Navy pounds Johns Hopkins, 8-2
RJ Wickham saves another (GM/Alison Althouse)
RJ Wickham saves another (GM/Alison Althouse)

Posted Apr 21, 2012


On a glorious sunny day in Annapolis, Navy shocked the lacrosse world with a dominating win over the Johns Hopkins Blue Jays. Senior goalkeeper R.J. Wickham had 18 saves for the Mids in goal

Fewest goals for Johns Hopkins against any team since 1966.

Largest winning margin for Navy over Johns Hopkins since 1965.

Fewest goals for Johns Hopkins against Navy since 1925.

To say it was a historic game would be putting it mildly.

Almost 12,000 fans attended the Johns Hopkins – Navy men's lacrosse game on Saturday, April 21, with probably 11,955 of them expecting to see a blowout. They were likely half right.

The 45 members of the Navy lacrosse team believed, though, and thoroughly dominated the #6 Blue Jays, 8-2. Navy held Hopkins scoreless for the first 25:31 of the game and followed that up with another scoreless stretch of 31:45 before Greg Edmonds scored essentially a meaningless goal with 2:44 left in the game.

“I'm embarrassed,” said Hopkins head coach Dave Pietramala. “I'm not embarrassed to lose to Navy. I'm embarrassed by our play. We seemed to collapse. We looked like the 5-6 team not the 9-2 team.

“I'm responsible.”

Navy head coach Rick Sowell said, “last week for 50 minutes it was the best time I've had coaching (referring to the Army-Navy game). This week we talked about making it for 60 minutes, and it was.”

The stats are deceiving until you get to the saves. Navy senior goalkeeper R.J. Wickham had probably the best game of his career, dominating the Hopkins attack with 18 saves. Hopkins outshot Navy, 30-26, Hopkins won nine faceoffs to Navy's five, and Navy turned the ball over more than Hopkins by an 12-11 count.

In the end, though, Navy had Wickham.

“I couldn't have asked for more from the defense,” said Wickham. “They did an extraordinary job in making them shoot from where we wanted them to.”

Sowell said that Wickham made it look easy. “I felt it would be tough for Hopkins to score today,” he said.

Navy jumped to a 3-0 lead in the first quarter on goals by Pat Durkin (assisted by Tucker Hull), Taylor Reynolds (assisted by Sam Jones) and Nikk Davis unassisted. The teams then played some methodical lacrosse until Zach Palmer drew the Blue Jays within 2 with 4:29 left in the first half. Hopkins had some extra man opportunities as the half drew to a close, but Wickham made save after save to shut the door.

Navy then went on a five goal spree over the next 21 minutes of game time, as Sam Jones scored 3 times and Durkin and Erik Hoffstadt added unassisted tallies. Jones finished with 3 goals and an assist on the day.

Hopkins began clearing their bench and the Brigade fired up the “I Believe” chant as the Mids closed out the big win.

Navy finishes the season at 6-6, while Hopkins fell to 9-3, with games remaining against Loyola (MD) and Army.

“Everyone counted us out and thought we'd get smoked,” said senior attack and co-captain Taylor Reynolds. “We dug deep and believed. In 2013 and 2014 we'll be watching Navy lacrosse from all over the world and we're totally fine providing that stepping stone because this program is on the rise.”


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