Loyola, Maryland, Hopkins headed to NCAA Tournament

May 05, 2014 | WNST Staff

BALTIMORE, MD – Johns Hopkins was awarded one of eight at-large bids to the 2014 NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse Tournament and will travel to eighth-seeded Virginia in the first round it was announced on Sunday night. The tournament bid is the NCAA-record 42nd for Johns Hopkins. The Johns Hopkins-Virginia game will take place on Sunday, May 11 at 1 pm and will air live on ESPN2. All eight first-round games will be televised on the ESPN family of networks with the Johns Hopkins-Virginia game the only matchup slated to air on ESPN2. The others will all air on ESPNU.

Johns Hopkins and Virginia met earlier this season at Klockner Stadium in Charlottesville with the Cavaliers pulling out an 11-10 victory in overtime.

The winner of the Johns Hopkins-Virginia game will play the winner of the Duke/Air Force-Richmond game on Sunday, May 18 as part of a quarterfinal doubleheader at University of Delaware. Duke is the top seed in the tournament and the Blue Devils will host the winner of the play-in game between Air Force and Richmond.

Johns Hopkins (10-4) boasts a 67-32 all-time record in the NCAA Tournament with nine NCAA titles to its credit. The Blue Jays’ 67 wins and 18 championship-game appearances are both national records. Johns Hopkins also holds the record for the longest streak of qualifying for the tournament as JHU qualified 41 consecutive years from 1972-2012.

Johns Hopkins, which reached the 10-win mark for the 10th time in 14 seasons under head coach Dave Pietramala, features a balanced roster with an efficient offense and a strong defense.

The Blue Jay offense is led by the attack trio of junior Wells Stanwick (17g, 40a), sophomore Ryan Brown (38g, 13a) and senior Brandon Benn (35g, 5a) and has scored in double figures 12 times in 14 games this season. The Blue Jays are averaging 12 goals per game and also fashion one of the top extra-man units in the nation as they have converted on 27-of-50 (.540) chances this season.

Defensively, Johns Hopkins has held 10 of 14 opponents to less than 10 goals and the opposition is averaging 8.3 goals per game. Senior goalie Eric Schneider boasts an 8.16 goals against average and a .565 save percentage, while starting close defensemen Jack Reilly, Rob Enright and John Kelly have combined for 70 ground balls and 22 caused turnovers. Junior co-captain Michael Pellegrino anchors the rope unit and counts 23 ground balls, 12 caused turnovers, three goals and two assists to his credit.

Virginia, which is making its 36th appearance in the tournament, will carry a 10-5 record into the NCAA Tournament. The Cavaliers haven’t played since April 26, but knocked off North Carolina, 13-11, in their last game in the ACC Showcase Game and have won two straight games entering this week’s game against Johns Hopkins.

This will be the 15th all-time meeting between Johns Hopkins and Virginia in the NCAA Tournament with the Blue Jays having won eight of the previous 14. Johns Hopkins and Virginia have met 87 times since the series began in 1904; the Blue Jays led the series 57-29-1 and have won three of the last four against the Cavaliers.