One of the underlying storylines of the clash between No. 2 seed Johns Hopkins and Maryland in Saturday’s quarterfinal of the NCAA tournament is what unfolded during the regular-season meeting between these teams.
That April 14 contest was highlighted by the Terps closing out the second half with six unanswered goals to cap a 9-6 victory at Homewood Field. The loss was the Blue Jays’ second in three games, and Johns Hopkins would lose, 8-2, to Navy the following week.
Johns Hopkins junior faceoff specialist Mike Poppleton conceded that forgetting about that regular-season setback is tough.
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“I can’t say that it’s not in the back of everybody’s minds, but for the most part, we’re just trying to focus on us,” he said. “We can only control what we do. So we’re just trying to get prepared, trying to figure out tendencies, and trying to just play hard.”
Maryland senior attackman Joe Cummings said he and his teammates fully expect the Blue Jays to use that game as motivation for Saturday.
“We came into their house and took one from them, and I’m sure their coaches are going to be preaching all week that they let one get away in the regular season and now they have another opportunity to beat Maryland,” he said. “I think we can use it as fuel, too. As much as they want to say that we came in and beat them, there was a long stretch of time when Maryland didn’t beat Hopkins, and anytime we get an opportunity to play Hopkins, we want to beat them.”