The Game: Sixth-ranked Johns Hopkins (9-2) makes the short trip to Annapolis to take on Navy (5-6) in the 86th meeting between the two teams.
Last Time Out: Johns Hopkins and Navy are both looking to bounce back from identical 9-6 defeats in rivalry games last week. Hopkins fell to Maryland at Homewood Field, while the Midshipmen lost to Army in two of the most storied rivalries in college lacrosse.
Series History: Johns Hopkins and Navy are meeting for the 86th time in a series that dates to a 6-1 Johns Hopkins win in 1908. Johns Hopkins won last season’s meeting, 14-5, at Homewood Field, and has won 37 of the last 38 meetings. Navy grabbed a 9-8 overtime victory in 2010 when JHU last visited Navy Marine Corps Stadium. A complete series review can be found at the back of this week’s note packet.
These are the Facts: Johns Hopkins enters this week’s game against Navy with an all-time record of 921-296-15 (.754). The Blue Jays own nine NCAA titles, 29 USILA titles and six ILA titles for a total of 44 national championships.
A Win For Johns Hopkins Would …
• Give the Blue Jays 10 wins for the ninth time in 12 seasons under head coach Dave Pietramala.
• Give JHU 10 wins for the 33rd time in school hsitory.
• Be the 12 for JHU in 13 games against Navy since Dave Pietramala took over in 2001.
• Improve JHU’s record to 56-5 against teams from the state of Maryland since Dave Pietramala took over in 2001.
• Improve Johns Hopkins’ reocrd to 50-9 in games played in April under Dave Pietramala.
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 158-60 (.725), including a 135-43 (.758) 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.
Representing the Stars and Stripes: 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.
About the Start: Although Johns Hopkins had its eight-game season-opening winning streak snapped with the loss to North Carolina on April 1, good things could be in store for the Blue Jays down the road. Since 1977 the Blue Jays have opened a season with eight straight wins seven times (including this season). JHU has won the national championship three times in the previous six years, made two other trips to the title game and advanced to the NCAA semifinals the other year.
April Reign: Flipping the calendar to April has usually been a good sign for the Blue Jays, who are 49-9 (.845) under head coach Dave Pietramala in games played in April. JHU is 28-4 at home, 19-3 on the road and 2-2 on a neutral field in April under Pietramala’s guidance.
Marching Orders: Johns Hopkins closed out the March portion of its 2012 schedule at Virginia on March 24. 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.
Streaking – Part 1: In case you didn’t notice, Johns Hopkins is 17-3 in its last 20 games, 22-5 since the start of the 2011 season and 24-7 in its last 31 games.
Streaking – Part 2: Johns Hopkins is 110-31 (.780) in its last 141 regular season games dating back to the end of the 2001 season and 127-39 (.765) 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.
Balancing Act: Johns Hopkins has employed virtually the same first and second midfield units throughout the first 11 games and those units have proven to be steady in terms of production. JHU’s first unit of Rob Guida (13), John Ranagan (13) and John Greeley (7) has combined for 33 goals, while the second unit of Lee Coppersmith (12), Mark Goodrich (6) and Greg Edmonds (3) has 21 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 19 assists. Edmonds’ assist against North Carolina was the first assist of the season from the trio on the second midfield, which now has two assists to its credit.
Attack Oriented: Despite being forced to start five different players in three different combinations, the starting attack units the Blue Jays have trotted out have been effective and efficient. The unit has combined for 53 goals and 37 assists (8.2 points per game) through 11 games Last week’s starting unit of Chris Boland (1g, 1a), Zach Palmer (0g, 0a) and Brandan Benn (1g) combined to produce a season-low three points against Maryland.
On the Flip Side: While the Blue Jay attack is collectively averaging more than eight points per game, the Blue Jay defense has not been nearly as giving. In fact, the starting attack units Johns Hopkins has faced this season have totaled just 37 goals and 21 assists (5.3 points per game).
Bassett Now 22-5 in Last 27 Starts: Junior goalie Pierce Bassett picked up his 25th career victory in goal with the 17-6 win vs. Albany as he posted 11 saves in just over 55 minutes of action. Including the win over the Great Danes and last week’s loss to Maryland, he is 22-5 in his last 27 starts dating back to the start of the 2011 season and counts a 25-9 career record to his credit.
Through 11 games Bassett currently ranks fifth in the nation in goals against average (6.91) and 13th in save percentage (.560).
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 (Jesse Schwartman’s 6.68 GAA in 2005 is the best since records became available in ‘93).
Boland Returns: Senior attackman Chris Boland returned to the lineup against North Carolina after missing seven consecutive games with an injury he suffered 35 minutes into the season opener against Towson. Boland scored twice and dished out a pair of assists against the Tar Heels and came back with a three-goal, two-assist showing against Albany and a one-goal, one-assist effort against Maryland to push his season totals to 10 goals and five assists in just four games. He will carry 13-game goal and point-scoring streaks into this week’s game at Navy.
Boland pushed his career totals to 76 goals and 43 assists for 119 points with his one goal and one assist vs. Maryland. He has 10 career hat tricks, 28 career multi-point games and 18 games with four points or more.
Stanwick in Rare Company: Freshman Wells Stanwick was held scoreless for the first time in his career in last week’s 9-6 loss to Maryland. He had previously run his streak of consecutive multi-point games to seven with one goal and two assists in the win over Albany. His run of seven straight multi-point games to open his career is the longest by a Johns Hopkins player (freshmen only – not transfers) since all-time leading scorer Terry Riordan opened his career with 18 consecutive multi-point games from 1992-93.
Stanwick has six goals and 13 assists for 19 points in eight games played. He missed three games early in the season with an injury, but still ranks second on the team in assists and fourth in points.
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.
Offensive Notes of Interest: Below are several notes of interest about the JHU offense:
• JHU has scored at least one goal in 41 of 44 quarters this season and two or more in 35 of the 44 quarters.
• For all the talk about JHU being a slow down team, the Blue Jays are averaging 36.0 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 22nd in the nation in scoring offense (10.55), 12th in extra-man offense (.447) and eighth in scoring margin (+3.73).
Defensive Notes of Interest: Below are several notes of interest about the JHU defense:
• Hopkins is surrending an average of just 29.5 shots per game.
• JHU has held the opposition scoreless in 13 of 44 quarters this season (29.5%).
• The Blue Jays rank fourth in the nation in scoring defense (6.82), 26th in man-down defense (.697) and eighth in scoring margin (+3.73) this season.
• Johns Hopkins has held each of its 11 opponents scoreless for a stretch of at least 14:25 and nine of the 11 have gone scoreless for 19:30 or longer.
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 on March 6. 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 JHU history with 57 of those coming prior to 1950.
Poll Position: The Blue Jays check in at number six in the USILA Coaches Poll and seventh in 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 393 weekly polls since the inception of the poll in 1973. Amazingly, JHU has been ranked in the top 20 in 391 of those 393 polls. The Blue Jays have been in the top 10 in 370 of the 393 and the top five in 295 of those 393. Johns Hopkins has been ranked number one 104 times 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 and last week’s loss to Maryland, JHU is 55-5 (.917) against teams from Maryland under head coach Dave Pietramala.
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 921 all-time wins.
That’s 625 Games Over .500: The Blue Jays’ all-time record is now 921-296-15 (.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 five games over .500.