No. 1 Virginia scored two goals to open the fourth quarter and held on for a 16-15 victory over No. 6 Johns Hopkins before an announced 5,475 at Homewood Field last night. The Cavaliers (10-0) won their fourth straight game against Hopkins and remained undefeated.
The Blue Jays (3-3) had rallied from a six-goal deficit late in the first half to take a one-goal lead at the end of the third period, but Virginia quickly scored to tie the game in the fourth quarter and later established a lead it would never relinquish.
"Our defensive play was awful in the first half," said Hopkins coach Dave Pietramala, whose team trailed 12-8 at the half. "We didn't communicate. We didn't rotate. They played a great first half, and we didn't. We played a great second half, and they didn't. We dug too big of a hole and spent a lot of time coming back."
Added Pietramala: "There were several points that we could have taken the lead a couple of times, but their goalie made some great saves. He was the difference in the game. I think we showed a lot of character in coming back, but the question is which team are we? Are we the team that played the first half or the team that played the second half? We'll find out soon enough next week against Carolina."
Virginia midfielder Shamel Bratton scored from 10 yards out on a feed from Garrett Billings with 12:09 left to tie the game at 15, and Cavaliers attackman Danny Glading scored the game-winner with 10:01 remaining on another 10-yard shot.
Hopkins had several chances to win in the remaining time, but the Blue Jays couldn't finish shots, and midfielder Brian Christopher made an errant pass to attackman Kyle Wharton that went out of bounds with 1:50 left.
Virginia had a four-goal lead at the half, but it started to fade quickly when Wharton scored 36 seconds into the third quarter and Christopher scored on an assist from Chris Boland nearly 90 second later.
When Blue Jays attackman Steven Boyle scored from the top of the crease with 11:06 left in the third period, the Cavaliers' lead had shrunk to 12-11. Virginia couldn't gain more than a two-goal advantage for the next eight minutes, and then Hopkins took over in the closing minutes of the third period.
Midfielder Mark Bryan scored with 47 second left in the quarter, and Boland scored five seconds later at the top of the crease. Christopher hit a long-range shot just inside the box with seven seconds left in the third quarter to give Hopkins a 15-14 lead, its first since the opening minutes of the game.
Pietramala pulled Gvozden from the game after the Cavaliers went up 9-5 with 13:51 left in the first half, but that didn't help the Blue Jays. When Virginia midfielder Max Pomper scored with 11:54 left in the second quarter, Gvozden came back, and Virginia kept up the assault, scoring two more goals in the quarter.
"I was just trying to spark our defense," Pietramala said of pulling Gvozden. "Our goalie is Michael Gvozden."