Wilkins Dismuke has scored 13 goals playing for the Johns Hopkins men's lacrosse team, 226 for Rock Canyon High School in his native Colorado and countless others for club teams. But he didn't need much time to rank his overtime tally that sent the No. 8 Blue Jays to a thrilling 11-10 upset of No. 3 Syracuse at Homewood Field in Baltimore on Saturday.
"First," the junior attackman declared. "Best feeling in the world, definitely. It was amazing."
Dismuke's goal with 2 minutes, 9 seconds left in the extra session sent a majority of the announced attendance of 1,776 into hysterics and prompted his teammates to mob him behind the Orange cage. It marked just the second time since 2007 that Johns Hopkins (4-2) had defeated Syracuse (5-1) at home in one of the best rivalries in the sport.
It also gave Bill Dwan his first win as a head coach. Dwan, the team's associate head coach, filled in for coach Dave Pietramala, who was sidelined by what the university described as a lower back infection.
The malady limited Pietramala all week, but especially became a problem after Wednesday's practice. Pietramala missed his first game in his 16-year tenure with the Blue Jays, and it is unclear when he will be able to return.
After Johns Hopkins sophomore Hunter Moreland won the faceoff to open overtime, freshman midfielder Drew Supinski raced down the left alley and took a shot that senior goalkeeper Warren Hill initially stopped. But the ball popped up into the air, Dismuke corralled it and he put the ball in the cage to cement the 13th one-goal decision in the teams' 28 meetings since 1995.
"He dodged with his left hand and let one fly on the run, and it just kind of went off the goalie's chest," Dismuke said. "It went right off his chest and went up in the air. I thought it was up in the air for a minute-and-a-half. But it came down right in my stick – luckily for me – and then I just saw a whole bunch of net and just put it in the back of the net."
Dismuke's goal capped a three-goal run in the final four minutes of regulation and overtime. Trailing 10-8 after redshirt junior midfielder Sergio Salcido's second tally of the contest with 6:01 left in the fourth quarter, Johns Hopkins mounted its comeback.
Junior midfielder John Crawley dodged on the left alley and fired home a shot with 2:22 remaining. Then with 38.6 seconds left, sophomore attackman Shack Stanwick from behind the net passed the ball to senior attackman Ryan Brown and he nailed the bottom right corner from the left wing to knot the score at 10.
Brown, the Sykesville resident and Calvert Hall graduate, scored one goal on three shots and added an assist. Stanwick, the Baltimore resident and Boys' Latin graduate, managed two assists and did not take a shot. Brown and Stanwick were held in check by freshman defenseman Nick Mellen and redshirt senior defenseman Brandon Mullins, respectively, but the amount of attention the Orange defense paid to the Blue Jays' top two scorers opened the rest of the field for their teammates.
Junior midfielder Cody Radziewicz had the first hat trick of his career on seven shots, and Dismuke, Supinski and sophomore midfielder Patrick Fraser scored two goals each.
Radziewicz – whose hometown of Manilus, N.Y., is about 12 miles by car from the Carrier Dome, Syracuse's home venue – said offensive coordinator Bobby Benson prepared the players for being ready to support Brown and Stanwick.
"All week, Coach Benson was talking about just to get to good spots, good spacing, try not to bunch up the crease," Radziewicz said. "And we did a good job with Brownie and Shack drawing the defense and having the midfielders open up top so that we could get a good run at their defensemen."
Johns Hopkins was able to erase a 7-4 halftime deficit thanks to improved play on faceoffs. After Orange junior Ben Williams won nine of 13 draws in the first half, the duo of senior Craig Madarasz and sophomore Hunter Moreland claimed six of 10 faceoffs in the last two quarters. And Moreland won the draw to open overtime that led to Dismuke's heroics.
Dwan, who noted that Williams (13-for-24 and seven ground balls) was less aggressive after getting flagged for his third faceoff violation of the second half, praised Moreland (7-for-12, one ground ball) and Madarasz (4-for-12, one ground ball).
"They were huge," Dwan said. "The kid from Syracuse is great. In the first half, we were only [4-for-13], but I felt like we were scrapping with him. They were winning faceoffs, and we were playing a lot of D, but the guys really competed, and their wing play is really good. So we knew it was going to be a challenge. In the second half, the two violations were really huge. It's always harder to face off when you have two."
The Orange were paced by junior midfielder Nick Mariano's three goals and redshirt senior attackman Dylan Donahue's one goal and two assists. But coach John Desko said he thought the team missed several chances in the second half that could have put Johns Hopkins away.
"I thought the Blue Jays did a great job today, especially in the second half when they really hung with it," Desko said. "We had a couple opportunities to pull away, and they came up tough. I thought they did a really good job on faceoffs. Gave them some really valuable possessions."