Maryland tried to stop the powerful Johns Hopkins offense by holding the ball at Byrd Stadium yesterday, but three goals by Jeff Cook within a 1:48 span of the third quarter thwarted that plan as the Blue Jays showed by a score of 12-8 why they are rated the No. 1 lacrosse team in the nation.
The eight-ranked Terps (6-4) became the 17th straight victim of the 8-0-Jays, and their 42nd in 43 games. It was the eighth straight time Hopkins has has defeated Maryland.
A Craig Cook goal nine seconds into the second period put Hopkins ahead, 3-2. After five minutes of cautious play, the Terps resorted to a stall for the remainder of the half and the first 10 minutes of the second half. As serveral Terps alternated holding the ball unmolested behind the cage, 10,450 fans were near the point of dozing off. Unfortunately, Maryland Coach Dino Mattessichhs plan did not have the same effect on Hopkins.
Jeff Cook's second of five goals, scored after he came from behind the cage and overpowered Klay Johnson at the left post, put Hopkins up, 5-4, with eight seconds left in the half. At that point, the stall tactic looked like a solid one for the Terps, who have now lost four of their last five games.
"They have so many great players you can't just stop one," said Mattessich, "but they can't play without the ball."
Jim Zaffuto of Hopkins and Maryland's Ron Martinello (four goals, all in extra-man situations) exchanged goals early in the third period. However, when Maryland last possession later in the period, it hurt.
Attack man Cook, who came into the game with 32 goals on just 51 shots, scored three goals on consecutive possessions. While Maryland was concerned with midfielder Brendan Schneck in front, Cook scored twice coming from behind the goal. His other goal came on a seemingly impossible left side angle from 10 yards. Mattessich said those three goals forced Maryland out of the delay and were the turning point of the game.
"I feel that my strength is going to the goal," said Cook. "They were denying Brendan the ball and I guess I have to initiate the offense when they do that. When you are playing without Brendan in the offense, you are playing without the best player in the country."
Schneck, last year's player of the year, finished with just one assist.