The Johns Hopkins lacrosse community has to be disgruntled.
In nearly two years under coach Peter Milliman, the Blue Jays men have shown little progress and were overwhelmed and embarrassed by No. 1 Maryland on Saturday night at Homewood Field in Baltimore.
That made it even worse.
It’s one thing to get beat on the road, and another to get crushed at home in historic fashion. Maryland had an eight-goal lead at halftime and cruised to a 22-7 victory, the worst loss in Johns Hopkins history. You read that right.
In the first half alone, eight Terps scored goals. They did so almost every way imaginable — off fast breaks, settled situations, faceoff guys running down the field untouched, failed clears and rebounds.
At one point in the second quarter, Maryland scored three goals in 10 seconds. Wow. What in the name of the great Bob Scott is going on off Charles Street?
Saturday’s meeting was the 123rd between the teams. The worst Blue Jays losses had been by 13 goals, in 1954 and in 1973.
The Terps (12-0, 5-0 Big Ten Conference) treated Johns Hopkins (6-8, 2-3) as if the Blue Jays were High Point, which Maryland routed, 21-13, in the season opener.
In all the glorious years since Johns Hopkins fielded a team in 1883, only one coach in the school’s history has been fired after two losing seasons — Wilson Fewster, who went 2-4-1 in 1952 and 3-5 in 1953.
The Blue Jays faithful has to be getting antsy with Milliman, who went 4-9 last year. He can’t be totally blamed for what is going on at Johns Hopkins because former coach Dave Pietramala, now the defensive coordinator at Syracuse, left him little talent.
It’s most noticeable in the midfield, where the Blue Jays have little speed and athleticism. But Pietramala is gone now and Milliman is paying for the lack of standout defenders as well.
In other situations, or at other schools, head coaches might get three or four years to rebuild or breathe new energy into a program. But this isn’t any other place. This is Johns Hopkins. The Blue Jays have won 44 national championships with nine NCAA titles.
They have an entire building dedicated and committed to the men’s and women’s lacrosse programs, the only Division I sports programs on their campus.
So, on warm Saturday evenings late in the season, the Blue Jays are expected to show up. Before a large crowd at Johns Hopkins, the team needs to show its fans that it is in playoff contention, especially against a rival in Maryland.
Instead, the Blue Jays were humiliated, ripped apart by their former offensive coordinator who now handles the same responsibility with the Terps.
Bobby Benson never had this type of talent with Johns Hopkins. Now, he is the new mastermind of college lacrosse, designing an offense that has scored more than 20 goals six times this season.
But Maryland isn’t just better on offense. The Terps are better everywhere, and by the end of the third quarter, leading 22-4, Maryland coach John Tillman had emptied his bench.
Terps attackman Logan Wisnauskas led the Terps with five goals while fellow attackmen Owen Murphy and Keegan Khan each had four.
It had to be hard for Johns Hopkins to have had senior night after the game. It’s going to be even harder for the Blue Jays as far as recruiting.
The sport of lacrosse has become more widespread throughout the country and few teams dominate the way Johns Hopkins once did. It’s hard for the Blue Jays to compete in the Big Ten with teams like Ohio State, Penn State, Maryland and Michigan, which have big-time facilities and major college football programs.
The lure of those golden days when Johns Hopkins dominated is gone, and the Blue Jays program has started to fade with it.