Commentary

Johns Hopkins slides after overtime loss

Originally Published: March 10, 2008
By Quint Kessenich | ESPN.com

Monsoon-like conditions throughout the entire northeastern part of the United States on Saturday challenged players and coaches. Three cheers for the fans who braved the torrential rains to watch their favorite teams compete.

1. Duke
Team speed separates Duke from the pack. The Blue Devils dismantled Loyola on Saturday in Baltimore, improving to 31-0 when Zack Greer had a hat trick. Matt Danowski became the ACC's all-time leading scorer, surpassing Stan Cockerton of North Carolina State. Cockerton, a Canadian legend and three-time first team All-American, led the Wolfpack to the 1979 NCAA Tournament. The Blue Devils (5-0) host North Carolina on Saturday.

2. Virginia
The Wahoos scored four goals in a 1:38 span early in the second half and then held off a late run by Princeton to win 12-10 in New Jersey on Saturday in the first regular-season lacrosse game ever televised on ESPN. Midfielder Brian Carroll is now shooting 14-of-24 this spring (58 percent) and Ben Rubeor is looking more and more like his typical self. Virginia's extra-man offense is now a sizzling 16-of-24 (66 percent). Cavs travel to Towson on Saturday.

3. North Carolina
UNC is for real -- and the ACC is now 19-1 this spring. The Tar Heels shut out the Fighting Irish for the first 32 minutes on Saturday on their way to an 8-6 win. The Irish held a 41-29 advantage in shots, but Grant Zimmerman made 18 stops for the Heels, and Ben Hunt found the net five times.

4. Maryland
The Terps beat Towson 12-7 on boggy Ludwig Field by dominating the "hustle stats" -- taking ground balls 53-31 and winning 16-of-23 face-offs. Maryland has won the last seven in the series with Tony's Tigers. The Baby Terps look for revenge for last year's NCAA Tournament first-round loss to UMBC on Friday night.

5. Syracuse
The Orange beat Georgetown in two overtimes on Sunday, rallying to tie the game with two seconds left on a goal by Steven Brooks that was a result of a broken clear. Brendan Loftus found the net four times for the Cuse and Dan Brennan continues to own the face-off.

6. Johns Hopkins
The Jays' 12-game winning streak was snapped by Hofstra. Paul Rabil and Kevin Huntley combined to shoot 1-of-15 and Steven Boyle was held scoreless by the Pride defense. The Blue Jays host Syracuse on Saturday (ESPNU, noon ET).

7. Delaware
The Blue Hens needed three overtimes to separate themselves from Albany. It was the longest game in school history -- lasting nearly three hours in a downpour. Delaware is 5-0 for the third straight year. Curtis Dickson scored four goals and now has 17 this season. The Blue Man Group have wins over UMBC, Rutgers and Albany -- and play Georgetown on Wednesday.

8. Notre Dame
The Irish lost at UNC on Saturday, but the remaining schedule is favorable -- games with Dartmouth, Air Force, Drexel, Bellarmine, Denver, Quinnipiac, Lehigh and Ohio State.

9. Cornell
The Big Red are 2-1 with wins against both Army and Navy. Coach Jeff Tambroni's bunch takes on Canisius and Denver this week.

10. Georgetown
The Hoyas are 1-2 after losing in two overtimes in the Dome on Sunday afternoon after their clearing game broke down in the fourth quarter. Plenty of key games remain for coach Dave Urick's crew -- Delaware, Hobart, Navy and Duke before the end of March.

11. Princeton
Mark Kovler scored four goals in a losing effort against Virginia, which saw Princeton make positive steps on ground balls and on offense. The Tigers have now allowed 12 and 14 goals on consecutive weekends. It will be a family fued on Saturday, as coach Bill Tierney's Princeton team hosts his nephew Seth Tierney's Hofstra squad.

12. Bucknell
The Bison have collected wins over Hobart, Ohio State and Mount St. Mary's after dropping their opener to Duke.

13. Navy
The Mids are 4-1 with wins over VMI, Ohio State, Mount St. Mary's and Lafayette.


14. Albany
The Danes have three road losses: at Hopkins, at Notre Dame and at Delaware, which are all top-10 teams in my mind. Albany plays its fourth straight away game Tuesday at UMass in a critical game for both teams. It's getting more and more difficult to keep Albany in the Top 20, and its postseason life may eventually hinge on the America East automatic qualifier.

15. Drexel
Bruce Bickford made 17 saves and the Dragon defense allowed just three goals in a win over St. John's, Drexel's fourth straight after an opening loss to Virgina. The Dragons have beaten Penn, Lehigh, Binghamton and St John's. Up next: at Albany on Saturday.

16. Army
Army has a pair of one-goal losses to Syracuse and Cornell and appear to be a legitimate Patriot League contender. The Black Knights of the Hudson travel to Dallas to play Rutgers on Saturday.

17. Hofstra
The Pride upset Hopkins on Saturday in overtime. Former JHU assistant coach Seth Tierney, now the head coach at Hofstra, is pushing all the right buttons on Long Island. Jay Card had four goals, including the game-winner, and goalie Danny Orlando made 14 stops. Hofstra outshot Hopkins 21-6 in the first half and won eight of the first 11 draws. Its opening loss to UMass doesn't have the sting it once did.

No. 18 Fairfield
Fairfield's overtime triumph over Providence and wins over Dartmouth and Rutgers cement the Stags as a Top 20 ball club.


19. Loyola
Coach Charley Toomey's Greyhounds have wins over Towson and Penn State and losses to Notre Dame and Duke. Loyola's schedule gets difficult later in the year with games against UMass, Rutgers, Georgetown, Hopkins, Fairfield and Syracuse.


20. Ohio State
The Buckeyes have two overtime losses to Navy and Bucknell. The Scarlet and Gray held serve against Penn State and Colgate.

Quint Kessenich covers college and professional lacrosse for ESPN. He can be reached at quint@insidelacrosse.com.

Quint Kessenich covers college and professional lacrosse for ESPN.

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