March 26, 2009
The Game: Seventh-ranked Johns Hopkins (3-3) leaves the state of Maryland for the last time in the regular season as the Blue Jays head south to take on 12th-ranked North Carolina (7-3).
A Look Back: Both teams enter this week's game having lost two straight. The Blue Jays fell to Virginia, 16-15, in an instant classic last Saturday night at Homewood Field, while the Tar Heels also dropped a one-goal decision at Maryland (8-7).
These are the Facts: Johns Hopkins enters this week's game against North Carolina with an all-time record of 885-281-15 (.756). The Blue Jays own nine NCAA titles, 29 USILA titles and six ILA titles for a total of 44 national championships.
That's 604 Games Over .500: Despite the loss at Virginia, the Blue Jays' all-time record is now 885-281-15 (.756) ... that's 604 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 120 straight seasons, they would still be four games over .500.
Marching Orders: Depsite a March schedule that has typically included the likes of Syracuse, Princeton, Virginia and North Carolina to name a few, the Blue Jays are 32-18 (.640) under head coach Dave Pietramala in the month of March.
A Brutal Stretch: This week's game against 12th-ranked North Carolina is the sixth straight for the Blue Jays against teams currently ranked in the top 12 in the nation. Using this week's USILA Coaches Poll as a reference, the Blue Jays played fifth-ranked Princeton, eighth-ranked UMBC, sixth-ranked Hofstra, second-ranked Syracuse and top-ranked Virginia in their last five games. All five of those teams were ranked in the top nine in the nation at the time of the game.
After this week's game against North Carolina, the Blue Jays will take on Albany (currently ranked 20th), Maryland (9th) and Navy (16th) in their next three games. The cumulative record of JHU's first six opponents is currently 35-10 (.762).
Closing on 100: JHU head coach Dave Pietramala continues to close in on his 100th career victory at Johns Hopkins. The Blue Jays are now 99-28 (.780) on his watch (he's 122-45 (.731) overall) and he needs just one win to become the third coach in school history to win 100 games (Bob Scott-158, Henry Ciccarone-105).
Poll Position: Johns Hopkins enters this week's game against North Carolina ranked 7th in the USILA Coaches Poll. The Blue Jays are also ranked 6th in the Inside Lacrosse/Nike Media Poll. North Carolina is ranked 12th in the Coaches Poll and 12th in the Media Poll.
More Poll Position: Records indicate that the USILA began sponsoring a weekly coaches poll during the 1973 season. Since then there have been 351 weekly polls. Amazingly, Johns Hopkins has been ranked in the top 20 in all 351 of those polls and has been in the top 10 in 340 of the 351. Below is a breakdown of the Blue Jays' in the USILA Coaches Poll since its inception on March 19, 1973:
Total Weeks: 351
Total Weeks at #1: 102
Weeks in top 5: 276
Weeks in top 10: 340
Weeks in top 20: 351
Most Consecutive at #1: 14: 4/12/04-5/9/05
Most Consecutive in top 5: 130: 3/19/73-3/23/87
Most Consecutive in top 10: 158: 3/19/73-3/25/90
Most Consecutive in top 20: 351: 3/19/73-present
Poll Notes: In some years a preseason poll was not conducted In some years a preseason poll was conducted, but the second poll of that season may have been held until after several weeks of the season passed In some years a poll was conducted after the NCAA Tournament.
Lucky Number Nine: Years ending with the number nine have been kind to the Blue Jays since the program's inception in 1883. Johns Hopkins has played 13 seasons in years ending in nine (including 2009) and has compiled a 92-22-2 record with seven national championships in those 13 years. The Blue Jays also played in the 1989 national championship game and advanced to the final four in 1999.
Streaking: Johns Hopkins is 76-19 in its last 95 regular season games dating back to the end of the 2001 season and is 91-24 overall since the start of the 2002 season.
Attack Emerges: With the loss of standouts Paul Rabil and Stephen Peyser at midfield, it was no secret that the Blue Jay offense was likely to become more attack oriented. While the group was held in check in the loss to Princeton, it has more than held its own thus far. Starters Steven Boyle, Kyle Wharton and Chris Boland combined for seven goals and five assists against UMBC, seven goals and two assists against Hofstra, six goals and six assists at Syracuse and 10 goals and three assists against top-ranked Virginia.
Wharton exploded for a career-high five goals in the win over Hofstra and leads the team in goals (15) and points (22), while Boland (12g, 8a) and Boyle (13g, 5a) are not far behind.
Boland's 20 points have all come in the last five games and 18 of the 20 have come in the last four. He dropped a six-goal, two-assist masterpiece on top-ranked Virginia last Saturday with his eight-point showing the most by a JHU player since Kyle Barrie had nine against Navy in 2003. Since Boland entered the starting lineup against UMBC, the starting trio is averaging 11.5 points per game.
Wharton, Boland and Boyle are currently the top three scorers on the team. The last time JHU's top three scorers were all attackmen was in 2001, when Bobby Benson, Adam Doneger and Conor Ford led the way.
Young Guns: A year ago the Blue Jay offense was a senior-laden group that was led by Paul Rabil, Kevin Huntley, Stephen Peyser and Michael Doneger, who combined for 108 goals and 34 assists. Fast forward to this season and the experience has been replaced by youth. Through six games, 57 of the Blue Jays' 71 goals (80.3%) have been scored by players who will return next season, while 35 of the team's 42 assists (83.3%) have been accumulated by players with at least one year of eligibility remaining.
Defensive Notes of Interest:
Johns Hopkins held Hofstra scoreless for stretches of 16:49, 11:56 and 11:21 in the 12-7 victory against the Pride. The Pride scored consecutive goals just once (late in the first quarter) against the Blue Jays.
Johns Hopkins held Siena to just three goals in the season-opener. That's the fewest JHU has allowed in a season-opener since 1982.
The Blue Jays held Siena scoreless for the final 45:50 and limited the Saints to just six shots in the second half, including none in the third quarter.
Since the start of the 2007 season the Blue Jays have held the opposition scoreless for a streak of 14 minutes or longer 41 times.
The Blue Jays have held 19 of their last 29 opponents - including 13 of 17 last season - scoreless for a stretch of at least 18 minutes.
Hopkins has held the opposition scoreless for 25 minutes or longer 14 times since the start of the 2007 season, including seven times last season.
Virginia scored 16 goals against the Blue Jays - the most JHU has allowed since Duke scored 17 in a 17-6 win last season.
Offensive Notes of Interest:
While the focus of any Dave Pietramala-coached team will always be defense, the Blue Jay offense has also been effective. Consider:
Johns Hopkins ranks 10th in the nation in scoring offense (11.83) and 9th in the nation in points per game (18.83). The Blue Jays' offensive numbers are even more impressive when you looking at the national scoring defense leaders. JHU has played four of the top 11 schools in the nation in scoring defense.
JHU has scored in double figures 23 times in its last 29 games and is averaging 11.1 goals per game during that time (322 goals in 29 games).
JHU has scored 11 or more goals in each of the last four games. This is the longest such streak since a four-game run late in the 2007 season. The last time Hopkins scored 11 or more in five straight games was in 2003.
The 15 goals the Blue Jays scored against top-ranked Virginia are the most by Johns Hopkins against a team ranked in the top five since March 20, 2004, when JHU knocked off then third-ranked Syracuse, 17-5.
The Blue Jays have scored 71 goals on 208 shots this season for a shooting percentage of .341. As a team the Blue Jays scored on 31.2% of their shots last season (179-of-573). JHU connected on 28.8% of its shots en route to winning the national championship in 2007. The Blue Jays' highest shooting percentage in the Pietramala era came in 2003, when they connected on 31.7% (224-of-706) of their shots.
Johns Hopkins had scored at least one goal in 66 straight quarters dating back to the first quarter of last season's game against North Carolina before being held scoreless in the fourth quarter of last week's loss to top-ranked Virginia.
One-Goal Turnarounds: Johns Hopkins is 31-10 in one-goal games since Dave Pietramala took over in 2001. The Blue Jays have won 18 of their last 24 and 22 of their last 29 one-goal games. In the five seasons prior to Pietramala arriving (1996-2000) the Blue Jays were 5-8 in one-goal games.
More One-Goal Notes: The Blue Jays have come from behind to win 15 times during their last 18 one-goal wins. In 10 of those 15 come-from-behind one-goal wins the Blue Jays came back from a deficit of two goals or more. The latest of these come-from-behind one-goal wins came against Duke in the 2008 NCAA Tournament, when the Blue Jays erased a 2-1 second-quarter deficit.
Extra, Extra: JHU is 13-5 all-time in overtime under head coach Dave Pietramala's guidance, including an impressive 6-3 on the road.
Evans, Drenan Named to Tewaaraton Watch List: Senior defenders Michael Evans and Matt Drenan were recently named to the 2009 Tewaaraton Watch List. The players on the list were nominaed by coaches across the country. Johns Hopkins produced the 2005 Tewaaraton Award winner (Kyle Harrison) and Paul Rabil was a finalist for the award in 2007 and 2008. The award is presented annually to the top male and famale lacrosse players in the country.