Hopkins: Battle-tested and Ready for War

Hopkins: Battle-tested and Ready for War

Hopkins: Battle-tested and Ready for War

Hopkins: Battle-tested and Ready for War

Johns Hopkins has been beat up this year. Conor Denihan has a bum knee. Eric Wedin had hand surgery. Rob Frattarola’s ankle has been a problem. Adam Donegar injured his hamstring. P.J. DiConza is out with a broken kneecap. Mix that with the hardest schedule in the nation and you realize why Wedin says that this season has been about “overcoming adversity.” On Sunday they face their next obstacle, the Irish of Notre Dame.

“They have as good a shot as anyone at this thing [National Championship]. The thing people forget is that they didn’t get in because of being from the west, they got in because at one point they were the #2 team in the country,” said Hopkins Head Coach David Pietramala. Petro and his boys have been practicing this week at the Eastern Field down the street from Homewood to get used to the grass that they will see in College Park.

Hopkins will have had 15 days off between games. Overall the team seemed happy to have the bye week. “This year we needed it. We have guys banged up and the team finished finals. Now we can focus,” said Senior Captain Brandon Testa. Hopkins has been trying to avoid the rust that can build up without playing a game for a while. They spent the first three days of the week going hard. Testa explained Monday’s session, “I came out to practice and looked around not knowing what to expect. Then I see everyone going harder than they have all year. I thought ‘this is great.’”

The match-up to watch on Sunday will be the Notre Dame attack vs. the Hopkins defense. The Hopkins defense features the team’s three captains who all live together on the same floor in their house. “We’re close on the field and even closer off the field,” said Testa. All six guys on both teams are seniors meaning that one group’s college career will be ended. Wedin said it should be good for the fans, “You have a great attack going against a great defense. That is fun and exciting to watch. It’s going to be like [Conor] Gill [attack for UVA] vs. [Shawn] Nadelen [defense for JHU]. The attack gets the ball and everyone is going to be on their toes watching what happens.”

Coach Pietramala thinks that match-up is unique because it is six seniors but he doesn’t see it as the key to the game. “That is only 1/3 of the field. The ones to watch are the wild cards. A guy like [John] Flandina for them had 5 goals against Virginia. It’s going to be the guys who don’t get talked about who will be the difference.”

These teams also faced each other last year in the NCAA Quarterfinals after the Irish came off a big upset win over Loyola. The game was close until Hopkins went on an 8-2 run starting in the second quarter keyed by Dan Denihan and Bobby Benson. The final score was 15-11. Pietramala doesn’t put much stock in that game, “It doesn’t matter. This is a new year with two different teams.”

The first weekend’s best game was the 8 vs. 9 game that went into overtime. If the pattern holds then this 4 vs. 5 game should be just as close.

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please, please, please
    by (#12400) on 5/18/01 @11:05AM
I like Hopkins and I respect their tradition but I think the sport of lacrosse needs Notre Dame to win this. We need some new blood if our sport is going to grow to the next level and past arena football. If the Irish can be successful than maybe other athletic departments will consider starting the sport because they see it is possible to be good.
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not even close
    by (#9702) on 5/18/01 @3:00PM
To say that lax is like arena football is a joke. Our sport is going to spread because it is the fastest thing on two feet, it involves scoring and vicious hits. Lacrosse puts baseball and all other spring sports to shame.
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i dont think u got what he was saying
    by (#12768) on 5/19/01 @1:26AM
what i think the guy up there was trying to say is that Lacrosse isn't as popular as arena football on the national level. we all know that lacrosse is far more fun to watch than baseball and arena football, but it simply isnt as popular in the scheme of things. the guy does have a point tho. when shools out in the midwest see ND have a successful program, they may want to start a program of their own. When the kids in middle and highshcool of those areas all start playing lacrosse for reasons other than its kinda like hockey then lacrosse has created a knew market for itself. by having a program in the area to look up to, u r in a way planting a seed. personaly i'd like to see u of m have a div one team of their own. all the good div one teams are so far from detroit it seems so distant. i'd like to see a team on my turf that i culd root for, ya know.
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Gotta like the Irish
    by (#13453) on 5/18/01 @4:54PM
Any team that's led by a twin that stands a mere 5'4" and still dominates and with the best redneck goalie in the country in Kirk Howell. I like ND. Set up the Glatzel twin match-up!
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