The Washington Times - May 17, 2009, 01:20PM

ANNAPOLIS – Virginia built a big lead over Johns Hopkins in the teams’ first meeting, only to let the Blue Jays back into it.

Doesn’t look like that will happen again.

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Virginia is simply overwhelming the Hop with speed, athleticism and smart play to build a 12-4 lead at the half.

Eight goals, by the way, is the worst margin of defeat Hopkins has ever took in the NCAA tournament. Consider that record at considerable risk.

Why? Not only are the Cavaliers playing exceptionally well, they’re not about to let Hopkins make another rally on them. Not this year anyway. So expect Virginia to continue pressing to make things happen on offense.

Garrett Billings and Shamel Bratton already have hat tricks, and Steele Stanwick is at a goal and three assists. Adam Ghitelman has impressed, saving seven shots.

Hopkins also lost defenseman Michael Evans to a left leg injury late in the second quarter. At this point, though, it doesn’t matter who Hopkins has on defense. The Cavaliers have scored 30 goals in the last six quarters – and really, the fourth quarter last week was garbage time with third-stringers. Virginia is scoring whenever it wants, and that probably won’t change in the second half.

Patrick Stevens