Rutgers scored two goals in transition in the last nine minutes of the game to lead the Scarlet Knights to a 14-12 win against Johns Hopkins on Thursday night in a Big Ten semifinal at Homewood Field.
Rutgers had gone ahead, 12-11, at the end of the third quarter but scored off two fast break situations in the fourth to build a 14-12 lead with 6:19 remaining.
Scarlet Knights attackman Adam Charalambides finished off the first one with 8:48 left and midfielder Zackary Franckowiak completed the second from the right of the goal after the Blue Jays failed to clear the ball at midfield.
Franckowiak's goal wasn't the defense's fault, but the Blue Jays struggled in that area all night. They were slow on slides to the crease and got caught ball-watching several times.
They weren't physical and had problems adjusting to the Scarlets Knights' attack. Charalambides finished with five goals. Hopkins was paced by five goals from attackman Ryan Brown, but he only scored one in the second half.
"Obviously, disappointed," Hopkins coach Dave Pietramala said. "Tough to win games when you're not disciplined, and that's the word of the day for us, as undisciplined as you can be."
"We got 50 shots, 12 goals isn't enough, we were undisciplined in our shooting," he added. "We made mistakes like sliding up the field when we shouldn't have. To their credit, they took advantage of those opportunities and that's what good teams do."
Pietramala said he still thinks the Blue Jays should make the NCAA tournament.
"People may not agree with me, I still think we're an NCAA tournament team," Pietramala said. "We have three wins in the top 20, got a top 10 win and our RPI is good. I don't see us dropping a whole bunch against a team like this."
No. 2 seed Rutgers (11-4) will play Maryland in the Big Ten championship game Saturday at 6 p.m. The top-seeded Terps (13-2) defeated Penn State, 16-9, in the other semifinal.
The Blue Jays and Rutgers were even in shots at 11 in the first quarter, but the Scarlet Knights still trailed 6-5 at the end of the quarter. Rutgers couldn't contain Brown, who had four goals in the period, and he scored almost every way imaginable from cutting to the front of the goal, hitting a long range shot, and converting off a rebound.
Blue Jays midfielder John Crawley opened the scoring with a goal 47 seconds into the first quareter, but Rutgers scored the next two for a 2-1 lead with 11:42 remaining in the quarter. Brown, on a feed from fellow attackman Shack Stanwick from behind goal, scored with 8:47 left to put the Blue Jays ahead, 3-2 with 8:47 remaining.
But Rutgers, on goals from Charalambides and attackman Scott Bieda, scored twice in the next minutes as the Scarlet Knights went ahead, 4-3.
But Brown was relentless, first scoring off a rebound of a Stanwick shot with 6:49 left in the quarter, and then beating Franckowiak from behind the goal for another score with 4:44 remaining.
Rutgers midfielder Casey Rose scored on a shot just inside the right post with 3:38 remaining, but Brown scored again on another assist from Stanwick with 1:53 left.
Blue Jays senior midfielder Holden Cattoni gave Johns Hopkins a 7-5 lead by scoring off a high shot with 10:38 remaining in the second quarter, but Rutgers quickly answered with a goal from Rose about two minutes later.
The second quarter was a much slower pace than the first. Hopkins had an 8-7 lead after junior midfielder Cody Radziewicz scored on an empty net with 2:38 left in the half, but Charalambides scored with 35.2 seconds left to tie the score at 8 going into the half.
Hopkins outshot Rutgers, 23-22, in the first half and had a 21-15 advantage in ground balls. Both teams had eight turnovers.
Stanwick scored from behind the goal off a pick from Brown to open the scoring in the third quarter with 10:46 left, but the Scarlet Knights scored the next four.
Senior attackman Ryan Hollingsworth scored on an extra-man situation with 6:09 left in the third period after Brown was given a one-minute penalty for slashing. Bieda scored nearly three minutes later and midfielder Christian Trasolini scored off a fast break with 2:22 left as Rutgers went ahead, 11-9.
But Hopkins tied the game with 1:41 left in the third as Stanwick scored off a well-placed low shot and Hopkins midfielder Hunter Moreland's had a goal eight seconds later after winning the faceoff.