No. 2 Johns Hopkins’ 11-7 victory over No. 7 Syracuse on Saturday assured the lacrosse community of a showdown between the top two teams in the country when the Blue Jays visit No. 1 Virginia this Saturday.
It also gave Johns Hopkins coach Dave Pietramala an opportunity to immediately cast his 7-0 team as overwhelming underdogs against an 8-0 Cavaliers squad that is the reigning national champion.
“Nice to be 7-0,” he said during his post-game comments. “I think we put ourselves in a good position, and now we go down to a place and against a team that no one is going to give us a chance against.”
That suggestion prompted Gary Lambrecht, former Sun writer and current Lacrosse Magazine contributor, to ask, “Really? No one?”
“Very few,” Pietramala replied. “You know that as well as I do. Down there, that’s a completely different monkey. That’s a gorilla. We’ve not had a lot of success down there.”
Pietramala is right. The Blue Jays are just 4-10 against Virginia under Pietramala and 1-6 since 2006. And Johns Hopkins haven’t won in Charlottesville, Va., was March 21, 1998 when the team left with a 13-10 win.
But the Blue Jays have proven that they can play defense and added another weapon with the return of freshman attackman/midfielder Wells Stanwick. So while they might be underdogs on Saturday, that doesn’t mean that they won’t have a shot at remaining undefeated after the contest.