Hopkins faces critical test Saturday against Loyola

April 26, 2013 | WNST Staff

Television:  ESPNU

The Game: Johns Hopkins (8-4) welcomes Charles Street rival Loyola (10-3) to Homewood Field for a key late-season game. JHU is ranked 11th in this week’s USILA Poll, while Loyola carries a number seven national ranking into the game.

A Look Back: Johns Hopkins will carry a two-game winning streak into this week’s game against Loyola as the Blue Jays followed their win two weeks ago at top-ranked Maryland with a 15-4 win over Navy last Saturday. Seventh-ranked Loyola made the long return trip from Hobart an enjoyable one as the ‘Hounds raced past the Statesmen, 19-11.

Series History: This week’s game will be the 51st in a series that dates to a 20-1 Johns Hopkins win in 1939. The Blue Jays lead the series 47-3 and have won 13 straight against the Greyhounds.

Senior Day: The 11 seniors on the 2013 Johns Hopkins men’s lacrosse team will play their final regular season home game at Homewood Field this week. The 11 have helped the Blue Jays to a 40-19 record, three trips to the NCAA Tournament and two appearances in the NCAA Quarterfinals during their time at Homewood. There will be a ceremony recognizing the 11 before the game.

Program Ties: Johns Hopkins associate head coach Bill Dwan is the older brother of Loyola assistant coach Matt Dwan.

These are the Facts: Johns Hopkins enters this week’s game against Loyola with an all-time record of 932-302-15 (.752). The Blue Jays own nine NCAA titles, 29 USILA titles and six ILA titles for a total of 44 national championships.

1,250 and Counting: This week’s game against Loyola will be the 1,250th in the history of the Johns Hopkins men’s lacrosse program.

That’s 103 Games Over .500: Johns Hopkins head coach Dave Pietramala picked up his 169th career win with Johns Hopkins’ victory over Navy last week and he now stands at 169-66 overall. Included in that mark is a 146-49 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.

April Reign: Flipping the calendar to April has usually been a good sign for the Blue Jays, who are 52-11 (.825) under head coach Dave Pietramala in games played in April. JHU is 29-5 at home, 21-4 on the road and 2-2 on a neutral field in April under Pietramala’s guidance.

Must be the Speech: There must be something to what Johns Hopkins head coach Dave Pietramala says in the locker room that sparks the Blue Jays as Johns Hopkins holds decided scoring advantages in the first and third quarters through 12 games. JHU has outscored the opposition 43-23 in the first quarter and 40-24 in the third.
The Blue Jays also hold a 28-20 scoring margin in the second quarter and a 37-29 advantage in the fourth quarter.

Attack Oriented: The Johns Hopkins starting attack trio of John Kaestner, Brandon Benn and Wells Stanwickfueled last week’s 15-4 win vs. Navy as they combined for nine goals and eight assists.
Kaestner totaled career highs of three goals, three assists and six points, while Benn tied his career high with five goals on the day. Stanwick scored once and matched his personal best with five assists.

Balancing Act: Johns Hopkins counts nine players with six or more goals and nine players with 12 or more points through 12 games. In all, 18 different players have found the back of the net for JHU and 22 players have at least one point.

It’s Been a While – Part I: Johns Hopkins held Navy to just four goals – and none in the final 28 minutes – in last week’s 15-4 victory. This defensive effort came seven days after JHU held Maryland to four goals in a 7-4 win. This marks the first time the Blue Jays have held back-to-back opponents to four goals or less since 2008, when JHU held Hofstra (10-4) and Navy (10-4) to four goals in victories in the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament.

It’s Been a While – Part II: More than six years had passed since Johns Hopkins last won a game when scoring seven goals or less. Prior to the 7-4 win at Maryland, the Blue Jays’ last win when scoring seven or less came on March 3, 2007, when JHU topped Princeton, 7-6, in double overtime in the Face-Off Classic at M&T Bank Stadium. Ironically, the win against Princeton that day came one week after a one-goal loss to Albany; as did this year’s win at Maryland.

The Key to Victory – Part I: Johns Hopkins is 7-1 on the year when scoring in double figures. The Blue Jays are 1-3 when scoring fewer than 10 goals. JHU scored its first win of the season when scoring less than 10 goals with the 7-4 win at Maryland.

The Key to Victory – Part II: Johns Hopkins improved to 8-0 on the year when holding the opposition to less than 10 goals with the win against Navy. On the flip side, JHU is 0-4 when allowing 10 goals or more.

EMO Among Nation’s Best: The Blue Jay extra-man offense is 25-of-56 (.446) on the year and currently ranks eighth in the nation in man-up offense.
Seven different players have scored at least one extra man goal for the Blue Jays with freshman Ryan Brown(8), junior Brandon Benn (6) and sophomore Wells Stanwick (4) leading the way. Brown’s eight extra man goals are already the most by a Johns Hopkins player since 2004, when Matt Rewkowski had 12 and Conor Ford had eight.

Welcome Back: Junior midfielder Rob Guida returned to the lineup at Maryland after missing eight games with injury. Guida took his customary spot on Johns Hopkins’ first midfield and scored one goal with two ground balls to his credit. He added another goal and two more GBs against Navy and now has three goals, one assist and eight ground balls on the year. Two of his goals are extra-man tallies.

Kaestner Enjoys Career Day: Senior attackman John Kaestner fueled JHU’s 15-4 win against Navy with the most productive game of his career. Starting again for an injured Zach Palmer, Kaestner totaled career highs of three goals, three assists and six points to go along with three ground balls on the day.
Despite playing in just eight of JHU’s 12 games, Kaestner now ranks seventh on the team in scoring with eight goals and seven assists for 15 points. In 21 career games played before this season, he had four goals and two assists.
He also represents the third-generation of Kaestners to play at JHU as his grandfather (Benjamin “Bud” Kaestner, Jr.) and uncle (Benjamin “Hank” Kaestner, III) both played lacrosse at Johns Hopkins, are members of the All-Time Johns Hopkins Team and the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame. His uncle was a two-time recipient of the Schmeisser Award as the nation’s top defenseman (1966 & 1967), His father, John, played lacrosse at Maryland, was a three-time All-American and the 1972 recipient of the Turnbull Award, which is presented annually to the nation’s top attackman.
In addition, Kaestner’s two older sisters were also accomplished Division I lacrosse players. His oldest sister, earned All-America honors three times at Georgetown, while another sister, Christie, played at Duke and was a First Team All-America pick for the Blue Devils.

Stanwick Leads Team in Scoring: Sophomore attackman Wells Stanwick had a nine-game streak with multiple points come to an end at Maryland as he was held scoreless for the first time this season, but he bounced back in a big way in the 15-4 win over Navy with one goal and a career-high five assists for six points.
Stanwick continues to lead the team in scoring with 23 goals and 21 assists for 44 points on the year and he has far surpassed his goal (9), assist (13) and point (23) totals from last season. He currently ranks 15th in the nation in points per game (4.00), 19th in assists per game (1.91) and second in shooting percentage (.535).
Stanwick has recorded at least two points in 10 of the 11 games he has played in this season and, despite not registering a point at Maryland, still has 36 points in his last eight games (4.5/game).
Stanwick enjoyed the finest game of his career in the 19-9 win over Mount St. Mary’s earlier this season as he totaled five goals and four assists for nine points. Previously he had never had more than two goals, three assists or four points in a game. Stanwick is the first Johns Hopkins player to post nine points in a game since Kyle Barrie had five goals and four assists in a 17-3 win over Navy in 2003. He is also the first JHU player with back-to-back six-point games since Dan Denihan did it against Villanova (8), Ohio State (6) and Maryland (7) during the 2000 season.

Poppleton Rolls On: Senior Mike Poppleton continued to enjoy a standout season as he won 15-of-17 faceoffs and grabbed 10 ground balls in last week’s win over Navy. It was the 11th time in is career he has won 14 or more faceoffs in one game.
Poppleton, who ranks second in the nation in faceoff winning percentage, is now 150-of-220 (.682) on the year and leads the team with 83 ground balls. He also improved to 340-of-530 (.642) in his career with his showing last week against Navy and now ranks seventh in school history in career faceoffs won and eighth in faceoffs attempted.

Palmer Ranks Third in Scoring: Despite missing the last two games after suffering an injury in practice, senior attackman Zach Palmer is still ranked third on the team in scoring with 12 goals goal and 12 assists on the year. He posted three goals and one assist at North Carolina and added one goal against Albany before missing the games against Maryland and Navy.
Palmer now has career totals of 71 goals and 68 assists for 139 points. He enters this week’s game against Loyola needing just two assists to become the 11th player in school history to amass 70 goals and 70 assists.

Benn Leads Team in Goals: Junior Brandon Benn continues to pace the team in goals (28) and ranks second in points (29) after punching up a career-high-tying five goals in last week’s win over Navy. He has scored 58 of his 63 career goals since the start of the 2012 season and has scored at least one goal in all 11 games this season and 14 straight dating back to last season.
Benn’s 14-game goal-scoring streak is currently the ninth-longest active streak in the nation.

What Brown Does For Us: Freshman Ryan Brown has stepped in and made an immediate impact for the Blue Jays in his first year at Homewood. Brown has 14 goals and four assists through 12 games and leads the team with eight extra-man goals. He has registered at least one point in nine of 12 games this season and his eight extra-man goals are already the most by a Johns Hopkins player since 2004, when Matt Rewkowski (12) andConor Ford (8) led a potent JHU extra man unit.
Brown fired home the first hat trick of his career and added an assist for a career-high four points in the 15-8 win over Virginia and added two goals at North Carolina. He now has six multi-point and four multi-goal games to his credit this season.

Sanders Breaks Through: Junior midfielder Rex Sanders entered the 2013 season with one career goal to his credit. He has already far surpassed that total as he has scored 13 goals through 12 games. Sanders ranks fifth on the team in goals (13) and ranks ninth in points (13).

Cattoni Emerging: Freshman Holden Cattoni played in two of the Blue Jays’ first three games, but didn’t register a point in those two outings.
That changed quickly as the hard-shooting lefty punched up back-to-back two-point games against Princeton and Mount St. Mary’s. He fired home a pair of goals against the Tigers and added one goal and one assist against the Mount. He scored an extra man goal against Syracuse, added one goal and one assist vs. Virginia, one goal against Albany and an assist vs. Navy. He now has six goals and three assists for nine points on the year.

Bassett Among National Win Leaders: Senior Pierce Bassett enters this week’s game against Loyola with a 7.89 goals against average and a .591 save percentage after posting seven saves while allowing just four goals in last week’s win against Navy. He currently ranks ninth in the nation in both save percentage and goals against average.
Bassett enjoyed one of his finest games of the season against Virginia as he posted 16 saves and allowed just seven goals in 59:02. The 16 saves are tied for the second-highest total of his career and he followed that with a 15-save performance against Albany, a 12-save showing against Maryland and the seven-save effort against Navy that boosted his career total to 475 saves, good for seventh place on JHU’s career saves list. He passed Larry Quinn (462 saves • 1982-85) on the career saves list with his 12 against the Terps.
Bassett also enters this week’s game against Loyola tied for second among active Division I goalies in career wins after picking up number 35 against Navy.

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 has been on a roll of late as the two players he has primarly covered in his last two games – Albany’s Lyle Thompson and Maryland’s Kevin Cooper, combined for one assist in the two games. He held Thompson, the nation’s leading scorer at better than seven points per game, scoreless, while Cooper managed just a first-quarter assist.
Durkin currently ranks fifth on the team in ground balls (24) and leads the team with 15 caused turnovers. He is the anchor of a Johns Hopkins defense that ranks ninth nationally in scoring defense (8.08).

Lightner, Reilly Round Out Starting Defense: While senior Tucker Durkin has drawn the most headlines among JHU’s close defensemen, the Blue Jays also count talented senior Chris Lightner and junior Jack Reillyamong the key pieces to their defensive puzzle.
Lightner leads JHU’s close defensemen and ranks third on the team with 28 ground balls and also has eight caused turnovers to his credit, while Reilly has 13 ground balls and ranks second on the team with 13 caused turnovers. Lightner had five ground balls and two caused turnvoers in the recent win at Maryland.

Scoring Droughts Abound: Despite the new rules in place this season that aim to quicken the pace (and thus increase scoring), the Johns Hopkins defense has been able to hold the opposition scoreless for long stretches.
In the win at top-ranked Maryland, the Blue Jay defense was dialed in from the opening whistle and held the Terps off the scoreboard for stretches of 11:23, 22:02 and 13:13. Senior goalie Pierce Bassett and close defensemen Tucker Durkin, Chris Lightner and Jack Reilly combined to hold Maryland’s starting attack unit to one goal and one assist and the Terps’ potent first midfield managed just three goals and one assist. This is the first time this season JHU has held the opposition scoreless for 11 minutes or more three different times in one game.
The four goals the Blue Jays allowed are the fewest Johns Hopkins has allowed against a team ranked in the top five since April 5, 1986, when JHU topped third-ranked North Carolina, 16-4. The Blue Jays followed that with another strong showing as they held Navy to just four goals on 22 shots and twice held the Midshipmen scoreless for stretches of 20 minutes or longer.

• The Blue Jays have held the opposition scoreless for 11 minutes or more 19 times this season.
• The Blue Jays have held the opposition scoreless for 15 mnutes or more 12 times this season.
• The Blue Jays have held the opposition scoreless for 20 minutes or more seven times this season.

State Rivalries: Last week’s 15-4 win against Navy improved Johns Hopkins’ record to 61-7 (.897) under head coach Dave Pietramala in games played against teams from the state of Maryland. JHU is 5-0 this year against in-state teams.

Poll Position: The Blue Jays are ranked 11th in this week’s USILA Coaches Poll and 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 407 weekly polls since the inception of the poll in 1973. Amazingly, JHU has been ranked in the top 20 in 405 of those 407 polls. The Blue Jays have been in the top 10 in 381 of the 407 and the top five in 299 of those 407. Johns Hopkins has been ranked number one 104 times since the poll debuted in 1973.

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.

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 loss at North Carolina snapped a three-game winning streak for the Blue Jays in games that have gone to overtime. With the loss the Blue Jays are now 19-10 all-time in overtime under head coach Dave Pietramala.