By Todd McElwee
In the Maryland men's lacrosse locker room hangs a sign which senior goaltender Brian Phipps passes daily. It’s a countdown to the Terps' annual matchup with arch-nemesis Johns Hopkins -- a game Phipps and teammates pay great attention to.
Time runs out April 17 as the Terps and the Blue Jays renew their age-old blood feud during the Day of Rivals at M&T Bank Stadium at 6:30 p.m. Army and Navy take the field at 4 p.m.
“As a Maryland lacrosse player, this is the biggest game you look forward to on the season,” Phipps said. “The rivalry, history behind it and everything like that is in its own little world. With the legacy behind the Maryland-Hopkins rivalry, you have to focus on it even more and realize the importance of it.”
Battle lines have been drawn. Hopkins-Maryland is a you’re-either-with-us-or-against-us, Hatfield-McCoy-type affair.
“It’s one that we circle on our calendar,” Hopkins senior defenseman Sam DeVore said. “It’s at M&T Bank Stadium, and we are excited to go down there and play.”
This will be the 106th installment of lacrosse’s oldest rivalry. In 1895, the Blue Jays won the inaugural contest, 10-0.
The schools can’t even agree on the series record. Maryland says they are 37-58-1 against the Blue Jays while Hopkins claims to be 67-37-1. Lacrosse was not an officially-sanctioned sport in College Park for the initial 10 meetings, which has been a point of contention in determining which games legitimately count against the running standings.
Hopkins has dominated as of late, though the games have been pull-out-your-hair close. The Blue Jays have won eight of 10, five of which have been decided by a single goal. Three have required overtime.
For Phipps and his classmates, Saturday will likely be their last chance to knock off their rivals from Baltimore. Maryland’s last victory against the Blue Jays came in 2006 at Homewood Field. No Terps senior wants to end his career with defeating Hopkins.
“As a senior class we are 0-3 against them which is really frustrating,” Phipps said. “During our freshman year we lost in overtime, which leaves a dagger in your heart. It’s in the back of your head.”
Taking down fourth-ranked Maryland (7-2) would certainly help boost Hopkins NCAA tournament resume. The Blue Jays are 5-4 after defeating Albany, 19-7, on April 10 at home and have Navy, Towson and Loyola remaining on their schedule. Hopkins has appeared in every tournament since 1972.
“Maryland is a very talented team and it would definitely help,” DeVore said.
This current installment of lacrosse’s preeminent rivalry could be decided during man-up situations. Maryland is proficient on both ends of the power play, having scored on 17-of-30 opportunities while killing off 26-of-39 penalties. Hopkins, on the other hand, has struggled, tickling the net on just 13-of-36 man-up tries while allowing opponents to score 15-of-28 times while up a player.
This weekend’s game will mark the second time in 2010 both teams have appeared at M&T Bank Stadium. On March 6, Maryland defeated Duke, 11-10, on an overtime goal from junior attackmen Grant Catalino. In another 11-10 overtime slugfest, the Blue Jays fell to Princeton. Both outfits will look to return to the Ravens’ home over Memorial Day weekend for the NCAA semifinals and championship game.
Tale of the Tape
Record -- JHU 5-4, MD 7-2
Goals -- JHU 108, MD 101
Shots -- JHU 319, MD 322
Man-Up Offense -- JHU 13-of-36, MD 17-of-30
Man-Up Kills -- JHU 13-of-28, MD 26-of-39
Goals Allowed -- JHU 95, MD 81
Clears -- JHU 137-of-169, MD 144-for-166
Faceoffs -- JHU 120-of-233, MD 105-of-212
Penalties -- JHU 33 – 28:30, MD 40 – 31:00
Leading Scorer -- JHU Steven Boyle (24 goals, 16 assists), MD Grant Catalino (18, 16)
Posted April 15, 2010