Syracuse-Johns Hopkins Lacrosse: Orange Defense Stellar Against No. 7 Jays

Andrew ValenciaContributor IMarch 22, 2010

The Syracuse Orange men's lacrosse team seized an early 8-1 lead and held off No. 7 Johns Hopkins in a 10-7 victory in Baltimore on Saturday.

The game carried with it a special significance. It was the first night game played between the two powerhouses at Homewood Field, Hopkins' home turf.

The victory for the Orange, ranked second in the country, was their fourth in a row over the Blue Jays and fifth in six meetings.

Syracuse's stellar defense proved it could stymie the Blue Jays' attack, holding them well short of their average of 11.5 goals per game. The Orange forced nine of Johns Hopkins' 13 turnovers, proving they can defend against a top offense in the country.

Stellar SU defenseman Matt Tierney held Blue Jays attack Kyle Wharton scoreless, ending his 22-game point streak.

Longstick midfielder Joel White also proved he is a shutdown defender by holding Michael Kimmel, one of the best midfielders in the nation, scoreless for the first time in 29 games, dating back to 2008.

In addition to White's incredible defense, he also notched six ground balls, forced a turnover, and scored the Orange's last goal of the game.

Junior goalie and two-time national champion John Galloway proved once again that he is a complete goalie. He ended the game with nine saves, seven of which were in the second half. Add that to the fact that he is a remarkable talent at starting fast breaks with his pinpoint accurate long passes, and he proves to be an indispensable player on this current incarnation of the Orange.

Max Bartig made his first career start with the Orange a memorable one. He scored the Orange's first goal of the game and notched two more tallies in a 5-0 run during the third quarter.

Cody Jamieson took a break from his usual two-to-three-goal game, scoring only one but adding a career-high three assists. Juniors Stephen Keogh and Jeremy Thompson recorded two goals apiece.

The Orange seemed to have the game in hand, holding a commanding 8-1 advantage with 7:55 remaining in the third quarter, but Hopkins would not relent.

The Jays went on a scoring run of 4-0 to get within three, bringing the score to 8-5 with a little over 13 minutes to play in regulation. However, Hopkins could not finish what it started and never truly threatened to take the lead in the game.

Perhaps the Blue Jays could never get the upper hand because SU had a dominating day at the faceoff X. Jeremy Thompson and Gavin Jenkinson both went 7-of-10 on draws to effectively play keep-away with a big lead.

The Orange will play their second straight road game this Tuesday at Hobart. The game will be televised on Time Warner Sports, and faceoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.