After going scoreless over a 21-minute stretch in the second and third periods, second-ranked Johns Hopkins outscored No. 3 Virginia, 8-3, in the second half today to win, 13-9, and advance to the final of the NCAA lacrosse tournament.
Hopkins (11-2) will face North Carolina, a 15-8 winner over Cornell today, at Virginia Saturday at 2 p.m. Top-ranked North Carolina (13-0) defeated the Blue Jays by one goal last year to win the championship.
Goalie Brian Holman, who gave up six goals in one period in the Blue Jays' victory over Maryland Wednesday, stood up under a barrrage of 16 shots in the second half today and made 10 saves.
Meanwhile, Mike Donnelly broke loose to score all three of his goals in the second half. Peter Scott added two of his three goals as the Blue Jays rallied from a 6-5 halftime deficit to defeat Virginia (10-3) for the second time this year.
Virginia scored four times in the second period and shut out the Blue Jays to lead at halftime.
"We lost the tempo of the game in the second quarter," said Hopkins Coach Henry Ciccarone. "It was so similar to the first time we played them. We would rush the passes and lose it. In the second half we just tried to hold the ball a little more."
Donnelly ended Hopkins' scoring drought 5 1/2 minutes into the second half, tying the score at 6-6. After Matt Rainis was credited with a goal when the ball rolled into the net, the Blue Jays scored three goals over the next 3 1/2 minutes. The third score, a behind-the-back shot by Donnelly off a pass from Scott, put Hopkins ahead, 9-7.
After Scott Gerham cut the lead to 9-8 near the end of the third quarter, Scott scored twice and Jeff Cook added another goal to stretch the Blue Jays' lead to 12-8.
"We were out of the game most of the first half," said Scott, the Blue Jays' leading scorer this season with 35 goals. "The ball was at their end the whole time in the second quarter. We're not used to sitting and watching like that."
Virginia's offense evaporated after Mike Caravana left in the third period with a sprained left ankle. The junior attack man scored only twice before leaving the game but his absence forced Virginia to shuffle its extra-man offense. The Cavaliers took advantage of only two of five extra-man opportunities.