Johns Hopkins men's lacrosse retaining annual game vs. Navy, but Loyola Maryland is question mark

With Johns Hopkins moving to the Big Ten for the 2015 season, a schedule that the program could mold and shape will have certain limitations.

For one, the Blue Jays must face conference opponents Maryland, Penn State, Ohio State, Rutgers and Michigan, and must keep one weekend open in late April or early May for the league tournament.

Other traditional rivalries are on the chopping block, but coach Dave Pietramala confirmed on Thursday that the school’s annual showdown with Navy – which will unfold for the 88th time on Friday at 7 p.m. at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis – will be retained.

“[Midshipmen coach] Rick Sowell and I have spoken, and we both feel the same way, that it’s an important game in the state of Maryland, it’s an important game to our alumni, it’s a very important game to the institutions, and we both think it’s an important game for the sport of lacrosse,” said Pietramala, who declined to publicize the date because of the absence of contractual agreements between the schools. “Johns Hopkins and Navy have been playing a long, long time, and we both made it clear that we want to play next year and have come up with a date early in the season. The date will change dramatically. It will be an early-season game, but nonetheless, we both agreed that it’s important to continue to do it.”

Pietramala said the program has nailed down a date for North Carolina and has had conversations with Syracuse and Virginia to do the same. But he conceded that some rivalries are at risk, including the team’s series with Loyola Maryland.

“There are some that we’ll not be able to make,” he said. “One or two may be local. Right now, we’re working very closely with Loyola to continue that game. We both would like to do that and are trying to find a convenient date for both programs. The goal is to maintain these traditional rivalries. Loyola is the newest of all, but nonetheless one that we feel is important to our program and to our scheduling. So we are going to do the best we can and in the end, it may turn out to be a terrific and extraordinarily challenging schedule.”

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