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Johns Hopkins men's lacrosse happy for extra day to prepare and recover for Ohio State

Saturday's 9-7 win against Rutgers was a significant development for Johns Hopkins, which scored its first victory as a member of the Big Ten and won for just the second time in the past six games.

Playing on Saturday also gives the No. 19 Blue Jays (4-5 overall and 1-0 conference) an extra day to prepare for Sunday's game at No. 14 Ohio State (8-3, 1-0).

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"We've been playing for two months, over two months," coach Dave Pietramala said Wednesday morning, referring to the start of practices on Jan. 14. "That's a long time, and we need to make sure that while it's just April, we keep the larger picture in mind. What we don't want is to putter out as the year goes on. We want to get stronger. So this week, it's important that we manage our time very, very well."

The Buckeyes opened their league schedule on Sunday, defeating Penn State, 10-8. So Johns Hopkins has an addition day on Ohio State, but Pietramala wasn't sure how beneficial that would be.

"It can benefit or it can be detrimental," he said. "It just depends on how you handle it. We have had situations in the past where we've gone hard and fast early, and it's hurt us later in the week. We've had other situations where we've given guys off to take care of some academics and we've cut practices a bit shorter to make sure that we're fresh at the end of the week."

Unlike their week of preparation for their first game with the Scarlet Knights since March 7, 1988, the Blue Jays are somewhat more familiar with the Buckeyes. The two sides have scrimmaged against each other in the past and met in a regular season game on Feb. 9, 2014, that Johns Hopkins won, 10-9, in triple overtime.

Pietramala said the coaches have spent hours poring over footage of last year's game, Ohio State's games, and a couple of the Blue Jays' recent games.

"Obviously, you're going to go back and look at things that you were successful at doing," he said. "You may try to emulate some of that. You're going to look at things they were successful at and say, 'Well, they're smart coaches, and they're going to look at this game and say we had some success doing this.' We go back and look at our last couple of games and look at what other teams have played that had success doing, and what does Ohio State do similar to those teams? … They have found some things that have allowed them to be successful, and so we're going to look at those and we're going to put a lot of time and energy into the things they're doing this year. But we would be fools if we didn't go back and look at, 'OK, what did we do well against them last year and where did we find some success and where did they find success against us?'"

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