The Game: Second-ranked Johns Hopkins (4-0) returns home to host Manhattan (1-2) in a rare Tuesday afternoon game for the Blue Jays.
Last Time Out: Johns Hopkins improved to 4-0 with a 10-8 win at 12th-ranked Princeton last Friday evening. Manhattan picked up its first win of the season on Saturday as the Jaspers knocked off Providence, 11-9.
Series History: Johns Hopkins and Manhattan are meeting for just the third time in a series that dates to a 14-3 Johns Hopkins victory in the 2010 season opener. JHU has held the Jaspers to exactly three goals in both previous meetings, taking the 14-3 win in 2010 and a 10-3 victory last season.
These are the Facts: Johns Hopkins enters this week’s game against Manhattan with an all-time record of 916-294-15 (.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 153-58 (.725), including a 130-41 (.760) 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 4-0 Start: Johns Hopkins is 4-0 for the first time since 2005 and just the second time under head coach Dave Pietramala (2004). Prior to opening at 4-0 in 2004 and 2005, JHU hadn’t opened a season with four straight wins since 1995. Since 1977 the Blue Jays have opened a season with four straight wins 14 times (including this season). JHU has won the national championship six times in those 14 years, made five other trips to the title game and advanced to the NCAA semifinals in the other two years.
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 916 all-time wins.
That’s 622 Games Over .500: The Blue Jays’ all-time record is now 916-294-15 (.754) … that’s 622 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 two games 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 the 9-5 win over Siena on February 25. 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. JHU scored on its second shot of the game at Princeton.
Eleven Straight: Johns Hopkins ran its regular season winning streak to 11 games with the 10-8 win over Princeton. 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. Forced to juggle the lineup against vs. Princeton, Palmer (1g, 3a), Benn (1g) and junior John Kaestner (2g) combined for four goals and three assists.
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 is stick the first two goals of his career during a 4-1 fourth-quarter run that fueled JHU’s 10-8 win.
Bassett Now 17-3 in Last 20 Starts: Sophomore goalie Pierce Bassett picked up his 20th career victory in goal with the 10-8 win at Princeton as he posted nine saves and allowed eight goals to improve to 20-7 in his 27 career starts. He is 17-3 in his last 20 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 Fuel 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 been solid in three games since. After winning 10-of-16 vs. Delaware, he won 15-of-18 against Siena and 11-of-21 at Princeton and is now 36-of-54 (.667) on the year. As a team, JHU is 45-of-78 (.577) on faceoffs this season.
Streaking: Johns Hopkins is 105-29 (.784) in its last 134 regular season games dating back to the end of the 2001 season and 122-37 (.767) 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 387 weekly polls since the inception of the poll in 1973. Amazingly, JHU has been ranked in the top 20 in 385 of those 387 polls. The Blue Jays have been in the top 10 in 364 of the 387 and the top five in 290 of those 387.
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 13 of the 16 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 and Princeton failed to score for a stretch of 25:20 midway through the game.
• JHU has held the opposition scoreless in five of 16 quarters this season (.313). • 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 among the national leaders in scoring defense (6.25) 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.