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Syracuse Men's Lacrosse: Previewing Johns Hopkins

In the most heated college lacrosse rivalry, Syracuse and Johns Hopkins will square off at 4 PM on Saturday at Homewood Field in Baltimore, MD. This is the biggest out of conference matchup remaining on the Orange's schedule.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Hopkins Quick Facts

Hopkins All-Time Record Vs. SU: 28-25-1

Hopkins Streak Vs. SU: W1

Hopkins Last Win Vs. SU: May 17, 2015

Hopkins 2015 Record: 11-7; Won the B10 Tournament; Lost in Semifinals of NCAAT

Hopkins 2016 Record: 3-2; Wins versus Navy, Princeton, and Towson; Losses versus Loyola and North Carolina

2016 BIG TEN Preseason Coaches' Poll: #1 out of six

2016 BIG TEN Preseason All-Conference Players: Ryan Brown (A), Connor Reed (M), Nick Fields (D)

2016 RPI: #14

The Johns Hopkins Blue Jays come into the matchup with the #3 Syracuse Orange ranked eighth in the Cascade/Maverik Media Poll and the Nike/USILA Coaches' Poll. The Jays barely escaped Navy in the first game of the season finishing with a 12-11 double overtime win. The team followed that up with two straight losses to Loyola and North Carolina. Hopkins was able to turn the tide, however, with wins over Princeton and Towson. Syracuse may be the biggest test left for the Blue jays in the regular season, but I do expect Hopkins to win the Big Ten Conference Championship.

If you weren't aware, this is huge rivalry game. In fact, this is THE rivalry game in college lacrosse. Syracuse and Hopkins have faced off 54 times, and surprisingly the ‘Cuse has played five programs more than JHU: Army, Colgate, Cornell, Hobart, and Penn State. Most would agree that the Syracuse-Hopkins rivalry stems from the 1989 National Championship game, often dubbed as the greatest lacrosse game ever played. While SU won the National Championship 13-12 that year, it sparked a fierce rivalry which has been exposed in each of the following 34 matchups.

Attack

Does anyone remember this?

Ryan Brown put up eight, painful goals against Syracuse in 2014 when the Jays lost to Syracuse 10-12. He has 173 points through his four years as a Blue Jay and is a dynamic scorer with a wicked shot. Versus Syracuse, Brown has put up 17 points in four games. Johns Hopkins' points leader Shack Stanwick has nine goals and 17 assists in 2016. The Stanwick family is one of the more impressive lacrosse clans in the country. All eight Stanwick children have or are currently playing division I lacrosse, including Wells who graduated from Hopkins in 2015 and Steele who played at Virginia. Left handed shooter Wilkins Dismuke plays the opposite side of righty Brown. The junior has six goals on the season, including a four goal performance against Princeton. Dismuke is dangerous on the crease, and can find the open spot in transition well.

Midfield

Holden Cattoni brings his 64 career goals to the midfield. The senior has six goals in 2016 and started the first two games on the first midfield line but has been relegated to the second line in the last three games.

John Crawley is the most established midfielder of the three starters. In 2015 he put up 32 points and was named to the NCAA All-Tournament team with nine points during the Tournament. Cody Radziewicz has started the last two games on the first midfield line. The junior has four goals on the season and played his high school ball at Christian Brothers Academy in Syracuse, but don't assume he was as Syracuse fan. As we know, there are disloyal idiots amongst us. In a recent article by the Baltimore Sun, Radziewicz actually said that "My first-ever sweatshirt was actually a Johns Hopkins hoodie, I've always rooted for Johns Hopkins. When I lived in Syracuse, I'd always go to their games, but this was my favorite game to go see when I was kid. It was always so much fun to watch." Unbelievable. Drew Supinski was ranked as the #4 incoming freshman in the country by Inside Lacrosse. Although he missed the game against UNC, he has started the other four games. Supinski has added four goals and three assists on the year.

At the faceoff X, Hopkins utilizes two players. Craig Madarascz has taken the majority of the faceoffs and holds a .511 winning percentage and has 22 ground balls. The senior missed all of last year with a preseason injury and only saw limited time in his first two years in Baltimore. Hunter Moreland is 24-33 so far this season. He only has nine groundballs off of his 24 faceoff wins. In 2015, Moreland went 6-20 against the Orange in the NCAA Quarterfinals and won a .511 percent of his faceoff matchups on the season.

Defense

The Hopkins defense is giving up 10 goals per game, the 34th least in college lacrosse. The Blue Jays only have 16 caused turnovers, leaving the team second to last in the nation in caused turnovers per game. To put that in perspective, Syracuse has 45 through the same number of games. The man down defense isn't very good either. The Jays only have a .636 kill percentage, although opponents have only had 11 opportunities. The biggest knock on the Hopkins defense may be its clearing ability. With a .833 clearing percentage, JHU is easily in the bottom half of teams in terms of clearing. I would expect the clearing game to struggle again against a strong riding Syracuse squad. Of course, this team's clearing ability is better summed up by this vine (turn the volume on) (thanks to @laxfilmroom for posting the video).

Nick Fields is the only returning close defender for Hopkins. Fields made the switch to close defense from LSM last season and picked up 16 groundballs while causing 10 turnovers. The Jays did pick up a transfer and a fifth year graduate student to boost the defensive core. Austin Spencer joined the Blue Jays after transferring from UMass. The junior was playing long-stick midfielder but moved onto the starting defensive line the last two games at close defense in place of Ben Kellar. Kellar, graduated from Bucknell where he was first team All-Patriot League in his senior year. Robert Kuhn has replaced Spencer at LSM. Patrick Foley came to Hopkins rated as the #44 freshman by Inside Lacrosse. Foley is the only true close defenseman who will be starting on Saturday.

Goal

Eric Schneider has finally graduated, it seemed like he was there forever. Schneider never really seemed to get into a good rhythm, and replacing him this year is Brock Turnbaugh. He played in just one game as a freshman, but so far this year, as a sophomore, he has a .525 save percentage and 9.58 goals against average, so in a word, he's been about average.

Syracuse will travel to Homewood Field on Saturday at 4 PM to take on the Johns Hopkins Blue Jays. The game will be broadcasted on ESPNU and can be heard on TK99. Of course you can also follow me @Orangelax for game updates.