The Game: Johns Hopkins hits the road for the second straight week as the Blue Jays made the short trip around the beltway to UMBC. Faceoff is set for 1 pm at UMBC Stadium on Saturday, March 8.
Mount St. Mary’s Game Rescheduled: The Johns Hopkins-Mount St. Mary’s game, which was originally scheduled for Tuesday, March 4 in Emmitsburg, was postponed due to unplayable field conditions after a winter storm blew through Maryland on Monday. The game against the Mountaineers has been rescheduled for Monday, April 14 at 4 pm (at Mount St. Mary’s).
A Look Back: Johns Hopkins made it four straight in the win column to open the season as the Blue Jays topped Princeton, 15-9, on the road last Saturday. UMBC picked up its second consecutive victory as the Retrievers topped Richmond, 14-5, at home last Saturday.
Series History: Johns Hopkins and UMBC are meeting for the 12th time in a series that dates to a 15-4 Johns Hopkins victory on March 12, 1983. Johns Hopkins has won all 11 previous meetings, including a 14-11 victory in 2009 in its last trip to UMBC Stadium.
These are the Facts: Johns Hopkins enters this week’s game at UMBC with an all-time record of 937-303-15 (.753). The Blue Jays own nine NCAA titles, 29 USILA titles and six ILA titles for a total of 44 national championships.
Poll Position: Johns Hopkins is ranked third in this week’s USILA Coaches Poll and fourth in the Warrior/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll. UMBC is not ranked in either poll.
Closing on Mr. Scott: Dave Pietramala picked up his 151st victory as the head coach at Johns Hopkins with last week’s 15-9 victory at Princeton and he continues to close in on the record for most career coaching victories at Homewood. Only Bob Scott, who won 158 games as the head coach at JHU from 1955-74, has won or coached (214) more games than Pietramala at Johns Hopkins.
About 4-0: Johns Hopkins is 4-0 for the second time in three years and the fourth time under head coach Dave Pietramala. The Blue Jays previously started 4-0 under Pietramala in 2004, 2005 and 2012.
New Blue: The Johns Hopkins lineup features six new starters after a large senior class departed Homewood last spring. The six are spread throughout the lineup and include Eric Schneider (G), Rob Enright (D), John Kelly (D), Bronson Kelly(M), Connor Reed (M) and Ryan Brown (A). Brown did start four games at midfield last season, but made the move to his natural attack position this season, and Enright had five career starts through his first two seasons.
New Blue II: In addition to the six new starters in the lineup, the overall Blue Jay roster is also vastly different than a year ago. Gone are 11 seniors who exhausted their eligibility and in their place are 17 freshmen.
Youth Will be Served: Johns Hopkins is fielding one of the youngest rosters in the nation this season as 17 of the team’s 49 players are freshmen and 29 are either freshmen or sophomores. Only nine of the 49 are seniors and two of those nine - Eric Schneider and Phil Castronova - have an extra year of eligibility and are planning to return for the 2015 season.
For Starters: Entering the 2014 season, the entire 49-man Johns Hopkins roster counted a total of 132 combined career starts to its credit. Of those 132, Rob Guida (38), Jack Reilly (30), Brandon Benn (29) and Wells Stanwick (17) accounted 114, or 86.7%. No other returning player had started more than five games for the Blue Jays. By contrast, last year’s 11-man senior class graduated with a combined 321 starts with six of those 11 players earning 45 or more starts during their careers.
Must be the Speech: There must be something about the speech that head coach Dave Pietramala gives at halftime that is sparking the Blue Jays. Johns Hopkins was tied with Ohio State at the half (2-2) and led Towson by one (6-5), but the Blue Jays outscored the Buckeyes 6-3 in the third quarter and took that up a notch against the Tigers by outscoring TU 7-1 to put the game away. For the year, Johns Hopkins holds a 20-9 scoring margin in the third quarter. In the first, second and four quarters, JHU is a combined +11 in scoring margin (33-22).
Attack Driven: Johns Hopkins’ starting attack unit of senior Brandon Benn, junior Wells Stanwick and sophomore Ryan Brown will be counted on to lead the way offensively for the Blue Jays this season and the trio has been up to the task thus far. They have combined for at least four goals and nine points in all four games this season, with nine goals against both Towson and Princeton and 16 points against Towson and 14 against Princeton.
Kennedy Shines: Junior Drew Kennedy has gotten off to a quick start at the X for the Blue Jays as he is 54-of-85 (.635) through four games and also has a team-high 37 ground balls thus far. He ranks ninth in the nation in faceoff winning percentage and sixth in ground balls per game (9.25).
Despite missing most of the preseason, Kennedy suited up and fueled Johns Hopkins’ win against Ohio State with a dominating performance as he was 18-of-22 (.818) and grabbed 13 ground balls in the victory. The 18 faceoff wins and 13 GBs are career highs. In addition, Kennedy’s 18 faceoff wins are the most by a Johns Hopkins player since Mike Poppleton won 20 (of 26) against Stony Brook in the first round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament.
He came back and won 16-of-23 with 10 ground balls against Towson. After winning just 1-of-6 in the first quarter, he was 15-of-17 over the final three quarters against the Tigers.
Crawley Quick Out of the Gate: Freshman John Crawley scored a key goal in the season opener against Ohio State before exploding for four goals on five shots against Towson. He added one goal against Michigan and is now tied for third on the team – and ranks first among midfielders – with six goals on the year. Crawley is the first Johns Hopkins freshman midfielder to score four goals in a game since Paul Rabil scored four times in a 12-11 come-from-behind win at Syracuse on March 18, 2005.
Second-Longest Game in School History: The triple overtime game against Ohio State in the season-opener ranks as the second-longest game in the history of the Johns Hopkins men’s lacrosse program. The longest game in school history was a four-overtime game against Virginia on March 24, 2001.
In Overtime: Johns Hopkins improved to 20-10 all-time in overtime under head coach Dave Pietramala with the 10-9 triple overtime victory against Ohio State. The Blue Jays have now won four of their last five overtime games dating back to late in the 2011 season.
State Rivalries: Johns Hopkins improved its record is to 62-8 (.886) under head coach Dave Pietramala in games played against teams from the state of Maryland with the recent 15-8 victory against Towson.
Including the game against the Tigers, the Blue Jays will play six games this season against in-state rivals.
Poll Position: The Blue Jays are ranked third in this week’s USILA Preseason Coaches 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 413 weekly polls since the inception of the poll in 1973. Amazingly, JHU has been ranked in the top 20 in 411 of those 413 polls. The Blue Jays have been in the top 10 in 384 of the 413 and the top five in 301 of those 413. Johns Hopkins has been ranked number one 104 times since the poll debuted in 1973.