Rabil's 4 Goals Lead Johns Hopkins to 1st-Round Victory

By Christian Swezey
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, May 12, 2008

BALTIMORE, May 11 -- Johns Hopkins senior midfielder Paul Rabil addressed the team in its huddle following a 10-4 victory over Hofstra in an NCAA tournament first-round game before 2,291 at Homewood Field on Sunday. "We're one of eight teams left," he told his teammates.

They advanced largely because of Rabil, a DeMatha graduate and two-time first-team all-American. He finished with four goals and has 101 in his career, the most in school history for a midfielder.

With the victory, the Blue Jays (9-5) advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals. They will face Navy (10-5) on Saturday as part of a doubleheader at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis.

Historically, Rabil had struggled against Hofstra. He entered with one goal and one assist in four career meetings. His past three games against the Pride had been a particular struggle: In those games, he was 1-for-17 shooting and his team was 1-2 in those games.

And some of those memories were fresh. In an 8-7 overtime loss to Hofstra on March 8, Rabil was defended by senior shortstick defender Kevin Unterstein. It was a rare time when Rabil was defended by a shortstick rather than a longstick. But Unterstein held Rabil to 0-for-7 shooting.

That again was the matchup on Sunday. Rabil turned the ball over on the team's second possession. He took two shots late in the first quarter that went wide. Eventually, though, Rabil got going.

He scored on a left-handed shot after Unterstein had slipped for a 2-1 lead with 12 minutes 50 seconds left in the first half. A few minutes later, Unterstein was waiting to be substituted into the game when Rabil, being defended by longstick Steve Prifte, went to the goal and scored on a running right-handed shot for a 3-1 lead.

Finally, Rabil and Unterstein were matched against each other late in the first half. Rabil raced past Unterstein and scored on a left-handed shot for a 4-2 lead with 1:53 left in the first half. It was the 100th goal of his career.

"He always shows up to play," Hofstra sophomore goalkeeper Danny Orlando said. "I knew his shots would be Paul Rabil-esque. He had a great day."

For much of the second half, Unterstein guarded senior Stephen Peyser and Rabil was defended by a longstick. Though Rabil scored his final goal after Unterstein left him open early in the fourth quarter.

"The easiest way to describe [Rabil's reaction to the first meeting with Hofstra] was 'embarrassing,' " Coach Dave Pietramala said. "I think Paul was embarrassed. He was defended by a shortstick last time and walked away without a point. As a senior captain and all-American, you take that personally."

Said Rabil: "The first game was pretty tough. . . . You dodge a longpole different than you do a shortpole. I had a tough time adjusting to that."

Hofstra (10-6) finished with 25 shots on Sunday. It was the fewest the Blue Jays had given up in the playoffs since it gave up 19 to Providence in a 15-3 victory in a first-round game in 2004, a span of 12 games.

It could have been worse: In the first 40 minutes on Sunday, the Pride had taken 10 shots.

The third quarter was a particular problem. Johns Hopkins entered leading 5-2. In the quarter, senior Peyser won all four faceoffs; classmate Michael Doneger scored two goals; sophomore Michael Kimmel added one; and the Blue Jays had possession for all but 3:51.

Meantime, Hofstra did not gain possession in its offensive end until 7:31 had elapsed in the quarter.

"The first seven minutes of the third quarter, I looked at my [assistants] and said, 'We haven't had the ball yet,' " Hofstra Coach Seth Tierney said. "We got tired. And they kept coming."

ยท VIRGINIA 10, UMBC 9: The first-round game in Charlottesville featured five ties and the Retrievers had three shots down the stretch to send the game to overtime. Virginia's Garrett Billings put the Cavaliers ahead, 10-9 on an extra-man goal with 6:50 remaining. UMBC had its best chance to tie when Terry Kimener drove to his right and received a pass from Kyle Wimer, but his hard shot hit Virginia netminder Bud Petit in the face mask and bounded away with 38 seconds left.

Virginia's Danny Glading led all scorers with four goals and an assist. Sophomore attackman Matt Latham led UMBC with three goals.

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