The Game: Unseeded Johns Hopkins (11-4) makes the short drive up Route 95 to Newark, Delaware to take on top-seeded Duke (14-3) in the NCAA Quarterfinals. Game time from Delaware Stadium on the campus of the University of Delaware is set for noon on Sunday, May 18.
A Look Back: Johns Hopkins advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals for the 40th time in school history with a 14-8 victory at eighth-seeded Virginia last Sunday. High-powered Duke jumped all over visiting Air Force and cruised to a 20-9 victory to secure its spot in the NCAA Quarterfinals for the eighth straight year.
Series History: Johns Hopkins and Duke are meeting for the 18th time in a series that dates to a 22-0 Blue Jay victory in 1942. Johns Hopkins leads the all-time series 12-5. A complete series history can be found on page 14.
Hitting 100: Last week’s game at Virginia was the 100th NCAA Tournament game in Johns Hopkins men’s lacrosse history. The Blue Jays improved to 68-32 all-time in the NCAAs with the win against the Cavaliers.
These are the Facts: Johns Hopkins enters this week’s game against Duke with an all-time record of 944-307-15 (.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 was ranked eighth in final regular season USILA Coaches Poll and seventh in the Warrior/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll. Duke finished the regular season ranked third in both polls.
Pietramala Ties Bob Scott: Dave Pietramala picked up his 158th victory as the head coach at Johns Hopkins with the 14-8 victory at Virginia in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
The 158 victories matches Bob Scott’s record for most wins by a Johns Hopkins lacrosse coach. Scott won 158 from 1955-74 and guided JHU to seven national championships, including the program’s first NCAA title in 1974. That 17-12 win over Maryland in the 1974 title game was the final game of Scott’s coaching career.
All-Time vs. Top Seed: This week’s game against top-seeded Duke will be Johns Hopkins’ 15th against the number one seed since the inception of the NCAA Tournament in 1971. Johns Hopkins is 6-8 in its prevous 14 games against the number one seed, including 2-1 under Pietramala and 2-0 vs. Duke (2007, 2008).
At Delaware Stadium in the NCAAs: Johns Hopkins has played two previous NCAA Tournament games at Delaware Stadium. The Blue Jays topped Syracuse, 13-10, in the 1984 national championship game and fell to North Carolina, 10-9, in overtime in the 1986 NCAA Semifinals. Dave Pietramala was a freshman on that 1986 team.
Last Time at Delaware Stadium: Dave Pietramala has coached one previous game at Delaware Stadium as Johns Hopkins defeated Delaware, 18-5, on February 22, 2011.
Calling For Better Weather: The game-time temperature for Johns Hopkins’ last trip to Delaware Stadium on February 22, 2011 was 32 degrees and blustery. A quick-hitting snow storm dropped approximately four inches of snow on the Maryland-Delaware area from February 21-22 in 2011. The forcast for this Sunday calls for a temperature approximately 40 degrees warmer (71 and mostly sunny as of press time).
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), Holden Cattoni(M), Connor Reed (M) and Ryan Brown (A). Brown did start four games at midfield last season, but made 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.
An Offensive Group: Johns Hopkins enters this week’s game against Duke averaging 12.13 goals per game and the Blue Jays have scored at least 10 goals in all but two games this season. Entering the game against the Blue Devils, JHU ranks 10th in the nation in scoring offense, eighth in assists per game (7.40) and ninth in points per game (19.53).
Sharing the Ball: An effective part of the Blue Jay offense this season has been the ability to move the ball and that has shown up in the percentage of the team’s goals that have been assisted thus far. Through 15 games, 111 of JHU’s 182 goals have been assisted, or 61.0%. Only three times since 2003 has Johns Hopkins finished a season with more than 60% of its goals being assisted. The 2003 team assisted on 67.4% of its goals, while the 2004 (64.3%) and 2009 (62.4%) teams also eclipsed the 60% mark.
Extra, Extra: Johns Hopkins did not convert on either of its extra-man opportunities against Virginia and is now 27-of-52 (.519) for the year. The Blue Jays rank fourth in the nation in extra-man offense heading into the Duke game. Brandon Benn (7 EMO goals), Ryan Brown (7), Holden Cattoni (6) and Wells Stanwick (5) have combined to score 25 of JHU’s 27 EMO goals this season.
The 27 extra-man goals for the Blue Jays this season match last season’s total (also in 14 games), although the 27 this season have come in 14 fewer chances. The last time Johns Hopkins scored more than 27 extra-man goals was in 2004, when JHU scored 32 in 15 games. The highest extra-man percentage for Johns Hopkins under head coach Dave Pietramala was .471 in 2003 (40-of-85).
Kennedy, Faceoff Unit Shine: Behind the efforts of junior Drew Kennedy, Johns Hopkins ranks 14th in the nation in faceoff winning percentage entering this week’s game against Duke. On the year, the Blue Jays have won 208-of-360 (.578) as a team.
For his part, Kennedy has been a workhorse as he is 181-of-303 (.697) through 15 games and also has a team-high 130 ground balls thus far. He ranks among the national leaders in faceoff winning percentage (13th) and ground balls per game (9th / 8.56). Kennedy’s 181 faceoff wins are the fourth-highest single-season total in school history, whlie his 303 attempts are tied for third. In addition, his 130 ground balls rank sixth and are the most by a Johns Hopkins player since Eric Wedin had 131 in 2000.
Holding Them Down: The Blue Jays have held the opposition scoreless for long stretches at key points this season. The 15 teams Johns Hopkins has played thus far have 22 scoreless droughts of 11 minutes or longer and 15 of 15 minutes or longer. In last week’s win at Virginia in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, the Blue Jays held the Cavaliers scoreless for stretches of 18:17 in the first half and 20:29 to close the game.
More Holding: Johns Hopkins has held each of its 15 opponents under its season scoring average thus far. The Blue Jays held Albany to just eight goals (just over half of what the Great Danes entered the game averaging) and Maryland to just six goals (less than half the Terps’ average entering the game). In all, JHU has held 11 of its 15 opponents to nine goals or less.
Schneider Anchoring Defense: Including the win last week at Virginia, senior goalie Eric Schneider has gotten hot as the weather has gotten better. In the last seven games, Schneider has played 405 of the team’s 420 minutes and boasts a 7.11 GAA and a .613 save percentage over that time.
With his recent performances, which include a 17-save performance at Navy and a 12-save effort last week at Virginia, Schneider now has an 8.15 GAA and .568 save percentage on the year. He ranks sixth in the nation in GAA and ninth in save percentage.
Attack Driven: Johns Hopkins’ starting attack unit of senior Brandon Benn, junior Wells Stanwick and sophomore Ryan Brown is being counted on to lead the way offensively for the Blue Jays this season and the trio has been up to the task thus far. They have combined for at least three goals and seven points in all 15 games this season, with 11 goals against UMBC, 10 against Virginia in the first round of the NCAA Tournament and nine goals against both Towson and Princeton. The trio has a pair of 16-point games to its credit (Towosn, UMBC) and a 14-point effort as well (Princeton). The three started the first 10 games together before Brown sat out the game at Mount St. Mary’s.
Welcome to the Club: Senior Brandon Benn became the 17th player in school history to reach the 100-goal mark with his four-goal effort at Navy. Benn is now ranked ninth on JHU’s career goal-scoring list with 108.
Another Welcome: Brandon Benn’s four goals against Navy pushed his total for the season past 30 goals (he now has 39). This marks the third consecutive season he has scored 30+ goals, making him the first Johns Hopkins player since Terry Riordan (1992-95) to score 30 or more goals in three straight seasons. Riordan scored more than 30 goals in each of his four seasons (only player in school history to do that).
50-50: Junior Wells Stanwick (63 points) and sophomore Ryan Brown (52) are the first Johns Hopkins teammates to top 50 points in the same season since Kyle Barrie(57) and Bobby Benson (53) turned the trick in 2003.
35-35: Sophomore Ryan Brown (39 goals) and senior Brandon Benn (39) are the first Johns Hopkins teammates to top 35 goals in the same season since Bobby Benson(41) and Kyle Barrie (37) in 2003.
Just in Case: Should Ryan Brown and Brandon Benn both score at least one goal agianst Duke, they would become just the third set of Johns Hopkins teammates to reach the 40-goal mark in the same season. Below is a look the two previous instances when JHU produced a pair of 40-goal scorers in the same season:
1995 – Terry Riordan (52) & Brian Piccola (41)
1974 – Franz Wittelsberger (45) & Jack Thomas (42)
In Overtime: With the 11-10 loss at Virginia earlier this season, Johns Hopkins is now 20-11 all-time in overtime under head coach Dave Pietramala; this includes the 10-9 triple overtime victory against Ohio State in the season opener. The Blue Jays have won four of their last six overtime games dating back to late in the 2011 season.
Poll Position: The Blue Jays were ranked eighth in the final regular season USILA Coaches Poll of the 2014 season. 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.