The Game: Johns Hopkins hits the road for the first time this season as the fifth-ranked Blue Jays make the trip to New Jersey to take on 10th-ranked Princeton. Faceoff is set for noon on Saturday, March 1.
A Look Back: Johns Hopkins improved to 3-0 with a 14-5 win against Michigan last Saturday at Homewood Field.
Princeton moved to 2-0 on the year with a 14-8 victory at Manhattan on Tuesday night. The Tigers had opened the season just three days prior with a 12-10 victory at home against Hofstra.
Series History: Johns Hopkins and Princeton are meeting for the 84th time in a series that dates to a 3-2 Tiger victory in 1890. The Blue Jays lead the all-time series 55-28. The visiting team is 5-0 in the last five Johns Hopkins-Princeton games played on campus.
These are the Facts: Johns Hopkins enters this week’s game against Princeton with an all-time record of 936-303-15 (.752). The Blue Jays own nine NCAA titles, 29 USILA titles and six ILA titles for a total of 44 national championships.
Poll Position: Johns Hopkins is ranked fifth in this week’s USILA Coaches Poll and seventh in the Warrior/Inside Lacrosse Media Preseason Poll. Princeton is ranked 10th in the USILA Poll and ninth in the Media Poll.
150 in 200: Dave Pietramala picked up his 150th victory as the head coach at Johns Hopkins with last week’s 14-5 victory against Michigan. His 150th victory came in his 200th game as the head coach at Homewood. Only Bob Scott, who won 158 games as the head coach at JHU from 1955-74, has won or coached (214) more games that Pietramala at Johns Hopkins.
Back Where it Started: This week’s game at Princeton will be the 201st for Dave Pietramala as the head coach at Johns Hopkins. Princeton was also the site of his first game as the Blue Jays’ head coach as JHU fell to then second-ranked Princeton, 8-4, on March 3, 2001.
New Blue: The Johns Hopkins lineup features six new starters after a large senior class departed Homewood last spring. The six are spread throughout the lineup and include Eric Schneider (G), Rob Enright (D), John Kelly (D), Bronson Kelly(M), Connor Reed (M) and Ryan Brown (A). Brown did start four games at midfield last season, but makes the move to his natural attack position this season, and Enright had five career starts through his first two seasons.
New Blue II: In addition to the six new starters in the lineup, the overall Blue Jay roster is also vastly different than a year ago. Gone are 11 seniors who exhausted their eligibility and in their place are 17 freshmen.
Youth Will be Served: Johns Hopkins is fielding one of the youngest rosters in the nation this season as 17 of the team’s 49 players are freshmen and 29 are either freshmen or sophomores. Only nine of the 49 are seniors and two of those nine – Eric Schneider and Phil Castronova – have an extra year of eligibility and are planning to return for the 2015 season.
For Starters: Entering the 2014 season, the entire 49-man Johns Hopkins roster counted a total of 132 combined career starts to its credit. Of those 132, Rob Guida (38), Jack Reilly (30), Brandon Benn (29) and Wells Stanwick (17) accounted 114, or 86.7%. No other returning player had started more than five games for the Blue Jays. By contrast, last year’s 11-man senior class graduated with a combined 321 starts with six of those 11 players earning 45 or more starts during their careers.
Class Rank: The Blue Jays have gotten balanced production from each of their four classes through three games. Each class has registered at least eight points thus far, with the junior (21 points) and sophomore (19 points) classes leading the way. All four classes have produced at least seven goals through three games.
What it Means in 2014: Despite the loss of the large senior class from last season, the Blue Jays return 67.7% of their goals (109-of-161), 45.7% of their assists (42-of-92) and 59.7% of their points (151-of-253) from last season.
Must be the Speech: There must be something about the speech that head coach Dave Pietramala gives at halftime that is sparking the Blue Jays. Johns Hopkins was tied with Ohio State at the half (2-2) and led Towson by one (6-5), but the Blue Jays outscored the Buckeyes 6-3 in the third quarter and took that up a notch against the Tigers by outscoring TU 7-1 to put the game away. For the year, Johns Hopkins holds a 17-6 scoring margin in the third quarter. In the first, second and four quarters, JHU is a combined +5 in scoring margin (21-16).
Kennedy Shines: Junior Drew Kennedy has gotten off to a quick start at the X for the Blue Jays as he is 40-of-59 (.678) through three games and also has a team-high 27 ground balls thus far. He ranks seventh in the nation in faceoff winning percentage and fourth in ground balls per game (9.0).
Despite missing most of the preseason, Kennedy suited up and fueled Johns Hopkins’ win against Ohio State with a dominating performance as he was 18-of-22 (.818) and grabbed 13 ground balls in the victory. The 18 faceoff wins and 13 GBs are all career highs. In addition, Kennedy’s 18 faceoff wins are the most by a Johns Hopkins player since Mike Poppleton was 20 (of 26) against Stony Brook in the first round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament.
He came back and won 16-of-23 with 10 ground balls against Towson. After winning just 1-of-6 in the first quarter, he was 15-of-17 over the final three quarters against the Tigers.
Crawley Quick Out of the Gate: Freshman John Crawley scored a key goal in the season opener against Ohio State before exploding for four goals on five shots against Towson. He added one goal against Michigan and now ranked third on the team – and first among midfielders – with six goals on the year. Crawley is the first Johns Hopkins freshman midfielder to score four goals in a game since Paul Rabil scored four times in a 12-11 come-from-behind win at Syracuse on March 18, 2005.
Second-Longest Game in School History: The triple overtime game against Ohio State in the season-openerranks as the second-longest game in the history of the Johns Hopkins men’s lacrosse program. The longest game in school history was a four-overtime game against Virginia on March 24, 2001.
In Overtime: Johns Hopkins improved to 20-10 all-time in overtime under head coach Dave Pietramala with the 10-9 triple overtime victory against Ohio State. The Blue Jays have now won four of their last five overtime games dating back to late in the 2011 season.
Poll Position: The Blue Jays are ranked fifth in this week’s USILA Preseason Coaches Poll. 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.