The Game: Top-ranked Johns Hopkins (8-0) heads to New Jersey for the second time this season as the Blue Jays travel to Met Life Stadium to take on 11th-ranked North Carolina (7-3) in the third game of the Konica Minolta Big City Classic.
Last Time Out: Johns Hopkins improved to 8-0 with an 11-10 overtime victory at then top-ranked Virginia. North Carolina made it two straight in the win column with an 11-10 victory at home against Maryland last Saturday.
Series History: Johns Hopkins and North Carolina are meeting for the 41st time in a series that dates to a 16-9 Johns Hopkins victory in the 1977 NCAA Quarterfinals. The Blue Jays lead the all-time series 24-16 and grabbed a 10-9 win over the Tar Heels in the Big City Classic last season. 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 North Carolina with an all-time record of 920-294-15 (.755). The Blue Jays own nine NCAA titles, 29 USILA titles and six ILA titles for a total of 44 national championships.
Game Number 175: Last week’s game at Virginia was the 175th for Dave Pietramala as the head coach at Johns Hopkins. He sports a 134-41 (.766) 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 157-58 (.730), including a 134-41 (.766) 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 8-0 Start: Johns Hopkins is 8-0 for the first time since 2005 and just the second time under head coach Dave Pietramala. Prior to opening at 8-0 in 2005, JHU hadn’t opened a season with eight straight wins since 1995. Since 1977 the Blue Jays have opened a season with eightstraight 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: UNC Assistant Coach Brian Holman played lacrosse at JHU from 1980-83 and was a member of the 1980 NCAA Championship team … he was JHU’s starting goalie for his final three seasons and helped Hopkins to three straight national runner-up finishes • UNC junior attackman Davey Emala is the son of Dave Emala, who played football and baseball at JHU and is a member of Hopkins’ Athletic Hall of Fame • UNC sophomore midfielder William Scroggs’ father, Willie, played lacrosse and football at JHU and served as an assistant coach for both sports prior to become the Tar Heels’ men’s lacrosse coach … Willie Scroggs was a member of three (1967 1968, 1969) USILA Championship teams at Johns Hopkins.
Marching Orders: Johns Hopkins closed out the March portion of its 2012 schedule last weekend at Virginia. 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.
April Reign: Flipping the calendar to April has usually been a good sign for the Blue Jays, who are 48-7 (.873) under head coach Dave Pietramala in games played in April. JHU is 27-3 at home, 19-3 on the road and 2-1 on a neutral field in April under Pietramala’s guidance.
Streaking – Part 1: In case you didn’t notice, Johns Hopkins is 16-1 in its last 17 games, 21-3 since the start of the 2011 season and 23-5 in its last 28 games.
Streaking – Part 2: Johns Hopkins is 109-29 (.790) in its last 138 regular season games dating back to the end of the 2001 season and 126-37 (.773) 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. Hopkins 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 to 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 second longest active home winning streak in the nation. Only Cornell, which has won 12 straight at Schoellkopf Field, has a longer current streak in the home whites than Johns Hopkins. Johns Hopkins’ win at Virginia last Saturday snapped UVA’s 14-game home winning streak, which had stood as the longest in the nation.
Fifteen Straight: Johns Hopkins ran its regular season winning streak to 15 games with the 11-10 overtime win at Virginia. 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.
Fifteen Straight – Historically: Not only is the current 15-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).
Striking the First Blow: Johns Hopkins scored on its first shot of the game seven times in 2011 and has already turned the trick three times this season. JHU has scored on its first shot of the game three times and its second shot of the game three times already 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 eight games and those units have proven to be steady in terms of production. JHU’s first unit of Rob Guida (9), John Ranagan (8) and John Greeley (6) has combined for 23 goals, while the second unit of Lee Coppersmith(9), Mark Goodrich (5) and Greg Edmonds (1) has 15 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 15 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 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.
Bassett Now 21-3 in Last 24 Starts: Sophomore goalie Pierce Bassett picked up his 24th career victory in goal with the 11-10 win at Virginia as he posted nine saves to improve to 24-7 in his 31 career starts. He is 21-3 in his last 24 starts dating back to the start of the 2011 season.
Through eight games Bassett currently ranks third in the nation in goals against average (6.03) and eighth in save percentage (.584).
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 (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 seven games since as he ranks ninth in the nation in FO win percentage (.621 • 72-of-116). He won 15-of-18 against Siena, 11-of-21 at Princeton, 10-of-12 vs. Manhattan and 12-of-18 against Syracuse. Kennedy was also solid in the win at #1 Virginia as he won 8-of-14 with four GBs and is now 19-of-34 (.559) on the year. As a team, JHU is 91-of-159 (.572) on faceoffs this season and ranks 12th in the nation in FO winning percentage.
Poll Position: The Blue Jays check in at number one 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 390 weekly polls since the inception of the poll in 1973. Amazingly, JHU has been ranked in the top 20 in 388 of those 390 polls. The Blue Jays have been in the top 10 in 367 of the 390 and the top five in 293 of those 390. This week’s number one ranking is the 104th for JHU 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 31 of 32 quarters this season and two or more in 26 of the 32 quarters.
• For all the talk about JHU being a slow down team, the Blue Jays are averaging 36.4 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 (10.5), 16th in extra-man offense (.429) and fifth in scoring margin (+4.63).
Defensive Notes of Interest: Below are several notes of interest about the JHU defense:
• Hopkins held Towson to just 18 shots and Manhattan to just 14. Hopkins is surrending an average of just 27.5 shots per game.
• Johns Hopkins has held each of its eight opponents scoreless for a stretch of at least 14:52 – seven of the eight have gone scoreless for 19:30 or longer.
• JHU has held the opposition scoreless in 11 of 32 quarters this season (34.4%).
• The Blue Jays rank second in the nation in scoring defense (5.88), 10th in man-down defense (.741) and fifth in scoring margin (+4.63) 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 920 all-time wins.
That’s 625 Games Over .500: The Blue Jays’ all-time record is now 920-294-15 (.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 six games over .500.