The Game: Johns Hopkins plays its only midweek game of the 2013 season as the Blue Jays (3-1) welcome Mount St. Mary’s (2-3) to Homewood Field for the fifth all-time meeting between the two teams.
A Look Back: Johns Hopkins suffered its first loss of the 2013 season last Friday night at home as 12th-ranked Princeton left Homewood with an 11-8 win to its credit. Mount St. Mary’s dropped its second straight last Saturday night as the Mount fell to Towson, 13-5.
Series History: Johns Hopkins and Mount St. Mary’s are meeting for the fifth time in a series that dates to a 19-6 Johns Hopkins win in 2006. The Blue Jays have won all four meetings, including a 12-5 victory in the most recent matchup in 2009.
These are the Facts: Johns Hopkins enters this week’s game against Mount St. Mary’s with an all-time record of 927-299-15 (.753). The Blue Jays own nine NCAA titles, 29 USILA titles and six ILA titles for a total of 44 national championships.
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 the win earlier this season against Towson, JHU is 57-7 (.891) against teams from Maryland under head coach Dave Pietramala. Below is a breakdown of JHU’s record against teams from the state of Maryland under Pietramala.
Mount St. Mary’s (4-0)
That’s 101 Games Over .500: Johns Hopkins head coach Dave Pietramala picked up his 164th career win with the recent win over Michigan and he now stands at 164-63 overall. Included in that mark is a 141-46 record at JHU and a 23-17 record in three seasons as the head coach at Cornell.
Pietramala 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.
Quick Starts: Johns Hopkins has been especially strong in the first and third quarter of its four games this season. The Blue Jays have outscored the opposition 18-5 in the first quarter and 14-6 in the third. By contrast, JHU holds a slim scoring margin in the fourth quarter (11-10) and has been outscored 9-8 in the second quarter.
Balancing Act: Johns Hopkins counts seven players with four or more goals and nine players with four or more points through four games. In all, 13 different players have found the back of the net for JHU and 17 players have at least one point.
Among the Leaders: The NCAA issued its second national statistical report this week and Johns Hopkins is well represented among the national leaders. JHU ranks in the top 15 in the nation in eight different team categories and eight individual categories.
Below is a look at JHU’s top-15 statistical national rankings
Faceoff Win Percentage (1st • .734)
Assists Per/Game (4th • 8.5)
Scoring Margin (5th • +5.25)
Points Per/Game (7th • 21.5)
Scoring Offense (8th • 13.0)
Scoring Defense (11th • 7.75)
Winning Percentage (12th • .750)
Extra-Man Offense (12th • .471)
Poppleton Strong at the X: Senior Mike Poppleton enjoyed one of the great individual games by a Johns Hopkins faceoff specialist in the recent win over Michigan.
Poppleton won all 14 faceoffs he took in the first half and finished with a 17-of-18 (.944) showing to go along with 12 ground balls. The 17 wins are the second-highest total of his career.
Including a 15-of-22 showing against Princeton, Poppleton has won 55-of-72 (.764) faceoffs through four games and has a team-high 31 ground balls to his credit. He currently first the nation in faceoff winning percentage and 10th in ground balls per game (7.75).
Benn Notches Fourth Straight Hat Trick: Junior Brandon Benn scored a game-high four goals against Princeton to run his season totals to 14 goals and one assist for 15 points. He leads the team in goals and points through four games.
Benn has notched at least three goals in all four games this season and ranks fifth in the nation in goals per game (3.5). He is the first Johns Hopkins player to record four straight hat tricks since 2004, when Conor Fordhad five in a row late in the season.
What Brown Does For Us: Freshman Ryan Brown has stepped in and made an immediate impact for the Blue Jays. Brown has four goals and two assists through four games and leads the team with three extra-man goals. He scored two goals and added an assist in the win last week against Michigan and scored in the first three games before being shutout against Princeton.
Sanders Breaks Through: Junior midfielder Rex Sanders entered the 2013 season with one career goal to his credit. He has already surpassed that total as he has scored five goals through four games. Sanders is tied for second on the team in goals (5) and ranks seventh in points (5).
Bassett Solid Through Four: Senior Pierce Bassett hails from Arizona, but the chill of the early season in Baltimore hasn’t slowed him as he currently boasts a .594 save percentage and a 7.61 goals against average. He ranks 12th in the nation in goals against average and 10th in save percentage. He enters this week just four saves shy of 400 for his career. Only nine Johns Hopkins goalies in school history have amassed 400 or more saves.
Durkin Fuels Defense: Johns Hopkins head coach Dave Pietramala has the luxury of returning the nation’s top defensive player in senior co-captain Tucker Durkin, who has picked up right where he left off a year ago.
Durkin currently ranks third on the team in ground balls (11) and leads the team with eight caused turnovers. Durkin counts more than one-third of JHU’s total caused turnovers (22) to his credit and is the anchor of a Johns Hopkins defense that ranks 11th nationally in scoring defense (7.75).
Scoring Droughts Abound: Despite the new rules in place this season that aim to quicken the pace (and thus increasing scoring), the Johns Hopkins defense has been able to hold the opposition scoreless for long stretches.
Siena, Towson and Michigan each drew blanks of at least 15 minutes and all three had two droughts that lasted at least 13 minutes. Princeton was more productive in its win against JHU, but did have one scoring drought that covered more than 11 minutes.
Opponent Scoring Droughts in 2013
Siena (14:43 • 17:03)
Towson (16:40 • 26:59)
Michigan (15:22 • 13:03)
I’m Honored: The Blue Jays return four players who earned All-America honors last season in seniors Tucker Durkin, Pierce Bassett and John Ranagan and junior Rob Guida. Durkin earned First Team All-America honors on defense, while Ranagan and Guida grabbed second team honors at midfield. Bassett earned honorable mention honors in goal and he, Durkin and Ranagan are two-time All-America selections for the Blue Jays.
Odd, But True: Years ending in “3” have been kind, and unkind, to the Blue Jays. Since the formation of the NCAA Tournament in 1971, Johns Hopkins has advanced to the NCAA Championship game three times (1973, 1983, 2003) and the NCAA Semifinals once (1993) in the years ending in three. JHU fell in each of those three title games with the three loses coming by a total of four goals. In each of those instances the Blue Jays subsequently won a national championship within two years.
Did You Know That …
… Pierce Bassett ranks 10th in school history with 396 saves and sports a 28-8 record in his last 36 starts?
… Brandon Benn has scored at least one goal in 19 of 20 games since the start of the 2012 season and has 12 multi-goal games to his credit during that time? In addition, his four straight hat tricks are the most consecutive by a JHU player since 2004, when Conor Ford had five in a row.
… Tucker Durkin became the first JHU junior to win the William C. Schmeisser Award as the nation’s top defenseman since Dave Pietramala in 1988.
… Zach Palmer totaled 27 goals and 26 assists last season to become just the eighth JHU player since 1980 with 25 goals and assists in the same season.
… Rex Sanders scored twice in the win over Siena, once against Towson and twice more against Michigan. Prior to this, Sanders had scored one goal in six career games played.
Representing the Stars and Stripes – Part I: Johns Hopkins head coach Dave Pietramala will serve as an assistant coach for the United States at at the 2014 Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) World Championships in Denver Colorado. Pietramala will serve under Richie Meade, the head coach at Navy from 1995-2011.
Representing the Stars and Stripes – Part II: Johns Hopkins sophomore defender Rob Enright was a member of the United States Team that won the 2012 FIL U-19 World Championship in Turku, Finland. Enright is the 17th Johns Hopkins player to represent the United States at the U-19 Championships since the formation of the event in 1988.
Working Overtime: The Blue Jays have won their last three overtime games dating back to the 2011 season and are 19-9 all-time in overtime under head coach Dave Pietramala.
Streaking: In case you didn’t notice, Johns Hopkins is 23-6 in its last 29 games and 28-8 since the start of the 2011 season.
Poll Position: The Blue Jays are ranked sixth in this week’s USILA Coaches Poll and sixth in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll as well. 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 400 weekly polls since the inception of the poll in 1973. Amazingly, JHU has been ranked in the top 20 in 398 of those 400 polls. The Blue Jays have been in the top 10 in 377 of the 400 and the top five in 298 of those 400. Johns Hopkins has been ranked number one 104 times since the poll debuted in 1973.
Palmer in Rare Company: Senior attackman Zach Palmer led Johns Hopkins in scoring with 27 goals and 26 assists for 53 points last season. With that effort, Palmer became the first player at Johns Hopkins with 25 goals and 25 assists in the same season since 2007, when Paul Rabil totaled 27 goals and 26 assists. The 25-25 feat is rare at Johns Hopkins as Palmer is just the eighth Blue Jay to reach this mark since 1980 (the eight have turned the trick a combined 13 times). Palmer Among Career Active Assists Leaders: Senior attackman Zach Palmer notched two assists against Princeton to run his career assist total to 65. He is currently tied for eighth among all active Division I players in career assists.