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Johns Hopkins' Holden Cattoni is defnded by Navy's Alex Heyward.
Johns Hopkins' Holden Cattoni is defnded by Navy's Alex Heyward. (Kenneth K. Lam / Baltimore Sun)

In Saturday's 16-15 overtime loss to No. 8 Virginia, the leading goal scorer for Johns Hopkins wasn't attackmen Ryan Brown, Wells or Shack Stanwick or midfielder Joel Tinney.

Holden Cattoni paced the No. 20 Blue Jays (3-5) with a career high-tying four goals on five shots. The junior midfielder entered the game with five goals in his previous six games.

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"Individually, I've been struggling a little bit," he said afterward. "It was good to get a few to go in for me tonight. But overall, it's a team game. Whether I score seven goals or zero, a loss is a loss, and a win would be a win. It definitely hurts to lose in this fashion."

Scoring goals is not unfamiliar to Cattoni, who finished with 29 a year ago, ranking third on that squad in that department. But extending that success to this spring has not been easy, and coach Dave Pietramala acknowledged he might have bumped Cattoni down to the second line if not for offensive coordinator Bobby Benson.

"Holden's play over the last few weeks has been steadily improving," Pietramala said Wednesday. "On Saturday, you finally got to see the final result, which was he got great opportunities and he cashed in on those opportunities. I give credit to Coach Benson for that. Coach has been very insistent that we stick with him and that his play was improving this week. He thought that at some point, he'd break out, and [Cattoni] certainly picked a good game to do that. We needed it."

Cattoni was part of a midfield that was effective against the Cavaliers. First-line freshman Joel Tinney had one goal and junior Connor Reed had one assist. Playing on the second midfield, sophomore Cody Radziewicz scored twice, and sophomores John Crawley and Kieran Eissler scored once each.

"We got four from our second-line midfielders and eight from our first-line midfielders," Pietramala said. "What we didn't get was the productivity we've been accustomed to getting from our attack. Some of that may be how Virginia game-planned and maybe the goal was to make the middies beat them. ... If we can just get that productivity from them and combine that with the usual productivity from the attack, that's a pretty good day and a pretty formidable group to defend."

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