College Lacrosse Offseason Report: Johns Hopkins Blue Jays
The Johns Hopkins Blue Jays had what many think of as a surprisingly successful season last spring, as they took home their second Big Ten Tournament Championship. Down the stretch Hopkins showed some grit and toughness, avenging their triple overtime loss in Baltimore to Maryland with a win a week later in the championship with a big win over Ohio State in between. Hopkins improved its defense (who graduates their goalie in 2018), but their defense improved greatly with the return of defenseman Patrick Foley.
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Although Hopkins ended their streak of years with first round exits in the NCAA Tournament, they lost in the second round this past year to eventual runner up Duke, and I am sure Coach Peitramala would have loved to keep his season going a couple more weeks. As the aceoff game becomes more and more important into gaining possession in the college game, Hopkins and senior Hunter Moreland fell off a bit towards the end of the season, something that is going to have to change this coming season, and although Moreland will be graduating, young guys will step up and fill the voids left by the following departing seniors.
Hopkins graduates their quarterback in Shack Stanwick, who had a fabulous lacrosse career in Baltimore playing at Boys’ Latin and Hopkins. Stanwick (18, 35) started since freshmen year and took over a bigger role as the primary attackmen after his older brother Wells graduated. In addition with one attackman, Hopkins lost two influential midfielders in Joel Tinney (21, 31) and Brinton Valis (15, 1) who contributed more on the offensive side but Tinney was free to run the field and proved himself as a playmaker all over. Hop also lost their goalie in Brock Turnbaugh (Hereford) who was a three year starter for the Blue Jays, and anchored down a young defensive side (which will mostly return besides a couple of defensive midfielders).
Some young guys will have to step oup once again for the Blue Jays just like they did last year. Kyle Marr (41, 17) emerged as the main offensive threat, leading the team in points and providing highlight worthy goals throughout the year. Cole Williams (Loyola) also stepped up and started on attack as a sophomore, scoring 35 goals compared to his 6 from his freshmen year. Young guys, however will need to step up more than they have before including Forry Smith, Brett Baskin and Jack Keogh. In addition to that, the Blue Jays are adding the 5th best rated recruiting class (Inside Lacrosse) and welcome some offensive talent, led by #1 rated incoming freshmen Joey Epstien, and bolster their defensive roster with some blue collar talent that surely will help as they look to stay competitive within the Big Ten and in the National Championship picture.
The incoming Class of 2022:
Joey Epstien, A, Landon (MD)
Evan Zinn, M, Staples HS (Conn)
Alexander Mabbett, M, Victor (NY)
Garrett Degnon, M, Dematha (MD)
Jake Lilly, M, Severn (MD)
Logan Blondell, D, Southern Lehigh HS (PA)
Owen McManus, D, Friends (MD)
Michael Gomez, D, Half Hollow Hills (NY)
Jake Canlan, D, Phillips Exeter (MA)
Alexander Gainey, G, St. Sebastians (MA)
Matthew Narewski, FO, The New Hampton School (NH)
This class will have a large impact on the Hopkins of the present and future, and even though they lost three solid recruits through the process, Hopkins brings in a solid amount of talent and many will contribute right away.
Hopkins has already scrimmaged Waseda University (Japan) and will continue their fall schedule in the coming couple of weeks. The Alumni game will be held on October 6th at Homewood Field. The Headstrong event that was played at Boys’ Latin will again feature Hopkins and will be in Upstate NY at Albany this fall. The Blue Jays will compete against Albany, Vermont and Army on October 13th. Be sure to check back for further updates on Hopkins and the rest of the Baltimore area teams throughout the fall and as the spring season rolls around, and look for Hopkins to once again compete for a Big Ten championship and another run through the NCAA Tournament. Next week, I will be previewing the Patriot League Champions Loyola.