March 7, 2011

Hopkins Looks to Bounce Back vs. Manhattan

from press release

Johns Hopkins (3-1) welcomes Manhattan (0-5) to Homewood Field for the second all-time meeting between the Blue Jays and the Jaspers. JHU will be looking to bounce back from its first loss, while Manhattan is seeking its first win of the season.

Last Time Out: Johns Hopkins fell behind Princeton 3-0 in the first six minutes and never got closer than two the rest of the way in an 8-3 loss to the Tigers last Saturday at Homewood Field. Manhattan dropped its fifth straight to open the season as the Jaspers fell at Denver, 17-6, on Sunday afternoon.

Series History: Wednesday's game will be just the second all-time meeting between Johns Hopkins and Manhattan. The Blue Jays knocked off the Jaspers, 14-3, in the 2010 season opener for both teams.

These are the Facts: Johns Hopkins enters this week's game against Manhattan with an all-time record of 902-292-15 (.752). The Blue Jays own nine NCAA titles, 29 USILA titles and six ILA titles for a total of 44 national championships.

First to 900: Johns Hopkins' 10-6 win at Towson in the 2011 season opener not only got the season off on the right foot for the Blue Jays, but also made history. The win was the 900th all-time in school history, making Johns Hopkins the first program to record 900 all-time wins. JHU now has 902 all-time wins to its credit. Syracuse ranks second all-time with 809 victories to its credit.

That's 610 Games Over .500: The Blue Jays' all-time record is now 902-292-15 (.753) ... that's 610 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 10 games over .500.

Quick Starts: Johns Hopkins has scored on its first shot of the game three times this season. Kyle Wharton did it against Towson and freshman Rob Guida turned the trick against both Delaware and Siena.

More Quick Starts: Johns Hopkins scored at least three goals in the first quarter in each of its three wins this season. The Blue Jays did not score in the first quarter against Princeton.

Must be the Speech: Halftime adjustments are a big part of any game and the Blue Jay coaching staff must be hitting the nail on the head with the direction they are providing. JHU has outscored the opposition 18-5 in the third quarter this season with an eight-goal third-quarter effort against Delaware and a six-goal showing against Siena.

For Openers: Johns Hopkins opened the 2011 season with back-to-back road games at Towson and at Delaware. Since the inception of the NCAA Tournament in 1971, JHU has opened a season with consecutive road games just twice before this season (1979, 1987). In each of those two years, the Blue Jays won the national championship.

Streaking: Johns Hopkins is 92-28 in its last 120 regular season games dating back to the end of the 2001 season and 108-35 overall since the start of the 2002 season.

Poll Position: The Blue Jays check in at number 11 in the USILA Coaches Poll and number 17 in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll this week. The Johns Hopkins Sports Information 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.

State Rivalries: Without question the Blue Jays play one of the most difficult schedules in the nation and a big part of the schedule are the in-state rivalries the Blue Jays have. Including the season-opening win at Towson, JHU is 49-4 (.925) against teams from Maryland under head coach Dave Pietramala. JHU had won 23 straight games against teams from Maryland until the loss to Maryland last season.

Youth Shall Be Served: It's no secret that Johns Hopkins lost five players (Steven Boyle (A), Michael Kimmel (M), Matt Drenan (D), Sam DeVore (D), Michael Gvozden (G)) who were mainstays in the JHU lineup over the last four years. The group helped the Blue Jays to a national championship in 2007 and a runner-up finish in 2008. Collectively they combined for 238 starts during their career. Fast forward to 2011 and the makeup of the Johns Hopkins men's lacrosse team is much different, and much younger. How much younger? The entire 47-man roster for Johns Hopkins this season had a combined total of just 91 career starts to its credit entering the season.

More Youth: Johns Hopkins has started the same lineup in each of its four games this season and the Blue Jays' considerable youth is certainly on display in that lineup. JHU counted two freshmen and six sophomores among the starting 10 in the first four games of the season.

Offensive Notes of Interest: Below are several notes about the JHU offense to date:
• The Blue Jays have scored on their first shot of the game in each of their three wins this season.
• Johns Hopkins is averaging 11.75 goals per game.
• In wins against Delaware (18) and Siena (16) JHU scored 16 or more goals in back-to-back games for the first time since 2005, when JHU totaled 22 vs. Marist and 19 vs. UMass in the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament.
• The 18 goals JHU scored against Delaware are the most for the Blue Jays since they scored 19 against Albany on April 10, 2010.
• JHU's 18 goals against 16th-ranked Delaware are the most for the Blue Jays against a nationally-ranked team since April 5, 2005, when they punched up 19 against 14th-ranked Albany.
• Johns Hopkins' eight goals in the third quarter against Delaware are the most in a quarter by a JHU team since May 14, 2005, when JHU punched up eight in the second quarter of a 22-6 win against Marist in the first round of the NCAAs.
• JHU has scored at least two goals in 12 of 16 quarters this season.

Defensive Notes of Interest: While the offense grabbed much of the attention with the explosion against Delaware and the 16-goal effort vs. Siena, the defense is quietly off to a solid start as well. Below are several notes of interest concerning the JHU defense:
• JHU has allowed a total of 25 goals on 112 shots (.223 shooting percentage).
• The Blue Jays are allowing just 6.25 goals per game.
• Hopkins allowed three goals in the first quarter of the season opener against Towson. Since then, JHU has surrendered a total of 22 goals in 15 quarters.
• Prior to Princeton scoring eight goals last Saturday, JHU had allowed six goals or less in five straight regular season games dating back to the last two regular season games of the 2010 season.
• Johns Hopkins held Towson scoreless for a stretch of 35:22 and kept Delaware off the board for stretches of 17:58, 14:26, 16:19. Add in two more scoreless runs by Siena and Princeton that covered at least 14 minutes and JHU has held its four opponents scoreless for a stretch of 14 minutes or longer eight times in four games.
• Princeton scored three goals in the first six minutes of the game and later tallied four times in a span of 5:04. Outside of those runs, the JHU defense held the Tigers scoreless for stretches of 20:56, 14:44 and 13:50 (game-ending). Attack Oriented: The Johns Hopkins starting attack of Kyle Wharton (8g, 4a), Chris Boland (8g, 6a) and Zach Palmer (8g, 6a) has combined for 24 goals and 16 assists in four games.

Balanced Midfields: Johns Hopkins has what might be the two most balanced midfield units in the nation. The first line of John Ranagan, John Greeley and Rob Guida accounts for 10 goals and eight assists in three games. JHU's second midfield of Mark Goodrich (dnp vs. Delaware & Siena), Marshall Burkhart, Lee Coppersmith and Eric Ruhl has punched up six goals and two assiss. Of particular excitement for Blue Jay fans - only Goodrich is a senior among those top seven and even he has another year of eligibility after missing the entire 2010 season.

Ruhl on a Role: Freshman Eric Ruhl has wasted little time making an impact. He counts five goals to his credit throught four games and is the first freshman midfielder in head coach Dave Pietramala's tenture at JHU to score at least one goal in each of his three games. His five goals rank fourth on the team.

A Half Century: Kyle Wharton played in his 50th career game vs. Siena. He notched a career-high three assists in the victory, added two goals against Princeton and now has career totals of 70 goals and 24 assists for 94 points. He totaled at least three points in each of the first three games this season and has two or more in all four thus far.

O Canada: Sophomore attackman Zach Palmer and freshman attackman Brandon Benn, who both hail from north of the border, provided a little Canadian flair in the 2011 season opener for the Blue Jays. Palmer scored two goals and added a career-high three assists to tie his personal best with five points, while Benn added one goal and one assist in his first collegiate game. The pair hooked up twice for goals as Benn assisted on Palmer's extra-man goal midway through the third quarter, while Palmer got the helper on Benn's first career goal with just under five minutes remaining in regulation.
Palmer took his production up a level against Delaware as he punched up a career-high four goals and tied his personal best with three assists for a career-high seven points. Benn added another goal (and EMO tally) in the win as well.

Boland Returns: The sight of senior attackman Chris Boland on attack was certainly welcome by the Blue Jay faithful at Towson. Boland didn't disappoint in his return to the lineup as he scored twice and added an assist in the victory and posted two goals and two assists against Delaware. He added his fourth career hat trick and eighth career game with four points or more with a three-goal, two-assist effort vs. Siena and added one goal and one assist vs. Princeton. Boland missed virtually the entire 2010 season with an injury after leading the team in scoring with 28 goals and 18 assists for 46 points in 2009, but played just five quarters in 2010 before going down with a season-ending injury.

Greeley Notches Career Highs: Sophomore midfielder John Greeley enjoyed the finest game of his career vs. Siena as he punched up three goals and two assists. The three goals and five points are both career highs for Greeley, whose eight points in four games this season already matches his output from last season (6g, 2a).

Bassett Fuels Defense: Sophomore Pierce Bassett posted 12 saves and allowed just four goals in the win against Siena and was solid in the loss against against Princeton with nine saves and eight goals allowed. He now boasts a 5.97 goals against average and a .651 save percentage.

Dolente Enjoys Career Day: Senior faceoff specialist Matt Dolente enjoyed the finest statistical game of his career in the win vs. Siena as he won 13-of-14 faceoffs and grabbed nine ground balls in the victory. He is now 29-of-47 (.617) on faceoffs this season and has a team-high 16 ground balls to his credit. He now ranks sixth in school history in career faceoff attempts (561) and 10th in career faceoffs won (277).

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