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Stony Brook falls to Johns Hopkins, 19-9

Hopkins player, Mike Poppleton, right, charges after the

Hopkins player, Mike Poppleton, right, charges after the ball in the face-off against Stony Brook's JJ Laforet (#27). Johns Hopkins lacrosse team won against Stony Brook with a score of 19-9 at Homewood Field in the NCAA First Round. (May 13, 2012) Credit: Algerina Perna /Baltimore Sun Staff

BALTIMORE -- An unfamiliar foe and an all-too-familiar problem led to Stony Brook's undoing Sunday.

Host Johns Hopkins won the first 10 draws and rolled to a 19-9 victory in the first round of the NCAA Division I men's lacrosse tournament, ending Stony Brook's season.

The Seawolves entered the game having won only 38.5 percent of their faceoffs, 59th out of Division I's 61 teams. Hopkins, which entered the game eighth at 56.9 percent, rode its early faceoff streak to a 7-1 lead after the first quarter and finished 24-for-31 on draws.

"That's been our Achilles' heel all year," Stony Brook coach Jim Nagle said. "We've been trying to do it with guys who aren't naturally faceoff guys or didn't know they were faceoff guys until the season started."

It was Stony Brook's first-ever game against Johns Hopkins, which is making its 41st consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The 19 goals were a season high for Hopkins (12-3) and the most allowed all season by Stony Brook (7-10).

After each draw control, Johns Hopkins looked to push forward and quickly go to goal. Hopkins stretched its early lead from 3-1 to 7-1 late in the first quarter by scoring twice within 10 seconds and then twice within seven seconds.

"It's really tough when you're playing a team that is a little more talented than you to begin with," Nagle said. "[You're] trying to shorten the game up, possess the ball. If you're losing that many draws, it's impossible."

SBU trailed 3-0 before gaining its first offensive possession and was outshot 40-21. Goalie Sean Brady made nine saves.

"They did a great job of moving the ball," Brady said, "finding the easy look and the high-percentage shot. Everything seemed very calculated, very well-placed. Hopkins has always been an offensive powerhouse, especially come playoff time, and nothing today was different."

Matt Bellando had three goals and one assist, Russ Bonanno had two goals, and Robbie Campbell and Jeff Tundo added a goal and two assists each for Stony Brook. Brandon Benn had five goals, Chris Boland added three goals and four assists and Zach Palmer had three goals and three assists for the Blue Jays.

Hopkins advances to Saturday's quarterfinals at Navy, where it will face Maryland, a 10-9 winner over Lehigh.

Sunday's slow start mirrored that of Stony Brook's season. The Seawolves opened 1-7 before rallying to win six of their eight games, including the America East Tournament championship.

"Everyone had their doubts, but we stuck with it," Bonanno said. "I really do believe we pulled together and showed we can be a very good team. It was awesome just to get to the tournament. We played a great team today, and it was obviously disappointing, but at the end of the day, we did accomplish our goal and there is a sense of satisfaction."


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