Pierce Bassett had a dull second quarter and a dazzling start to the fourth quarter, and those two facts made all the difference between No. 2 Johns Hopkins and No. 11 Princeton Friday night.
Bassett, who didn't have to make a save during Princeton's shotless second quarter, made the biggest play of the night when he stopped Jeff Froccaro in the first minute of the fourth quarter, a save that led to a huge momentum swing and ultimately a 10-8 win for the Blue Jays in front of 2,407 at Sherrerd Field at Class of 1952 Stadium.
The loss dropped Princeton to 2-1 on the season, which the Tigers began with three games in six days. Princeton is now off for eight days, until facing No. 4 North Carolina at M&T Bank Stadium next Saturday in Baltimore at the Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic.
Johns Hopkins, which improved to 4-0, snapped a three-game losing streak to Princeton. The loss was Princeton coach Chris Bates' first against the Blue Jays.
Hopkins leads the all-time series 55-27, and the teams have now played every year since 1937 except for the World War II year of 1944.
The 82nd meeting in the series was a game all about possession, especially in the first half. Johns Hopkins took huge chunks off the clock while dominating the ball - drawing five stalling warnings - and then turned that into a three-goal halftime advantage.
When Froccaro scored with 15 seconds left in the first quarter to make it 3-2 Hopkins, it appeared that Princeton might have some momentum.
Instead, Hopkins scored the only two goals of the second quarter, during which time Princeton was outshot 9-0. By halftime, shots were 19-7 Hopkins.
Hopkins would go up 6-2, but Forest Sonnenfeldt got one back and then Mike Grossman scored with just seven seconds left in the third to make it 6-4.
The key stretch of the game came when Hopkins drew a penalty on the face-off, giving the Jays possession to start the fourth. A turnover, though, gave it right back to Princeton, and Froccaro made a beautiful dodge to get free in front of Bassett, who came up huge to keep it a two-goal game.
Hopkins then cleared it, and that possession ended when John Kaestner scored to make it 7-4. The lead grew to 10-5 before Froccao, Grossman and Tom Schreiber scored to make it a two-goal game with 1:03 to go.
Princeton then unleashed six shots after winning the face-off, but none of them would go in.
Grossman had a four-point night with two goals and two assists, while Froccaro was the only other Tiger with more than one goal. Schreiber had two assists to go with his goal.
Zach Palmer, who had been held without a point against Princeton last year in an 8-3 Tiger win, had one goal and three assists.
Amazingly, Princeton would outshoot Hopkins 36-29. Bassett and Princeton's Tyler Fiorito, arguably the two best goalies in college lacrosse, had nine saves apiece.