CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — The Stanwick name usually evokes fond memories here at Klockner Stadium, but that wasn't the case Sunday.
Johns Hopkins junior attackman Wells Stanwick had a game-high six points (five goals, one assist) to power the Blue Jays to a 14-8 win against eighth-seeded Virginia in an NCAA men's lacrosse tournament first-round game before an announced 2,054 on Sunday.
With the win, Johns Hopkins (11-4) improved to 13-2 all-time in the first round and advanced to the quarterfinals at Delaware on Sunday. The Blue Jays will play top-seeded Duke (13-3), the defending national champion.
The Blue Jays got a substantial lift from Stanwick, whose older brother, Steele, graduated as the Cavaliers' career leader in points with 269 and led the program to the national championship in 2011. Steele Stanwick currently works as an assistant coach for the Johns Hopkins women's lacrosse team.
Wells Stanwick (Boys' Latin) had a goal and an assist during the Blue Jays' 4-0 run in the first quarter that wiped out a 2-0 deficit. And he added a goal off a faceoff with 5:29 left in the third quarter that ended a three-goal run by the Cavaliers and increased Hopkins' lead to 10-8.
Hopkins senior attackman Brandon Benn added four goals, which helped the Blue Jays to overcome a quiet game by sophomore attackman Ryan Brown (Calvert Hall).
Stanwick, who leads Hopkins in both assists (41) and points (63), credited offensive coordinator Bobby Benson with crafting an effective game plan Sunday.
"Coach Benson puts us in really good spots in the offense, and you just have to capitalize when you're in those spots," Stanwick said. "I worked a lot this week on shooting, and that helped me today."
Stanwick, who made all five of his shots, said Virginia sophomore defenseman Tanner Scales and the rest of the Cavaliers defense played Stanwick as a feeder, not a scorer.
"They don't want to slide, and we were going to have to make them slide. And we focused on that all week," Stanwick said. "They weren't going to slide, so we were going to have to get to the goal."
After Virginia junior midfielder Tyler German converted a pass from senior attackman Mark Cockerton to make the score 9-8, senior midfielder Rob Guida scooped up a ground ball off the ensuing faceoff and spotted Stanwick alone on the left wing for a shot under the crossbar with 5:18 remaining. That goal led the Blue Jays on a 5-0 run to end the game during which Stanwick scored three times, and Guida had three assists.
The Hopkins defense also played well, blanking Virginia for the final 20:29, as well as a 16:14 stretch spanning the first and second quarters.
Senior goalkeeper Eric Schneider made 12 saves, and junior defenseman Robert Enright shut out Cavaliers sophomore attackman James Pannell, who had entered the game second on the team in both goals (39) and points (46).
The unit also did a solid job against Virginia's starting midfield of junior Ryan Tucker (Gilman), sophomore Greg Coholan and senior Rob Emery. After that trio combined for four goals on 11 shots and one assist in the Cavaliers' 11-10 win in overtime over Johns Hopkins on March 22, the first line totaled just one goal on 18 shots and zero assists Sunday.
"Last time, we allowed them to get to their strong hands," Hopkins junior long-stick midfielder Michael Pellegrino said. "Giving guys like Rob Emery and Tucker their strong hands, that's deadly. Emery can rip it from 17 [yards] and go 100 miles an hour. Today, we did a really good job of pushing them to their weak hands."
Cockerton led the Cavaliers with three points (two goals, one assist), and junior attackman Owen Van Arsdale had three points (one goal, two assists). But it wasn't enough for Virginia (10-6) to avoid its earliest exit from the NCAA tournament since 2007, when that squad fell to Delaware in the first round in Charlottesville.
"We were outplayed by Hopkins today," Cavaliers coach Dom Starsia said. "It just felt like we couldn't quite make a shot when we needed to, or get a stop when we had to. … I thought we were going to make a run at it in the third quarter, but then they got a goal off the faceoff.
"We had to respect the Guida kid, and he made a pass to Wells, and Wells had a step-down. That kind of got them going."Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun