*Pulls up chair, sits backwards on chair, leans over back of chair, breathes in*
Good God Johns Hopkins.
Obviously I’m delayed in my article because of my utter shock that the preseason #1 ranked B1G team, and preseason #7 nationally, Johns Hopkins, lost 8-17 to Towson for their opening game. Towson wasn’t even ranked in the preseason, and this win for them actually bumped them up to take Johns Hopkins place at #7. If you see a Blue Jay, yell “SHAME” at it.
Anyway, here are recaps and previews (rankings are from Inside Lacrosse through February 11.)
#17. Johns Hopkins (0-1)
Hopkins started off solidly, leading 4-2 after the first quarter, but the NOW #7 ranked Towson Tigers roared back with an insane 13-1 scoring run in the second and third quarters. Towson killed Hopkins in stats with a 43-18 advantage on ground balls and 32 shots on goal to the Blue Jays’ 18 as two examples. Hopkins is obviously a talented team still, so players had some great moments like sophomore goalkeeper Ryan Darby, in his first career start, with 15 saves for Hopkins, two goals scored from sophomore Forry Smith, a goal and three assists from sophomore Cole Williams, and one goal and an assist each for first-year attackman Joey Epstein, and sophomore Connor DeSimone. The worst stat of this game is that this loss broke an 11 consecutive game win streak for season openers for the Blue Jays. Yikes.
Next up for the Blue Jays is vs. #2 Loyola, a rivalry game, Saturday, February 16, at 2pm.
Because this is a rivalry game and Johns Hopkins awful season start, I imagine that this game is likely to make the Blue Jays 0-2 as #2 ranked Loyola prepares to inflict another devastating blow on an already ego wounded team. I hope I’m wrong! I take it back, if you see a Blue Jay, say, “I believe in you!”
#19. Michigan (1-0)
The Wolverines had what seems like a tight 10-8 game against the Cleveland State Vikings, but Michigan actually led 7-0 incredibly early in the game and held Cleveland State scoreless until the 4:56 mark of the second quarter. The score was 7-3 at halftime, and while it’s clear the Vikings made some offensive adjustments in the third and fourth quarter, it wasn’t enough and Michigan was lucky to get out ahead the way they did (especially because they didn’t score for 15 minutes in the second half). There were great offensive performances from sophomore Alex Buckanavage (three goals, two assists), senior Brent Noseworthy (two goals, whose first goal of the day broke the scoring drought at 6:21 in the 4th quarter), sophomore Kevin Mack (two goals and an assist). On the defensive side, senior longpole Nick DeCaprio had three ground balls and a pair of caused turnovers.
Next up for Michigan is vs. Drexel, Saturday, February 16, 3pm.
It’s good to see Michigan ranked in the Top 20. They have a solid team this year and I think this may be Michigan’s year where they show the world that they’re not the Big Ten’s garbage lacrosse team. Should handle the unranked Drexel Dragons just fine.
#12. Ohio State (2-0)
The Buckeyes smacked the Boston University Terriers last Saturday beating them 17-10. Most of those points were scored in just the first quarter alone with seven first-quarter goals leading to a halftime score of 10-3. Strong performances were abound, but Jack Jasinski and Tre Leclaire particularly stood out with five goals and four goals respectively, with the former being a career high for Jasinski. The Buckeyes scored three or greater goals per quarter which gave them a comfortable advantage. A well-rounded offensive attack was demonstrated by eight different players scoring at least once, with four players having more than one goal.
Next up for the Buckeyes is at UMass, Saturday, February 16, 1pm.
UMass has received some votes and are not a complete pushover, but Ohio State should have no problems at all handling the Minutemen this weekend. The Buckeyes look good as usual and New England weather looks good. All should be well.
#8. Rutgers (2-0)
The Scarlet Knights handled St. Johns just fine after overcoming an early 2-0 lead by St. John's. Rutgers quickly came back halfway through the first quarter eventually beating the Red Storm 19-15 after a lot of back and forth goals and lead exchanges. Rutgers’ main scoring runs came from three players in particular. Kieran Mullins with six goals, Adam Charalmbides with four, and Tommy Coyne with three. I just love that Adam Charlamabides, who was injured for the past two seasons is pretty much making up for those seasons now in terms of goals scored. Freshman Cole Daninger was up next in goals scored with his first two goals of his career, and Michael Sanguinetti, Ryan Gallagher and Casey Rose all had one goal, with Rose making the winning shot. Just a wonderfully well-rounded team. I am concerned about having been 16-of-38 on faceoffs, but Rutgers’ other stats were good having held a 35-27 advantage on ground balls, and 11 turnovers to St. John’s 13, zero in the fourth quarter.
Next up for the Scarlet Knights is vs. Army, Saturday, February 16, 12pm.
Rutgers definitely needs to start off much better this Saturday against a very solid Army team that’s receiving votes if they want to maintain their top 10 ranking. Gotta get those faceoffs and up that defense a bit.
#4. Penn State (2-0)
Penn State HANDLED Robert Morris, destroying them 27-10. 27 goals is a program record for the Nittany Lions beating a 43-year-old record set in 1976 with a 26-5 win at in-state foe Lafayette. The Nittany Lions had a slow start, but had an overall great performance from a well-rounded offensive team with Penn State having fifteen players score goals. Some of that was definitely in “garbage time” for less experience players. Redshirt junior Grant Ament scored SEVEN goals with six assists. Junior Mac O’Keefe had five goals and an assist, freshman TJ Malone had another outstanding week with four goals and an assist. Other point scorers were senior Nick Spillane, freshman Seamus Glynn, redshirt junior Dylan Foulds, freshman Jack Traynor, Junior Nick McEvoy, redshirt freshman Dan Reaume, Brian Townsend, I COULD GO ON. You get it. Junior goalie Colby Kneese had the most play time at the position and recorded eleven saves.
Next up for the Nittany Lions is at Stony Brook, Saturday, February 16, 12pm.
Penn State will (should) be fine this this weekend.
#3. Maryland (2-0)
Hoo boy Maryland almost joined the Johns Hopkins Shame Club. The Terrapins beat Richmond only 10-9 with most of those Richmond points coming from a scary fourth quarter push from the Spiders. That late push was almost as scary as their mascot name. Anyway, Maryland had a good start with junior Jared Bernhardt scoring five first half goals (tying his career high), and other goals came from sophomore Bubba Fairman, and Steven Shollenberger. Thank goodness for fifth-year senior Danny Dolan and his eleven saves (for the second consecutive game), including four in the fourth quarter, which really saved the Terps. Another saving grace was senior Austin Henningsen who had a perfect 15-for-15 on the faceoff, and ensured possession for Maryland on essentially the final play of the game.
Next up for the Terrapins is at Penn, Saturday, February 16, 1pm.
If Maryland wants to at least stay #3 and climb higher they can’t have games like they did last weekend because they won’t always be saved from an opponent's late push by the clock as they were. Consistency is clearly key for the Terrapins. Penn hasn’t played a real game yet this season, so I have no idea how they are, but they are an Ivy, so... Maryland better watch out.
Well there you have it!
Comment below with Johns Hopkins disapproval.