Sophomore attackman Ryan Brown scored a game-high eight goals but got little help from his teammates and the defense suffered enough lapses for No. 2 Johns Hopkins to drop a 12-10 decision to No. 11 Syracuse before an announced 4,337 at Homewood Field in Baltimore on Saturday.
Sophomore attackman Dylan Donahue recorded three goals and one assist, and senior midfielder Billy Ward chipped in two goals and two assists as the Orange improved to 4-2 overall and 7-1 in the past eight meetings with Johns Hopkins.
The loss spoiled a spectacular display by Brown. The Sykesville native and Calvert Hall graduate was just one tally shy of tying the program's single-game record of nine goals set by William Logan against Virginia in 1927. Brown's output was the most since April 4, 1998, when Dylan Schlott scored seven times against Villanova.
But other than that, the Blue Jays (5-1) got just one goal each from sophomore midfielder Holden Cattoni and freshman long-stick midfielder Nick Fields as the offense fell short of its season average of 13.8 goals.
"I'm not really sure we could have played any worse, and I don't mean that to take anything away from them," coach Dave Pietramala said. "… When you really look at the game, offensively we've got one guy with eight goals and that's great, but where was everybody else? We just didn't play well offensively. I don't think we slipped very well. I don't think we did a good job in our picking game. I don't think we attacked the goal very hard. They didn't seem intent to slide, and I don't think we forced them to slide very much."
Brown, who took a game-best 11 shots for a .727 shooting percentage, sounded like a player who would have traded his individual glory for a team win in a heartbeat.
"It's great, but at the end of the day, we still didn't get the job done," he said.
Brown scored both of Johns Hopkins' man-up goals and twice when Syracuse senior goalkeeper Dominic Lamolinara had roamed out of the cage, including a long-range missile from just across the midfield line.
"He's got such a quick release on his shot, and he places it really well," Orange coach John Desko said. "… He really finds his space within their offense. Obviously, their guys looked to him because they know he's going to be able to finish those. I thought he played really well off the ball. He's a really smart player, and he's probably their biggest threat off the ball and on the ball, too."
Brown scored three straight goals to open the third quarter and help Johns Hopkins trim a 7-3 halftime deficit to 7-6 with 9:13 left in the period. After Syracuse embarked on its second 3-0 run of the game to close out the quarter, Brown scored three consecutive goals in a 1:55 span to begin the final quarter and make the score 10-9 in the Orange's favor.
Syracuse regained a two-goal cushion when freshman midfielder Nick Weston converted a cross-field pass from Ward on an extra-man opportunity with 10:26 remaining.
The Blue Jays needed just 48 seconds to close the gap to one again. From behind the cage, junior attackman Wells Stanwick found Cattoni on the right wing, and he stepped to his left and buried a low shot.
But Johns Hopkins ended back-to-back possessions on offense with ill-conceived passes that ended in turnovers and committed another giveaway on the defensive end, finishing with 12 turnovers to the Orange's seven.
Donahue scored on a curl around the right post with just 2:13 left, and the Blue Jays couldn't muster much of a push before the final buzzer sounded.
Stanwick, a Baltimore native and Boys' Latin graduate, finished with two assists, but no other Blue Jay had more than one point. The offense could not solve Lamolinara, an Arnold native and St. Mary's graduate who turned aside a game-high 11 shots.
"We got it to 11-10, we got a stop in the zone, and we tossed the ball away," Pietramala said. "It just seemed that every time we were just about to get over that hump, we would shoot ourselves in the foot, and they would take advantage and they would punish us for our mistakes."