The Game: Johns Hopkins makes its shortest road trip of the season as the Blue Jays travel five miles north to Towson to take on the Tigers at Unitas Stadium.
A Look Back: Johns Hopkins picked up a 15-6 win over Siena in its season opener last Friday (Feb. 8). On the same day, the Tigers suffered a 9-7 season-opening loss at High Point.
Series History: Johns Hopkins and Towson are meeting for the 41st time in a series that dates to a 15-8 Johns Hopkins win on March 27, 1976. The Blue Jays lead the all-time series 37-3 and have won 17 consecutive games against hte Tigers.
Check the Calendar: This year’s season opener against Siena was the earliest game played in the history of the Blue Jay lacrosse program. In fact, this week’s game against the Tigers will be the second-earliest game in school history as prior to this season the earliest game in school history was played on February 17, 2012, when the Blue Jays knocked off Towson, 12-6.
In February: Johns Hopkins has played just 17 all-time games in the month of February and the Blue Jays are 14-3 in those 17 games. The Blue Jays have currently won 10 straight games played in the month of February.
For Openers: Johns Hopkins improved to 11-2 under head coach Dave Pietramala in season-openers with last week’s 15-6 win over Siena.
More Openers: Johns Hopkins is 7-5 in its first road game of a season under head coach Dave Pietramala. JHU has won its last two road openers.
These are the Facts: Johns Hopkins enters this week’s game against Towson with an all-time record of 925-298-15 (.753). The Blue Jays own nine NCAA titles, 29 USILA titles and six ILA titles for a total of 44 national championships.
Program Ties: Towson University head coach Shawn Nadelen played at Johns Hopkins from 1998-2001 and was a senior captain on Dave Pietramala’s first team at JHU. Johns Hopkins assistant coach Dave Allan, who is in his second stint on Pietramala’s staff, spent the 2011 season as an assistant coach at Towson, where he worked with Nadelen, who was an assistant at Towson at the time.
Teacher vs. Pupil: Johns Hopkins head coach Dave Pietramala has coached numerous games against coaches he worked under (Tony Seaman, Dave Cottle), played with at JHU (Seth Tierney, Brian Voelker, Scott Marr) and played under (Don Zimmerman, Bill Tierney), but Shawn Nadelen is the only one of his former Johns Hopkins players that he has ever coached against. The two met for the first time last season when JHU topped the Tigers, 12-6.
That’s 100 Games Over .500: Johns Hopkins head coach Dave Pietramala picked up his 162nd career win with last week’s win over Siena and improved his record to 162-62 with the victory. Included in that mark is a 139-45 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.
It’s Been a While, Part I: Johns Hopkins punched up 15 goals in the win against Siena last week. That’s the most goals JHU has scored in a season opener since 1995, when the Blue Jays topped defending national champion Princeton, 15-14.
It’s Been a While, Part II: Johns Hopkins’ 15 goals came on 58 shots in last week’s win over Siena. The 58 shots mark the first time JHU has taken 50 or more shots since May 14, 2005, when the Blue Jays took 52 shots in a 22-6 win over Marist in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. In addition, the 58 shots are the most by a Johns Hopkins team since March 9, 2004, when JHU took 61 in a 17-6 win over Albany.
Reviewing the New Rules: There are some new rules in place in college lacrosse this season, most notably the addition of a shot clock in a stall situation and a time-serving penalty on the third faceoff violation in one half against one team. In JHU’s win over Siena, neither team was called for stalling and neither team committed three FO violations in one half. Both teams were called for three FO violations in the game, but not in one half.
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.
Did You Know That …
… Pierce Bassett ranks 10th in school history with 367 saves and sports a 26-7 record in his last 33 starts?
… Brandon Benn has scored at least one goal in 16 of 17 games since the start of the 2012 season and has eight multi-goal games to his credit during that time?
… Tucker Durkin became the first JHU junior to win the William C. Schmeisser Award as the nation’s top defenseman since Dave Pietramala in 1988.
… Zach Palmer totaled 27 goals and 26 assists last season to become just the eighth JHU player since 1980 with 25 goals and assists in the same season.
… Rex Sanders scored twice in last week’s win over Siena. Prior to last week’s game, Sanders had scored one goal in six career games played.
Striking the First Blow: Johns Hopkins scored on its first (6x) or second (6x) shot of the game a total of 12 times in 16 games last season.
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 Blue Jays have won their last three overtime games dating back to the 2011 season and are 19-9 all-time in overtime under head coach Dave Pietramala.
Streaking: In case you didn’t notice, Johns Hopkins is 21-5 in its last 26 games and 26-7 since the start of the 2011 season.
Poll Position: The Blue Jays are tied for fourth in the USILA Preseason Coaches Poll and rank fifth in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media 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 year’s Preseason USILA Poll, there have been 397 weekly polls since the inception of the poll in 1973. Amazingly, JHU has been ranked in the top 20 in 395 of those 397 polls. The Blue Jays have been in the top 10 in 374 of the 397 and the top five in 296 of those 397. Johns Hopkins has been ranked number one 104 times since the poll debuted in 1973.
Palmer in Rare Company: Senior attackman Zach Palmer led Johns Hopkins in scoring with 27 goals and 26 assists for 53 points last season. He ran his career totals to 59 goals and 56 assists for 115 points with his effort a year ago.
Palmer is the first player at Johns Hopkins with 25 goals and 25 assists in the same season since 2007, when Paul Rabil totaled 27 goals and 26 assists. The 25-25 feat is rare at Johns Hopkins as Palmer is just the eighth Blue Jay to reach this mark since 1980 (the eight have turned the trick a combined 13 times).