BALTIMORE, Md. — For the fifth time this season, 20th-ranked Johns Hopkins played a game that was decided by two goals or less. Unlike the previous four, it was the Blue Jays who made the key plays down the stretch as Johns Hopkins came from behind to knock off visiting Rutgers 9-7 in its first Big Ten men’s lacrosse game.
With Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany on hand, the Blue Jays jumped out to a pair of three-goal leads, watched Rutgers use a 4-0 run to grab a 7-6 lead entering the fourth quarter and then scored the final three goals to improve to 4-5 overall and, more importantly, 1-0 in Big Ten play.
Johns Hopkins faced the 7-6 deficit entering the final 15 minutes after the four-goal Scarlet Knights’ spree turned a 6-3 deficit into the one-goal lead.
The Blue Jays turned to their Canadian connection to pull even as Joel Tinney sprung Holden Cattoni in free and Cattoni picked the far corner on the run with 10:36 remaining to force the fourth and final tie of the game.
Hopkins had the lead for good just over three minutes later when Connor Reed swept in on an angle from the top of the box and dumped a pass to Ryan Brown, who buried his fourth goal of the game to give Hopkins an 8-7 lead.
That lead held only because of two point-blank saves by Blue Jay goalie Eric Schneider, who stoned Ryan Hollingsworth in tight less than 90 seconds after Brown’s goal and then robbed Jules Heningburg with 2:26 on the clock to preserve the one-goal lead.
Johns Hopkins, which had lost two tight decisions to top-ranked Syracuse and eighth-ranked Virginia, got the insurance goal it needed when Cattoni found Wells Stanwick alone just off the crease and Stanwick beat Kris Alleyne with 1:25 remaining to account for the final scoring.
Brown and Stanwick led the Blue Jays with four points each as Brown had the four goals, extending the nation’s longest active goal-scoring streak to 25 games, and Stanwick added the one goal and three assists. Cattoni chipped in with the two goals and one assist.
Schneider went the distance in goal and posted 11 saves for the Blue Jays, who outshot the Scarlet Knights 33-30 and converted 1 of 3 extra-man chances.
Johns Hopkins competed as an independent for 130 years, but announced its intention to join the Big Ten in June of 2013.