The Johns Hopkins men's lacrosse team executed a well-designed defensive plan — and still lost.
Despite strong efforts from senior defenseman Tucker Durkin and senior goalkeeper Pierce Bassett, the No. 12 Blue Jays dropped a 10-9 decision to No. 19 Albany before an announced 1,525 at Homewood Field on Friday night.
Johns Hopkins fell to 6-4 and has dropped three of its past four games. The Blue Jays lost to the Great Danes for just the second time in 12 meetings and the first time since Feb. 24, 2007.
Albany improved to 7-3 and collected its third straight victory and its sixth in the past seven games. Junior attackman Miles Thompson had five points on three goals and two assists
The setback spoiled a strong performance by Durkin, who was assigned the primary task of shadowing Albany sophomore attackman Lyle Thompson — the leading scorer in Division I. Thompson, who took just three shots and committed five turnovers, didn't post a single goal or assist for the first time this season, ending an 18-game point streak.
“We did an all right job,” Durkin said. “I thought we could've helped each other out a little bit more inside. But at times we were able to stop their initial dodge, which is something we talked a lot about. … But we still could've been better.”
Bassett made 15 saves — including several of the point-blank variety — but it wasn't enough to overcome a lethargic offense that converted just 20.5 percent of its shots (9-for-44).
Sophomore attackman Wells Stanwick paced Johns Hopkins with five points on four goals and one assist, but he got little help from his teammates.
After recording three goals and one assist in last Saturday's 11-10 overtime loss to then-No. 4 North Carolina, senior attackman Zach Palmer scored just once. No other player got more than one point.
“We were shooting the ball into the goalie's stick,” Stanwick said. “The goalie made some good saves, but we didn't capitalize on the chances the defense was giving us.”
With the score tied at 9, Johns Hopkins was awarded an extra-man opportunity after Great Danes junior short-stick defensive midfielder Ryan Feuerstein was flagged for pushing with 2:36 left in the fourth quarter. But Albany freshman goalkeeper Blaze Riorden made a stick save on freshman midfielder Ryan Brown's long-distance bounce shot and fired an outlet pass to junior long-stick midfielder Doug Eich, who ran the length of the field and blasted a shot past Bassett with 1:24 remaining in regulation.
The Great Danes won the ensuing faceoff, but turned the ball over after taking too long to get into its offensive box. Johns Hopkins had one final possession to send the contest into overtime, but senior midfielder John Ranagan missed the cage on a dodge down the left alley, and Brown's shot from the right alley was blocked by an Albany defenseman.
Riorden finished with a game-high 20 saves, and Great Danes coach Scott Marr praised his players' ability to avoid wilting under the Blue Jays' pressure.