The scouting report on Kyle Marr is that the sophomore attackman for the Johns Hopkins men's lacrosse team is a dangerous sniper. That profile might need to be updated to include his passing ability.
Marr had a career-high six assists and added three goals to spur the No. 8 Blue Jays' 19-9 thumping of visiting Michigan before a crowd of 3,675 at Homewood Field on Saturday.
The win cemented a berth in the upcoming Big Ten tournament for Johns Hopkins, which improved to 8-4 overall and 3-1 in the conference. The team can capture at least a share of the league's regular-season championship with a victory at No. 2 Maryland on April 29 at 8 p.m. The Terps were shocked, 11-10, in overtime by No. 7 Ohio State, dropping to 9-3 overall and 3-1 in the league.
Marr's nine-point day was the first by a Blue Jays player since Ryan Brown (Calvert Hall) racked up eight goals and one assist on April 5, 2015 against Ohio State. Marr took his career outing in stride.
"I never try to go into a game with this points or this points," he said. "[I'd take] just two points for a win. So we're moving up in the standings. We're just trying to get wins out here. A Big Ten win is big for us. It clinches a spot in the playoffs, and we'll be focused next week on a hungry Maryland team. We're looking forward to next week already."
Marr, who leads the Blue Jays in goals (24) and points (41), had set a career best in assists with three in the team's 13-11 win against then-No. 7 Penn State on April 15. He posted his third assist midway through the second quarter and had five with a little more than 10 minutes left in the third. Four of his assists came on extra-man opportunities, which fueled the team's 5-for-5 success on man-up offense.
While expressing his delight at witnessing Marr's development, coach Dave Pietramala said the offense is designed to cultivate production from a number of sources, not just a single player.
"It's not designed for it to be Kyle, it's not designed for it to be [junior attackman] Shack [Stanwick] or for it to be [senior attackman] Wilkins [Dismuke]," Pietramala said. "Depending on how we're being defended and depending on how we're being rotated, he ended up with a short-stick on him a bunch today. So if that's the case, then we put the ball in his stick a little bit more. If there's not a short-stick on him, we don't get the ball as much in his stick and play him off the ball a little bit more. He's very much a product of the offense, and I'm pleased that he's cashing in on his opportunities."
Johns Hopkins opened the game with three consecutive goals, two of which were assisted by Marr. The Wolverines closed out the first quarter with a pair of goals, but the Blue Jays scored the first four goals of the second period, and the rout was on.
Dismuke, senior midfielder Cody Radziewicz, and freshman attackmen Forry Smith and Cole Williams (Loyola Blakefield) chipped in two goals and one assist each. Smith lodged all of his production in the second half as he replaced Stanwick, who finished with an assist before appearing to injure his left foot early in the second quarter.
Defensively, junior goalkeeper Brock Turnbaugh (Hereford) made six saves while allowing seven goals to pick up the win. Freshman defenseman Jack Rapine had three ground balls and two caused turnovers, and senior defenseman Trevor Koelsch limited freshman attackman Brent Noseworthy, Michigan's leader in goals with 34, to a single tally.
Junior midfielder P.J. Bogle paced the Wolverines (8-5, 0-4) with three goals, and senior attackman Ian King and sophomore midfielder Decker Curran each had two goals and one assist. But coach John Paul said the final score reflected the chasm between his team and Johns Hopkins.
"They played a lot better than we did," he said. "We've been struggling the last couple weeks just to compete at a high level, and I thought a lot of that showed in ground balls in the first half. They were making the little plays that added up to what the score was at halftime, and we weren't.
"We were getting some good opportunities and not converting on those or turning the ball over, and they were converting on their opportunities, and that was just the difference between a team that's playing at a really high postseason level right now and one that's trying to get there."