The Game: Johns Hopkins closes a season-opening three-game home stand by welcoming Michigan to Homewood Field. Faceoff is set for noon on Saturday, February 22.
A Look Back: Johns Hopkins improved to 2-0 with a 15-8 win against local rival Towson at Homewood Field last Saturday.
Michigan improved its record to 2-1 on the year with a 14-13 overtime victory at Detroit on Wednesday night. The Wolverines have won two straight entering this week’s game against Johns Hopkins.
Series History: Johns Hopkins and Michigan are meeting for just the second time. The Blue Jays took a 17-8 decision in the first meeting last season at Homewood Field.
These are the Facts: Johns Hopkins enters this week’s game against Michigan with an all-time record of 935-303-15 (.752). 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 eighth in the Warrior/Inside Lacrosse Media Preseason Poll. Michigan is not ranked in either poll.
In Search of 150: Dave Pietramala enters this week’s game against Michigan with a record of 149-50 in 14 seasons as the head coach at Johns Hopkins. With a win this week he will join Hall of Famer Bob Scott as the only coaches in Johns Hopkins history to reach the 150-win mark. Scott won 158 games during his tenure from 1955-74.
Number 200: This week’s game against Michigan will be the 200th for Dave Pietramala as the head coach at Johns Hopkins.
Second Big Ten Game: Well, kind of. This week’s game against Michigan is the second of three games this season the Blue Jays will play against future Big Ten opponents. Johns Hopkins announced last June that it would join the Big Ten for men’s lacrosse starting with the 2015 season. In addition to the game against the Wolverines, the Blue Jays opened the season against Ohio State and will host Maryland, also a future Big Ten opponent, later this season.
In February: Including the wins over Ohio State and Towson, Johns Hopkins has played just 21 all-time games in the month of February and the Blue Jays are 18-3 in those 21 games. With last week’s victory against the Tigers, the Blue Jays have currently won 14 straight games played in the month of February.
New Blue: Johns Hopkins entered the season with 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),Bronson Kelly (M), Connor Reed (M) and Ryan Brown (A). Brown did start four games at midfield last season, but makes 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 will field 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.
Class Rank: The Blue Jays have gotten balanced production from each of their four classes through two games. Each class has registered at least six points thus far, with the junior (14 points) and sophomore (13 points) classes leading the way. The senior (7), sophomore (9) and freshman (6) classes all have at least six goals through two games.
What it Means in 2014: Despite the loss of the large senior class from last season, the Blue Jays return 67.7% of their goals (109-of-161), 45.7% of their assists (42-of-92) and 59.7% of their points (151-of-253) from last season.
Must be the Speech: There must be something about the speech that head coach Dave Pietramala gives at halftime that is sparking the Blue Jays. Johns Hopkins was tied with Ohio State at the half (2-2) and led Towson by one (6-5), but the Blue Jays outscored the Buckeyes 6-3 in the third quarter and took that up a notch against the Tigers by outscoring TU 7-1 to put the game away.
Attack Driven: Johns Hopkins’ starting attack unit of senior Brandon Benn, junior Wells Stanwick and sophomore Ryan Brown will be counted on to lead the way offensively for the Blue Jays this season and the trio has been up to the task thus far as they combined for five goals and seven assists to fuel the 10-9 triple-overtime victory against Ohio State and added nine goals and seven assists against Towson.
Stanwick totaled one goal and a career-high-tying five assists in both games, while Benn totaled two goals and one assist in the opener and four goals on just four shots against the Tigers.
Brown, who moved to attack this season after playing midfield as a freshman, also had two goals and one assist against the Buckeyes and added a career-high four goals and two assists for a personal-best six points against Towson.
Kennedy Shines: Junior Drew Kennedy has gotten off to a quick start at the X for the Blue Jays as he is 34-of-45 (.756) through two games and also has a team-high 23 ground balls thus far.
Despite missing most of the preseason, Kennedy suited up and fueled Johns Hopkins’ win against Ohio State with a dominating performance as he was 18-of-22 (.818) and grabbed 13 ground balls in the victory. The 18 faceoff wins and 13 GBs are all career highs. In addition, Kennedy’s 18 faceoff wins are the most by a Johns Hopkins player since Mike Poppleton was 20 (of 26) against Stony Brook in the first round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament.
He came back and won 16-of-23 with 10 ground balls against Towson. After winning just 1-of-6 in the first quarter, he was 15-of-17 over the final three quarters against the Tigers.
Crawley Explodes: Freshman John Crawley scored a key goal in the season opener against Ohio State before exploding for four goals on five shots against Towson. Crawley, whose five goals through two games are just one shy of Brandon Benn and Ryan Brown’s team-leading six, is the first Johns Hopkins freshman midfielder to score four goals in a game since Paul Rabil scored four times in a 12-11 come-from-behind win at Syracuse on March 18, 2005.
Second-Longest Game in School History: The triple overtime game against Ohio State in the season-openerranks as the second-longest game in the history of the Johns Hopkins men’s lacrosse program. The longest game in school history was a four-overtime game against Virginia on March 24, 2001.
In Overtime: Johns Hopkins improved to 20-10 all-time in overtime under head coach Dave Pietramala with the 10-9 triple overtime victory against Ohio State. The Blue Jays have now won four of their last five overtime games dating back to late in the 2011 season.
Poll Position: The Blue Jays are ranked eighth in this week’s USILA Preseason 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.