Collegeville, April 11, 2014
The lacrosse teams form the top two private Catholic Universities in Minnesota met in Collegeville, MN tonight to see who would be the victor in this long-standing rivalry between St. John’s University and the University of St. Thomas.
The Johnnies hosted the Tommies for an evening game on a turf field still surrounded by snow, but with temperatures in the low 50’s everything felt right under the floodlights for this to be a great game.
The Johnnies started with the ball after an illegal procedure was called on the Tommies at the face-off. This however, did not prevent the Tommies from being able to open up St. John’s defense, and with four minutes left in the first quarter, the Tommies led by a score of 3-1. The Tommies played aggressive offense with lots of shots on goals, and seemed to have little trouble penetrating the Johnnie’s zone defense. Unfortunately for the Tommies, it appeared that the Johnnies found the spark they needed and by the end of the first quarter, the game was tied at 3-3.
Although the Tommies started the second quarter with a possession, they quickly lost possession by having their long, low passes over the Johnnie D-poles intercepted. Within the first three minutes, the Tommies have a penalty and man down allow the Johnnies to score. 12 seconds later, the Johnnies score again, bringing the score to 5-3. The Johnnies are able to build on their lead by capturing possession of the ball from St. Thomas, and by moving the ball quickly up the sideline, are able to score again, bringing the score to 6-3. At this point it is apparent that the Johnnies have found their rhythm, utilizing quick passes, good looks and quick hands to move the ball. St. Thomas is able to score once more in the second quarter, bringing the score to 6-4. Although the Tommies have been able to play well with good offensive transitioning, their initial dominance early in the first quarter has now turned into a game where they are constantly trying to catch up to the Johnnies.
The second half started out pretty evenly, with both teams possessing the ball and turning it over. The Tommies are finally able to score, bringing the score to 6-5. Both teams score in rapid succession, but the Johnnies keep on scoring, much like they did at the end of the first quarter, bringing the score to 9-6 at the end of the third quarter.
The fourth quarter starts off quickly with goals for each time, and it is very apparent that neither team is going to let the other team have an easy victory. The possessions pass quickly from one team to the other, the fans are screaming. and with 6.44 left in the final quarter, the Johnnies lead 9-8. Only 10 seconds later, Dan Burke, attack man from St. Thomas receives a beautiful feed from X directly over the goal for an easy in, and the score is now tied 9-9. With 3.14 left in the game, St. Thomas scores again, taking advantage of a big mistake by the Johnnies goalie, who tried to clear the ball by making a behind-the-back pass, which is easily snapped up by a Tommie for a shot on an open goal, bringing the score to 10-9 in the Tommies favor.
St. Thomas wins the face-off, brings the ball back to their defense, who launches the ball up-field. It lands just shy of the Johnnies goal, but the Tommies were unable to regain possession. With 47 seconds left in regulation, the Johnnies call a time-out, and return to the field full of fight. With 9 seconds left in regulation time, the Johnnies score to tie the game 10-10, and the game goes into overtime. Approximately 1 minute into overtime, a Johnnies forward was able to cut sharply all the way around the Tommies goal, and is able to sneak a ground level shot past the goalie, winning the game for the Johnnies 11-10 in overtime.
Article & Photos by Peter Russell. This article is used with permission, the original article can be found here.