As the Patriot League tournament champion, No. 1 Loyola Maryland has already secured a berth in the upcoming NCAA tournament. And No. 6 Johns Hopkins – despite the lack of a conference tournament’s automatic qualifier – is considered a sure thing to qualify for the postseason.
But there is still much on the line when the Blue Jays (10-3) visit the Greyhounds (14-1) at Ridley Athletic Complex in Baltimore on Saturday at 12 p.m. Johns Hopkins could guarantee a first-round game at Homewood Field in Baltimore with a win, while Loyola could earn a top-four seed with a victory.
The significance of Saturday’s contest was not lost on either coach.
“While I think – win or lose – our resume should speak for itself and the numbers should speak for itself, and I think Johns Hopkins should be in the tournament, that’s not in my hands,” Blue Jays coach Dave Pietramala said. “That’s in someone else’s, and we look at this as another important lacrosse game – as I’ve said every one we’ve played is. This is the last regular-season and this is our seniors’ last regular-season game. Does this have ramifications for seeding? I’m sure it does. Does this put the winner in a really good spot? Absolutely. Does this hurt the loser? I would think it shouldn’t, because it’s two Top 10 teams that have had successful seasons. But it’s the last regular-season game, and you’d like nothing more than to take some positive momentum into the second season.”
Added the Greyhounds’ Charley Toomey: “It’s Loyola-Hopkins ... that’s the first thing on everybody’s minds. I think there’s a lot of pride in these two programs and we both want to go out and play really well toward the end of the year. Our guys will see those guys throughout the summer and vice versa. So it should be a playoff atmosphere here, and I think it’s a game that prepares you for the next stage of your season.”