If there's going to be a game at Homewood Field next weekend, Johns Hopkins may as well be in it.
The Blue Jays backed this sound logic yesterday with a fourth-quarter thrashing of Notre Dame in Annapolis that removed all doubts about which team's season would continue.
Scoring four times in a span of 6: 09, Hopkins built on a one-goal lead and moved into the NCAA lacrosse tournament quarterfinals by disposing of the Fighting Irish, 12-7, before 6,089 on a blustery day at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
Hopkins (7-5), the seventh seed, will play No. 2 seed Maryland on Sunday. The Blue Jays will try to avenge a loss to the Terrapins last month and another in last year's semifinals that blew apart a perfect season.
"It was a tough-fought game; we knew it would be. And we're anxiously awaiting next Sunday," said Hopkins coach Tony Seaman.
When asked later if he was glad to get another shot at Maryland, Seaman smiled and said, "I look forward to Sunday."
A win next weekend would put the Blue Jays in the semifinals for the fourth time in the past five years. They haven't won a championship since 1987, when Don Zimmerman was coach.
The first step landed on Notre Dame (9-4), the 10th seed, which was hoping for a repeat of last season, when it upset Duke in the opening round.
This time, there would be no major surprises, though the Irish gave Hopkins fits for three quarters. They led twice, and there were five ties.
Anthony Reid moved Notre Dame ahead 3-2 on a man-advantage goal 33 seconds into the second quarter. But the junior midfielder injured his right knee soon after, and the Irish were without their second-leading goal scorer for the rest of the
Hopkins took the game's first two-goal lead at 7: 28 of the third quarter, when senior Tim Colbert scored for the first time this season by splitting Notre Dame midfielders Joe Bialous and Andy Scollan while sprinting to the crease.
Blue Jays killed a one-minute penalty and, after a blistering shot by Adam Bond hit the pipe, Notre Dame's Will DeRiso converted a pass from James Keenan to cut the Hopkins lead to 7-6.
Milford Marchant scored his third goal at 2: 37 of the fourth quarter, and freshman Dan Denihan expanded the margin to three less than a minute later.
Junior Billy Evans scored unassisted at 7: 49, and Denihan struck again, this time off a pass from senior Dave Marr, for an 11-6 lead at 8: 46.
Marchant's fourth goal -- a career high -- with 1: 57 remaining put the finishing touches on a dominant quarter for the Blue Jays. The Irish were silenced until sophomore Burke Hayes' goal with 29 seconds left.
"We wanted to value the ball, because we knew they valued the ball," Seaman said. "We think we've got a pretty good defense, and we think we've got one of the best goalies [Jonathan Marcus] in the country.
"You saw him play that way throughout the game today. They started off in the first quarter with three one-on-ones with Marcus, and he saved all three of them. But we tightened up.
"We thought if we shot well and didn't try to push the ball, didn't try to be selfish, we could get some shots and put them by their goalie."
Marcus, who made 13 saves, had missed all but one day of practice last week because of strep throat. With the way he played yesterday, Seaman said, "We might keep the bug in him."
"Marcus made some huge saves," said Notre Dame coach Kevin Corrigan. "If you look back at the tape of this game, you're going to see we could have scored another eight or 10 goals without anything drastic happening except Marcus maybe not making some of those great saves."
Marcus said he never sensed that Notre Dame was getting frustrated. "It was a close game the whole game. Both goalies were making saves," he said.
Irish sophomore Alex Cade had 21 saves, including eight in the third quarter. His team won the battle for ground balls, 41-28, but couldn't use that to its advantage.
Pub Date: 5/13/96
At Piscataway, N.J.
Syracuse (10-3) vs. North Carolina (12-4), 1 p.m.
Towson State (9-4) vs. Princeton (11-1), 4 p.m.
At Homewood Field
Harvard (12-2) vs. Virginia (10-3), noon
Johns Hopkins (7-5) vs Maryland (10-2), 3 p.m.
Salisbury rolls into Div. III semifinals. 8c
Anne Arundel falls in JuCo final. 8c