- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 16, 2004

BALTIMORE — Homewood Field has been a welcome place for Johns Hopkins’ seniors, and yesterday’s NCAA tournament first-round game provided them an appropriate home finale.

The top-seeded Blue Jays crushed Providence 15-3 to advance to the quarterfinals for the 14th straight year. Hopkins improved to 28-1 at Homewood in the last four years, including 27 consecutive victories.

Hopkins (12-1) will meet eighth-seeded North Carolina on Saturday afternoon in Charlottesville.

Kevin Boland had two assists to move out of a tie with Del Dressel (1983-86) atop Hopkins’ all-time assists list for midfielders. Boland now has 77, including a team-high 27 assists this season.

“I’ve been very fortunate to play with a lot of good crease attackmen in my tenure at Hopkins,” Boland said. “Bobby Benson, Conor Ford — guys that can shoot the ball really well. I don’t shoot the ball as hard as those guys, and my job as a player is to get the ball to the guys who can score.”

Said Hopkins coach Dave Pietramala: “He’s in the company of a four-time All-American in Del Dressel. How fortunate am I and how fortunate are we to be associated with that kid?”

Boland beat a short stick and attackman Kyle Barrie eviscerated a zone to put Hopkins ahead 2-0 in the first 70 seconds. The Friars took their time in their first possession, whittling three minutes off the clock before Tom Kelly bounced one into the net.

The Blue Jays continued to score efficiently and built a 5-2 lead, but Providence remained content to milk the clock whenever it had the ball. With complaints of “boring!” coming from the crowd of 1,213, the Friars took only two shots as they fruitlessly burned the final 2:48 of the first quarter.

The Friars’ game of keep-away continued to slow the Blue Jays in the second quarter, but they seemed rattled when they turned it over with 9:24 left in the half. It turned out to be the small opening Hopkins needed to turn a certain victory into a rout.

Ford buried Boland’s feed a minute later, and Barrie tacked on an extra-man goal with eight minutes left in the half. With the help of four straight faceoff wins, Hopkins built a 10-2 lead by the 4:46 mark of the quarter.

Hopkins won 17 of 21 faceoffs for the game.

“We were at a point where offensively, I think we were being very patient and they had to make a decision to either let us possess the ball and shorten the game or maybe come get us a little bit, which was fine with us because we wanted to get them to extend,” said Providence coach Chris Burdick, whose team won the Metro Atlantic tournament last weekend to earn its first NCAA invitation. “Today was obviously a Blue Jay day at the faceoff X. We just couldn’t get the ball back.”

Hopkins played without starting goalie Scott Smith, who started the final 11 regular-season games. The sophomore suffered a groin injury during pregame warmups and was replaced by freshman Jesse Schwartzman, who capably made nine saves to anchor a Blue Jays defense that held Providence scoreless for a 41:07 midgame stretch.

“I’ve said from the beginning that we have confidence in both of our goaltenders, and I think we showed that today,” said Pietramala, adding that Smith should be available for the quarterfinals.

No.8 North Carolina 13, Ohio St. 6

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — The Tar Heels (10-4) used a late spurt to pull away from the Buckeyes (12-4) and win their first postseason game since 1996.

Mike McCall scored three goals and Kevin Frew won 15 of 21 faceoffs for North Carolina, which had lost its last 10 games in the ACC and NCAA tournaments.

Ohio State trailed 7-5 before the Tar Heels ripped off six straight goals in a span of 5:18 to clinch the victory. It was North Carolina’s second defeat of the Buckeyes in eight days.

No.6 Princeton 12, Rutgers 4

PRINCETON, N.J. — Ryan Boyle scored a career-high four goals and added two assists as the Tigers (10-3) blasted the Scarlet Knights (8-6) to reach the quarterfinals for the fifth straight year.

Scott Sowanick and Peter Trombino both added two goals for Princeton, which defeated Rutgers for the second time this season.

The Tigers scored all 12 goals on vaunted goalie Greg Havalchak (eight saves). Meanwhile, Princeton held Scarlet Knights crease attackman Delby Powless scoreless, limiting him to two shots.

No.7 Cornell 11, Hobart 5

ITHACA, N.Y. — Joe Boulukos scored three goals to help the Big Red (9-4) avenge a regular-season loss to the Statesmen (9-7).

Matt McMonagle made 14 saves for Cornell, which improved to 12-1 in NCAA tournament home games. The Big Red will play host to the winner of today’s Navy-Penn game next Sunday in the quarterfinals.

The game was delayed 49 minutes in the first quarter by lightning.


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