BALTIMORE, Md. — Second year varsity program Mount St. Mary’s University outscored Division III No. 6-ranked/host Johns Hopkins University, 9-4, in the second half to come from behind for a 15-14 win in Mid-Atlantic Water Polo Conference (MAWPC)-East Region play at the Newton White Aquatic Center.
Hopkins jumped out to a 3-1 lead with goals from seniors Jayden Kunwar and Emerson Sullivan, but Jason O’Donnell answered with back-to-back goals for Mount St. Mary’s to tie the game at three-all after one quarter.
Sullivan scored just seven seconds into the second quarter to put the Blue Jays up 4-3, but Zach Fischer responded for the Mount 21 seconds later to tie the game. Kunwar then scored to ignite a 6-0 Hopkins run as the Jays pushed out to a 10-4 lead with 1:44 to go in the half. Kunwar scored four of the Blue Jays’ goals to fuel the run.
Eli Thalos ended the run with a goal for Mount St. Mary’s at 1:16 and O’Donnell tacked on another in the final 15 seconds to make it a 10-6 game at the break.
Sullivan struck first in the third quarter to give Hopkins an 11-6 lead. However, Mount St. Mary’s responded with four straight goals to pull within two with 2:21 to go in the frame. Sophomore Liam Housenbold halted the run with a goal at 2:06, but Thalos answered with one of his own and it was a 12-10 game after three quarters.
Sullivan and senior Jake Pearson sandwiched a pair of goals around one from Kiahi Horan as JHU’s lead expanded to 14-11 with 4:22 remaining in regulation.
Horan answered Pearson’s goal and ignited a four-goal game-ending run for the Mount.
Jaden McNeal-Villafana scored with 15 ticks on the clock to give the Mount its first lead of the game. Hopkins had one last chance to get the equalizer, but the Blue Jays couldn’t cash in as Mount St. Mary’s held on for the victory.
The game marked the first-ever meeting between the Blue Jays and Mountaineers as Johns Hopkins did not compete during the COVID-19 impacted 2020/Winter 2021 season.
Sullivan led the Blue Jays with six goals, two steals and three drawn ejections. Kunwar had five goals and two assists to go with a pair of steals. Kunwar now ranks 20th in school history with 183 career points and is 18th with 146 goals.
Graduate student Olin Shipstead handed out a pair of assists for Hopkins, while Housenbold grabbed two steals to go with his score.
Freshman Kyle Pearson made eight saves with two steals and six goals allowed while playing the first two quarters in goal. Connor Mechelke came on to play the second half with nine goals allowed.
The victory came with a back-up who was playing out of position as field player/freshman Michael Lemishko was pressed into duty between the pipes for the second time in as many games.
Lemishko, who started and made 10 saves at George Washington University in a 20-13 loss earlier in the day, returned to the cage to stop six shots in the defeat of the Blue Jays.
Jason O’Donnell scored six times, mostly in the first half, to lead the Mountaineers’ offense.
Information courtesy Johns Hopkins University and Mount St. Mary’s University Athletics Communications