Two of the No. 6 Johns Hopkins men’s lacrosse team’s biggest comebacks have come at the expense of Virginia.
The Blue Jays overcame a six-goal deficit to defeat the Cavaliers, 18-17, in overtime March 25, 2017. They followed that by rallying from a seven-goal deficit to beat Virginia, 15-13, on Saturday.
Coming back from deficits of 8-1 in the second quarter and 9-2 at halftime was a first for Johns Hopkins (6-2), and it offered positives and negatives for coach Dave Pietramala.
“I’m glad we capitalized on the opportunity,” he said. “I think we showed some resiliency and some toughness that we didn’t show in the first half. So, that was the positive coming out of the first-half negative. Now the hope is that we utilize that as a valuable learning tool and say, ‘We can’t come out and start like this. We can’t play like this, we can’t approach it like this.’ ”
Saturday’s win capped a 5-0 run in March. They begin April by opening their Big Ten schedule against No. 9 Rutgers (7-2), and falling behind early against the Scarlet Knights is a situation Pietramala would like to avoid.
“We know we can fight back and we know we have this resilient quality,” he said. “However, we need to stop putting ourselves in that position.”
Reunion for Tillman, Conry: Saturday’s Big Ten opener between No. 2 Maryland (7-1) and No. 15 Michigan (7-2) will pit coach John Tillman against former Terps defensive coordinator and current Wolverines coach Kevin Conry for the first time since they guided Maryland to the NCAA championship in May. Tillman said he was pleased to see Michigan faring well under Conry.
“I think relationships are always important,” he said. “I think it’s a big reason why people do coach. It’s the relationships that you do build. So I think anytime anyone goes on and has success, you’re happy for them just because you know — especially as a head coach — this is their opportunity.”
Loyola Maryland seeking energy: The final score of Saturday’s 12-11 loss to now-No. 18 Bucknell would seem to indicate the No. 11 Greyhounds (5-3, 3-1 Patriot League) made it a tight affair. But coach Charley Toomey pointed out that the team lacked the intensity and emotion needed to defeat a conference rival.
“I think every team kind of has a lull,” he said. “You try to guard against it as coaches, but I wouldn’t say that I haven’t seen it before. There have been times, but to be truthful with you, I haven’t seen it for 3½ quarters. On Saturday, it was like we were waiting for something good to happen versus going out and making it happen.”
Mount St. Mary’s ISO goalie: Freshman goalkeeper Luke Mutterer started each of the Mountaineers’ past two games, but was replaced in the third quarter by freshman Dylan Furnback. Considering that Bryant and Robert Morris combined to score 35 goals, coach Tom Gravante said Mutterer (12.03 goals-against average, .444 save percentage), Furnback (10.94 GAA, .455 percentage) and senior Matt Vierheller (19.43 GAA, .370 percentage) will each have a shot at earning the right to start at Sacred Heart on Saturday.
“They’re all in the mix,” Gravante said. “It’s an open competition. At this point with where we are — our backs to the wall and letting up 35 goals in the last two games — it’s wide open.”
Navy becoming road warriors: Saturday’s 10-7 upset of then-No. 12 Lehigh helped the Midshipmen (5-4, 4-1 Patriot League) open the conference’s portion of their schedule with three straight road wins for the first time since 2008. The score was tied at 4 at halftime when senior defenseman Hiram Carter informed his teammates, “This is gut-check time.”
“I thought, ‘He is absolutely right,’ ” coach Rick Sowell said. “For them to go out and get the win, it does speak a lot to our guys’ character and everything we’ve been working toward since that first day of school. That showed up Saturday afternoon and allowed us to get the win because we didn’t play pretty.”
Towson mixing starting lineups: By starting redshirt junior attackman Johnny Giuffreda over junior Timmy Monahan in Saturday’s 11-10 overtime loss at then-No. 5 Denver, the Tigers (3-5) have used six different lineups on offense so far. That’s one more than they used for the entire 2017 season and three more than they used in 2016, but coach Shawn Nadelen is not bothered by what he called the “constant flux.”
“We were pretty consistent last year and kind of similar the year before,” he said. “We knew what they had, and we knew what they were doing. But that’s also kind of the fun of coaching. You get to be able to see if different combinations work and you give guys opportunities to be successful in different roles.”
Stevenson ends skid: A five-game losing streak to open the season had dropped Stevenson out of the top 20 of the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association’s coaches poll. The Mustangs still find themselves outside the rankings, but feel better about their prospects after upsetting then-No. 3 Cabrini, 14-10, on Friday for their first win of the season.
“We were trying to get over that dam,” Stevenson coach Paul Cantabene said. “We lost that really tough one to Denison with not a lot of time left. We kind of blew that one against Gettysburg and we were right there in those other games except for the York game. So I think getting over that wall, there was a sense of relief that they could do it. I think they knew they could do it. They just had to get it done one time, and I think we’re now headed in the right direction.”