Johns Hopkins Takes Down Army In Physical Season Finale

Garrett Thul

Garrett Thul

May 3, 2013

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WEST POINT, N.Y. - No. 14/16 Johns Hopkins scored five of six second-half goals to pull away from Army in a 9-4 decision on Senior Night at Michie Stadium. In a game that included a combined 17 penalties, the teams played in front of a stadium record 10,340 fans under the lights on Friday in the Black Knights' season finale.

Junior attackman Brandon Benn led all players with four goals for the Blue Jays, while senior attackman Garrett Thul ended his Army career with a team-high two goals and became the only player in the program's rich 96-year history to register three 40-plus goal seasons. Thul broke the Academy's all-time goals record earlier this season and finished his All-American career with 163 tallies.

The Blue Jays held a 35-32 edge in shots and a 37-27 advantage in ground balls. Army freshman midfielder Alex Daly won eight of 17 face-offs, while sophomore goalkeeper Sam Somers turned in 11 saves. The Black Knights committed 15 turnovers to Hopkins' 14 miscues. Hopkins' senior goalkeeper Pierce Bassett made 14 saves, which included the 500th of his career late in the fourth quarter.

"Our guys played really hard, and I'm extremely proud of that effort," said head coach Joe Alberici, who wrapped up his eighth season at the helm. "We couldn't get any traction going offensively, which is a huge credit to Johns Hopkins' defense. When they did make a mistake and we did have an opportunity, (Pierce) Bassett was terrific in the goal.

Twelve of the game's 17 penalties occurred in the second half, including eight in the fourth quarter alone. Despite the plentiful chances, both teams struggled in the extra-man game as Army went 1-of-7 and Johns Hopkins 2-of-8.

"We were in the penalty box quite a bit, which took us out of getting into any sort of offensive flow," Alberici continued. "This game was played with great emotion and passion that when you put it all out there, you're going to get disappointed when you're on the short end of the score."

The first quarter proved to be a defensive struggle on both ends of the field. The Blue Jays drew first blood and scored the lone goal of the opening stanza just 1:06 into the action.

The scoring picked up in the second quarter as the teams combined for six goals. The Blue Jays struck early once again, taking a 2-0 lead on a Wells Stanwick goal at 13:39. Senior tri-captain Brendan Buckley marked Stanwick, the Blue Jays' leading scorer entering the game, and held him to one goal on the night.

Army's offense got rolling just minutes later, however, as sophomore midfielder Alex Newsome and Thul scored back-to-back to even the scoreboard. Newsome netted his 18th goal of the season as he picked up his own loose change and found the back of the cage at 11:54. Thirty seconds later, sophomore attackman John Glesener found Thul for a 12-yard laser and his 40th goal of the season.

Hopkins regained a 3-2 lead with a Ryan Brown goal at 8:37, but Army once again tied the score at 3-3 on Thul's second goal in a row. Senior midfielder Matt Ghidotti bounced a pass to a waiting Thul just outside the crease at 7:04. The Blue Jays netted the final score of the half with 3:27 on the clock and carried a 4-3 advantage into intermission.

The Black Knights fought through being two men down early in the third quarter. That stretch included two of Somers' four saves for the frame. While coming up empty on the EMO, Hopkins notched back-to-back goals during a five-minute span midway through the quarter to stretch its lead to 6-3 at the 5:47 mark. That score stood as the quarter came to an end.

The Black Knights opened the fourth-quarter scoring as senior midfielder Pat Brennan beat Bassett at the 9:57 mark to pull Army within 6-4. Hopkins (9-5) went on to score three unanswered insurance goals over the final eight minutes to secure its ninth win of the year.

The Black Knights close out the 2013 season with an 8-6 record. Army welcomes back six starters, including the Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year in Glesener and Daly at the face-off "x."

Game Notes: Senior attackman Garrett Thul led the team onto the field carrying the American flag ... Thul is currently tied with Colgate's Peter Baum for the Patriot League record ... the Raiders play Saturday afternoon at Maryland ... Army honored the 1983 and 1993 teams, along with Lacrosse Hall of Fame head coaches Dick Edell and Jack Emmer, at halftime ... Johns Hopkins leads the all-time series 56-13 ... junior close defenseman Pat Hart recorded a career-high six ground balls.

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