The Game: Second-ranked Johns Hopkins (7-0) hits the road for a key midseason matchup at top-ranked Virginia (8-0).
Last Time Out: Johns Hopkins improved to 7-0 with an 11-7 victory over then sixth-ranked Syracuse at Homewood Field last Saturday. Virginia erased an early 6-1 deficit and knocked off Ohio State, 11-9, in Columbus.
Series History: Johns Hopkins and Virginia are meeting for the 85th time in a series that dates to a 9-0 Johns Hopkins victory in 1904. The Blue Jays lead the series 55-28-1 and won last season, 12-11, at Homewood Field. A complete series history can be found at the back of this week’s note packet.
These are the Facts: Johns Hopkins enters this week’s game against Virginia with an all-time record of 919-294-15 (.754). The Blue Jays own nine NCAA titles, 29 USILA titles and six ILA titles for a total of 44 national championships.
Game Number 175: This week’s game at Virginia will the 175th for Dave Pietramala as the head coach at Johns Hopkins. He sports a 133-41 (.764) record since taking over in 2001.
Career Win Number 150: Johns Hopkins head coach Dave Pietramala picked up career win number 150 with the 12-6 victory vs. Towson in the season opener. He now sports an all-time record of 156-58 (.729), including a 133-41 (.764) record at Johns Hopkins. He ranks second all-time in school history in career coaching victories as only Hall of Fame coach Bob Scott (158 wins from 1955-74) has more victories than Pietramala while patrolling the sidelines at Homewood.
About the 7-0 Start: Johns Hopkins is 7-0 for the first time since 2005 and just the second time under head coach Dave Pietramala (2004). Prior to opening at 7-0 in 2005, JHU hadn’t opened a season with seven straight wins since 1995. Since 1977 the Blue Jays have opened a season with seven straight wins seven times (including this season). JHU has won the national championship three times in those six years, made two other trips to the title game and advanced to the NCAA semifinals the other year.
Program Ties: Johns Hopkins freshman attackman Wells Stanwick is the younger brother of Virginia senior attackman Steele Stanwick. Virginia freshman midfielder Ryan Tucker is the son of current Johns Hopkins women’s lacrosse coach Janine Tucker and former Johns Hopkins standout John Tucker ‘84. Virginia senior attackman Chris Bocklet is the younger brother of Matt Bocklet, a standout defenseman on Johns Hopkins’ 2007 national championship team and 2008 national runner-up team.
Yes, They Have Played Before: This will be the second time Johns Hopkins freshman attackman Wells Stanwick has played against his older brother, Virginia attackman Steele Stanwick. As a freshman at Boys’ Latin in high school, Wells faced Steele’s Loyola Blakefield squad. For the record, Loyola won that game 8-5.
Against Number One: This week’s game will be the 10th game Johns Hopkins has played against a top-ranked team under head coach Dave Pietramala. The Blue Jays are 5-4 in their previous nine games against a team-ranked number one under Pietramala.
Against Number One Virginia: This week’s game at Virginia will mark the 10th time Johns Hopkins has taken on the Cavaliers when UVa is ranked number one. JHU is 4-5 in the previous nine games.
Marching Orders: Johns Hopkins will close out the March portion of its 2012 schedule this weekend at Virginia. The Blue Jays are looking for their first perfect record in the month of March since 2005, when they won all five of their games played in the month. Since 1972, JHU has posted a perfect record in the month of March 15 times. In six of those years the Blue Jays went on to win the national championship and in seven other instances JHU finished as national runner-up.
Streaking – Part 1: In case you didn’t notice, Johns Hopkins is 15-1 in its last 16 games, 20-3 since the start of the 2011 season and 22-5 in its last 27 games.
Streaking – Part 2: Johns Hopkins is 108-29 (.788) in its last 137 regular season games dating back to the end of the 2001 season and 125-37 (.772) overall since the start of the 2002 season.
13-Win Seasons: With a 13-3 record last season, Johns Hopkins reached the 13-win mark for the fifth time under head coach Dave Pietramala and the 12th time in school history.
Home Cookin’: Johns Hopkins ran its home winning streak to 11 games with the 11-7 win over sixth-ranked Syracuse on March 17. The streak is the second-longest under head coach Dave Pietramala, who picked up his 75th career victory at Homewood Field with the win earlier this season against Delaware and sports a gaudy 78-12 (.867) record in home games during his career at JHU. JHU won a school and national-record 37 straight home games from 2001-06 under Pietramala’s guidance and the current 11-game home winning streak is the fourth home streak of seven wins or more since he arrived.
More Home Cookin’: In addition boasting the second-longest home winning streak of the Dave Pietramala era, Johns Hopkins’ current 11-game winning streak at Homewood Field is also the third longest active home winning streak in the nation. Only Virginia, which has currently won 14 straight at Klockner Stadium, and Cornell, which has won 12 straight at Schoellkopf Field, have longer current streaks in the home whites than Johns Hopkins.
Fourteen Straight: Johns Hopkins ran its regular season winning streak to 14 games with the 11-7 win over Syracuse. This is the longest regular season winning streak for JHU since a 19-game run that bridged the 2004 and 2006 seasons. Hopkins’ last loss during the regular season … a 5-4 double-overtime setback at Syracuse last season.
Fourteen Straight – Historically: Not only is the current 14-game regualr season winning streak the second longest under Dave Pietramala, it’s also the sixth longest in school history during the NCAA Tournament era (1971 – Present).
Balancing Act: Johns Hopkins has employed virtually the same first and second midfield units throughout the first seven games and those units have proven to be steady in terms of production. JHU’s first unit of Rob Guida(7), John Ranagan (7) and John Greeley (6) has combined for 20 goals, while the second unit of Lee Coppersmith(8), Mark Goodrich (5) and Greg Edmonds (1) has 14 goals to its credit. The major difference between the two groups has been with assists. The unit of Guida, Ranagan and Greeley has combined for 13 assists. The next assist for the second unit will be its first of the year.
Jumping Right In: Junior John Kaestner had played in 12 career games and hadn’t so much as taken a shot before getting the starting nod at Princeton with freshman Wells Stanwick out. No worries, all Kaestner did is stick the first two goals of his career during a 4-1 fourth-quarter run that fueled JHU’s 10-8 win. He came back with one goal and one assist in the win vs. Manhattan and duplicated that effort in the win over UMBC.
Bassett Now 20-3 in Last 23 Starts: Sophomore goalie Pierce Bassett picked up his 23rd career victory in goal with the 11-7 win vs. Syracuse as he posted nine saves and allowed seven goals to improve to 23-7 in his 30 career starts. He is 20-3 in his last 23 starts dating back to the start of the 2011 season. Through seven games Bassett currently ranks second in the nation in goals against average (5.50) and seventh in save percentage (.606).
Bassett concluded his first full season as the starter for the Blue Jays last season and posted a 7.07 goals against average and a .570 save percentage. He finished fifth in the nation in GAA and 10th in save percentage. His fifth-place finish in GAA is the highest by a JHU goalie since Jesse Schwartzman led the nation in 2005 (6.68), while he is just the third Blue Jay to finish in the top 10 in save percentage since the NCAA began tracking men’s lacrosse statistics in 2000.
Bassett’s 7.07 goals against average is the second best by a JHU goalie since 1993 (Schwartman’s 6.68 GAA in 2005 is the best since records became available in ‘93).
Poppleton, Kennedy Fuel Success at the X: Freshman Drew Kennedy did a solid job on faceoffs in the season-opener vs. Towson as he won 9-of-14 in the absence of junior Mike Poppleton. Poppleton returned against Delaware and has been solid in six games since as he ranks third in the nation in FO win percentage (.651 • 69-of-106). He won 15-of-18 against Siena, 11-of-21 at Princeton, 10-of-12 vs. Manhattan and 12-of-18 against Syracuse. As a team, JHU is 80-of-135 (.593) on faceoffs this season and ranks seventh in the nation in FO winning percentage.
Poll Position: The Blue Jays check in at number two in both the USILA Coaches Poll and the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll this week. The Johns Hopkins Athletic Communications Office uses the USILA Poll to represent JHU’s official ranking at the time of a game. Prior to falling out of the top 20 of the USILA Poll on April 26 and May 3, 2010 (JHU was receiving votes in both polls), the Blue Jays had been ranked in the top 20 in 367 consecutive polls dating back to the first poll in 1973.
More Poll Position: Including this week’s USILA Poll, there have been 389 weekly polls since the inception of the poll in 1973. Amazingly, JHU has been ranked in the top 20 in 387 of those 389 polls. The Blue Jays have been in the top 10 in 366 of the 389 and the top five in 292 of those 389.
Offensive Notes of Interest: Below are several notes of interest about the JHU offense:
• JHU has scored at least one goal in 27 of 28 quarters this season and two or more in 23 of the 28 quarters.
• For all the talk about JHU being a slow down team, the Blue Jays are averaging 36.7 shots per game. That number compares favorably to JHU’s averages in 2005 (38.1) and 2007 (36.3) – the most recent years in which Johns Hopkins won the national championship.
• Johns Hopkins ranks 24th in the nation in scoring offense (10.43), 22nd in extra-man offense (.391) and seventh in scoring margin (+5.14).
Defensive Notes of Interest: Below are several notes of interest concerning the JHU defense:
• Hopkins held Towson to just 18 shots and Manhattan to just 14. Hopkins is surrending an average of just 24.6 shots per game.
• Johns Hopkins has held each of its seven opponents scoreless for a stretch of at least 19:30.
• JHU has held the opposition scoreless in 11 of 28 quarters this season (39.3%).
• The Blue Jays rank second in the nation in scoring defense (5.29), 10th in man-down defense (.750) and seventh in scoring margin (+5.14) this season.
Now That’s a Drought: The Johns Hopkins defense did not allow an even-strength goal for an amazing stretch of 116:37 from late in the win at Princeton through early in the fourth quarter of the win over UMBC. The Retrievers did score a pair of extra-man goals in the first half, but the first six-on-six goal they scored came 34 seconds into the fourth quarter.
About the Shutout: Shutouts in college lacrosse are rare, but JHU notched one with the 11-0 victory over Manhattan. Prior to that, the Blue Jays had last posted a shutout on March 26, 1988, when they knocked off Princeton, 9-0. The shutout vs. Manhattan was the 61st in school history with 57 of those 61 shutouts coming prior to 1950.
Noting JHU in the NCAA Tournament: Johns Hopkins made its 40th consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament last season. By comparison, the next six longest active streaks of qualifying for the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Tournament add up to exactly 40 consecutive appearances (Maryland-9, Cornell-8, Virginia-7, Notre Dame-6, Duke-5, North Carolina-5).
First to 900: Johns Hopkins’ 10-6 win at Towson in the 2011 season opener not only got the season off on the right foot for the Blue Jays, but also made history. The win was the 900th all-time in school history, making Johns Hopkins the first program to record 900 all-time wins. JHU now has 919 all-time wins.
That’s 625 Games Over .500: The Blue Jays’ all-time record is now 919-294-15 (.754) … that’s 625 games over .500. To put this in perspective: JHU has played an average of just over 15 games per season under head coach Dave Pietramala. Using a 15-game season as a reference, if the Blue Jays posted a 5-10 record for 125 straight seasons, they would still be five games over .500.