Television: CBS Sports Network
The Game: Johns Hopkins (8-5) hits the road for the final time in the regular season as the Blue Jays head to West Point to take on Army (8-5).
A Look Back: Johns Hopkins had its two-game winning streak snapped as the Blue Jays fell to Loyola, 8-4, last Saturday at Homewood Field. Army also had a two-game winning streak snapped as the Black Knights fell to Bucknell, 12-9, in the Patriot League semifinals last Friday.
Series History: This week’s game will be the 69th in a series that dates to a 3-2 Johns Hopkins win in 1921. The Blue Jays have won 55 of the first 68 games between the two teams and have currently won 18 straight in the series.
Program Ties – I: Johns Hopkins sophomore defenseman Eddie Schurr is the older brother of Army freshman defenseman Kevin Schurr.
Program Ties – II: Johns Hopkins freshman faceoff specialist Craig Madarasz is the cousin of Army freshman LSM Brendan Madarasz.
These are the Facts: Johns Hopkins enters this week’s game against Army with an all-time record of 932-303-15 (.752). The Blue Jays own nine NCAA titles, 29 USILA titles and six ILA titles for a total of 44 national championships.
1,250 and Counting: Last week’s game against Loyola was the 1,250th in the history of the Johns Hopkins men’s lacrosse program.
That’s 102 Games Over .500: Johns Hopkins head coach Dave Pietramala picked up his 169th career win with Johns Hopkins’ victory over Navy on April 20 and he now stands at 169-67 overall. Included in that mark is a 146-50 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.
May Day: Johns Hopkins has won 14 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 34-10 (.773) in games played in May under head coach Dave Pietramala (2001-present).
Must be the Speech: There must be something to what Johns Hopkins head coach Dave 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 13 games. JHU has outscored the opposition 45-26 in the first quarter and 41-26 in the third. The Blue Jays also hold a 29-21 scoring margin in the second quarter and a 37-31 advantage in the fourth quarter.
Balancing Act: Johns Hopkins counts nine players with six or more goals and nine players with 12 or more points through 13 games. In all, 18 different players have found the back of the net for JHU and 22 players have at least one point.
It’s Been a While – Part I: Johns Hopkins held Navy to just four goals – and none in the final 28 minutes – in the recent 15-4 victory. This defensive effort came seven days after JHU held Maryland to four goals in a 7-4 win. This marks the first time the Blue Jays have held back-to-back opponents to four goals or less since 2008, when JHU held Hofstra (10-4) and Navy (10-4) to four goals in victories in the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament.
It’s Been a While – Part II: More than six years had passed since Johns Hopkins last won a game when scoring seven goals or less. Prior to the 7-4 win at Maryland, the Blue Jays’ last win when scoring seven or less came on March 3, 2007, when JHU topped Princeton, 7-6, in double overtime in the Face-Off Classic at M&T Bank Stadium. Ironically, the win against Princeton that day came one week after a one-goal loss to Albany; as did this year’s win at Maryland.
The Key to Victory – Part I: Johns Hopkins is 7-1 on the year when scoring in double figures. The Blue Jays are 1-4 when scoring fewer than 10 goals. JHU scored its first win of the season when scoring less than 10 goals with the 7-4 win at Maryland.
The Key to Victory – Part II: Johns Hopkins is 8-1 on the year when holding the opposition to less than 10 goals. On the flip side, JHU is 0-4 when allowing 10 goals or more.
EMO Among Nation’s Best: The Blue Jay extra-man offense is 25-of-59 (.424) on the year and currently ranks eighth in the nation in man-up offense. Seven different players have scored at least one extra man goal for the Blue Jays with freshman Ryan Brown (8), junior Brandon Benn (6) and sophomore Wells Stanwick (4) 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 and Conor Ford had eight.
Welcome Back: Junior midfielder Rob Guida returned to the lineup at Maryland after missing eight games with an injury. Guida took his customary spot on Johns Hopkins’ first midfield and scored one goal with two ground balls to his credit. He added another goal and two more GBs against Navy and now has three goals, one assist and eight ground balls on the year. Two of his goals are extra-man tallies.
Kaestner Enjoys Career Day: Senior attackman John Kaestner fueled JHU’s 15-4 win against Navy with the most productive game of his career. Starting for an injured Zach Palmer, Kaestner totaled career highs of three goals, three assists and six points to go along with three ground balls on the day.
Despite playing in just nine of JHU’s 13 games, Kaestner is tied for sixth on the team in scoring with nine goals and seven assists for 16 points. In 21 career games played before this season, he had four goals and two assists.
He also represents the third-generation of Kaestners to play at JHU as his grandfather (Benjamin “Bud” Kaestner, Jr.) and uncle (Benjamin “Hank” Kaestner, III) both played lacrosse at Johns Hopkins, are members of the All-Time Johns Hopkins Team and the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame. His uncle was a two-time recipient of the Schmeisser Award as the nation’s top defenseman (1966 & 1967), His father, John, played lacrosse at Maryland, was a three-time All-American and the 1972 recipient of the Turnbull Award, which is presented annually to the nation’s top attackman.
In addition, Kaestner’s two older sisters were also accomplished Division I lacrosse players. His oldest sister, Ashby, earned All-America honors three times at Georgetown, while another sister, Christie, played at Duke and was a First Team All-America pick for the Blue Devils.
Stanwick Leads Team in Scoring: Sophomore attackman Wells Stanwick had a nine-game streak with multiple points come to an end at Maryland as he was held scoreless for the first time this season, but he bounced back in a big way in the 15-4 win over Navy with one goal and a career-high five assists for six points. He added one assist last week against Loyola.
Stanwick continues to lead the team in scoring with 23 goals and 22 assists for 45 points on the year and he has far surpassed his goal (9), assist (13) and point (23) totals from last season. He currently ranks fourth in the nation in shooting percentage (.500).
Stanwick has recorded at least two points in 10 of the 12 games he has played in this season and, despite not registering a point at Maryland, still has 37 points in his last nine games (4.1/game).
Stanwick enjoyed the finest game of his career in the 19-9 win over Mount St. Mary’s earlier this season 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. 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: Senior Mike Poppleton continues to enjoy a standout season as he won 15-of-17 faceoffs and grabbed 10 ground balls in the win over Navy and was 11-of-15 with six ground balls and one goal against Loyola. His effort against Navy marked the 11th time in is career he has won 14 or more faceoffs in one game.
Poppleton, who ranks second in the nation in faceoff winning percentage, is now 161-of-235 (.685) on the year and leads the team with 89 ground balls. He also improved to 351-of-545 (.644) in his career with his showing last week against Loyola and now ranks seventh in school history in career faceoffs won and attempted.
Palmer Ranks Third in Scoring: Despite missing games against Maryland and Navy after suffering an injury in practice, senior attackman Zach Palmer is still ranked third on the team in scoring with 12 goals and 12 assists on the year. He posted three goals and one assist at North Carolina and added one goal against Albany before missing the games against Maryland and Navy.
Palmer now has career totals of 71 goals and 68 assists for 139 points. He enters this week’s game against Army needing just two assists to become the 11th player in school history to amass 70 goals and 70 assists.
Benn Leads Team in Goals: Junior Brandon Benn continues to pace the team in goals (30) and ranks second in points (31) after punching up a career-high-tying five goals against Navy and two more last week against Loyola. He has scored 60 of his 65 career goals since the start of the 2012 season and has scored at least one goal in all 12 games he has played this season and 15 straight dating back to last season.
With 30 goals last season and 30 more this year, he is the first Johns Hopkins player to score 30 or more goals in back-to-back years since Dylan Schlott in 1998 (48) and 1999 (41).
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 14 goals and four assists through 13 games and leads the team with eight extra-man goals. He has registered at least one point in nine of 13 games this season and his eight extra-man goals are the most by a Johns Hopkins player since 2004, when Matt Rewkowski (12) and Conor 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 the 15-8 win over Virginia and added two goals at North Carolina. He now has six multi-point and four multi-goal games to his credit this season.
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 13 goals through 13 games. Sanders ranks fifth on the team in goals (13) and ranks ninth in points (13).
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, added one goal and one assist vs. Virginia, one goal against Albany and an assist vs. Navy. He now has six goals and three assists for nine points on the year.
Bassett Among National Win Leaders: Senior Pierce Bassett enters this week’s game against Army with a 7.90 goals against average and a .592 save percentage after posting 12 saves while allowing eight goals in last week’s game against Loyola. He currently ranks eighth in the nation in both save percentage and goals against average.
Bassett enjoyed one of his finest games of the season 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 and he followed that with a 15-save performance against Albany and a 12-save showing against Maryland. He ranks seventh in school history with 487 career saves and passed Larry Quinn (462 saves • 1982-85) on the career saves list with his 12 against the Terps.
Bassett also enters this week’s game against Army tied for third among active Division I goalies in career wins after picking up number 35 against Navy.
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 and was recently named one of the 25 nominees for the 2013 Tewaaraton Award.
Durkin has been on a roll of late as the three players he has primarly covered in his last three games – Albany’s Lyle Thompson, Maryland’s Kevin Cooper and Loyola’s Justin Ward, combined for two assists in the three games. He held Thompson, the nation’s leading scorer at better than seven points per game, scoreless, while Cooper and Ward managed just one assist each.
Durkin currently ranks third on the team in ground balls (32) and leads the team with 16 caused turnovers. He is the anchor of a Johns Hopkins defense that ranks ninth nationally in scoring defense (8.08).
Lightner, Reilly Round Out Starting Defense: While senior Tucker Durkin has drawn the most headlines among JHU’s close defensemen, the Blue Jays also count talented senior Chris Lightner and junior Jack Reillyamong the key pieces to their defensive puzzle.
Lightner ranks fourth on the team with 31 ground balls and also has eight caused turnovers to his credit, while Reilly has 14 ground balls and ranks second on the team with 13 caused turnovers. Lightner had five ground balls and two caused turnovers in the recent win at Maryland.
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.
In the win at top-ranked Maryland, the Blue Jay defense was dialed in from the opening whistle and held the Terps off the scoreboard for stretches of 11:23, 22:02 and 13:13. Senior goalie Pierce Bassett and close defensemen Tucker Durkin, Chris Lightner and Jack Reilly combined to hold Maryland’s starting attack unit to one goal and one assist and the Terps’ potent first midfield managed just three goals and one assist. This is the first time this season JHU has held the opposition scoreless for 11 minutes or more three different times in one game.
The four goals the Blue Jays allowed at Maryland are the fewest Johns Hopkins has allowed against a team ranked in the top five since April 5, 1986, when JHU topped third-ranked North Carolina, 16-4
The Blue Jays followed that with another strong showing as they held Navy to just four goals on 22 shots and twice held the Midshipmen scoreless for stretches of 20 minutes or longer.
• The Blue Jays have held the opposition scoreless for 11 minutes or more 21 times this season.
• The Blue Jays have held the opposition scoreless for 15 mnutes or more 13 times this season.
• The Blue Jays have held the opposition scoreless for 20 minutes or more seven times this season.
State Rivalries: Last week’s 8-4 loss to Loyola was JHU’s first in six games this season against a team from the state of Maryland. Johns Hopkins’ record is now 61-8 (.884) under head coach Dave Pietramala in games played against teams from the state of Maryland. JHU went 5-1 this year against in-state teams.
Poll Position: The Blue Jays are ranked 14th in this week’s USILA Coaches Poll and 16th 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 week’s USILA Poll, there have been 408 weekly polls since the inception of the poll in 1973. Amazingly, JHU has been ranked in the top 20 in 406 of those 408 polls. The Blue Jays have been in the top 10 in 381 of the 408 and the top five in 299 of those 408. Johns Hopkins has been ranked number one 104 times since the poll debuted in 1973.
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 loss at North Carolina snapped a three-game winning streak for the Blue Jays in games that have gone to overtime. With the loss the Blue Jays are now 19-10 all-time in overtime under head coach Dave Pietramala.