The Game: Johns Hopkins (5-1) leaves the state of Maryland for the first time in 2013 as the Blue Jays travel to Syracuse (3-1) to renew one of the great rivalries in college lacrosse.
A Look Back: Johns Hopkins improved to 5-1 on the year as the Blue Jays topped UMBC, 13-7, last Friday night at Homewood Field. Syracuse made it three straight in the win column as the Orange topped St. John’s, 13-11, in the Whitman’s Sampler Independence Classic last Saturday in Chester, PA.
Series History: Johns Hopkins and Syracuse are meeting for the 51st time in a series that dates to a 4-4 tie in 1921. The Blue Jays lead the all-time series 27-22-1 and won last season, 11-7. SU had won five in a row against JHU prior to last season and has won the last two meetings in the Carrier Dome.
These are the Facts: Johns Hopkins enters this week’s game against Syracuse with an all-time record of 929-299-15 (.753). The Blue Jays own nine NCAA titles, 29 USILA titles and six ILA titles for a total of 44 national championships.
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 win last week against UMBC, JHU is 59-7 (.894) against teams from Maryland under head coach Dave Pietramala.
That’s 103 Games Over .500: Johns Hopkins head coach Dave Pietramala picked up his 166th career win when JHU knocked off UMBC and he now stands at 166-63 overall. Included in that mark is a 143-46 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 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 six games. JHU has outscored the opposition 27-7 in the first quarter and 24-10 in the third. By contrast, the Blue Jays hold just a 20-17 scoring margin in the fourth quarter and are deadlocked in the second quarter (13-13).
Balancing Act: Johns Hopkins counts seven players with four or more goals and 10 players with four or more points through six games. In all, 17 different players have found the back of the net for JHU and 20 players have at least one point.
EMO Clicking: The Johns Hopkins extra man unit connected on 5-of-6 chances against Mount St. Mary’s, came back with a 4-of-6 showing against UMBC and is now 17-of-29 (.586) on the year. Johns Hopkins currently leads the nation in extra-man offense. Seven different players have scored at least one extra man goal for the Blue Jays with freshman Ryan Brown (6), senior Zach Palmer (3) and junior Brandon Benn (3) leading the way.
Stanwick Breaks Out: Sophomore attackman Wells Stanwick enjoyed the finest game of his career in the 19-9 win over Mount St. Mary’s last Tuesday 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 to push his season totals to 12 goals and 11 assists for 23 points. The 12 goals already surpass his total from last season and his 23 points match his total from a year ago.
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 15-of-21 performance against Mount St. Mary’s and a 12-of-19 effort against UMBC, 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 82-of-112 (.732) on the year and leads the team with 44 ground balls. He also improved to 272-of-422 (.645) in his career with his efforts last week.
Benn Continues Hot Streak: Junior Brandon Benn scored four goals in the win over Mount St. Mary’s to run his season totals to 18 goals and one assist in five games. He currently leads the team in goals and points.
Benn’s four-goal effort marked his fifth straight hat trick, making him the first Johns Hopkins player with five straight hat tricks since Conor Ford turned the trick late in the 2004 season. The last Johns Hopkins player to post six consecutive hat tricks was Dylan Schlott in 1998.
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 againt the Tigers and added one goal and one assist against the Mount.
What Brown Does For Us: Freshman Ryan Brown has stepped in and made an immediate impact for the Blue Jays. Brown has seven goals and three assists through six games and leads the team with six extra-man goals. He has registered at least one point in five of six games this season and his six extra-man goals already match the team-leading total Brandon Benn punched up a year ago.
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 seven goals through six games. Sanders is tied for fifth on the team in goals (7) and is tied for eighth in points (7).
Bassett Solid Through Six: Senior Pierce Bassett hails from Arizona, but the chill of the early season in Baltimore hasn’t slowed him as he currently boasts a .600 save percentage and a 7.33 goals against average. He ranks eightth in the nation in goals against average and sixth in save percentage. He posted 10 saves in the win against UMBC and became the 10th Johns Hopkins goalie to reach the 400-save mark (406) in the process.
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 (14) and leads the team with nine caused turnovers. Durkin counts exactly one-fourth of JHU’s total caused turnovers (36) to his credit and is the anchor of a Johns Hopkins defense that ranks 11th nationally in scoring defense (7.83).
Scoring Droughts Abound: Despite the new rules in place this season that aim to quicken the pace (and thus increasing scoring), the Johns Hopkins defense has been able to hold the opposition scoreless for long stretches this season.
Siena, Towson and Michigan each drew blanks of at least 15 minutes and 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. I’m Honored: The Blue Jays return four players who earned All-America honors last season in seniors Tucker Durkin, Pierce Bassettand 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 25-6 in its last 31 games and 30-8 since the start of the 2011 season.
Poll Position: The Blue Jays are ranked fourth in this week’s USILA Coaches Poll and fifth 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 401 weekly polls since the inception of the poll in 1973. Amazingly, JHU has been ranked in the top 20 in 399 of those 401 polls. The Blue Jays have been in the top 10 in 378 of the 401 and the top five in 299 of those 401. Johns Hopkins has been ranked number one 104 times since the poll debuted in 1973.
Palmer in Rare Company: Senior attackman Zach Palmer led Johns Hopkins in scoring with 27 goals and 26 assists for 53 points last season. With that effort, Palmer became the first player at Johns Hopkins with 25 goals and 25 assists in the same season since 2007, when Paul Rabil totaled 27 goals and 26 assists. The 25-25 feat is rare at Johns Hopkins as Palmer is just the eighth Blue Jay to reach this mark since 1980 (the eight have turned the trick a combined 13 times).
Palmer Among Career Active Assists Leaders: Senior attackman Zach Palmer notched two assists against Mount St. Mary’s to run his career assist total to 67. He currently ranks ninth among all active Division I players in career assists.