The Game: Unseeded Johns Hopkins (10-4) earned its NCAA-record 42nd bid to the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Tournament and will travel to Charlottesville to take on eighth-seeded Virginia (10-5) in the first round. Game time on Sunday, May 11 is set for 1 pm on ESPN2.
A Look Back: Johns Hopkins had its five-game winning streak snapped with a 13-10 loss at top-ranked Loyola last Saturday.
Virginia did not play last weekend. The Cavaliers haven’t played since April 26, when they topped North Carolina, 13-11, in the ACC Showcase game.
Series History: Johns Hopkins and Virginia are meeting for the 88th time time in a series that dates to 9-0 Johns Hopkins victory in 1904. Johns Hopkins leads the all-time series 57-29-1 and the Blue Jays have won 8-of-14 all-time NCAA Tournament games between the two teams. A complete series history can be found on page 14.
A Common Site: This week’s game will be the 15th NCAA Tournament game between Johns Hopkins and Virginia. Johns Hopkins and Virginia have met more times in the NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse Tournament than any other two teams.
Below is a list of the most commonly played NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse Tournament Games (including 2014).
1. Johns Hopkins/Virginia – 15
2. Johns Hopkins/Maryland – 13
3. Johns Hopkins/Syracuse – 12
4T. Johns Hopkins/North Carolina – 10
4T. Princeton/Syracuse – 10
Doesn’t Get Much Closer: Johns Hopkins and Virginia have played 14 times in the NCAA Tournament .. both have a pair of one-goal wins in those 14 games and the aggregate score in those 14 meetings is JHU-152, Virginia-149.
Hitting 100: This week’s game against Virginia will be the 100th NCAA Tournament game in Johns Hopkins men’s lacrosse history.
These are the Facts: Johns Hopkins enters this week’s game against Virginia with an all-time record of 943-307-15 (.751). 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 is ranked eighth in this week’s USILA Coaches Poll and seventh in the Warrior/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll. Virginia is ranked exactly the opposite as the Cavaliers check in at number seven in the coaches poll and number eight in the media poll.
Closing on Mr. Scott: Dave Pietramala picked up his 157th victory as the head coach at Johns Hopkins with the 13-7 victory against Villanova and he continues to close in on the record for most career coaching victories at Homewood. Only Bob Scott, who won 158 games as the head coach at JHU from 1955-74, has won or coached (214) more games than Pietramala at Johns Hopkins. Pietramala is 157-54 as the head coach at JHU.
Career Win Number 180: In addition to his 157-54 (.744) mark as the head coach at JHU, Dave Pietramala also posted a 23-17 record in three seasons as the head coach at Cornell and now boasts an overall record of 180-71 (.717). Pietramala’s 180 wins rank 10th among active Division I coaches.
Career Game Number 250: The recent game against Villanova was the 250th for Dave Pietramala as a head coach at the collegiate level.
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 Virginia averaging 12.00 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 Cavaliers, JHU ranks 11th in the nation in scoring offense, 10th in assists per game (7.36) and 11th in points per game (19.36).
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 14 games, 103 of JHU’s 168 goals have been assisted, or 61.3%. 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 converted on both of its extra-man opportunities against Loyola and is now 27-of-50 (.540) for the year. The Blue Jays rank fourth in the nation in extra-man offense heading into the Virginia 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 16 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 13th in the nation in faceoff winning percentage entering this week’s game against Virginia. On the year, the Blue Jays have won 194-of-334 (.581) as a team.
For his part, Kennedy has been a workhorse as he is 167-of-277 (.603) through 14 games and also has a team-high 120 ground balls thus far. He ranks among the national leaders in faceoff winning percentage (11th) and ground balls per game (9th / 8.57). Kennedy’s 167 faceoff wins and 277 attempts this season are the seventh-highest single-season totals in school history, while his 120 ground balls ranks 11th 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 14 teams Johns Hopkins has played thus far have 20 scoreless droughts of 11 minutes or longer and 13 of 15 minutes or longer. JHU held Maryland scoreless for stretches of 20:11 to open the game and 18:52 immediately after the Terps scored their first goal and then held Mount St. Mary’s off the board for 44:56 to open the game.
More Holding: Johns Hopkins has held each of its 14 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 10 of its 14 opponents to nine goals or less.
Schneider Anchoring Defense: Despite the loss at Loyola, senior goalie Eric Schneider has gotten hot as the weather has gotten better. In the last six games, Schneider has played 345 of the team’s 360 minutes and boasts a 6.96 GAA and a .615 save percentage over that time. With his recent performances, which include a 17-save performance at Navy, Schneider now has an 8.16 GAA and .565 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 14 games this season, with 11 goals against UMBC 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 tied for 10th with Dan Denihan (1996-97, 1999-2000) on JHU’s career goal-scoring list with 104.
Another Welcome: Brandon Benn’s four goals against Navy pushed his total for the season past 30 goals (he now has 35). 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 (57 points) and sophomore Ryan Brown (51) 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 (38 goals) and senior Brandon Benn (35) are the first Johns Hopkins teammates to top 35 goals in the same season since Bobby Benson(41) and Kyle Barrie (37) in 2003.
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 are ranked eighth in this week’s USILA Coaches Poll. 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 422 weekly polls since the inception of the poll in 1973. Amazingly, JHU has been ranked in the top 20 in 420 of those 422 polls. The Blue Jays have been in the top 10 in 393 of the 422 and the top five in 302 of those 422. Johns Hopkins has been ranked number one 104 times since the poll debuted in 1973.