April 14, 2009
The Game: Johns Hopkins (5-4) hits the home stretch of the regular season as the Blue Jays welcome Navy (9-3) to Homewood Field. It is Homecoming at Johns Hopkins.
A Look Back: Johns Hopkins won its second straight game as the Blue Jays pulled out a 10-9 win over Maryland last Saturday in the second game of Inside Lacrosse's Smartlink Day of Rivals. Navy was also part of the event as the Midshipmen led off the doubleheader with an 8-4 win over archrival Army.
These are the Facts: Johns Hopkins enters this week's game against Navy with an all-time record of 887-282-15 (.755). The Blue Jays own nine NCAA titles, 29 USILA titles and six ILA titles for a total of 44 national championships.
That's 605 Games Over .500: With the win over Maryland, the Blue Jays' all-time record is now 887-282-15 (.755) ... that's 605 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 five games over .500.
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. Including the two wins this season against Albany and Maryland, the Blue Jays are 38-4 (.905) under head coach Dave Pietramala in games played in April. JHU is 21-2 at home, 16-2 on the road and 1-0 on a neutral field in April under Pietramala's guidance.
A Brutal Stretch: This week's game against 11th-ranked Navy is the ninth 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 top-ranked Princeton, sixth-ranked UMBC, seventh-ranked Hofstra, fourth-ranked Syracuse, second-ranked Virginia, 10th-ranked North Carolina, 20th-ranked Albany and 12th-ranked Maryland in their last eight games. All eight of those teams were ranked in the top 18 in the nation at the time of the game. How difficult is the Blue Jays' schedule? Consider ...
The cumulative record of JHU's first nine opponents is currently 77-25 (.755). The last seven eight teams Johns Hopkins has played (Princeton, UMBC, Hofstra, Syracuse, Virginia, North Carolina, Albany, Maryland) currently have a combined record of 71-20 (.780).
This week's game against Navy will be JHU's ninth straight against a team ranked in the top 18 at the time of the game (all are still ranked in the top 20 as well). According to research conducted by the Johns Hopkins Sports Information Office, no other team in the country has played more than five 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 at least 10 of JHU's 13 games this season will be against teams ranked in the top 20 at the time of the game.
Ony two of JHU's 13 opponents this season (Towson, Mount St. Mary's) currently have a record below .500.
Hitting the Century Mark: JHU head coach Dave Pietramala reached a milestone with the 14-9 win over Albany as the victory was his 100th as the head coach at Johns Hopkins. The Blue Jays are now 101-29 (.777) on his watch and he is just the third coach in school history to win 100 games (Bob Scott-158, Henry Ciccarone-105).
And Closing on 125: In addition to recently earning his 100th win as the head coach at Johns Hopkins, head coach Dave Pietramala enters this week's game against Navy with an overall record of 124-46 (.729). This includes a 23-17 record in three seasons as the head coach at Cornell (1998-2000).
Poll Position: Johns Hopkins enters this week's game against Navy ranked ninth in the USILA Coaches Poll. The Blue Jays are also ranked ninth in the Inside Lacrosse/Nike Media Poll. Navy is ranked 11th in the Coaches Poll and 11th 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 354 weekly polls. Amazingly, Johns Hopkins has been ranked in the top 20 in all 354 of those polls and has been in the top 10 in 342 of the 354.
Below is a breakdown of the Blue Jays' in the USILA Coaches Poll since its inception on March 19, 1973:
Total Weeks: 354
Total Weeks at #1: 102
Weeks in top 5: 276
Weeks in top 10: 342
Weeks in top 20: 354
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: 354: 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 94-23-2 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 78-20 in its last 98 regular season games dating back to the end of the 2001 season and 93-25 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.
Wharton currently leads the team in goals (20) and points (29), while Boland (19g, 9a) and Boyle (14g, 9a) are not far behind.
Boland's 28 points have all come in the last eight games and 26 of the 28 have come in the last seven. 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 41 goals and 23 assists (9.14 ppg.).
Wharton, Boland and Boyle are currently among the top four 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 nine games, 78 of the Blue Jays' 104 goals (75%) have been scored by players who will return next season, while 51 of the team's 62 assists (82.3%) have been accumulated by players with at least one year of eligibility remaining.
Defensive Notes of Interest:
After allowing a total of 30 goals in back-to-back losses to Syracuse and Virginia, the Blue Jays have allowed a total of just 28 goals in their last three games (UNC/Albany/Maryland).
Johns Hopkins held Maryland scoreless for a stretch of 20:02 from late in the third quarter until the final minute of the fourth. This is the second straight game JHU has held the opposition scoreless for 20 minutes or longer.
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 43 times.
The Blue Jays have held 21 of their last 32 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 eighth in the nation in scoring offense (11.56), eighth in the nation in points per game (18.44) and ninth in assists per game (6.89). 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 eight and eight of the top 19 schools in the nation in scoring defense.
Despite the heavy losses mentioned earlier on offense (Paul Rabil, Kevin Huntley, Stephen Peyser, Michael Doneger), the Blue Jays are actually averaging just over one goal per game more than they did when they advanced to the national championship game last year (10.53) and won the national championship in 2007 (10.47). In fact, the 11.56 goals per game the Blue Jays are averaging this season are the most for JHU since 2005's undefeated national championship team (11.63).
JHU has scored in double figures 25 times in its last 32 games and is averaging 11.09 goals per game during that time (355 goals in 32 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 104 goals on 305 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.
One-Goal Turnarounds: With the 10-9 win last week against Maryland, Johns Hopkins is 32-11 in one-goal games since Dave Pietramala took over in 2001. The Blue Jays have won 19 of their last 26 and 23 of their last 31 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 16 times during their last 19 one-goal wins. In 10 of those 16 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 last week against Maryland, when the Blue Jays erased an 8-7 deficit late in the third quarter.
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.
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