The Game: Tenth-ranked Johns Hopkins (10-3) closes the 2012 regular season with its annual Homecoming game as the Blue Jays welcome Army to Homewood Field. Faceoff is set for 2 pm.
Last Time Out: Johns Hopkins snapped a two-game losing streak with a 10-9 win at top-ranked Loyola last Saturday. Army had a three-game winning streak snapped with a 13-7 loss to Lehigh in the Patriot League Semifinals last Friday at Colgate.
A Look Ahead: The bracket for the 2012 NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse Tournament will be announced at 9 pm on Sunday, May 6. The bracket will be announced live on ESPNU with first round games scheduled for Saturday, May 12 and Sunday, May 13.
JHU’s NCAA Tournament Credentials: There are a number of factors that go into selecting the field for the NCAA Tournament, not the least of which are RPI and Strength of Schedule. Johns Hopkins currently sports a 10-3 record, is ranked fifth in the latest RPI and has played six games against teams ranked in the top 20 of the RPI (JHU is 4-2 in those six games).
Noting JHU in the NCAA Tournament: Johns Hopkins made its 40th consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament last season. By comparison, the next six longest active streaks of qualifying for the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Tournament add up to exactly 40 consecutive appearances (Maryland-9, Cornell-8, Virginia-7, Notre Dame-6, Duke-5, North Carolina-5).
Series History: Johns Hopkins and Army are meeting for the 68th time in a series that dates to a 3-2 Johns Hopkins win in 1921. Johns Hopkins won last season’s meeing, 15-10, at Michie Stadium and has won 54-of-67 all-time meetings. A complete series review can be found at the back of this week’s note packet.
These are the Facts: Johns Hopkins enters this week’s game against Army with an all-time record of 922-297-15 (.753). The Blue Jays own nine NCAA titles, 29 USILA titles and six ILA titles for a total of 44 national championships.
A Win For Johns Hopkins Would …
• Give the Blue Jays 11 wins for the eighth time in 12 seasons under head coach Dave Pietramala.
• Give JHU 11 wins for the 27th time in school history.
• Be the 18th consecutive win for Johns Hopkins over Army.
• Improve Johns Hopkins’ record to 13-0 in regular season games played in May under head coach Dave Pietramala.
Gardner Awards to be Presented: The Johns Hopkins Department of Athletics and the Blue Jay men’s lacrosse team are continuing their fight against cancer with this week’s game against Army. Chris Gardner, who would have been a senior on the 1999 Johns Hopkins men’s lacrosse team, lost his life to cancer in 1997. In 1998, the Blue Jays began their fight against cancer with the inaugural IKON Lacrosse Classic to benefit the American Cancer Society.
In the last 14 years the Blue Jays have continued their fight against cancer with a game to benefit the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, where Chris received treatment for his illness. An additional dollar has been added to the cost of all tickets for today’s game with the extra money being donated to the Children’s Center in Chris’ name. To date, more than $70,000 has been donated to the Children’s Center in Chris’s honor.
At the conclusion of the game, the Chris Gardner Players-of-the-Game will be selected and each will receive a plaque for their efforts in Chris’ name. Kathleen Van Haverbeke, Chris’ mom, will present the plaques to a member of both teams.
Career Win Number 150: Johns Hopkins head coach Dave Pietramala picked up career win number 150 with the 12-6 victory vs. Towson in the season opener. He now sports an all-time record of 159-61 (.723), including a 136-44 (.756) record at Johns Hopkins. He 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.
Representing the Stars and Stripes: 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.
Durkin, Bassett Among Tewaaraton Nominees: Johns Hopkins placed two players among the top 25 men’s nominees for the 2012 Tewaaraton Award it was announced on April 25. Juniors Tucker Durkin (D) and Pierce Bassett (G) are among the 25, making Johns Hopkins one of just five schools with two nominees.
The 12th-annual Tewaaraton Award will be presented to the top male and female lacrosse players on May 31 at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.
Durkin is one of just three close defensemen among the final 25, while Bassett is one of just four goalies among the final 25.
May Day: Johns Hopkins has won 13 straight regular season games in the month of May. JHU’s last regular season loss in May came on May 8, 1999, when Hofstra nipped the Blue Jays, 9-8, in overtime. Johns Hopkins is 32-9 (.780) in games played in May under head coach Dave Pietramala (2001-present).
Working Overtime: The Blue Jays have won their last three overtime games dating back to last season and are now 19-9 all-time in overtime under head coach Dave Pietramala.
Play it and They Will Come: Johns Hopkins played in front of its second sellout crowd in three weeks last Saturday as Loyola sold all 6,000 tickets available for its home game against JHU last week. JHU also played in front of a packed house of 8,500 on April 14 when Maryland visited Homewood Field.
Playing in front of large crowds is nothing new for the Blue Jays, who lead the nation in average attendance for all games played (7,010). Amazingly, Johns Hopkins’ average attendance dropped last week despite playing in front of a sellout crowd.
Six Over Six: Last week’s crowd of 6,000 at Loyola was the sixth crowd of 6,000 or more that Johns Hopkins has played in front of in 2012. A large Homecoming crowd is also expected this Saturday when Army visits Homewood Field.
Five of Top 10: There have been 10 crowds of 6,500 or more at a Division I men’s lacrosse game this season and Johns Hopkins has been a participant in five of the 10.
Against Number One: Last week’s 10-9 overtime victory at Loyols was JHU’s second of the season against a team ranked number one in the nation. Earlier this season (March 24) the Blue Jays knocked off then top-ranked Virginia, 11-10, in overtime. Last week’s game was also the 11th Johns Hopkins has played against a team ranked number one under head coach Dave Pietramala. The Blue Jays are now 7-4 in their 11 games against the nation’s top-ranked team under his guidance. This is the first time in school history that Johns Hopkins has defeated a top-ranked team twice on the road in the same season.
Close Calls: Eight of the 11 games Johns Hopkins has played against teams ranked number one under head coach Dave Pietramala have been decided by one goal. JHU is 6-2 in those eight one-goal games.
That’s Odd: Despite the win at top-ranked Loyola, Johns Hopkins remained ranked 10th in this week’s USILA Coaches Poll. This week’s game against Army will be the fifth game Johns Hopkins has played under head coach Dave Pietramala as the 10th-ranked team in the nation. JHU is a perfect 4-0 in the previous four games.
April Reign: Flipping the calendar to April has usually been a good sign for the Blue Jays, who improved to 50-10 (.833) under head coach Dave Pietramala in games played in April with last week’s win at Loyola. JHU is 28-4 at home, 20-4 on the road and 2-2 on a neutral field in April under Pietramala’s guidance.
Prepping For May: May become a whole lot more important when the NCAA began sponsoring the lacrosse national championhip in 1971. Johns Hopkins currently has a streak of 40 consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament and finishing April strong has been a big part of Hopkins’ success. In fact, Johns Hopkins has won the last game it has played in the month of April in each of the last 16 years and 40 of 41 during its streak of qualifying for the NCAAs. The only time JHU lost its last game in April since 1972 was in 1996 (Towson: Lost 13-12).
Marching Orders: Johns Hopkins closed out the March portion of its 2012 schedule at Virginia on March 24. The Blue Jays posted their first perfect record in the month of March (5-0) since 2005, when they also won all five of their games played in the month. Since 1972, JHU has posted a perfect record in the month of March 15 times (not including this season). In six of those years the Blue Jays went on to win the national championship and in seven other instances JHU finished as national runner-up.
Streaking: In case you didn’t notice, Johns Hopkins is 18-4 in its last 22 games, 23-6 since the start of the 2011 season and 25-8 in its last 33 games.
13-Win Seasons: With a 13-3 record last season, Johns Hopkins reached the 13-win mark for the fifth time under head coach Dave Pietramala and the 12th time in school history.
Balancing Act: Johns Hopkins scored 10 goals in the win last week at top-ranked Loyola and those 10 goals and the 15 total points the Blue Jays amassed were pretty evenly distributed. JHU got two goals and four assists from its starting attack, five goals from its first midfield and three goals from its second midfield.
Attack Oriented: Despite being forced to start five different players in three different combinations, the starting attack units the Blue Jays have trotted out have been effective and efficient. The unit has combined for 56 goals and 42 assists (7.54 points per game) through 13 games.
On the Flip Side: While the Blue Jay attack is collectively averaging over 7.5 points per game, the Blue Jay defense has not been nearly as giving. In fact, the starting attack units Johns Hopkins has faced this season have totaled just 45 goals and 24 assists (5.3 points per game).
Bassett Now 23-6 in Last 29 Starts: Junior goalie Pierce Bassett picked up his 26th career victory in goal with the 10-9 win at top-ranked Loyola as he posted nine saves. Bassett is now 23-6 in his last 29 starts dating back to the start of the 2011 season and counts a 26-10 career record to his credit.
Through 13 games Bassett currently ranks seventh in the nation in goals against average (7.14) and 21st in save percentage (.547).
Bassett concluded his first full season as the starter for the Blue Jays last season and posted a 7.07 goals against average and a .570 save percentage. He finished fifth in the nation in GAA and 10th in save percentage. Bassett’s 7.07 goals against average is the second best by a JHU goalie since 1993 (Jesse Schwartman’s 6.68 GAA in 2005 is the best since records became available in ‘93).
Boland Returns: Senior attackman Chris Boland returned to the lineup against North Carolina after missing seven consecutive games with an injury he suffered 35 minutes into the season opener against Towson. Boland scored twice and dished out a pair of assists against the Tar Heels and came back with a three-goal, two-assist showing against Albany and a one-goal, one-assist effort against Maryland to push his season totals to 10 goals and five assists. He had 13-game goal and point-scoring streaks snapped at Navy, but tallied a pair of assists in last week’s win at Loyola.
Boland pushed his career totals to 76 goals and 45 assists for 121 points with his two-assist effort at Loyola. He has 10 career hat tricks, 29 career multi-point games and 18 games with four points or more.
Stanwick in Rare Company: Freshman Wells Stanwick scored the fifth goal in JHU’s game-opening 5-0 run last week at top-ranked Loyola to help the Blue Jays to the 10-9 overtime victory.
Stanwick has seven goals and 13 assists for 20 points in 10 games played. He missed three games early in the season with an injury, but still ranks second on the team in assists and fourth in points.
Stanwick ran his streak of consecutive multi-point games to seven with one goal and two assists in the win over Albany before being held scoreless by Maryland and Navy. His run of seven straight multi-point games to open his career is the longest by a Johns Hopkins player (freshmen only – not transfers) since all-time leading scorer Terry Riordan opened his career with 18 consecutive multi-point games from 1992-93.
Offensive Notes of Interest: Below are several notes of interest about the JHU offense:
• JHU has scored at least one goal in 47 of 52 quarters this season and two or more in 38 of the 52 quarters.
• For all the talk about JHU being a slow down team, the Blue Jays are averaging 35.8 shots per game. That number compares favorably to JHU’s averages in 2005 (38.1) and 2007 (36.3) – the most recent years in which Johns Hopkins won the national championship.
• Johns Hopkins ranks 29th in the nation in scoring offense (9.85), 12th in extra-man offense (.426) and 12th in scoring margin (+2.77).
Defensive Notes of Interest: Below are several notes of interest about the JHU defense:
• Hopkins is surrendering an average of just 29.1 shots per game.
• JHU has held the opposition scoreless in 15 of 52 quarters this season (28.8%).
• The Blue Jays rank fifth in the nation in scoring defense (7.08), 15th in man-down defense (.730) and 12th in scoring margin (+2.77) this season.
• Johns Hopkins has held each of its 13 opponents scoreless for a stretch of at least 14:25 and 10 of the 13 have gone scoreless for 19:30 or longer.
Now That’s a Drought: The Johns Hopkins defense did not allow an even-strength goal for an amazing stretch of 116:37 from late in the win at Princeton through early in the fourth quarter of the win over UMBC.
About the Shutout: Shutouts in college lacrosse are rare, but JHU notched one with the 11-0 victory over Manhattan on March 6. Prior to that, the Blue Jays had last posted a shutout on March 26, 1988, when they knocked off Princeton, 9-0. The shutout vs. Manhattan was the 61st in JHU history with 57 of those coming prior to 1950.
Poll Position: The Blue Jays check in at number 10 in the USILA Coaches Poll and eighth in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll this week. 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 395 weekly polls since the inception of the poll in 1973. Amazingly, JHU has been ranked in the top 20 in 393 of those 395 polls. The Blue Jays have been in the top 10 in 372 of the 395 and the top five in 295 of those 395. Johns Hopkins has been ranked number one 104 times since the poll debuted in 1973.
Fifteen Straight – Historically: Johns Hopkins won 15 straight regular season games prior to falling to North Carolina on April 1. Not only was the 15-game regular season winning streak the second longest under Dave Pietramala, it’s also the sixth longest in school history during the NCAA Tournament era (1971 – Present).
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 wins this season vs. Towson, UMBC and Loyola and losses to Maryland and Navy, JHU is 56-6 (.903) against teams from Maryland under head coach Dave Pietramala.
First to 900: Johns Hopkins’ 10-6 win at Towson in the 2011 season opener not only got the season off on the right foot for the Blue Jays, but also made history. The win was the 900th all-time in school history, making Johns Hopkins the first program to record 900 all-time wins. JHU now has 922 all-time wins.
That’s 625 Games Over .500: The Blue Jays’ all-time record is now 922-297-15 (.753) … that’s 625 games over .500. To put this in perspective: JHU has played an average of just over 15 games per season under head coach Dave Pietramala. Using a 15-game season as a reference, if the Blue Jays posted a 5-10 record for 125 straight seasons, they would still be five games over .500.