April 9, 2009
The Game: Johns Hopkins (4-4) takes the short four-mile trip down Martin Luther King Boulevard to M&T Bank Stadium to take on Maryland (6-4) in the second game of the Smartlink Day of Rivals. The annual Army-Navy game will lead off the event at 11:30 am with the Hopkins-Maryland game to follow.
A Look Back: Johns Hopkins snapped a three-game losing streak with a 14-9 victory over Albany last Saturday at Homewood Field. Maryland dropped its second straight game last Friday night as the Terrapins lost at Navy, 10-4.
These are the Facts: Johns Hopkins enters this week's game against Maryland with an all-time record of 886-282-15 (.755). 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: With the win over Albany, the Blue Jays' all-time record is now 886-282-15 (.755) ... 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.
Home Away From Home: This week's game against Maryland will be the ninth Johns Hopkins has played at M&T Bank Stadium. The Blue Jays are 5-3 all-time at the home of the NFL's Baltimore Ravens. JHU won all three of its games at M&T in 2007, including a 7-6 double-overtime win against Princeon in the Face-Off Classic and a 12-11 win against Duke in the NCAA Championship game. The Blue Jays added a 14-9 win over Princeton in the Face-Off Classic last season, before falling to Princeton, 14-8, in the Face-off Classic earlier this season.
April Reign: Flipping the calendar to April has usually been a good sign for the Blue Jays, who won four-of-five games in April last season to jump-start their run to the national championship game. The Blue Jays are 37-4 (.902) under head coach Dave Pietramala in games played in April. JHU is 21-2 at home in April under Pietramala's guidance and 16-2 on the road.
A Brutal Stretch: This week's game against 12th-ranked Maryland is the eighth straight for the Blue Jays against teams currently ranked in the top 20 in the nation. Using this week's USILA Coaches Poll as a reference, the Blue Jays played second-ranked Princeton, seventh-ranked UMBC, fifth-ranked Hofstra, sixth-ranked Syracuse, top-ranked Virginia, 10th-ranked North Carolina and 18th-ranked Albany in their last seven games. All seven of those teams were ranked in the top 18 in the nation at the time of the game.
After this week's game against Maryland, the Blue Jays will take on Navy (currently ranked 13th) next week at Homewood Field. How difficult is the Blue Jays' schedule? Consider ...
The cumulative record of JHU's first eight opponents is currently 65-18 (.783).
The last seven teams Johns Hopkins has played (Princeton, UMBC, Hofstra, Syracuse, Virginia, North Carolina, Albany) currently have a combined record of 60-13 (.822).
This week's game against Maryland will be JHU's eighth straight against a team ranked in the top 18 at the time of the game (all are still ranked in the top 18 as well). According to research conducted by the Johns Hopkins Sports Information Office, no other team in the country has played more than four consecutive games against teams in the top 20.
While it's hard to guage how the remainder of the season will play out, it's not out of the question that 12 of JHU's 13 games this season will be against teams ranked in the top 20 at the time of the game.
Exactly one of JHU's 13 opponents this season (Mount St. Mary's) currently has a record below .500.
Hitting the Century Mark: JHU head coach Dave Pietramala reached a milestone with last week's 14-9 win over Albany as the victory was his 100th as the head coach at Johns Hopkins. The Blue Jays are now 100-29 (.775) on his watch (he's 123-46 (.728) overall) and his is just 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 Maryland ranked ninth in the USILA Coaches Poll. The Blue Jays are also ranked ninth in the Inside Lacrosse/Nike Media Poll. Maryland is ranked 12th in the Coaches Poll and 13th 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 353 weekly polls. Amazingly, Johns Hopkins has been ranked in the top 20 in all 353 of those polls and has been in the top 10 in 341 of the 353.
Below is a breakdown of the Blue Jays' in the USILA Coaches Poll since its inception on March 19, 1973:
Total Weeks: 353
Total Weeks at #1: 102
Weeks in top 5: 276
Weeks in top 10: 341
Weeks in top 20: 353
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: 353: 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 93-23-2 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 77-20 in its last 97 regular season games dating back to the end of the 2001 season and 92-25 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 losses to Princeton and UNC, 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, 10 goals and three assists against top-ranked Virginia and seven goals and three assists against Albany.
Boland currently leads the team in goals (18) and points (26), while Wharton (17g, 8a) and Boyle (14g, 9a) are not far behind.
Boland's 26 points have all come in the last seven games and 24 of the 26 have come in the last six. He dropped a six-goal, two-assist masterpiece on top-ranked Virginia 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 has combined for 37 goals and 21 assists (9.67 ppg.).
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 eight games, 71 of the Blue Jays' 94 goals (75.5%) have been scored by players who will return next season, while 47 of the team's 57 assists (82.5%) have been accumulated by players with at least one year of eligibility remaining.
Defensive Notes of Interest:
Johns Hopkins held Albany scoreless for streaks of 20:32 and 11:32. The streak of 20:32 is the second longest scoring drought for an opponent this season.
Despite the loss, Johns Hopkins held North Carolina scoreless for stretches of 13:18 and 11:08.
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 42 times.
The Blue Jays have held 20 of their last 31 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.
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 ninth in the nation in scoring offense (11.75), seventh in the nation in points per game (18.88) and eighth in assists per game (7.13). The Blue Jays' offensive numbers are even more impressive when you look at the national scoring defense leaders. JHU has played three of the top seven and seven of the top 20 schools in the nation in scoring defense.
JHU has scored in double figures 24 times in its last 31 games and is averaging 11.13 goals per game during that time (345 goals in 31 games).
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 94 goals on 275 shots this season for a shooting percentage of .342. 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 is the only team in the nation with five players (Boland, Wharton, Boyle, Kimmel, Christopher) ranked among the top 90 in the nation in points per game and one of just two teams (Virginia) with four players ranked among the top 75 in the nation in goals per game (Boland, Wharton, Boyle, Christopher).
One-Goal Turnarounds: Despite one-goal losses to Virginia and North Carolina, Johns Hopkins is 31-11 in one-goal games since Dave Pietramala took over in 2001. The Blue Jays have won 18 of their last 25 and 22 of their last 30 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: The at North Carolina in overtime was JHU's fourth straight defeat in extra time. Despite this, JHU is 13-6 all-time in overtime under head coach Dave Pietramala's guidance.
Players on the 2009 team who have scored game-winning goals in overtime during their career:
Senior Brian Christopher scored 1:22 into OT against Loyola on May 6, 2006.
Junior Michael Kimmel became the first freshman in school history to score an overtime goal in an NCAA Tournament game when he netted the game-winner one-minute into overtime against Notre Dame last season.
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.