Syracuse-Johns Hopkins not just another game to Blue Jays
Coaches frequently emphasize that one regular-season game does not define a season or a team. Count Johns Hopkins’ Dave Pietramala as a member of the group that believes that.
But even Pietramala conceded that the Blue Jays’ annual contest against Syracuse – the top two programs with regards to NCAA championships – has a little extra “oomph” to it.
“There are rivalry games and there are just games,” he said Thursday. “This is a game where both programs have storied traditions. It’s a game where both programs have played for national championships and have played each other for national championships. And quite honestly, it’s a game against the No. 1-ranked team in the country right now. So yeah, absolutely, there is probably a little more excitement. You hope your guys will take every game the same way, but you know as well as I do that young men are young men, and when you see that orange, you hopefully play a little harder, especially against a talented group like they have.”
No. 14 Johns Hopkins (5-1) leads the overall series, 26-21-1, but the Orange (5-0) have won the last four meetings and five of the last six.
Syracuse blasted No. 12 Albany, 18-13, on Tuesday night, but the team needed overtime to get past unranked Georgetown, 9-8, at the Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore last Saturday.
“I think the thing that Georgetown did best was they didn’t let Syracuse get up and run,” Pietramala said. “I think part of that was Georgetown and part of that may have been Syracuse. I think every team that goes in to play against them has that plan. Are there elements? Sure. You don’t want to let them get up and get out and get faceoff transitions or get transition from the defensive end off of a save by their goalie. But that’s every game. This team just happens to be really good at it and better than most. So that’s certainly something we can take from that game, how important that aspect is.”