Greg Coholan did it again to the Johns Hopkins men's lacrosse team.
Coholan took a pass from sophomore attackman Ryan Lukacovic and bounced it into the left side of the cage with 2:29 left in overtime to propel No. 8 Virginia to a 16-15 win over No. 20 Johns Hopkins at Homewood Field Saturday. It came a year after Coholan scored the game-winning goal in overtime to help the Cavaliers edge the Blue Jays, 11-10.
Virginia improved to 6-2 by rallying from a two-goal deficit and scoring the final three goals of the game before an announced crowd of 2,797.
Trailing 15-13, senior midfielder Tyler German scored his third goal of the game from at least 15 yards with 1:34 left in regulation to help the Cavaliers close the gap to 15-14.
Senior long-stick midfielder Michael Pellegrino scooped up a ground ball on the ensuing faceoff and the Blue Jays appeared ready to run out the clock to cement the win.
But junior Connor Reed slipped while carrying the ball behind the Virginia net, and sophomore long-stick midfielder Michael Howard pounced on the turnover and got the ball to the Cavaliers' offense.
With 45.6 seconds remaining, Coholan, a senior attackman, found senior midfielder Ryan Tucker alone at the right point, and the Towson resident and Gilman graduate fired home his fifth goal of the contest — tying his career high — to knot the score at 15.
On the next faceoff, Pellegrino was whistled for slashing and the Cavaliers took the one-minute extra-man opportunity into overtime.
The penalty expired without Virginia scoring, but Johns Hopkins (3-5) never gained possession before Coholan's game-winner.
"We didn't really have a set play going in," said Coholan, who finished with two goals and two assists. "We were just identifying who was matching up with who and attacking what we thought were good matchups. Towards the end there, Ryan Lukacovic got hung up a little bit, and they rotated. I was fortunate enough to be on that right wing open and execute the shot."
The Cavaliers almost found themselves in a deeper hole when senior defenseman David Sacco and freshman short-stick defensive midfielder Jack Falk were whistled for a pair of 30-second penalties with 2:45 left in the fourth quarter. But Howard blocked a shot and corralled the loose ball to kill the penalty and help ignite Virginia's run.
"We're just a hard-working team, and we just fought," said Tucker, who had a game-high seven points. "Got lucky enough to come up with the blocked shot. Mikey Howard got the ground ball, and we were just battling all night on the ground. It's something we really harp on in practice. We were fortunate to get some really good possessions on offense and put a few in the back of the net and tie it up there late."
In addition to Tucker and Coholan, sophomore midfielder Zed Williams added five points, including all four of his goals in the second half. Sophomore goalkeeper Matt Barrett made 13 saves.
Johns Hopkins fifth-year senior goalkeer Eric Schneider, who made nine saves, appeared to get screened on Coholan's game-winning goal by sophomore short-stick defensive midfielder Joe Carlini. He got a piece of Tucker's game-tying goal, but said he could have done more.
"I've got to get my whole stick on it," he said. "It doesn't matter if it hits me. It went in the net."
Freshman midfielder Joel Tinney led the Blue Jays with five points (three goals and two assists) and junior midfielder Holden Cattoni scored four goals. But junior attackman Ryan Brown (Calvert Hall), who entered the game with a team-high 23 goals, scored just once on five shots.
Johns Hopkins won 24-of-33 faceoffs and outshot the Cavaliers, 44-39, but the team also committed seven more turnovers than Virginia did.
"There are a million opportunities to make plays in a game, and we just keep finding ways to not make enough," coach Dave Pietramala said. "We needed to make one more play – whether it was one more stop, one more goal, one second opportunity to get the ball back on offense. That's the problem right now. We're just not making enough plays, and we're making too many mistakes."