The Game: Eighth-ranked Johns Hopkins (6-2) heads south to take on sixth-ranked North Carolina (6-3) in a key mid-season game.
A Look Back: Johns Hopkins picked up a key victory last Saturday as the Blue Jays topped Virginia, 15-8, in the Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic. North Carolina has picked up two wins in the last week as the Tar Heels upset top-ranked Maryland, 10-8, last Saturday and beat Brown, 18-12, on Wednesday night.
Series History: Johns Hopkins and North Carolina are meeting for the 42nd time in a series that dates to a 16-9 Johns Hopkins win in 1977. The Blue Jays lead the all-time series 24-17, although the Tar Heels have won five of the last six.
These are the Facts: Johns Hopkins enters this week’s game against North Carolina with an all-time record of 930-300-15 (.753). The Blue Jays own nine NCAA titles, 29 USILA titles and six ILA titles for a total of 44 national championships.
That’s 103 Games Over .500: Johns Hopkins head coach Dave Pietramala picked up his 167th career win when JHU knocked off Virginia last week and he now stands at 167-64 overall. Included in that mark is a 144-47 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.
Must be the Speech: There must be something to what Johns Hopkins head coachDave Pietramala says in the locker room that sparks the Blue Jays as Johns Hopkins holds decided scoring advantages in the first and third quarters through eight games. JHU has outscored the opposition 32-14 in the first quarter and 28-17 in the third. By contrast, the Blue Jays hold just a 23-15 scoring margin in the second quarter and an 24-22 advantage in the second quarter.
Balancing Act: Johns Hopkins counts eight players with five or more goals and 10 players with seven or more points through eight games. In all, 18 different players have found the back of the net for JHU and 21 players have at least one point.
The Key to Victory – Part I: With last week’s 15-8 win over Virginia, Johns Hopkins improved to 6-0 on the year when scoring in double figures. The Blue Jays are 0-2 when scoring fewer than 10 goals.
The Key to Victory – Part II: Johns Hopkins improved to 6-0 on the year when holding the opposition to less than 10 goals. On the flip side, JHU is 0-2 when allowing 10 goals or more.
EMO Clicking: The Johns Hopkins extra man unit has been on a roll of late as the group is 13-of-21 (.619) in the last four games and is now 21-of-38 (.553) on the year. Johns Hopkins currently ranks third in the nation in man-up offense Seven different players have scored at least one extra man goal for the Blue Jays with freshmanRyan Brown (8), sophomore Wells Stanwick (4) and junior Brandon Benn (3) leading the way. Brown’s eight extra man goals are already the most by a Johns Hopkins player since 2004, when Matt Rewkowski had 12 andConor Ford had eight.
Stanwick Breaks Out: Sophomore attackman Wells Stanwick continued his offensive roll last week against Virginia as he scored three goals and added one assist, the same totals he punched up at Syracuse the week before. He now has four straight games with four or more points to his credit and has accumulated 23 points in his last four games.
Stanwick boosted his totals to 18 goals and 13 assists on the year with his effort against UVA and he has already surpassed his goal (9) and point (23) totals from last season. He currently ranks ninth in the nation in points per game (4.43). Stanwick enjoyed the finest game of his career in the 19-9 win over Mount St. Mary’s as he totaled five goals and four assists for nine points. Previously he had never had more than two goals, three assists or four points in a game.
He followed that with a two-goal, four-assist effort in the win over UMBC and then added the three-goal, one-assist performance at SU.
Stanwick is the first Johns Hopkins player to post nine points in a game since Kyle Barrie had five goals and four assists in a 17-3 win over Navy in 2003. He is also the first JHU player with back-to-back six-point games since Dan Denihan did it against Villanova (8), Ohio State (6) and Maryland (7) during the 2000 season.
Poppleton Rolls On: With a 14-of-23 performance at Syracuse and a 4-of-6 effort against Virginia, senior faceoff specialist Mike Poppleton continued his strong work at the X for the Blue Jays.
Poppleton, who ranks first in the nation in faceoff winning percentage, is now 100-of-141 (.709) on the year and leads the team with 55 ground balls. He also improved to 290-of-451 (.645) in his career with his showing last week against Virginia.
Benn Leads Team in Goals: Junior Brandon Benn continues to pace the team in goals (20) and ranks second in points (21) after scoring once against Virginia last week. He has scored 50 of his 55 career goals since the start of the 2012 season and currently ranks eighth in the nation in goals per game (2.86).
Cattoni Emerging: Freshman Holden Cattoni played in two of the Blue Jays’ first three games, but didn’t register a point in those two outings.
That changed quickly as the hard-shooting lefty punched up back-to-back two-point games against Princeton and Mount St. Mary’s. He fired home a pair of goals against the Tigers and added one goal and one assist against the Mount. He scored an extra man goal against Syracuse and added one goal and one assist last week vs. Virginia and now has five goals and two assists for seven points on the year.
What Brown Does For Us: Freshman Ryan Brown has stepped in and made an immediate impact for the Blue Jays in his first year at Homewood. Brown has 11 goals and four assists through eight games and leads the team with eight extra-man goals. He has registered at least one point in seven of eight games this season and his eight extra-man goals are already the most by a Johns Hopkins player since 2004, when Matt Rewkowski (12) andConor Ford (8) led a potent JHU extra man unit.
Brown fired home the first hat trick of his career and added an assist for a career-high four points in last week’s 15-8 win over Virginia and now has five multi-point and three multi-goal games to his credit.
Sanders Breaks Through: Junior midfielder Rex Sanders entered the 2013 season with one career goal to his credit. He has already far surpassed that total as he has scored 11 goals through eight games. Sanders is tied for third on the team in goals (11) and tied for sixth in points (11) after punching up the first hat trick of his career last week against Virginia.
Bassett Shines Against Virginia, Among National Win Leaders: Senior Pierce Bassett enjoyed his finest game of the season last week against Virginia as he posted 16 saves and allowed just seven goals in 59:02. The 16 saves are tied for the second-highest total of his career.
Bassett currently boasts a .591 save percentage and an 8.18 goals against average. He ranks 13th in the nation in goals against average and fifth in save percentage. His 16-save performance boosted his career total to 433 saves, which moved him into a tie with Michael Gvozden for eighth place on JHU’s career saves list (433).
Bassett also enters this week’s game at North Carolina ranked second among active Division I goalies in career wins after picking up career win number 33 against UVA.
Durkin Fuels Defense: Johns Hopkins head coach Dave Pietramala has the luxury of returning the nation’s top defensive player in senior co-captain Tucker Durkin, who has picked up right where he left off a year ago.
Durkin currently ranks third on the team in ground balls (18) and leads the team with 10 caused turnovers. Durkin is the anchor of a Johns Hopkins defense that ranks 15th nationally in scoring defense (8.50).
Scoring Droughts Abound: Despite the new rules in place this season that aim to quicken the pace (and thus increase scoring), the Johns Hopkins defense has been able to hold the opposition scoreless for long stretches this season. The Blue Jays held Virginia scoreless for a stretch of 31:25 midway through the game last week and Siena, Towson and Michigan each drew blanks of at least 15 minutes – all three had two droughts that lasted at least 13 minutes. Princeton was more productive in its win against JHU, but did have one scoring drought that covered more than 11 minutes, while Mount St. Mary’s went more than 18 minutes without a goal at one point and UMBC was held off the board for 24:04 to open the game and 13:01 later in the game.
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 recent win against UMBC, JHU is 59-7 (.894) against teams from Maryland under head coach Dave Pietramala.
Poll Position: The Blue Jays are ranked eighth in this week’s USILA Coaches Poll and 10th in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll as well. 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 403 weekly polls since the inception of the poll in 1973. Amazingly, JHU has been ranked in the top 20 in 401 of those 403 polls. The Blue Jays have been in the top 10 in 380 of the 403 and the top five in 299 of those 402. Johns Hopkins has been ranked number one 104 times since the poll debuted in 1973.
Palmer Among Career Active Assists Leaders: Senior attackman Zach Palmer enters this week’s game at North Carolina with 67 career assists. He currently ranks 13h among all active Division I players in career assists.
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.
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 26-7 in its last 33 games and 31-9 since the start of the 2011 season.