Men’s lacrosse opponent preview: What to know about No. 18 Johns Hopkins

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on March 8, 2019 at 6:00 pm Contact Andrew: [email protected] | @A_E_Graham No. 14 Syracuse (2-2, 0-1 Atlantic Coast) hosts No. 18 Johns Hopkins (2-2) on Saturday at 1 p.m. in the Carrier Dome. The Orange, coming off their second loss of the season, can get on track and avenge one of their worst losses of 2018 with a win. The Blue Jays come to the Dome winners of two straight after losing their first two games to No. 1 Towson and No. 3 Loyola, respectively.Here’s how SU and JHU stack up.All-time series: Johns Hopkins leads, 30-26-1Last time they played: The Blue Jays came to central New York on March 10 last year and embarrassed the Orange, 18-7. Bursting out of the gates, JHU led SU 7-2 at halftime. That was the closest the game would be for the final 30 minutes. Johns Hopkins dominated possession, winning 18-of-28 faceoffs, allowing its offense to hold the ball for a majority of the game. The Blue Jays parlayed that possession disparity into a lopsided 46-25 shot difference. Midfielder Jamie Trimboli was SU’s lone bright spot, netting a hat trick.The Johns Hopkins report: JHU, like SU, has been a bit of a mixed bag to start the 2019 season. Facing two of the nation’s best teams, the Blue Jays lost their first two games by a combined score of 35-20. In the two wins since — against North Carolina and Princeton — the defense has improved drastically, allowing 3.5 fewer goals per game. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textStill, the Johns Hopkins defense hasn’t allowed fewer than 10 goals in a game to date. The Blue Jays are No. 63 out of 73 teams in scoring defense, giving up 14.25 goals per game. Syracuse, by comparison, ranks No. 19 (10 goals per game). Kyle Marr, son of Albany head coach Scott Marr, is the top goal scorer for the Blue Jays (10). He will be a primary defensive emphasis for SU, John Desko said on Wednesday. After Marr, Joey Epstein is the top points getter for JHU, scoring eight goals and feeding seven assists through four games. Only one other player, Cole Williams, has double digit points (11).How Syracuse beats Johns Hopkins: Trust the defense and dont waste scoring chances.Against the porous Blue Jays defense, the Orange will surely get plenty of scoring chances. But through four games, SU ranks among the middle tier in offensive efficiency — Syracuse ranks No. 37 in the country, scoring on 28.2 percent of its shots. If the Orange can punish JHU for defensive lapses, it will force the Blue Jays to push the pace offensively.Playing with a lead is when SU’s at its best, letting the deep and experienced defense, plus goalie Drake Porter, smother opponents and letting the offense work at a comfortable pace. Stat to know: -3  — Johns Hopkins’ average scoring margin. Four games in, the Blue Jays have scored 45 goals and allowed 57. The disparity stems from two early blowouts, but even in two wins since, JHU has barely scraped past teams.Player to watch: Joey Epstein, freshman attack, No. 32A feeder, scorer and the No. 1 freshman in the country, according to Inside Lacrosse, Epstein has provided balance to the Blue Jays’ attack. He’s second on the team in goals and assists, respectively. He recorded a six point (three goals, three assists) outing against now-No. 3 Loyola on Feb. 16, his second collegiate game.center_img Commentslast_img