Johns Hopkins to Host Brown in First Round of NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship
May 3, 2009
BALTIMORE, MD -- The Johns Hopkins men's lacrosse team will host Brown in the first round of the 2009 NCAA Tournament it was announced tonight on ESPNU with the release of the 16-team NCAA bracket. The Blue Jays (9-4) are making their record 38th consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament and earned the number eight seed in the tournament. Brown (12-3) is making its 12th appearance in the tournament. The game is set for Saturday, May 9 at noon at Homewood Field. Ticket information for the Johns Hopkins-Brown game will be available on Monday.
The Johns Hopkins-Brown game is tentatively scheduled to air live on ESPN2 and EPSNU and will air live on the radio in the Baltimore area on ESPN Radio 1300 AM. The Johns Hopkins-Brown game is the only first round game in the tournament slated to air on ESPN2.
The winner of the Johns Hopkins-Brown first round game will play the winner of the Virginia-Villanova game at Navy on Sunday, May 17 as part of a quarterfinal doubleheader. Virginia, which earned the number one seed, will host Villanova in the first round on Sunday, May 10.
Johns Hopkins boasts a 64-28 all-time record in the NCAA Tournament with nine NCAA titles to its credit. The Blue Jays' 64 wins and 18 championship-game appearances are both national records. In addition, JHU's current streak of 38 straight trips to the NCAA Tournament in men's lacrosse is the longest of any team in any Division I men's team sport. The next longest active streak of qualifying for the NCAA men's lacrosse tournament is seven (Maryland).
The Blue Jays rallied to earn their bid to the tournament by winning their final six regular season games. A 14-9 win against Albany jump-started the season-ending run, which also included wins against Maryland (10-9), Navy (15-7), Towson (11-10/2OT), Mount St. Mary's (12-5) and Loyola (11-10/2OT). This is the third consecutive year the Blue Jays have rallied late in the season to earn an NCAA Tournament bid as JHU rattled off five straight wins to close the regular season in each of the last two years. JHU used the late-season surges to fuel a run to the 2007 national championship and the 2008 title game.
The Blue Jays feature a balanced offense that counts five players with 34 or more points. Sophomore Kyle Wharton leads the way with team-highs of 31 goals and 40 points, while Chris Boland (23g, 16a) and Michael Kimmel (18g, 21a) both have 39 points on the season. Senior Brian Christopher, who scored the game-winning goal in the second overtime of JHU's wins over Towson and Loyola in the last 10 days, counts 25 goals and 11 assists to his credit, while junior Steven Boyle counts 19 goals and 15 assists to his credit.
Defensively, the Blue Jays are led by junior goalie Michael Gvozden, who posted 15 saves in the 11-10 victory over Loyola in the regular-season finale. He sports a 9.50 goals against average and a .512 save percentage. Gvozden sparkled during JHU's run to the NCAA title game last season as he posted a 7.50 goals against average and a .663 save percentage in four NCAA Tournament games last season.
Brown is making its 12th appearance in the NCAA Tournament and first since 1997. The Bears fashion a 5-11 all-time record in the tournament and made an appearance in the 1994 national semifinals.
The Bears are led by a talented offense and a stingy defense. Five players have totaled 30 or more points for Brown with Andrew Feinberg's 40 goals and 56 points leading the way. Kyle Hollingsworth (20g, 26a), Thomas Muldoon (32g, 11a), Brady Williams (17g, 14a) and Reade Seligman (12g, 20a) help fuel an offense that is averaging 10.7 goals per game.
Senior goalie Jordan Burke, a Second Team All-American in 2008, leads the way defensively for Brown. He currently sports a 7.74 goals against average and a .616 save percentage. Burke's familiarity with Johns Hopkins is significant as his younger brother, Steven, is the backup goalie for the Blue Jays.
This will be the 11th all-time meeting between Johns Hopkins and Brown with the Blue Jays holding a 9-1 lead in the series. The teams last met in 1980, when the Blue Jays prevailed 16-11. Johns Hopkins has won eight straight in the series as Brown's only win (11-8 in 1971) came in the second all-time meeting between the two teams.
Johns Hopkins and Brown had two common opponents this season; Princeton and Hofstra. Both teams lost to Princeton, while the Blue Jays beat Hofstra (12-7) one week after the Bears fell to the Pride, 11-10, in double overtime.
2009 NCAA Tournament Schedule
Saturday, May 9
Brown at (8) Johns Hopkins, Noon
UMBC at (6) North Carolina, 2:30 pm
Hofstra at (5) Cornell, 5 pm
Navy at (3) Duke, 7:30 pm
Sunday, May 10
Maryland at (7) Notre Dame, Noon
Villanova at (1) Virginia, 2:30 pm
Massachusetts at (4) Princeton, 5 pm
Siena at (2) Syracuse, 7:30 pm
Quarterfinals -- Saturday, May 16 at Hempstead, NY
Massachusetts/Princeton winner vs. Hofstra/Cornell winner
Maryland/Notre Dame winner vs. Siena/Syracuse winner
Quarterfinals -- Sunday, May 17 at Annapolis, MD
Brown/Johns Hopkins winner vs. Villanova/Virginia winner
Navy/Duke winner vs. UMBC/North Carolina winner
Semifinals - Saturday, May 23 at Gillette Stadium
Finals - Monday, May 25 at Gillette Stadium
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