Here are some schedule highlights and games of note:
Smell Ya Later!
April 11: Penn State; March 28: Rutgers; April 30 & May 2: at Big Ten Tournament
With Hopkins heading to the Big Ten for the 2015 lacrosse season, much was made about the Jays' decision to affiliate with a league and what that affiliation would mean for the program's historic latitude in scheduling opponents it wanted to face. A mandatory five-game conference campaign combined with dates reserved for the Big Ten Tournament had the potential to erase some deep relationships that Hopkins had developed with opponents over the years. Looking at the team's 2015 schedule, though, Johns Hopkins hasn't given up much from its schedule as an independent in terms of opponents the Blue Jays were able to keep on the team's schedule going into the coming spring:
- With respect to opponents that Johns Hopkins has faced at least 50 times (seven schools make that cut), the Jays will not see Army -- which was peeled off of Johns Hopkins' schedule after the 2013 season -- and Loyola this coming season. Those are difficult games to drop (especially the Battle of Charles Street, which is promised to return in 2016), but the Jays were still able to keep the bulk of their dates with their most prominent foes on their schedule. Maintaining 421 games of bad blood among Maryland, Navy, Princeton, Syracuse, and Virginia is impressive considering that the team had to reformat its scheduling universe starting in 2015, and given the fact that Hopkins' results among the five non-dropped schools features tighter overall series histories than the ones that the Jays had to presumably postpone, Hopkins did the best it could in a difficult situation. If the Jays can find a way to rotate these seven schools into an out of its yearly schedule, Hopkins won't lose much of its history.
- Compared to 2014, the Jays dropped Albany, Loyola, and Mount St. Mary's in favor of Penn State, Rutgers, and the Big Ten Tournament. Again, outside of the loss of the 'Hounds from Hopkins' schedule, the Jays probably aren't gaining or losing much in terms of history underlying the team's schedule: Albany and Hopkins have met only 13 times, the first meeting coming in 2002; Mount St. Mary's and Hopkins have thrown hands only five times with the first fight occurring in 2006; Penn State and Johns Hopkins have played only five games between each other and haven't met since 1946; and Rutgers and the Jays have met 34 times but not since 1998. There's nothing to get particularly excited or disappointed about in any of that, save for the loss of Loyola from the regular season schedule.
"From Homewood Field. . . ."
February 7: UMBC; February 28: Princeton; March 7: Navy; March 21: Virginia; March 28: Rutgers; April 11: Penn State; April 18: Michigan
Based on what's included in the team's press release, Hopkins will have seven games broadcast on an ESPN platform this coming year. Interestingly, Hopkins is getting the tape delay treatment through the wintry portion of its schedule, having dates against UMBC, Princeton, and Navy driven on ESPN3 in real-time and broadcast on ESPNU the next day in the early afternoon. This isn't new -- ESPN has done this in the past -- but it may help shape what ESPN's broadcast schedule might look like as the season approaches.
Also of note -- Hopkins has two dates against Big Ten opponents on a Sunday: Ohio State (April 5) and Maryland (April 26). As the Big Ten Network will broadcast a slate of Sunday lacrosse games this season, there's a reasonable likelihood that the Jays will appear on television on those two dates as well.