Another Chapter of Lacrosse’s Greatest Rivalry To Be Written Saturday at Homewood Field

April 14, 2012 | WNST Staff

The Game: Third-ranked Johns Hopkins (9-1) plays host to the greatest rivalry in college lacrosse as the Blue Jays welcome ninth-ranked Maryland (6-3) to Homewood Field.

Last Time Out: Johns Hopkins and Maryland both got back on the winning side of things with wins last week. Hopkins bounced back from a loss to North Carolina with a 17-6 win over Albany last Thursday, while Maryland ended a two-game slide with a 13-6 victory over Navy last Friday night in College Park.

Series History: Johns Hopkins and Maryland are meeting for the 108th time in a series that dates to a 10-0 Johns Hopkins victory in 1895. The Blue Jays hold a commanding 68-38-1 advantage against the Terps and have won 10 of the last 13 meetings A complete series review can be found at the back of this week’s note packet.

These are the Facts: Johns Hopkins enters this week’s game against Maryland with an all-time record of 921-295-15 (.754). The Blue Jays own nine NCAA titles, 29 USILA titles and six ILA titles for a total of 44 national championships.

A Win For Johns Hopkins Would …
• Give the Blue Jays 10 wins for the ninth time in 12 seasons under head coach Dave Pietramala.
• Give JHU 10 wins for the 33rd time in school hsitory.
• Improve JHU’s home winning streak to 13 games.
• Improve head coach Dave Pietramala’s overall record to 100 games over .500. He is currently 158-59.
• Be the ninth for JHU in 12 games against Maryland since Dave Pietramala took over in 2001.
• Improve JHU’s record to 56-4 against teams from the state of Maryland since Dave Pietramala took over in 2001.
• Improve Johns Hopkins’ reocrd to 50-8 in games played in April under Dave Pietramala.

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 158-59 (.728), including a 135-42 (.763) 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 Start: Although Johns Hopkins had its eight-game season-opening winning streak snapped with the loss to North Carolina on April 1, good things could be in store for the Blue Jays down the road. Since 1977 the Blue Jays have opened a season with eight straight wins seven times (including this season). JHU has won the national championship three times in the previous six years, made two other trips to the title game and advanced to the NCAA semifinals the other year.

April Reign: Flipping the calendar to April has usually been a good sign for the Blue Jays, who are 49-8 (.860) under head coach Dave Pietramala in games played in April. JHU is 28-3 at home, 19-3 on the road and 2-2 on a neutral field in April under Pietramala’s guidance.

Marching Orders: Johns Hopkins closed out the March portion of its 2012 schedule at Virginia on March 24. The Blue Jays posted their first perfect record in the month of March (5-0) since 2005, when they also 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 (not including this season). 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 17-2 in its last 19 games, 22-4 since the start of the 2011 season and 24-6 in its last 30 games.

Streaking – Part 2: Johns Hopkins is 110-30 (.786) in its last 140 regular season games dating back to the end of the 2001 season and 127-38 (.770) 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 12 games with the 17-6 win over Albany on April 1. 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. Hopkins sports a gaudy 79-12 (.869) 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 12-game home winning streak is the fourth home streak of seven wins or more since he arrived.

More Home Cookin’: In addition to boasting the second-longest home winning streak of the Dave Pietramala era, Johns Hopkins’ current 12-game winning streak at Homewood Field is also the second longest active home winning streak in the nation. Only Cornell, which has won 14 straight at Schoellkopf Field, has a longer current streak in the home whites than Johns Hopkins. Johns Hopkins’ win at Virginia on March 24 snapped UVA’s 14-game home winning streak, which had stood as the longest in the nation.

Striking the First Blow: Johns Hopkins scored on its first shot of the game seven times in 2011 and has already turned the trick four times this season. JHU has scored on its first shot of the game four times and its second shot of the game four times as well this season. Johns Hopkins has failed to score on one of its first two shots twice this season – against Manhattan and Virginia. In both of those games, the Blue Jays scored on their fourth shot.

Balancing Act: Johns Hopkins has employed virtually the same first and second midfield units throughout the first 10 games and those units have proven to be steady in terms of production. JHU’s first unit of Rob Guida (12), John Ranagan (12) and John Greeley (7) has combined for 31 goals, while the second unit of Lee Coppersmith (11), Mark Goodrich (6) and Greg Edmonds (2) has 19 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 16 assists. Edmonds’ assist against North Carolina was the first assist of the season from the trio on the second midfield, which now has two assists to its credit.

Attack Oriented: Despite being forced to start five different players in three different combinations, the starting attack units the Blue Jays have trotted out have been effective and efficient. The unit has combined for 51 goals and 36 assists (8.7 points per game) through 10 games.

On the Flip Side: While the Blue Jay attack is collectively averaging more than eight points per game, the Blue Jay defense has not been nearly as giving. In fact, the starting attack units Johns Hopkins has faced this season have totaled just 32 goals and 20 assists (5.2 points per game).

Bassett Now 22-4 in Last 26 Starts: Junior goalie Pierce Bassett picked up his 25th career victory in goal with the 17-6 win vs. Albany as he posted 11 saves in just over 55 minutes of action. Including the win over the Great Danes he is 22-4 in his last 26 starts dating back to the start of the 2011 season and counts a 25-8 career record to his credit. Through 10 games Bassett currently ranks fourth in the nation in goals against average (6.69) and 10th in save percentage (.578). 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. Bassett’s 7.07 goals against average is the second best by a JHU goalie since 1993 (Jesse Schwartman’s 6.68 GAA in 2005 is the best since records became available in ‘93).

Boland Returns: Senior attackman Chris Boland returned to the lineup against North Carolina after missing seven consecutive games with an injury he suffered 35 minutes into the season opener against Towson. Boland scored twice and dished out a pair of assists against the Tar Heels and came back with a three-goal, two-assist showing against Albany to push his season totals to nine goals and four assists in just three games. Boland’s three-goal, two-assist showing vs. Albany pushed his career totals to 75 goals and 42 assists for 117 points. It was also his 10th career hat trick, 27th career multi-point game and 18th game with four points or more.

Stanwick in Rare Company: Freshman Wells Stanwick ran his streak of consecutive multi-point games to seven with one goal and two assists in the win over Albany. His run of seven straight multi-point games to open his career is the longest by a Johns Hopkins player (freshmen only – not transfers) since all-time leading scorer Terry Riordan opened his career with 18 consecutive multi-point games from 1992-93. Stanwick has six goals and 13 assists for 19 points in seven games played. He missed three games early in the season with an injury, but is still tied for third on the team in scoring and ranks second in assists.

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 was 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.

Poll Position: The Blue Jays check in at number three 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 392 weekly polls since the inception of the poll in 1973. Amazingly, JHU has been ranked in the top 20 in 390 of those 392 polls. The Blue Jays have been in the top 10 in 369 of the 392 and the top five in 295 of those 392. Johns Hopkins has been ranked number one 104 times since the poll debuted in 1973.

State Rivalries: Without question the Blue Jays play one of the most difficult schedules in the nation and a big part of the schedule are the in-state rivalries the Blue Jays have. Including wins this season vs. Towson and UMBC, JHU is 55-4 (.932) against teams from Maryland under head coach Dave Pietramala.

Offensive Notes of Interest: Below are several notes of interest about the JHU offense:
• JHU has scored at least one goal in 38 of 40 quarters this season and two or more in 33 of the 40 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 16th in the nation in scoring offense (11.00), 10th in extra-man offense (.472) and sixth in scoring margin (+4.40).

Defensive Notes of Interest: Below are several notes of interest about the JHU defense:
• Hopkins is surrending an average of just 29.6 shots per game.
• JHU has held the opposition scoreless in 13 of 40 quarters this season (32.5%).
• The Blue Jays rank fourth in the nation in scoring defense (6.60), 20th in man-down defense (.697) and sixth in scoring margin (+4.40) this season.
• Johns Hopkins has held each of its 10 opponents scoreless for a stretch of at least 14:52 and nine of the 10 have gone scoreless for 19:30 or longer.

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 on March 6. 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 921 all-time wins.

That’s 625 Games Over .500: The Blue Jays’ all-time record is now 921-295-15 (.754) … that’s 626 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 six games over .500.