The Game: Second-ranked Johns Hopkins (3-0) hits the road for the first time this season as the Blue Jays travel to New Jersey to take on the 12th-ranked Tigers (2-0).
Last Time Out: Johns Hopkins improved to 3-0 with a 9-5 victory at wind-swept Homewood Field last Saturday. The Tigers moved to 2-0 with a 13-7 victory over Manhattan on Tuesday afternoon..
Series History: Johns Hopkins and Princeton are meeting for the 82nd time in a series that dates to a 3-2 Princeton win in 1890. Hopkins leads the series, 54-27. Princeton has won three straight against the Blue Jays, although JHU has won two straight at Princeton and three straight games on the Princeton campus (includes win over Georgetown in the 2007 NCAA Quarterfinals). A complete look at the Johns Hopkins-Princeton series can be found at the back of this week’s note package.
At Princeton: This will be JHU’s first game at Princeton, against Princeton since 2005, when JHU jump-started its run to the National Championship with a 9-6 win over the Tigers.
More at Princeton: Johns Hopkins has played in the national title game in each of the last three seasons the Blue Jays played a game on the Princeton campus (2003, 2005, 2007).
These are the Facts: Johns Hopkins enters this week’s game against Princeton with an all-time record of 915-294-15 (.754). The Blue Jays own nine NCAA titles, 29 USILA titles and six ILA titles for a total of 44 national championships.
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 152-58 (.724), including a 129-41 (.759) 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.
About the 3-0 Start: Johns Hopkins is 3-0 for the third consecutive year and the eighth time 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 915 all-time wins.
That’s 621 Games Over .500: The Blue Jays’ all-time record is now 915-294-15 (.753) … that’s 621 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 one game over .500.
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.
Home Cookin’: Johns Hopkins ran its home winning streak to nine games with last Saturday’s 9-5 win over Siena. The streak is the second-longest under head coach Dave Pietramala, who picked up his 75th career victory at Homewood Field with the win earlier this season against Delaware and sports a gaudy 76-12 (.860) record in home games during his career at JHU.
JHU won a school and national-record 37 straight home games from 2001-06 under Pietramala’s guidance and the current nine-game home winning streak is the fourth home streak of seven wins or more since he arrived.
Striking the First Blow: Johns Hopkins scored on its first shot of the game seven times in 2011 and has already turned the trick twice this season. After not scoring all the way until their second shot of the game against Towson, the Blue Jays netted their first goal of the game against Delaware (Brandon Benn) and Siena (Wells Stanwick) on their first shot.
Ten Straight: Johns Hopkins ran its regular season winning streak to 10 games with the 9-5 win over Siena. This is the longest regular season winning streak for JHU since a 19-game run that bridged the 2004 and 2006 seasons.
Attack Oriented: The starting attack unit of senior Chris Boland, junior Zach Palmer and sophomore Brandon Benn combined for nine goals and three assists in the 12-6 win vs. Towson. Add in two assists by freshman Wells Stanwick,who played a regular role throughout the game, and JHU got nine goals and five assists from its four primary attackmen.
In a tighter game against Delaware, it was Benn (3g, 1a), Stanwick (1g, 2a) and Palmer (1a) leading the way with a combined four goals and four assists, while the same trio combined for five goals and three assists against Siena.
Bassett Now 16-3 in Last 19 Starts: Sophomore goalie Pierce Bassett picked up his 19th career victory in goal with the 9-5 win vs. Siena as he posted a season-high 10 saves and allowed five goals to improve to 19-7 in his 26 career starts. He is 16-3 in his last 19 starts dating back to the start of the 2011 season.
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. His fifth-place finish in GAA is the highest by a JHU goalie since Jesse Schwartzman led the nation in 2005 (6.68), while he is just the third Blue Jay to finish in the top 10 in save percentage since the NCAA began tracking men’s lacrosse statistics in 2000.
Bassett’s 7.07 goals against average is the second best by a JHU goalie since 1993 (Schwartman’s 6.68 GAA in 2005 is the best since records became available in ‘93).
Poppleton, Kennedy Fuels Success at the X: Freshman Drew Kennedy did a solid job on faceoffs in the season-opener vs. Towson as he won 9-of-14 in the absence of junior Mike Poppleton. Poppleton returned against Delaware and has enjoyed solid efforts against the Blue Hens and Siena. After winning 10-of-16 vs. Delaware, he won 15-of-18 against Siena and is now 25-of-34 (.735) on the year. As a team, JHU is 34-of-57 (.596) and ranks 16th nationally in FO winning percentage.
Streaking: Johns Hopkins is 104-29 (.782) in its last 133 regular season games dating back to the end of the 2001 season and 121-37 (.766) overall since the start of the 2002 season.
Poll Position: The Blue Jays check in at number two in both the USILA Coaches Poll and 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 386 weekly polls since the inception of the poll in 1973. Amazingly, JHU has been ranked in the top 20 in 384 of those 386 polls. The Blue Jays have been in the top 10 in 363 of the 386 and the top five in 289 of those 386.
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 season-opening win vs. Towson, JHU is 54-4 (.931) against teams from Maryland under head coach Dave Pietramala.
Offensive Notes of Interest: Below are several notes about the JHU offense:
• JHU has scored at least one goal in every quarter this season and two or more in 10 of the 12 quarters.
• Hopkins fired 42 shots on Towson. JHU generated 40 or more shots just four times last season.
• The Blue Jays scored on their first shot of the game seven times last season and have done the same vs. Delaware and Siena this season.
• Johns Hopkins finished 10th in the nation in scoring offense (11.25), second in scoring margin (+4.0), 12th in assists per game (6.19) and 10th in points per game (17.44) last season.
Defensive Notes of Interest: Below are several notes of interest concerning the JHU defense:
• Hopkins held Towson to just 18 shots – the fewest the Blue Jays have surrendered since holding Mount St. Mary’s to 16 shots on April 27, 2009.
• JHU held Towson scoreless for a stretch of 31:05 midway through the game and then held Delaware off the board for 29:32 midway through the game. Siena failed to score for the final 19:30 last week.
• JHU has held the opposition scoreless in four of 12 quarters this season (.333).
• Johns Hopkins held the opposition scoreless for a stretch of 15 minutes or longer 16 times in 16 games last season. The Blue Jays held the opposition scoreless for 10 minutes or longer 33 times.
• The Blue Jays rank third in the nation in scoring defense (5.67) this season.
• The starting attack units the Blue Jays faced last season combined for a total of 39 goals and 36 assists (4.69 points per game). Six of those units were held to three points or less and only five generated more than five points. The JHU starting defense (Tucker Durkin, Chris Lightner and Gavin Crisafulli) picked up where it left off last season as Towson’s starting attack totaled just two goals and two assists against JHU, while Delaware’s added three goals and three assists.
Taking Out the Finalists: Johns Hopkins defeated eventual national champion Virginia and eventual national runner-up Maryland during the 2011 regular season.
We’re Honored: Johns Hopkins produced six USILA All-Americans last season, four of which return in 2012. Headlining the group is returning First Team All-American John Ranagan (M), while classmates Tucker Durkin (defense) and Pierce Bassett (G) grabbed second team honors. Senior Chris Boland (A) rounds out JHU’s four returning All-Americans as he grabbed honorable mention honors in 2011.
The four returning All-Americans are the most for JHU since 2008 and the selection of Ranagan, Durkin and Bassett marked the first time Johns Hopkins had three sophomores earn All-America honors since 1989, when Matt Panetta (A/1st Team), Brian Voelker (M/3rd) and Bill Dwan (D/HM) were selected.