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No. 10 Johns Hopkins lacrosse keeps No. 19 Albany's Thompsons in check for 13-8 win

The Baltimore Sun

The Thompson trio for the Albany men's lacrosse team got the highlights, but Johns Hopkins got the win.

The No. 10 Blue Jays overwhelmed the No. 19 Great Danes in the first half before the Thompsons put on a scoring display in Johns Hopkins' 13-8 win before an announced 1,553 at Homewood Field on Friday night.

With the victory, the Blue Jays improved to 11-2 in their series with Albany, but more importantly, they snapped a three-game losing streak to improve to 6-3 and regain much-needed confidence.

"It would have been easy to feel sorry for ourselves coming off three losses against some very good teams," coach Dave Pietramala said. "So it was a great team win. I thought we did the things we needed to do early in the game. I thought we did a good job of building a lead. We shot the ball better, that's for sure, especially in the first half."

Johns Hopkins did most of its damage in the first half, outscoring the Great Danes 9-1 and forcing them into a season-worst 24 turnovers.

Junior attackman Wells Stanwick (Boys' Latin) recorded five of his career-high six assists before halftime, and sophomore attackman Ryan Brown (Calvert Hall) posted three goals and one assist.

"All week in practice, we were stressing, 'Let's have the ball and not have wasted possessions,'" said Stanwick, who became the first Blue Jay to register six assists in a game since former attackman Dan Denihan had six against Hofstra on March 11, 2000. "We felt, in the past three games, we've had a few possessions each game where we've just kind of had the ball for a few seconds and given it back to the other team's offense. All week, we kind of just focused on having the ball and taking our chances, but making sure they were good chances that we were going to score on about 30 percent of the time."

Johns Hopkins scored the game's first seven goals, capping the run with a shot from senior attackman Brandon Benn (three goals) off a feed by Stanwick with 10:06 left in the second quarter.

Albany broke a scoreless drought of 21:08 when senior attackman Miles Thompson found freshman midfielder Bennett Drake on the left side of the crease for a goal with 8:52 remaining as the Blue Jays served a one-minute penalty.

Before that score, the Great Danes had turned the ball over 10 times on 10 possessions.

The close defense of senior Jack Reilly and juniors Robert Enright and John Kelly was masterful against Albany's starting attack of seniors Miles and Ty Thompson and junior Lyle Thompson in the first half. That trio combined for no goals on two shots, and had one assist and four turnovers.

"We wanted to come out very fast, and we wanted to set the tone early," said Reilly, who finished with one caused turnover and one ground ball while primarily guarding Lyle Thompson. "We really wanted to be on the same page today, and for the first two quarters, we were."

Lyle Thompson, who entered the game as the Division I leader in assists (34) and points (55), had one goal and three assists in the second half. Miles Thompson, who ranked second in the country in goals (33), scored two goals on five shots and added two assists. And Ty Thompson, who had 23 points on 19 goal and four assists, was held to a single goal.

Anchoring the defense was senior goalkeeper Eric Schneider, who made seven of his eight saves in the second half, when the Great Danes mounted a small comeback.

Miles and Ty Thompson did provide a pair of highlight-reel plays. With 2:00 left in the third quarter, Ty collected a pass from Miles and, with his back to the cage, flipped the ball over his left shoulder and past Schneider.

With 3:02 remaining in regulation, Lyle passed to Miles, who had curled around the left post. With his back to the net, Miles heaved a shot past Schneider.

Albany sophomore goalie Blaze Riorden, who made 20 stops in a 10-9 upset of Johns Hopkins last year, finished with a game-high 12 saves, but the Great Danes fell to 4-5 and have alternated wins and losses in their past six games.

After the game, coach Scott Marr said he wished he could have a do-over.

"They came out really ready to play in that first quarter," the former Blue Jays attackman and Maryland offensive coordinator said. "They kind of overwhelmed us in the first period. I think they got to every 50-50 ground ball in that period and ran some good offense. Stanwick did a nice job of finding some guys open. You've got to give them credit. I know it's been a tough couple weeks here, and they came out and played with a little bit of desperation, and we weren't ready for that."

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