Hopkins fans expected more last year, and were terribly let down. The Blue Jays missed the post season for the first time ever since the NCAA tournament was set up in 1971. Not only in the stands and couches at home but, also in the locker room, and coach’s offices there was a level of frustration that JHU has not dealt with before. With some big losses to Princeton, Albany, North Carolina, Syracuse, and Loyola the Jays were not an easy foot in for last years tournament, and everyone knew it.
When the Jays returned to fall ball this year the big question was who was going to be that big, strong, dodge downhill, go to middie that they have always had? Coach Petros answer to that. No one. “We are a smarter lacrosse team this year” he said “you are going to see us do a lot of things we have never done before.” This years Blue Jay team doesn’t have that strong dominant middie that everyone can rely on to put the ball in the back of the net. They have a field full of smaller athletic guys with a high lacrosse IQ. Well what does this mean for Hopkins? It means a lot more moving, a lot more on ball off ball picks, a lot more coming together as a team to get it done rather then give it to your big gun and let him go. With the new rules in college lacrosse and just the general way the game is transforming, this years JHU squad should fit the bill well with their new style of play.
With new leadership on the team newly announced captains Rob Guida, James Malm, and Michael Pellegrino we should see where this group takes this younger squad. With only one well-known name on that captains squad I believe it shows what Hopkins lacrosse is turning into. It shows you that this years squad is going to be a nitty gritty, hard working type of team that will not only be able to out play, and out work you but, they will also out smart you. There is a lot to be seen from Hopkins this year from how Guida will perform when fully healthy, will Wells Stanwick have an absolute break out year, to how will the new goalie stand up?
This weekend the Blue Jays will host Rutgers, Fairfield, and UMass in a daylong scrimmage tournament. While the only competition for Hopkins should be UMass we will finally get to see a lot of the questions us fans hold for the 2014 Blue Jays come into light.