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Hopkins denies Towson and history

History was denied Wednesday night.

The Johns Hopkins men's lacrosse team snuffed out No. 19 Towson's attempt to keep the host Blue Jays out of the NCAA tournament for the first time in 39 years by routing the Tigers, 13-6, before an announced 1,318 at Homewood Field.

A Towson victory would have guaranteed Johns Hopkins a sub-.500 finish, which would have automatically made the team ineligible for consideration for the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1971, the first year of the tournament.

Instead, the Blue Jays won only their second game in their past eight tries.

"I think it's pretty big for us," said senior attackman Steven Boyle, who led all scorers with five points on two goals and three assists. "We had a tough loss last week [a 9-8 overtime decision to Navy], and I think it was good that we had a midweek game so that we didn't have to sit all week on it. We rebounded tonight. We came out and played well."

The Tigers (6-6), however, did not play with the kind of determination or urgency that they had demonstrated during their five-game winning streak. The offense committed turnovers on its first three possessions and took low-percentage shots that freshman goalkeeper Pierce Bassett (nine saves in the first half) easily stopped.

The Tigers also committed six penalties in the first half — four of which were the one-minute variety — and failed to convert five extra-man opportunities over the same span, including a 6-on-4 situation with 8:09 left in the second quarter.

Meanwhile, the Blue Jays (6-7) flexed their muscles, racing past Towson's defenders for easy scores — six of which came from in front of the cage.

Johns Hopkins scored all four of the game's first-quarter goals, but unlike the back-to-back losses to then-No. 5 Maryland and Navy, the Blue Jays did not squander their advantage, also scoring all four of the second-quarter goals.

"We haven't been able to put our foot down and step on their throats a little bit and have that killer instinct," said senior midfielder Michael Kimmel, who had two goals and one assist.

"So to be up 8-0 at halftime was really good to see."

Junior attackman Kyle Wharton and sophomore attackman Tom Palasek each added two goals and one assist for Johns Hopkins, which faces a critical game at No. 6 Loyola on May 8 at noon at Ridley Athletic Complex.

Sophomore midfielder Carl Iacona's goal 3:21 into the third quarter spoiled the Blue Jays' bid for a shutout and ended a Towson drought of 41 minutes, 22 seconds dating to the 8:01 mark of the fourth quarter of Saturday's 10-9 win against Penn State.

Sophomore attackman Stephen Norris led the Tigers with two goals, and fifth-year senior midfielder Christian Pastirik contributed one goal and one assist. But coach Tony Seaman was disappointed in his team's start.

"We forgot who we were," he said. "I had to go into the locker room and check our uniforms to really see if it was our team at halftime."

Notes: Johns Hopkins' 8-0 advantage at halftime was the team's largest since March 1, 2008, when it led Princeton 10-1 at the Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic. … The Tigers went scoreless in a half for the first time since March 11, 2009, when Virginia shut out Towson in the second half of an eventual 11-2 loss. … The game was delayed for several minutes in the fourth quarter after Blue Jays junior attackman Kyle Wharton's goal with 10:47 left ripped a hole in Towson's net. The cage was replaced. … The 13 goals were the first time the Tigers had surrendered double-digit tallies since then-No. 1 Virginia notched a 15-10 decision March 21.

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