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Syracuse next for Hopkins


It was barely 15 minutes after Johns Hopkins had beaten Towson State, 15-8, Saturday night at Minnegan Stadium, when Blue Jays lacrosse coach Tony Seaman delivered the first salvo at friend and Syracuse coach Roy Simmons Jr.

It's a fun-loving feud.

"I remember last year when Roy Simmons said after our playoff game [11-8 Johns Hopkins loss] that it was nice being the fifth seed and coming down here to beat us where it hurts," said Seaman. "Maybe now we get to return the favor being the fifth seed and going up there to beat them where it hurts."

"There" is the University of Pennsylvania's Franklin Field, site of the NCAA Division I Final Four. No. 5 Hopkins (8-4) will play Syracuse (12-1) in one semifinal at 1 p.m., and No. 3 Princeton (11-2) will play No. 2 North Carolina (12-2) at 4 p.m.

Even though the game won't be played in Syracuse, Seaman would like nothing better than to knock off the top-ranked team at Franklin Field, where he coached Penn for eight seasons before coming to Hopkins nearly two years ago.

Penn probably was Syracuse's toughest opponent when the Orangemen won three straight NCAA titles during the Gary and Paul Gait era, which ended in 1990. In three meetings as Hopkins coach, Seaman has beaten Syracuse twice, including 15-14 this season.

"I have talked about our demanding schedule the last two years, and it helps that now we have gotten this far, we've played each of the teams in the Final Four," said Seaman. "So we won't be in awe of a Syracuse or a North Carolina."

The win over Towson was a momentum builder. Hopkins controlled 15 of 23 faceoffs, and it won a lot of crucial loose balls for fastbreaks. The Blue Jays also got six goals from sophomore attackman Brian Piccola, all before the end of the third period.

One minute into the fourth period, the Blue Jays had a 14-7 lead, and a lot of the record crowd of 7,812 started to leave the stadium.

Piccola did most of his damage in the third period, scoring goals No. 4, 5 and 6 in the last seven minutes, as the Blue Jays went ahead 12-7 at the end of the quarter.

Towson, with a number of unforced turnovers, never seemed to find its offensive rhythm.

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