Mike Preston

Mike Preston: No. 11 Loyola Maryland men’s lacrosse dominates punchless No. 6 Johns Hopkins, 13-8 | COMMENTARY

Johns Hopkins men’s lacrosse coach Peter Milliman wasn’t about to make any excuses, but the evidence was clear.

The No. 6 Blue Jays entered their highly anticipated game against No. 11 Loyola Maryland on Saturday without injured attackmen Jacob Angelus and Russell Melendez and were routed, 13-8, before an announced 5,432 at Ridley Athletic Complex.


It was even uglier than the final score indicates. Loyola (2-0) led 12-3 early in the fourth quarter before the Blue Jays scored five of the final six goals, including three in the last 1:49.

The outcome was pretty much determined minutes before for the game when Johns Hopkins officials announced that Angelus (two goals, eight assists), a senior, and Melendez (five goals, one assist), a junior, weren’t going to play.


Their absences clearly worked in Loyola’s favor because defense — led by graduate student defensemen Cam Wyers and Matt Hughes and junior goalie Luke Staudt (10 saves) — is the strength of this Greyhounds team.

Loyola took an 8-2 lead with 9:31 left in the third quarter and the Blue Jays (2-2) didn’t take their first shot of the quarter until nearly two minutes later. Yes, it was total domination. Hopkins lost its second game of the week after falling to No. 19 North Carolina, 11-7, on Tuesday night.

“Everything is day-to-day with them,” Milliman said of his two injured attackmen. “They are very good players and it’s an adjustment any time you take significant pieces out of the puzzle. I will be excited to see them back on the field, but we’ve got to score more goals or it’s going to be a long afternoon for us.”

Loyola Maryland's Dylan Binney celebrates after scoring a goal during Saturday's win over Johns Hopkins at Ridley Athletic Complex.

Without Angelus or Melendez, Hopkins lacked its top scoring talent. The Blue Jays repeatedly tried to force passes inside, but many were either knocked down or dropped. Hopkins had 17 turnovers, including 11 in the first half when both teams were still playing their starters.

“We weren’t moving our feet, we weren’t catching the ball, it was like we were too caught up in the moment,” said Milliman, who got two goals each from attackmen Garrett Degnon and Brendan Grimes and midfielder Matt Collison. “It was a tough day, not a pretty game. It took a good effort to fight through the end. This was a big week for us.”

It was the second straight strong effort by the Greyhounds, which forced defending national champion Maryland into 11 turnovers last week in a 12-7 upset win. The defensive slides by Loyola in the first half from front to back and side to side were nearly perfect as the Greyhounds went into halftime leading 6-2.

“We talked about handling success after last week,” Loyola coach Charley Toomey said. “We didn’t have a perfect week of practice, but we were dialed in. Hopkins came in a little banged up, which made us make some adjustments, but we were dialed in on the matchup, and we played a good, solid defensive game. We’re excited at this moment but we don’t want to get too excited.”

Johns Hopkins goalkeeper Tim Marcille watches the ball bounce in the net during the first quarter of Saturday's game at Ridley Athletic Complex.

That’s because Loyola travels to No. 8 Rutgers on Saturday for a 1 p.m. game against the Scarlet Knights (2-1), who lost 14-13 to Army on Saturday. Usually Loyola is struggling this time of year to find an identity, but the Greyhounds already have one as a defensive team.


The offense, meanwhile, is gradually catching up. At one point Saturday, the Greyhounds had three freshmen on the field. Freshman attackman Matthew Minicus, senior midfielder Evans James, junior midfielder Seth Higgins and junior attackman Dylan Binney led Loyola with two goals each.

But this team thrives on playing great defense.

“We’ve had a year under our belts, and it gave us a chance to build better chemistry and develop that sense of urgency,” said Wyers, who might be the best shutdown defenseman in the nation. “We trust our short sticks, we trust our play on the wings. We’re just connected in that way.”

No. 11 Loyola Maryland at No. 8 Rutgers

Saturday, 1 p.m.

Stream: BTN+


Utah at No. 6 Johns Hopkins

Saturday, noon

Stream: ESPN+