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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University February 23, 2004 | Vol. 33 No. 23
Could This Be the Year? Blue Jay Men Begin Quest for Elusive Lacrosse Championship

Kyle Harrison, an All-American midfielder, is one of six returning starters.
PHOTO BY Johns Hopkins Athletics

By Greg Rienzi
The Gazette

You have to be good to be the runner-up, but you lose claim to being dubbed the best. Just ask the members of the Carolina Panthers, who came up a field goal short in this year's Super Bowl.

No strangers to the "good" label, the Johns Hopkins men's lacrosse team has been edging its way closer to an NCAA Division I title since coach Dave Pietramala took control of the program in 2001. He guided the Blue Jays to the NCAA quarterfinals in his first season, the NCAA semifinals in his second and the championship game last year, eventually losing by two goals to Virginia. Will 2004 be the year the men's team gets to and wins that elusive final game?

The quest begins at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 28, when the Blue Jays play the University of Pennsylvania Quakers at Homewood Field. Hopkins heads into the contest ranked No. 2 in the Faceoff 2004 Preseason Coaches' Poll, right behind the defending champion Cavaliers.

The Blue Jays return six starters from last year's team, including All-Americans junior Kyle Barrie, junior Kyle Harrison and senior Kevin Boland. Six of the top eight scorers from last season are back, as are senior Corey Harned and defense anchors Tom Garvey and Chris Watson, both juniors.

As always, Johns Hopkins' journey to the top will not be an easy one. The team's schedule has been voted the strongest in the nation by Inside Lacrosse/Faceoff Yearbook. The Blue Jays will play three teams from last season's Final Four, all four ACC schools and Princeton and Towson, both of which advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals in 2003.

This year's home matches are against Penn, Albany, Princeton, Syracuse, North Carolina, Maryland and Towson. The Johns Hopkins-Maryland game will be the 100th meeting of these two fierce rivals.

For a complete schedule, go to jhop-m-lacros-sched.html.


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