May 1, 2009

Courtesy of Johns Hopkins

The Game: Johns Hopkins (8-4) closes the regular season at home with the annual season finale against Charles Street rival Loyola (9-4).

A Look Back: Johns Hopkins rans its winning streak to five games with a 12-5 win at Mount St. Mary's on Monday night. The Greyhounds won their fourth straight with a 16-7 home victory against Hobart last Saturday.

These are the Facts: Johns Hopkins enters this week's game against Loyola with an all-time record of 890-282-15 (.756). The Blue Jays own nine NCAA titles, 29 USILA titles and six ILA titles for a total of 44 national championships.

That's 608 Games Over .500: With the win over Mount St. Mary's, the Blue Jays' all-time record is now 890-282-15 (.756) ... that's 608 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 eight games over .500.

Honoring the Seniors: Johns Hopkins will honors its seniors prior to the game against Loyola. Since arriving in the fall of 2005, the current senior class has helped guide the Blue Jays to a 41-19 (.683) record with one national championship (2007) and one national runner-up finish (2008). Johns Hopkins has qualified for the NCAA Tournament in each of the first three years of their career.

Honoring the Past: Johns Hopkins will add nine members to its Athletic Hall of Fame on Saturday night and the nine will be recognized at halftime of the game against Loyola. Among the nine are former men's lacrosse standouts Franz Wittelsberger `76 and Quint Kessenich `90. Wittelseberger graduated as JHU's career leader in goals (151) and held that mark until 1995, when it was surpassed by Terry Riordan. He led JHU in goals scored (45) during the Blue Jays' 1974 NCAA Championship season (1st NCAA title for JHU). Kessenich started in goal at Johns Hopkins from 1987-90 and helped the Blue Jays to the 1987 NCAA Championship. He twice earned First Team All-America honors and remains the only Johns Hopkins goalie to earn All-America honors four times in his career.

May Day: JHU is 27-6 (.818) in the month of May under Pietramala, including a perfect 13-0 at Homewood Field. Overall the Blue Jays have won 21 consecutive games at Homewood Field in the month of May. JHU's last loss at home in May came on May 2, 1992, when Towson dropped the Blue Jays, 14-13, in overtime.

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 five wins this season (5-0), the Blue Jays are 41-4 (.911) under head coach Dave Pietramala in games played in April. JHU is 22-2 at home, 18-2 on the road and 1-0 on a neutral field in April under Pietramala's guidance.

A Brutal Stretch: Starting with the game against Princeton on February 28 and running through the game against Navy (4/18), Johns Hopkins played nine straight games against teams ranked in the top 20.
How difficult is the Blue Jays' schedule? Consider ...
• The cumulative record of JHU's 13 regular season opponents is currently 125-61 (.672).
• This week's game against 13th-ranked Loyola will be JHU's 10th (of 13 regular season games) against a team ranked in the top 20.
• 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 104-29 (.782) on his watch and he is just the third coach in school history to win 100 games (Bob Scott-158, Henry Ciccarone-105).

Petro Earns Career Win Number 125: In addition to recently earning his 100th win as the head coach at Johns Hopkins, Dave Pietramala grabbed the 125th overall coaching victory of his career with the 15-7 win over Navy. He enters this week's game against Loyola with an overall record of 127-46 (.734). 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 Loyola ranked eighth in the USILA Coaches Poll. The Blue Jays are also ranked sixth in the Inside Lacrosse/Nike Media Poll. Loyola is ranked sixth in both polls.

More Poll Position: Records indicate that the USILA began sponsoring a weekly coaches poll during the 1973 season. Since then there have been 356 weekly polls. Amazingly, Johns Hopkins has been ranked in the top 20 in all 356 of those polls and has been in the top 10 in 344 of the 356.
Below is a breakdown of the Blue Jays in the USILA Coaches Poll since its inception on March 19, 1973:

Total Weeks: 356
Total Weeks at #1: 102
Weeks in top 5: 276
Weeks in top 10: 344
Weeks in top 20: 356
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: 356: 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 97-23-2 (.8030 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 81-20 in its last 100 regular season games dating back to the end of the 2001 season and 96-25 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 have combined for 10 or more points five times in nine starts together and nine or more points six times in those nine games.
Wharton currently leads the team in goals (28) and points (37), while Boland is second in goals (23) and points (36) and third in assists (13). Boyle, who sat out the game at Mount St. Mary's, ranks fourth in points (33) with 18 goals and 15 assists. Since Boland entered the starting lineup against UMBC, the starting trio has combined for 51 goals and 29 assists (8.9 ppg.) in the nine games they've started together.
The 105 points the starting attack unit has generated this season in 12 games is already eight points more than JHU's three starters on attack - Boyle, Kevin Huntley and Michael Doneger - combined for last season in 17 games.
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 12 games, 102 of the Blue Jays' 142 goals (71.8%) have been scored by players who will return next season, while 70 of the team's 86 assists (81.4%) have been accumulated by players with at least one year of eligibility remaining. Taking a look at the top of the scoring charts magnifies the Blue Jays' youth even more:

• JHU's top four scorers (Kyle Wharton-37, Chris Boland-36, Michael Kimmel-36, Steven Boyle-33) have combined for 142 points this season. All four are due to return in 2010.
• JHU currently has five players with 17 or more goals (Kyle Wharton-28, Chris Boland-23, Brian Christopher-21, Steven Boyle-18, Michael Kimmel-17). Four of the five are due to return in 2010.
• Five players on the team currently have 10 or more assists (Michael Kimmel-19, Steven Boyle-15, Chris Boland-13, Brian Christopher-10, Kyle Wharton-9). Four of the five are due to returning 2010.

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 50 goals in their last six games (UNC/Albany/Maryland/Navy/Towson/MSM).
• JHU held Mount St. Mary's scoreless for stretches of 14:27 and 20:34. The five goals allowed against the Mount are the second fewest JHU has allowed this season (Siena-3).
• Since the start of the 2007 season the Blue Jays have held the opposition scoreless for a streak of 14 minutes or longer 46 times. JHU has turned this trick nine times this season.
• The Blue Jays have held 22 of their last 34 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.
• Despite allowing 10 goals againt Towson, the Blue Jays held the Tigers scoreless for stretches of 12:30, 11:37 and 11:20. The Tigers were also a combined 1-of-15 shooting in the fourth quarter and overtime.
• Johns Hopkins held Navy scoreless for stretches of 17:16 and 12:48.
• Johns Hopkins held Maryland scoreless for a stretch of 20:02 from late in the third quarter until the final minute of the fourth.
• 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.

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 enters the game against Loyola ranked seventh in the nation in scoring offense (11.3), seventh in the nation in points per game (19.0) and ninth in assists per game (7.16). The Blue Jays' offensive numbers are even more impressive when you look at the national scoring defense leaders. JHU has played six of the top 10 and nine 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 nearly 1.5 goals 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 11.8 goals per game the Blue Jays are averaging this season are the most for JHU since 2004 (12.13).
• JHU has scored in double figures 28 times in its last 35 games and is averaging 11.23 goals per game during that time (393 goals in 35 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 142 goals on 427 shots this season for a shooting percentage of .333. 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. The last time JHU connected on better than 33% of its shots was in 1993 (211-of-607 /.348).

Kimmel Joins Elite Club: Junior Michael Kimmel is enjoying the finest season of his career and one of the finest seasons by a midfielder in the nation this season and has established himself as a legitimate contender for the the McLaughlin Award, which is presented annually to the nation's top midfielder.
Kimmel currently ranks second on the team in points (36), leads the team with a career-high 19 assists and ranks fifth on the team in goals (17). He also ranks fourth on the team in ground balls (26), has totaled two or more points in 10 of 12 games this season and has 14 points in his last four games (6g, 8a).
With his recent surge, Kimmel has joined an exclusive club at Johns Hopkins, one which counts just three members. With his 35 points this season, Kimmel is just the third midfielder in school history to total 30 or more points as a freshman, sophomore and junior. He joins four-time First Team All-American Del Dressel and three-time First Team All-American Paul Rabil as the middies in JHU history to turn this trick.
Kimmel enters this week's game against Loyola with 97 career points (53g, 44a).

One-Goal Turnarounds: With the 11-10 double overtime win at Towson, Johns Hopkins is 33-11 in one-goal games since Dave Pietramala took over in 2001. The Blue Jays have won 20 of their last 27 and 24 of their last 32 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 17 times during their last 20 one-goal wins. In 11 of those 17 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 at Towson (4-22-09), when the Blue Jays trailed by as many as four (twice) in the third quarter. The four-goal deficit is the largest JHU has overcome to win a game since March 18, 2005, when the Blue Jays erased a 7-1 deficit and defeated Syracuse 12-11 in overtime.

Extra, Extra: Last week's 11-10 double overtime victory at Towson snapped a four-game losing streak in overtime for the Blue Jays. JHU is 14-6 all-time in overtime under head coach Dave Pietramala's guidance and won seven straight overtime games from 2004 through 2007 before dropping three straight games in OT last season and one earlier this year at North Carolina.