Looking to extend their winning streak with a road victory, the Men's Lacrosse team triumphed over the No. 15 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes on Saturday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium by a score of 12-9.
The Blue Jays were buoyed by the effort of junior attackman Bobby Benson who scored five goals on the day to help propel Hopkins to victory.
The No. 4 ranked Blue Jays scored early and often in the beginning minutes of the contest, racing to a 7-0 lead through the first 18 minutes of the game against the Buckeyes.
Freshman midfielder Kyle Harrison got the ball rolling for Hopkins by scoring the first goal of the day, an unassisted score just 2:05 into the contest.
Sophomore midfielder Joe McDermott scored just over two and a half minutes later off a pass by Benson to give the Jays a 2-0 advantage.
From there, Benson began a scoring run of his own, single-handedly taking over the game by scoring three unassisted goals to put Hopkins ahead by a score of 5-0.
For the Blue Jays, things only got better as freshman attackman Kyle Barrie scored the next two goals for Hopkins. His first came exactly one minute after Benson's last goal off an assist by sophomore attackman Conor Ford. His second came under one minute later, as he scored off a pass from freshman attackman Peter LeSueur to give the Jays a commanding 7-0 lead.
The Buckeyes battled back, however, as they finally got on the board with back-to-back goals of their own to cut the Blue Jay lead to 7-2. Hopkins responded when Benson fed Ford for his first goal of the day, but again the Buckeyes returned fire with back-to-back goals to make the score 8-4.
Before the half, the team exchanged goals once again as Benson and Buckeye Anthony Gilardi each scored extra-man goals to make the score 9-5 going into the half.
The second half saw a Buckeye charge as LeSueur scored unassisted at the 13:08 mark to make the score 10-5, but then was forced to watch as his team surrendered four straight goals to cut their advantage to one goal as the score stood at 10-9 in favor of the Jays.
But that was all the scoring left in store for the Buckeyes who surrendered the game's final two goals, one by Benson and one by Barrie to ultimately give Hopkins the win by a score of 12-9.
Still, players reamined dissatisfied with the fact that the team nearly squandered a seven goal advantage.
"The game didn't go as well as we would have liked. We got off to a good start, but then they came back," said LeSueur.
The closely matched teams were also nearly even in the statistics for the contest. While the Blue Jays led with 33 shots taken, the Buckeyes had 32.
Senior goalkeeper Nick Murtha also contributed 11 saves in goal for the Jays. Buckeye goalkeeper Tony Russo made 13 saves.
"We jumped ahead early. I don't think we valued the ball enough though," said Harrison.
The Blue Jays will now turn their focus to this weekend's Homecoming game in which the Jays will host the No. 6 ranked University of Maryland Terrapins.
The contest will take place Saturday at 3 p.m.
Games between the Jays and the Terrapins have been legendary in years past, and the rivalry between the two teams has been called the top rivalry in college lacrosse.
Players are visibly excited about this weekend's game, which will mark the 98th meeting between the two teams.
"As a freshman, I just can't wait. Maryland-Hopkins is the Army-Navy of lacrosse," said Harrison.
The marquee match up also holds special significance because although both teams control their destiny in the fight for at-large bids to the NCAA Tournament, the winner of this game will likely secure a spot in the tournament.
"It is definitely a big game for us," said LeSueur.
In addition, a Hopkins victory would give the Blue Jays eight wins on the year, which would tie their win total from last season.
The players are cautiously optimistic about Hopkins chances for a victory.