Towson was hoping for a reversal of fortunes against Johns Hopkins lacrosse—one they didn't quite get Saturday.
On a windy day at Johnny Unitas Stadium, the Tigers were tied with the Blue Jays at the half, 4-4, but a poor third quarter and long scoring drought proved to be their undoing in a 10-6 loss before 3,226 in the season opener for both squads.
Johns Hopkins has now won 16 straight games in a rivalry they've dominated to a 35-3 all-time advantage.
"Can't beat them at the end of the year, can't beat them at the beginning of the year," said Towson head coach Tony Seaman, referring to the fact that Towson normally schedules the Jays at the end of the season. "Except for 4 1/2 minutes of the third quarter, I thought we played pretty well. They made some plays and had some opportunities and finished them off."
More frustrating for Seaman was the third quarter, where Towson came up empty on two extra-man opportunities and then had a goal taken away when sophomore Matt Hughes was called for being in the crease after beating defenseman Jack Reilly for a point-blank shot. At the time, the Tigers were down 6-4 and needed a goal to get back in the game mentally. In the fourth quarter, the Tigers also had a Matt Lamon goal taken off the boards due to a late whistle when Reilly appeared to step out of bounds.
"We lost two goals," said Seaman. "They said that we were in the crease on a dive. I thought that was a huge goal to lose at that time after they made a two-goal run. That put us back in the game and kind of crushed us."
Johns Hopkins senior Kyle Wharton, who scored 24 goals last season, was alone at the right wing and finished a fairly easy shot on a feed from Zach Palmer to give the Jays a 1-0 lead, just 25 seconds into the contest. But the Tigers wouldn't be shut out in the first half this time.
After getting down 2-0, the Tigers went on a 3-0 run for a rare lead. Lamon found the net with 4:01 left in the first quarter and the junior middie Carl Iacona dodged past a defender to rifle one past Bassett, giving the Tigers a 4-3 lead with 10:30 left in the second quarter. But less than two minutes later, the Blue Jays evened it up on an unassisted tally from Lee Coppersmith.
Towson failed to score for the rest of the half and went scoreless for more than half of the game, and it cost them the win as the Jays opened up the third quarter with another Wharton goal on a feed from John Greeley at 7:55 left. Then after a slashing penalty on the ensuing face-off by sophomore Alex Jernstedt, the Jays capitalized on the extra man opportunity with a goal from Zach Palmer, on a feed from Brandon Benn at 6:38.
Wharton and Chris Boland delivered for the Blue Jays, giving Hopkins an insurmountable 9-4 lead with 5:55 left in the fourth quarter. Senior middie Pat Britton added two goals in the fourth quarter, but the Tigers were unable to win key face-offs, winning just one of five draws in the fourth quarter.
Thomas, who won 14-of-20 face-offs last year, won just eight of 17, while junior Ian Mills won one of three. Towson was also dominated on ground balls, 36-23. The Tigers went 0-for-4 on man-up situations, turned the ball over 16 times and were outshot 35 to 29. Senior goaltender Travis Love had 10 saves, while senior defensive midfielder Peter Mezzanotte led the Tigers with four ground balls.
Britton was the only player with a multiple point game, finding the net twice. Johns Hopkins held Stratton, Towson's leading returning scorer with 33 points last year, to just one assist.
Towson returns to action when they face Loyola at Unitas Stadium at 12 p.m.
(Incidentally, Towson is facingat the Towson Center.)