Sandwiched between games against two of the country's top lacrosse teams were a couple of contests on Johns Hopkins' schedule designed to give the Blue Jays a chance to fine-tune their potent offense.
No. 2 Johns Hopkins defeated unranked Rutgers, 16-5, yesterday before 2,525 at Homewood Field, three days after an 18-6 win over Division III rival Washington College.
The Blue Jays, who opened the season with a 15-14 win over No. 4 Princeton, will travel to the Carrier Dome on Saturday to face top-ranked Syracuse.
Leading 5-2 at halftime yesterday, Hopkins came out on fire in the third quarter, blasting six goals past Rutgers goalie John Kidon in a 6:06 span to take an 11-2 lead with 7:09 left in the period.
"We looked pretty good in the first half," said Rutgers coach Tom Hayes. "But in the third quarter we couldn't get a faceoff, and we were having trouble matching up with them.
"Then [Terry] Riordan hits some big shots and the wheels fall off."
Riordan started the flurry with a goal that moved the senior attackman from Baldwin, N.Y., into second place on Hopkins' all-time goal list. Riordan, who finished with a game-high four goals, has 141 career goals, second to Franz Wittelsberger's 151, scored from 1973 to 1976.
The rest of the attack, which Hayes called the best in the country, was equally impressive. Senior Brian Piccola scored three goals and had two assists, and senior Dave Marr, the least heralded of the group, finished with six assists and a goal.
Senior Peter Jacobs and junior Milford Marchant combined to control 17 of 24 faceoffs, and eight of 10 in the pivotal third quarter.
"We're trying to get better at every aspect of the game," said Johns Hopkins coach Tony Seaman. "That's the good part of playing the schedule we play -- to see different people and their approaches to playing us."
The Blue Jays (3-0) got off to a relatively slow start against the Scarlet Knights, taking 4:50 just to get their first shot off, then scoring a lucky first goal one minute later when Kidon dropped the ball into his own goal after making a nice save on a hard shot by sophomore midfielder Billy Evans.
Hopkins scored the next four goals to build a 5-0 lead with 9:03 left in the first half.
Rutgers (0-2) tried to slow the pace by holding the ball in its offensive end -- and keeping it out of the hands of Hopkins' dangerous attack. The ploy worked, and the Scarlet Knights scored two second-quarter goals to make it a respectable 5-2 halftime score.
"They thought that if they took it out of our hands and slowed it down, they'd be successful," said Seaman. "I thought we handled that well, made some adjustments at halftime, and put it away in the third quarter."
On the defensive end, Hopkins got a much-needed strong game from junior goalie Jonathan Marcus, who made 10 saves before leaving midway through the fourth quarter.
"I thought Marcus was outstanding, and was really seeing the ball well," said Seaman. "He really needed that for his