The Johns Hopkins men’s lacrosse team will challenge Maryland on Saturday for its first Big Ten tournament championship since 2015 , but is bracing for the possibility of doing so without junior short-stick defensive midfielder Daniel Jones.
Jones – who, along with senior Christopher Hubler, is at the top of that position’s depth chart – was ejected from the No. 2 seed Blue Jays’ 6-5 win against No. 3 seed Ohio State in a Big Ten tournament semifinal Thursday night. He was involved in a sideline altercation where a flurry of punches were thrown and coaches separated players with 9:11 left in the fourth quarter.
It began after Buckeyes senior attackman Colin Chell (Boys’ Latin) pushed Johns Hopkins senior goalkeeper Brock Turnbaugh in the back in front of the Ohio State bench. As Turnbaugh lay on the turf, tempers flared, and a number of players exchanged blows and shoves.
While Turnbaugh (Hereford) finished the game and is expected to start for the Blue Jays (10-4) in the title game against the top-seeded Terps (12-2), coach Dave Pietramala said the defense is bracing for Jones’ absence.
“Per Big Ten rules and NCAA rules, if you are ejected from a game, you are suspended for the next game,” he said Friday morning. “So that is our assumption, that Danny will be suspended for tomorrow night’s game. We’ll just have to rely on some other people. It’s been a real blessing that [senior short-stick defensive midfielder] Tal Bruno returned to play in really his first real game yesterday. So we’ll have to play with those guys there, and we may take a guy from the offensive end and just keep him on the field.”
Jones has played all 14 games for Johns Hopkins, compiling 10 ground balls and 13 caused turnovers. His loss could mean extended playing time for Hubler, Bruno (Boys’ Latin) and sophomore Matt Hubler, Christopher Hubler’s younger brother.
Pietramala acknowledged the impact Jones’ absence might have for a defense that limited Maryland to eight goals in Saturday’s triple-overtime loss at Homewood Field in Baltimore.
“I think No. 1, he’s been playing very well, and it certainly attacks your depth,” Pietramala said. “Nonetheless, like anything else that you and I have talked about, whether it’s an injury or a suspension or a personal reason or whatever it may be, it’s the next guy up. While I’m disappointed for Danny, his loss there is an opportunity for another guy on the team to step up and contribute and do his job.”