Johns Hopkins vs. Maryland: Three things to watch
No need for a lengthy introduction for these two teams, who are meeting for the 105th time in this series.
Here are a few developments that could determine the outcome of the contest.
1) The No. 11 Blue Jays just might borrow a page from Navy’s playbook when the Midshipmen upset the Terps last Friday. Navy inverted its offense against Maryland, initiating play from behind the net with either attackman Bruce Nechanicky or midfielder Patrick Moran and using their speed to force the defensemen to slide and open holes in the defense. Johns Hopkins could employ attackman Steven Boyle or midfielders Michael Kimmel or Brian Christopher in the invert. If they can entice the Terps into sliding, look to Chris Boland and Kyle Wharton to finish plays.
2) The No. 15 Terps stalled on offense against the Midshipmen, but it’s rare to see that unit struggle for two straight games. Will Yeatman and Grant Catalino are bigger than Blue Jays defensemen Michael Evans and Sam DeVore, and Ryan Young’s speed presents a matchup problem for Matt Drenan or Charlie Wiggins. Maryland must get contributions from its first midfield unit of Dan Groot, Jeremy Sieverts and Joe Cummings. The trio has combined for just two goals in losses to No. 1 Virginia and Navy.
3) No one would mistake Johns Hopkins’ Matt Dolente and Michael Powers as "Lightning & Thunder," but the Blue Jays are at their best when the pair of faceoff specialists is healthy and available. Dolente is quick with his hands and feet, and Powers presents a nice change of pace with his power. They will have their collective hands full with Terps junior Bryn Holmes, who is ranked fifth in the country with a .610 faceoff percentage. Holmes is equal parts swiftness and strength, but he could use a little assistance from his wings, who were outhustled in the loss to the Midshipmen.