After an uneven start to the season raised questions about whether the Johns Hopkins men's lacrosse team would make it to the NCAA tournament at all, the Blue Jays seem to be peaking just as the tournament begins.
Hopkins (10-6) reeled off 11 consecutive first-half goals on Sunday afternoon, led 13-2 at halftime, and cruised to a 19-7 victory against seventh-seeded Virginia in an NCAA tournament first-round game in Charlottesville, Virginia. The Blue Jays carry a six-game winning streak into the NCAA quarterfinals, where they will meet No. 2 seed Syracuse, which defeated Marist 20-8 in the first round.
Also see: NCAA tournament results and bracket
JHU scored on 13 of its first 24 shots en route to its most lopsided victory against the Cavaliers (10-5) since 1965. Seven players scored at least two goals for Hopkins, led by junior Ryan Brown, who totaled four goals and two assists. Shack Stanwick and Joel Tinney added three goals apiece (with one of Stanwick's scores coming on a brilliantly executed hidden-ball trick), and Wells Stanwick, Holden Cattoni, John Crawley, and Cody Radziewicz each scored twice.
Connor Reed chipped in a career-high six assists, equaling the JHU record for most assists in an NCAA tournament game. Hopkins has scored 13 or more goals in five straight games for the first time since 2003.
The Blue Jays held Virginia scoreless for more than 22 minutes during their 11-goal run, and senior goalkeeper Eric Schneider posted 14 saves while allowing just five goals in 56:44 before giving way to junior Will Ryan.
Hopkins will meet Syracuse on Sunday at noon at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis. The Orange defeated the Blue Jays 13-10 on March 14 in Syracuse, New York.
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