Feb. 26, 2009

Courtesy of Johns Hopkins

The Game: Johns Hopkins (1-0) and Princeton (1-0) meet in the first game of the 2009 Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic. The Blue Jays and Tigers will open the doubleheader, which will also feature the Maryland-Duke game. The Johns Hopkins-Princeton game will start at noon with the Maryland-Duke game to follow.

A Look Back: Johns Hopkins opened the 2009 season with an 11-3 win over Siena last Friday. Princeton defeated Canisius, 14-6, in its season-opener at home last Saturday.

Program Ties: Johns Hopkins head coach Dave Pietramala was recruited to play at Johns Hopkins by current Princeton head coach Bill Tierney while Tierney was an assistant coach at JHU (1985-87). Pietramala played for two seasons under Tierney before he left to take the head job at Princeton. Current JHU associate head coach Bill Dwan was also recuited to play at JHU by Tierney (Tierney left for Princeton during the summer before Dwan arrived at Homewood).

These are the Facts: Johns Hopkins enters this week's game against Princeton with an all-time record of 883-278-15 (.757). 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 season-opening win against Siena, the Blue Jays' all-time record is now 883-278-15 (.757) ... 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.

Check the Calendar: Last week's game against Siena was the earliest game in the history of the Johns Hopkins men's lacrosse program. Previously, the earliest date the Blue Jays had played a game was February 23.

In February: This week's game against Princeton will be just the seventh game the Blue Jays have played in the month of February. Johns Hopkins is 4-2 all-time in games played before the calendar flips to March.

For Openers: Johns Hopkins improved to 7-2 in season openers under head coach Dave Pietramala with last week's win over Siena. The Blue Jays have never allowed more than nine goals in an opener under Pietramala.

More Openers: The three goals Johns Hopkins allowed last week against Siena are the fewest JHU has allowed in a season opener since 1982, when the Blue Jays beat Yale 27-3.

Poll Position: Johns Hopkins enters this week's game against Princeton ranked sixth in the USILA Coaches Poll. The Blue Jays are also ranked third in the Inside Lacrosse/Nike Media Poll. Princeton is ranked ninth 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 347 weekly polls. Amazingly, Johns Hopkins has been ranked in the top 20 in all 347 of those polls and has been in the top 10 in 336 of the 347. Below is a breakdown of the Blue Jays' in the USILA Coaches Poll since its inception on March 19, 1973:

Total Weeks: 347

Total Weeks at #1: 102
Weeks in top 5: 276
Weeks in top 10: 336
Weeks in top 20: 347

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: 347: 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.

Home Away From Home: This week's game against Princeton will be the eighth Johns Hopkins has played at M&T Bank Stadium. The Blue Jays are 5-2 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.

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 12 seasons in years ending in nine and has compiled an 89-19-2 record with seven national championships in those 12 years. The Blue Jays also played in the 1989 national championship game and advanced to the final four in 1999.

Streaking: Johns Hopkins is 74-16 in its last 90 regular season games dating back to the end of the 2001 season and is 89-21 overall since the start of the 2002 season.

Playing to the Crowd: Johns Hopkins is likely to play its 13th game since the start of the 2005 season in front of 10,000 or more people on Saturday. Despite the loss to Syracuse in the national championship game last season, the Blue Jays have enjoyed a great deal of success in recent years when playing in front of crowds of 10,000 or more. In fact, since the beginning of the 2005 season, Johns Hopkins fashions a remarkable 11-1 record in front of five-figure crowds with the only loss coming to SU in last year's title game. Amazingly, JHU has won more games in front of 10,000 or more fans since the start of the 2005 season than any other team in the nation has even played in front of 10,000 or more.

Defensive Notes of Interest:
• Johns Hopkins held Siena to just three goals in last week's season-opener. The Blue Jays have now held six straight regular season opponents to seven goals or less and nine of their last 10 opponents (including 2008 NCAA Tournament) to nine goals or less.
• 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.
• Johns Hopkins held the opposition scoreless for a streak of 14 minutes or longer 21 times in 17 games last season. Since the start of the 2007 season the Blue Jays have held the opposition scoreless for a streak of 14 minutes or longer 38 times.
• 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.br> • The Blue Jays have held 19 of their last 24 opponents - including 13 of 17 last season - scoreless for a stretch of at least 18 minutes.

Offensive Notes of Interest:
While the focus of any Dave Pietramala-coached team will always be defense, the Blue Jay offense was effective as well last season. Consider:
• 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.
• JHU has scored in double figures 19 times in its last 23 games and is averaging 10.92 goals per game during that time (262 goals in 24 games).
• Johns Hopkins has scored at least one goal in 47 straight quarters dating back to the first quarter of last season's game against North Carolina.

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. JHU won all seven of its games last season against in-state rivals (UMBC, Maryland, Navy-twice, Towson, Mount St. Mary's, Loyola) and the Blue Jays are 39-2 (.951) against teams from Maryland under head coach Dave Pietramala.

One-Goal Turnarounds: With a 10-9 win over Duke in the NCAA Semifinals last season, Johns Hopkins is now 31-9 in one-goal games since Dave Pietramala took over in 2001. The Blue Jays have won 18 of their last 23 and 22 of their last 28 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.