PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Terry Riordan called it "high-powered." Did Rutgers University lacrosse coach Tom Hayes want to disagree?
Not after the second quarter, he didn't.
Riordan led that high-powered Johns Hopkins offense to two separate second quarter surges that erased an early Rutgers lead and paced the Blue Jays to a 15-10 victory in front of 2,287 at Rutgers. The game was the second of a doubleheader, which started with a 7-5 North Carolina victory over defending-national champion Princeton.
"Our coaches have put together a high-powered offense for us," said Riordan. "When we get it going, I don't think anybody can stop us."
Not when it starts humming like it did in the second quarter. Trailing 6-4 midway through the quarter, the Blue Jays (3-1) ripped off four goals in a 48-second span to make it 8-6. After Rutgers (1-1) answered to make it 8-7, Hopkins scored three more in another 1:16 to make it 11-7 at intermission.
"That was the difference in the game," Hayes said. "We were up 6-4 and then bang, we were down. Lacrosse is a game of spurts. You know that going in. You try to hold the other team to two or so and get yourself going. We let them get on a run, and we couldn't change it."
Riordan led Johns Hopkins with four goals and two assists, including two goals and one assist in the first 4-0 run. Riordan leads the Blue Jays with 15 goals.
As for the rest of the offense, it was a fairly balanced attack. Hopkins saw six different players score, and that was exactly what it needed without top-scorer Brian Piccola. The Blue Jays were playing their first game without Piccola, who cracked a rib in the 15-10 win over Georgetown Tuesday. Piccola's status for Saturday's game against Virginia at Homewood Field is still uncertain.
"With Brian out, it has to be a team effort," Riordan said. "He's our best attackman, so everybody else has to step it up. It's not going to be one person to take his place. I thought everybody played great in this game."
Rutgers used three Ryan O'Shea goals in the first 21 minutes to fashion a 6-4 lead, but the Hopkins transition game kicked into high gear at that point. The Blue Jays were able
to open the field up, and the result was seven goals in six minutes.
"We have a lot of speed," Riordan said. "We want to be a transition team. They would turn their backs on us for just a second, and we were keeping our heads up and making the cuts to get open."
Sure, but four goals in 48 seconds? Three more in 1:16?
"We'd love to score goals like that all the time, but it's not going to happen," said Hopkins coach Tony Seaman. "You have to get your goals in spurts. You just hope you get yours at the end."
Actually, they came in the middle. After that high-scoring first half, the second half belonged to the goalies. Hopkins' Jonathan Marcus continued his big freshman year with 24 saves, while John Kidon had 17 of his own for Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights outshot the Blue Jays, 46-42.
"It looked like it was going to be in the 30s after the first half," Hayes said. "Both teams tightened up after that. I thought both goalies were excellent, particularly in the second half."
With this one behind them, the Blue Jays were free to think about Virginia. After that looms a game the following Saturday at North Carolina, which was on display in the opener.
The Princeton-Carolina game was originally scheduled for Princeton's Palmer Stadium, but last week's blizzard took care of that. Princeton was forced to Loyola for a 9-6 win over Virginia Wednesday, and the game yesterday was rescheduled into a doubleheader.
"Sometimes, necessity is the mother of invention," Hayes said. "This was great for New Jersey lacrosse. We may have stumbled onto something here, except that the New Jersey teams lost."
Seaman, for one, liked the set up. It allowed him to scout North Carolina, if nothing else. The same was true for Riordan.
"We got to see the second half of that game," Riordan said. "We definitely have some tough games coming up. We've been tested so far, and we have some other challenges coming up. I think we're getting it together. I think we're showing that we can play with anybody."
L Especially when that "high-powered" offense kicks into gear.
Johns Hopkins 4 7 1 3 -- 15
Rutgers 4 3 2 1 -- 10