Eric Schneider.
Schneider made a game-high 13 saves, including several impressive stops. He blocked Ohio State sophomore attackman Carter Brown (Calvert Hall) on a curl around the right post with about two minutes left in the fourth quarter, stopped junior attackman Turner Evans with less than one minute left in the first overtime, and then denied sophomore midfielder Charlie Schnider from 12 yards away with less than a minute left in the second overtime.
"Today, we had a great game plan," Schneider said. "I thought we executed it well for the most part. … We pushed them into areas that we wanted them to go, and I just felt like I made the saves that I should've, and I thought it was just a team effort."
Junior midfielder Jesse King led the Buckeyes with five goals and one assist, and Evans added one goal and three assists.
But Ohio State couldn't convert an extra-man opportunity after Blue Jays senior defenseman Jack Reilly was penalized for slashing with 53.9 seconds left in the second overtime and a costly unforced turnover by Comeault in the first 30 seconds of the third extra session that led to Benn's heroics.
"It stings a little bit," Ohio State coach Nick Myers said. "For our men, it was game one. We came down here, and [I'm] proud of the effort. I thought our men really battled. We certainly had chances. At the same time, you credit and it was a great effort by our opponent as well.
"We'll take this as an opportunity to focus on a lot of the positives that were there today and also to grow in areas that we know we need to continue to develop as a team as we move on into our second week of the season."