COLLEGE PARK — The Johns Hopkins men's lacrosse team's first Big Ten tournament championship and an automatic bid to the NCAA postseason got a boost from an unlikely source.
Eric Schneider, the much-beleaguered, inconsistency-plagued goalkeeper, made a game-high 11 saves — including six in the first quarter — to anchor the No. 17 Blue Jays' 13-6 rout over No. 14 Ohio State before an announced 1,713 at Byrd Stadium on Saturday night.
Johns Hopkins improved to 9-6, earned its fifth consecutive win, and can sit back and wait for the 18-team field for the NCAA tournament to be announced Sunday night.
The Blue Jays can credit their relaxation in part to the play of Schneider. The fifth-year senior, who had been in and out of the team's final two regular-season games, was solid in the cage.
Schneider, who entered the contest with a 10.59 goals-against average and a .454 save percentage, made six stops in the opening period. With his fifth save with less than five minutes left in the quarter, Schneider matched his performance in Johns Hopkins' 15-12 loss to the Buckeyes on April 5.
In addition to Schneider, senior defenseman John Kelly limited Ohio State senior attackman Jesse King to one goal on seven shots and one assist. King had blistered the Blue Jays for five goals and two assists in that earlier meeting.
And sophomore defenseman Nick Fields surrendered just one goal on four shots and one assist to junior attackman Carter Brown (Calvert Hall).
Senior attackman Wells Stanwick (Boys' Latin) paced the Johns Hopkins offense with one goal and four assists. Junior midfielder Holden Cattoni chipped in three goals and one assist.
The opening frame unfolded perfectly for the Blue Jays. They scored the game's first four goals, and only one came off the stick of a starter in junior midfielder Connor Reed.
Johns Hopkins' first goal occurred in transition. Freshman attackman Shack Stanwick (Boys' Latin) collected a pass and spotted junior short-stick defensive midfielder Kelton Black (Calvert Hall) running unimpeded down the right alley. Stanwick fed Black for the first tally of his career with 10:39 left in the period.
Then Wells Stanwick skipped a pass from goal-line extended left to sophomore midfielder Cody Radziewicz, who blistered a shot from the right wing past Ohio State redshirt sophomore goalie Tom Carey with 8:55 remaining.
After an extended Buckeyes possession that did not end in a goal, Reed raced down the left alley and stung the top right corner of the net with 3:04 left in the quarter.
Sophomore midfielder John Crawley closed out the period by losing his defender off a screen set by Shack Stanwick several yards behind the right post and whipping the ball into the top left corner with 59.4 seconds remaining.
Ohio State halved the 4-0 deficit with a pair of goals to open the second quarter. Senior midfielder David Planning took senior short-stick defensive midfielder Phil Castronova down the left alley, turned back, and sent a riser past Schneider with 12:54 remaining.
Just 1:32 later, sophomore attackman J.T. Blubaugh took sophomore short-stick defensive midfielder Joe Carlini upfield, rolled back, and beat Schneider from the right side of the crease.
The Blue Jays responded with a pair of goals. Beginning from the right sideline, Cattoni swam past junior short-stick defensive midfielder Kacy Kapinos (Loyola Blakefield) and fired a shot from the high slot past Carey (seven saves) with 9:15 left in the period.
Seventy seconds later, during another transition opportunity, senior long-stick defensive midfielder Michael Pellegrino carried the ball into the offensive zone and passed it to Carlini at the left point. Carlini centered the ball to Wells Stanwick for a turnaround jump shot and a 6-2 advantage.
The Buckeyes finished the first half with a goal from sophomore midfielder John Kelly (Calvert Hall) off a feed from Brown with 2:39 remaining.
Ohio State dropped to 11-6 and will wait to hear if it earned an at-large berth in the NCAA tournament.
Notes: Junior attackman Ryan Brown (Calvert Hall) scored his 53rd and 54th goals of the year to break a tie with Jeff Cook (1981) and Terry Riordan (1995) for the Johns Hopkins' single-season goal record. … The Blue Jays have won their last eight games in Byrd Stadium. The program has not lost there since May 20, 2001 when that squad dropped a 13-9 decision to Notre Dame in a NCAA tournament quarterfinal.