Final Four weekend is here and Johns Hopkins is trying to claim the national title. The team is playing the best they have all year and it couldn’t have come at a better time!
Before we get too excited about the Final Four this weekend, lets take a look at the Johns Hopkins season as a whole.
Identity through Tragedy
Before the regular season even started this team was faced with one of, if not the biggest tragedy a team could face. Johns Hopkins tragically and unexpectedly lost freshman Jeremy Huber on January 26th, 2015.
A fellow teammate found Jeremy in his bed, unresponsive after he passed away from pneumonia complicating influenza. Listen to Coach Dave Pietramala as he opens up about this dark day in Johns Hopkins history.
Comments on Jeremy Huber’s legacy begins at the 15:45 mark.
The team joined Jeremy’s family for a candlelight remembrance. Over 500 people came to the event where teammates and friends shared their favorite stories and memories about Jeremy. The ceremony concluded with a short statement from Jeremy’s parents.
Family Never Forgets
To remember Jeremy, his photo was put on the video board in the stadium and written below was “Our Brother.”
During the ceremony members of the team stood around Jeremy’s number 19, which remained painted on Homewood Field through the season. Coach Pietramala said Jeremy will remain on the roster, in the media guide, and on the website until his class graduates in 2018. Since the number 19 will not be worn by Jeremy for the next three years, the Jays jersey will adorn a smaller number 19 on center their chests.
A Rough Start
This takes us to the beginning of the season. Hopkins started the season off on a good note by easily beating UMBC 16-4 before things began to get bumpy for the Blue Jays.
With a tough schedule and the loss of Jeremy, both Hopkins supporters and haters were agreeing that it didn’t look like the team had a chance to make the NCAA tournament.
Then came the end of April. They were able to get their first back to back wins of the season with a double overtime victory against Penn State and a solid win against Michigan. The Blue Jays were beginning to look like a team who could compete for the Big Ten championship and maybe even the national championship.
Through Fire and Flames
The Big Ten tournament hit and the Blue Jays cruised through Penn State 14-9 and Ohio State 13-6 to capture the first ever Big Ten Lacrosse Championship.
Since Hopkins won the Big Ten, they got an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament and drew Virginia for their first match up. The team continued their dominance and beat the Cavaliers 19-7. Syracuse won their first round game as well and was the next team on the docket.
The Blue Jays were looking for revenge since their regular season 10-13 loss to the Orange. With 1 minute left in the game the Blue Jays scored to go up by 4.
The game was over, the Blue Jays had won and were heading to the Final Four… or so many people thought. Ben Williams, Syracuse’s dominant face off specialist, and the potent Syracuse offense had other plans. It turned into make it, take it for Syracuse and the game was within 1 goal with roughly 20 seconds left. Thwarting the monumental Syracuse comeback, the Blue Jays won the ensuing face off and were able to keep possession, running the clock out for the win.
Hopkins is now waiting for their matchup against arch rival Maryland once again. As Coach Petro put it, this team has been through Hell and back, starting with the loss of Jeremy in January to the NCAA Final Four in May and with the streak they’re currently on, I’m not sure anyone can stop this train.
- Johns Hopkins Freshman Huber Died of Complications of Pneumonia, Flu – (Lacrosse Magazine)
- NCAA Lacrosse Final Four Super Post – (LaxAllStars.com)
- Hundreds gather to remember Johns Hopkins lacrosse player Jeremy Huber – (JHU.edu)
- Cause of Johns Hopkins lacrosse player’s death ruled accidental – (ABC news)
- Family, friends remember Johns Hopkins’ Jeremy Huber at candlelight vigil – (Baltimore Sun)
- NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Tournament Final Four Preview – (Testudo Times)