The Game: Johns Hopkins (6-3) welcomes Albany (6-3) to Homewood Field for a key midseason game featuring two top 20 teams.
A Look Back: Johns Hopkins fell at then sixth-ranked North Carolina, 11-10, in overtime last Saturday. Albany picked up its second straight win and fifth in six games with a 21-8 win at Binghamton.
Series History: This week’s game will be the 12th meeting between Johns Hopkins and Albany in a series that dates to a 10-4 Blue Jay victory in 2002. Johns Hopkins leads the all-time series, 10-1, and has won five straight since the Great Danes scored an 8-7 win in 2007.
These are the Facts: Johns Hopkins enters this week’s game against Albany with an all-time record of 930-301-15 (.752). The Blue Jays own nine NCAA titles, 29 USILA titles and six ILA titles for a total of 44 national championships.
Program Ties – Part I: Albany is coached by Scott Marr, a 1991 Johns Hopkins graduate. Marr was a member of the Blue Jays’ 1987 NCAA Championship team and played at JHU with current Johns Hopkins head coach Dave Pietramala and current JHU associate head coach Bill Dwan.
Program Ties – Part II: Johns Hopkins fans may recognize the name Haugen on the Albany roster. Great Dane junior midfielder Jimmy Haugen is the younger brother of A.J. Haugen, a three time First Team All-American midfielder at JHU (1998-2000). A.J. Haugen will be inducted into the Johns Hopkins Athletic Hall of Fame later this month (April 20). Like his older brother, Jimmy Haugen also wears #12.
That’s 102 Games Over .500: Johns Hopkins head coach Dave Pietramala picked up his 167th career win when JHU knocked off Virginia on March 23 and he now stands at 167-65 overall. Included in that mark is a 144-48 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.
April Reign: Flipping the calendar to April has usually been a good sign for the Blue Jays, who are 50-10 (.833) under head coach Dave Pietramala in games played in April. JHU is 28-4 at home, 20-4 on the road and 2-2 on a neutral field in April under Pietramala’s guidance.
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 nine games. JHU has outscored the opposition 34-18 in the first quarter and 32-20 in the third. The Blue Jays also hold a 24-16 scoring margin in the second quarter – the bulge slides to a 27-24 advantage in the fourth quarter.
Balancing Act: Johns Hopkins counts eight players with five or more goals and 10 players with seven or more points through nine games. In all, 18 different players have found the back of the net for JHU and 21 players have at least one point.
The Key to Victory – Part I: Johns Hopkins is 6-1 on the year when scoring in double figures. The Blue Jays are 0-2 when scoring fewer than 10 goals.
The Key to Victory – Part II: Johns Hopkins improved to 6-0 on the year when holding the opposition to less than 10 goals with the win vs. Virginia. On the flip side, JHU is 0-3 when allowing 10 goals or more.
EMO Clicking: The Johns Hopkins extra man unit has been on a roll of late as the group is 14-of-24 (.583) in the last five games and is now 22-of-41 (.537) on the year. Johns Hopkins currently ranks third in the nation in man-up offense. Seven different players have scored at least one extra man goal for the Blue Jays with freshmanRyan Brown (8), sophomore Wells Stanwick (4) and junior Brandon Benn (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 andConor Ford had eight.
Among the Leaders: The NCAA issued its sixth national statistical report this week and Johns Hopkins is well represented among the national leaders. JHU ranks in the top 15 in the nation in eight different team categories and four individuals combine for six spots in six different categories as well.
Palmer Bounces Back: After being held scoreless in back-to-back games against Syracuse and Virginia, senior attackman Zach Palmer broke through against North Carolina with three goals and one assist. All four of his points came in the second half as JHU erased a 5-3 halftime deficit and eventually led 10-9 before falling in overtime.
His effort against the Tar Heels pushed his season totals to 11 goals and 12 assists and his career totals to 70 goals and 68 assists for 138 points. He enters this week’s game against Albany needing just two assists to become the 11th player in school history to amass 70 goals and 70 assists.
Stanwick Breaks Out: Sophomore attackman Wells Stanwick ran his consecutive multi-point game streak to eight (all eight he has played this season) with a pair of assists against North Carolina. He had totaled four or more points in four straight games prior to the game at UNC and has now accumulated 25 points in his last five games.
Stanwick boosted his totals to 18 goals and 15 assists on the year with his effort against UNC and he has already surpassed his goal (9), assist (13) and point (23) totals from last season. He currently ranks 12th in the nation in points per game (4.13).
Stanwick enjoyed the finest game of his career in the 19-9 win over Mount St. Mary’s 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 and then added the three-goal, one-assist performance at SU.
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: In a matchup of two of the top faceoff specialists in the nation, senior Mike Poppleton won 13-of-24 faceoffs and grabbed nine ground balls against North Carolina. This effort came on the heels of a 14-of-23 performance at Syracuse and a 4-of-6 effort against Virginia in his previous two games.
Poppleton, who ranks second in the nation in faceoff winning percentage, is now 113-of-141 (.685) on the year and leads the team with 64 ground balls. He also improved to 303-of-475 (.638) in his career with his showing last week against North Carolina and is now tied for eighth in school history in career faceoffs won.
Benn Leads Team in Goals: Junior Brandon Benn continues to pace the team in goals (21) and ranks third in points (22) after scoring once against North Carolina last week.
He has scored 51 of his 56 career goals since the start of the 2012 season and currently ranks 14th in the nation in goals per game (2.63).
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 and now has five goals and two assists for seven points on the year.
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 13 goals and four assists through nine games and leads the team with eight extra-man goals. He has registered at least one point in eight of nine games this season and his eight extra-man goals are already the most by a Johns Hopkins player since 2004, when Matt Rewkowski (12) andConor 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 the15-8 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 11 goals through nine games. Sanders is tied for fourth on the team in goals (11) and ranks eighth in points (11) after punching up the first hat trick of his career against Virginia.
Bassett Shines Against Virginia, Among National Win Leaders: Senior Pierce Bassett enjoyed his finest game 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.
Bassett currently boasts a .570 save percentage and an 8.55 goals against average. He ranks 17th in the nation in goals against average and 12th in save percentage. His eigh-save performance against UNC boosted his career total to 441 saves, which moved him into sole possession of eighth place on JHU’s career saves list (441). Bassett also enters this week’s game Albany ranked second among active Division I goalies in career wins after picking up career win number 33 against UVA.
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 (18) and leads the team with 11 caused turnovers. Durkin is the anchor of a Johns Hopkins defense that ranks 16th nationally in scoring defense (8.78).
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 this season.
The Blue Jays held Virginia scoreless for a stretch of 31:25 midway through the game and Siena, Towson and Michigan each drew blanks of at least 15 minutes – 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.
Poll Position: The Blue Jays are ranked 10th in this week’s USILA Coaches Poll and 11th 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 404 weekly polls since the inception of the poll in 1973. Amazingly, JHU has been ranked in the top 20 in 402 of those 404 polls. The Blue Jays have been in the top 10 in 381 of the 404 and the top five in 299 of those 404. Johns Hopkins has been ranked number one 104 times since the poll debuted in 1973.
Palmer Among Career Active Assists Leaders: Senior attackman Zach Palmer enters this week’s game against Albany with 68 career assists. He currently ranks 13th among all active Division I players in career assists.
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.
Streaking: In case you didn’t notice, Johns Hopkins is 26-8 in its last 34 games and 31-10 since the start of the 2011 season.