Johns Hopkins' swarming defense on both ends of the field held Virginia scoreless for a 27:19 stretch, including all the third quarter, as the Blue Jays defeated the Cavaliers, 10-6, before 5,995 at Homewood Field today to earn a berth in the NCAA lacrosse championship final.
Hopkins, the tournament's top seed, stretched its current unbeaten streak to 22 games (13 this season) and has won 47 of its last 48. The Blue Jays will seek their fourth straight NCAA title Saturday in Princeton, N. J., against No. 2 North Carolina (11-0). Carolina defeated Navy today, 17-8, in Chapel Hill, N.C.
Jeff Cook, who came into the game as Hopkins leading scorer with 45 goals, scored only once. But he epitomized the Hopkins game plan by harassing any Cavalier that picked up a loose ball in the Blue Jay offensive end. By double- and triple-teaming Virginia, often before it could cross midfield, Hopkins forced the Cavaliers to become overanxious whenever they did have a man free.
Brendan Schneck, last year's player of the year who has been held to only seven goals in his last five games, scored three times for Hopkins. His last two goals, midway in the fourth period, expanded an 8-5 Hopkins lead to 10-5. Both came on individual efforts when Hopkins' offense needed the spurt.
Virginia (9-4), the only team to defeat Hopkins in the last 48 games, came out aggressively to take a 3-1 lead on first-period goals by Bill Seery, Rick Giusto and Matt Rainis. Virginia's aggressiveness declined with each quarter.
Cook beat defenseman Mike Sotir, who had the task of marking him much of the game, at 7:09 of the second period, giving Hopkins its first lead, 4-3.Henry Ciccarone Jr., son of the Hopkins coach, scored despite a leveling check 11 seconds later. Randy Natoli, Virginia's leading scorer who also was held to one goal today, and Lou Ruland scored to tie the game, 5-5, at the half. Ruland's goal with 2:50 left in the period was the last Virginia score until Mike Caravana's goal with 5:31 to play.