The Johns Hopkins men's lacrosse team has five games remaining, including Saturday's matchup against Maryland. After the Terps, the No. 9 Blue Jays play at Mount St. Mary's, at Navy, host Villanova and then close out the regular season at Loyola Maryland.
The general consensus is that the Blue Jays have to beat either No. 5 Maryland or No. 1 Loyola to pick up a quality win to get into the NCAA tournament, which it missed last season for the first time in 41 years.
"These kids are a lot smarter than we give them credit for," said Johns Hopkins coach Dave Pietramala. "They are under so much pressure these days from school, family and other things that the best thing we can do is to alleviate some of the pressure and focus on the things they can control. We need to focus on the things that make you successful. It's kind of like that [former ULCA men's basketball coach] John Wooden thing and what Alabama [football] has done. It's not like winning isn't important here. It is, and we all understand the standard here. All you have to do is walk in this building and you see the standards.
"People may say we have to win this game or that game, but we got five games in front of us, and all five are important," said Pietramala. "We have to focus on the one in front of us. I know it sounds like coachspeak or whatever, but it is fact of the matter."