A Look Back At The Maryland/Hopkins Series History
April 14, 2004
By Ernie Larossa
It's almost as if the people who choose the school colors for Johns Hopkins and Maryland had the men's lacrosse rivalry that has developed between the two schools in mind. Red (Maryland), blue (Hopkins) and black (both) are the colors of the welts and bruises players from both teams wear like well-earned medals of honor for weeks after the game. The greatest rivalry in college lacrosse history renews itself this Saturday for the 100th time in the most famous venue in lacrosse history.
The subject of conversation since Hopkins and Maryland narrowly missed playing the centennial game on Memorial Day at the end of last season, the 100th meeting was destined to be a matchup of two of the top-ranked teams in the nation.
Amazingly, since rankings began in 1973, this will be the 19th time in 43 meetings that one of the teams is ranked number one at the time of the game as JHU took over the top spot after Maryland dropped a 9-6 decision to Navy last Saturday. For the record, a top-ranked Johns Hopkins team has beaten Maryland in eight of 10 matchups.
Since the first meeting in 1895 there have been blowouts, overtimes, last-second victories, amazing individual performances and some of the best players in college lacrosse history.
Someday, someone will write a book about the rivalry that is easily the best in college lacrosse. What follows is merely a decade-by-decade look at the first 99 games - three pages is hardly enough space to tell the story. A lack of verifiable information about many of the games in the early years makes it difficult to document individual players in many instances. The more detailed look at games in the last 30 years in merely a result of better data - not a judgement that these games carry any more significance in the history of the series.
1895-1923 / The Early Years
Since 1924 there has been at least one Johns Hopkins-Maryland men's lacrosse game every year except 1944 and 1945, when World War II prevented both schools from fielding teams.
1924-29 / Maryland's Elevation
Hopkins claimed the National Championship in 1926, 1927 and 1928 with all three titles sealed with season-ending victories over the Terps The 1928 Blue Jays went on to represent the United States in the Olympic Games - the first of two consecutive Olympic appearances for the Johns Hopkins men's lacrosse team - and both trips came at the expense of the Terps.
In 1928, the Lacrosse Association decided that the country's top six teams would engage in an elimination playoff to determine which team would go to Amsterdam to represent the United States in the Olympics.
Hopkins only qualified for the playoff by upsetting undefeated Maryland in the regular-season finale. The Blue Jays upset unbeaten Mt. Washington in the first round of the tournament and avenged a regular season loss to Army in the semifinals - setting up a one-game playoff with Maryland, which had beaten Navy in the other semifinals, for the right to represent the United States.
In front of a reported crowd of 12,000, the Blue Jays once again knocked off the Terps, 6-3 to secure the spot in the Olympics.
Game of Note: The 1924 game, won by the Terps, 4-2, was the first between the two schools when both were varsity programs. Two-time First Team All-American and future Hall of Fame inductee Ivan Marty fueled Maryland's transition to varsity status and first win over Johns Hopkins.
1930-39 / A Decade of Streaks
The dominance of the two teams on the national level only magnified the intensity of the rivalry. From 1930 through 1934 the Blue Jays lost a total of two games against collegiate competition - both against Maryland - and won the USILA Championship in 1932, 1933 and 1934.
Maryland returned the favor in the second half of the decade as the Terps won the USILA Championship in 1936, 1937 and 1939. From the "win the battle, but lose the war" file we find that Hopkins snapped its four-game losing streak against the Terps with a 6-3 win in 1939, but it was Maryland that was crowned USILA Champion.
Game of Note: In what may be considered a nondescript decade in the history of the series, Hopkins' win to secure a spot in the 1932 Olympic Games as the representative team from the United States carries special significance. Lacrosse has not been played at an Olympic Games since then.
1940-49 / Tight Games Take Over
Maryland capped a 10-0 season in 1940 with the 7-6 win over the Blue Jays that sealed the USILA Championship. Hopkins claimed the USILA Championship with a 12-0 season in 1941 - a season that was punctuated by a 10-3 win over a strong Maryland team that entered the game at 8-1.
Neither team would win another title until 1947, when the Blue Jays won the first of four straight championships. Hopkins didn't lose a game to a college opponent during those four years and each season ended with a win over the Terrapins (three of the four were decided by six goals or more).
Game of Note: Both teams entered the 1940 matchup undefeated against collegiate competition and in contention for the USILA Championship. The 7-6 Maryland win sealed the title for the Terrapins and was the first of the 16 one-goal games the two teams have played in the series.
1950-59 / National Dominance
The Terrapins of the mid. 1950s may have been the strongest in Maryland history and the results against the Blue Jays were one-sided. The Terps defeated the Blue Jays in 1951 (6-1), 1953 (8-6), 1954 (17-4), 1955 (11-5) and 1956 (13-6) with Hopkins managing only a 10-10 tie in the series from 1951-56. The Terps of that era were led by future Hall of Famers Jim Kappler (G), Charles Wicker (A), John Simmons (D) and James Keating during their undefeated 1955 and 1956 USILA National Championship seasons. Both seasons were punctuated with the season-ending wins over the Blue Jays.
Maryland carried a 31-game winning streak into the 1957 season-finale against an undefeated Blue Jay team that was led by sophomore upstarts Mickey Webster and Bill Morrill. Hopkins' dynamic duo fueled a stunning 15-10 win over the Terps that jump-started a three-year run where the Blue Jays won a pair of USILA Championships (1957, 1959). Once again the split national championship came into play as both the Terps and Blue Jays earned a share of the '59 title (along with Army).
Game of Note: Maryland's dominance over the college lacrosse world during the 1950s was so thorough that from the final game in 1954 through the first five games of the 1960 season the Terps compiled a 54-3 record - 2-3 against Johns Hopkins and 52-0 against all other schools. The Blue Jays' win in 1957 (noted above) gave teams hope, but it was still not until April 30, 1960 that another team would top the Terps (Navy, 15-14).
1960-69 / A Decade Divided
The Terrapins actually dominated the series in the early part of the decade, winning 6-of-7 from 1961-67. The 1967 shared title was actually one that got away from the Blue Jays. Navy had already beaten Maryland, 10-8 when the Mids came to Homewood Field. Navy had beaten the Blue Jays nine straight times, but the Blue Jays stunned the seven-time defending national champions, 9-6 and needed only a victory at Maryland to seal an undisputed national title.
No such luck, however as the Terps were more than happy to play the role of spoiler and grab a share of the title with a thorough, 9-5 victory over the Blue Jays.
Joe Cowan, Downy McCarty and Phil Kneip led the way for Hopkins in the late 1960s, when the Blue Jays began to even the ledger against Maryland with three straight wins (1968-70). A dominating 14-8 win for the Blue Jays over the Terps in the 1969 season-finale closed the decade on the rivalry and sealed a third straight USILA Championship for the Blue Jays.
Game of Note: The 1962 game was the highest scoring game at that point in the series as the Terps took a 16-15 decision. That was at the time the most goals scored by a losing team in the series and the game was the only one-goal affair the two teams would stage between 1959 and 1971.
1970-79 / Playoffs Intensify Rivalry
The 1973 and 1974 seasons saw Maryland and Hopkins each grab an NCAA Championship and both were won at the expense of their bitter rival.
The 1973 title game nearly provided another upset in Hopkins' favor as the Blue Jays, who had lost to Maryland, 17-4 in the regular-season finale, utilized a stall tactic that nearly worked to perfection (the first shot of the game did not occur until 8:38 had elapsed). The Blue Jays jumped to a 5-1 lead and carried a 5-2 lead into halftime, but Maryland got untracked in the second half and out-scored the Blue Jays, 7-4 in the second half to force overtime. Four-time First Team All-American Frank Urso ended the drama when he scored 1:18 into overtime to give Maryland a 10-9 lead. Still, Maryland goalie Bill O'Donnell was forced to make several difficult saves late in overtime (OT was not sudden death at that time) to preserve the victory.
A year later the Blue Jays would gain sweet revenge with a win over Maryland in the championship game. Maryland had entered the final regular season game against the Blue Jays ranked number one, but third-ranked JHU pulled off a 17-13 victory. Despite the victory, Hopkins entered the NCAA Tournament as the number two seed - behind top-seeded Maryland.
The Blue Jays once again got off to a quick start, jumping to a 5-3 lead at the end of the first quarter and a 10-4 lead at the half. The Terps would outscore the Blue Jays, 8-7 after intermission, but Franz Wittelsberger scored five goals and Rick Kowalchuk, Rich Hirsch and Jack Thomas all scored three goals to provide Scott with his first NCAA title in his final game as the Blue Jays' coach.
Maryland won the 1975 and 1976 games against Johns Hopkins rather handily (19-11 and 21-13) en route to the 1975 NCAA Championship and a runner-up finish in 1976. However, Scott had turned the reigns over to Henry Cicccarone after the 1974 season and after losing to Maryland in his first two head-to-head matchups with the Terps, he wouldn't lose another.
Dave Huntley's overtime game-winner on May 14, 1977 gave the Blue Jays a 21-20 victory against the Terps in the 1977 regular-season finale. Who knew at the time that Maryland would not beat Johns Hopkins again in men's lacrosse for nearly 10 years.
The Blue Jays ended the Terps' season in the NCAA Tournament in 1977, 1978 and 1979 to close out the decade. All three games were decided by at least six goals and the 22 goals JHU popped in on the Terps in the 1977 NCAA Semifinals remain the most Maryland has ever allowed in an NCAA Tournament game. The wins over Maryland in 1978 and 1979 propelled the Blue Jays to their second and third NCAA Championships.
Game of Note: Hard to pick just one. Maryland's 1973 NCAA Championship Game victory over the Blue Jays jump-started a string of four straight appearances in the championship game for Maryland (titles in 1973 & 1975 / runners-up in 1974 & 1976). Huntley's overtime goal in the 1977 regular-season game against Maryland gave the Blue Jays the first of what would become 15 straight wins over the Terps and Hopkins would go on to play in the NCAA Championship game every year from 1977-85.
1980-89 / A One-Sided Series
Under the guidance of head coach Dick Edell, Maryland reestablished itself as a force on the national level in 1987. Edell, whose Terrapins fed off his fiery spirit, were the dominant team of 1987, rolling to an 11-0 record during the regular season. The Terps played just one regular season game that was decided by less than six goals (an 11-7 victory over Johns Hopkins that wasn't quite as close as the score might indicate).
A 12-8 victory over Penn in the NCAA Quarterfinals propelled the Terps to 12-0 and into the NCAA Semifinals. Waiting there for Maryland was Johns Hopkins, which had lost three regular season games for the first time since 1976 and had narrowly escaped North Carolina (11-10) in the NCAA Quarterfinals.
Playing a near flawless game and behind the five-goal performance of senior All-American Brian Wood, the Blue Jays stunned the Terrapins, 13-8 in what would be the final game legendary Blue Jay assistant Fred Smith would ever see in person. Hopkins won its seventh NCAA title two days later against undefeated Cornell, but it was the win over Maryland that some considered (at the time) the biggest upset the NCAA Tournament had seen.
Game of Note: There can be only one from a decade dominated by the Blue Jays - the stunning 1987 semifinal victory for JHU over the Terps. How dominant was Maryland during the regular season that year? The Terps played four games against teams ranked in the top six that year and won the four by an average of 8.3 goals per game. Included was a 16-6 dismantling of then top-ranked defending NCAA Champion North Carolina that vaulted Maryland to number one.
1990-99 / Playoff Upsets
The 1995 season mirrored the 1987 season and provided the same exhilarating/devastating ending, depending on which team you were rooting for.
Hopkins entered the NCAA Tournament as the top-ranked, top-seeded and undefeated favorite to claim its first NCAA title since 1987. However, unlike the dominant Maryland team of eight seasons earlier, the Blue Jays had dodged the bullet four times during the regular season with one-goal wins, one of which came at the expense of Maryland.
The Terps were more than willing to return the favor in the NCAA Semifinals in a scene that was eerily similar to the 1987 playoff game.
The Terps, feeding off Edell's emotion, jumped to a 4-1 lead at the end of the first quarter, led 10-4 at halftime and rode what many consider the greatest individual performance in a Hopkins-Maryland game to a dominating 16-8 victory. Junior goalie Brian Dougherty stoned the Blue Jays early and often and went on to be named the Most Outstanding Player despite Maryland falling to Syracuse in the championship game.
A year later, top-ranked Maryland eased past Hopkins, 12-9 during the regular season and entered the NCAA Tournament as the number two seed. The Blue Jays had to win their final regular season game just to qualify for the NCAAs, but the new predetermined quarterfinal sites in the playoffs couldn't have come at a better time for Hopkins.
Playing in sweltering heat and sporting all-black uniforms, the heavy underdog Blue Jays jumped to a stunning, 7-0 lead at the half and held off a furious rally by Maryland in the second half to pull off a shocking, 9-7 upset, easing the pain the previous year's loss.
The 1998 season once again saw the two teams meet twice with the regular season winner falling in the NCAA Tournament. Playing before an overflow crowd of 10,219 at Homewood Field, the sixth-ranked Blue Jays pulled off a 10-6 upset over the top-ranked Terps during the regular season.
The homefield advantage once again provided the difference in the playoffs as Maryland knocked off the Blue Jays, 11-10 in overtime in the quarterfinals. The Terps led 10-6 entering the fourth quarter, only to have Hopkins rally to force overtime. In overtime the Blue Jays would never touch the ball as Maryland won the opening faceoff and fired several shots at Blue Jay goalie Brian Carcaterra before Brian Zeller slipped one past him to propel the Terps to the NCAA Semifinals.
Game of Note: Probably can't go wrong picking the 1995 semifinal, when Dougherty turned in one of the great NCAA Tournament performances of all-time, although the game itself was not very competitive. The playoff game in 1996 may have been just as big an upset and provided more drama late in the game as the Blue Jays held off a furious Maryland rally.
2000- / Can't Get Any Closer
Hopkins has taken each of the last two games in the series in overtime. From the "I've seen the highs and lows" file we find Joe McDermott, a senior on this year's Johns Hopkins team. As a freshman in 2001, McDermott was knocked out of the game with a concussion. However, he came back to provide a knockout punch of his own last season as he scored the unassisted game-winner in overtime.
Game of Note: If the last three are any indication then the 100th anniversary game will be the one people talk about for year's to come.
ALL-TIME SERIES HOPKINS LEADS SERIES 62-36-1 HOPKINS LEADS SERIES 62-36-1 Date Score Location Att. 1895 Hopkins 10, Maryland 0 1896 Hopkins 8, Maryland 0 1897 Hopkins 10, Maryland 0 1897 Hopkins 7, Maryland 0 1919 Hopkins 17, Maryland 0 1920 Hopkins 4, Maryland 1 1923 Hopkins 4, Maryland 2 Mar. 12, 1924 Maryland 4, Hopkins 2 Homewood May 5, 1925 Maryland 3, Hopkins 1 Homewood 4,000 May 22, 1926 Hopkins 10, Maryland 3 Homewood 6,000 May 21, 1927 Hopkins 8, Maryland 2 Homewood May 26, 1928 Hopkins 6, Maryland 1 Homewood 7,000 1928 Hopkins 6, Maryland 3 May 25, 1929 Maryland 6, Hopkins 2 Balt. Stadium 8,000 April 24, 1930 Maryland 6, Hopkins 0 Balt. Stadium May 23, 1931 Maryland 8, Hopkins 6 Balt. Stadium 4,800 May 21, 1932 Hopkins 7, Maryland 3 Balt. Stadium 8,000 1932 Hopkins 7, Maryland 5 May 20, 1933 Hopkins 6, Maryland 3 Homewood 4,000 May 19, 1934 Hopkins 8, Maryland 5 Balt. Stadium 2,000 May 18, 1935 Maryland 4, Hopkins 2 Homewood May 23, 1936 Maryland 9, Hopkins 4 Homewood 1,500 May 22, 1937 Maryland 9, Hopkins 6 Homewood 1,500 May 21, 1938 Maryland 12, Hopkins 6 College Park May 20, 1939 Hopkins 6, Maryland 3 Homewood 7,000 May 18, 1940 Maryland 7, Hopkins 6 Byrd Stadium 5,000 May 17, 1941 Hopkins 10, Maryland 3 Homewood 8,000 May 23, 1942 Hopkins 7, Maryland 5 May 22, 1943 Maryland 5, Hopkins 4 Byrd Stadium May 25, 1946 Maryland 7, Hopkins 6 Homewood 5,000 May 24, 1947 Hopkins 15, Maryland 6 Byrd Stadium May 22, 1948 Hopkins 10, Maryland 8 Homewood 8,000 May 21, 1949 Hopkins 6, Maryland 14 Byrd Stadium 6,000 May 20, 1950 Hopkins 10, Maryland 4 Homewood 7,000 May 18, 1951 Maryland 6, Hopkins 1 Byrd Stadium 3,500 May 17, 1952 Md. 10 Hopkins 10(2ot) Homewood May 16, 1953 Maryland 8, Hopkins 6 Byrd Stadium 2.500 May 15, 1954 Maryland 17, Hopkins 4 Homewood 4,500 May 21, 1955 Maryland 11, Hopkins 5 Byrd Stadium 4,000 May 19, 1956 Maryland 13, Hopkins 6 Homewood 7,000 May 18, 1957 Hopkins 15, Maryland 10 Byrd Stadium May 17, 1958 Hopkins 11, Maryland 10 Homewood May 16, 1959 Hopkins 20, Maryland 8 Byrd Stadium 11,000 May 21, 1960 Hopkins 13, Maryland 7 Homewood 6,000 May 20, 1961 Maryland 12, Hopkins 7 Byrd Stadium May 19, 1962 Maryland 16, Hopkins 15 Homewood 5,500 May 18, 1963 Maryland 13, Hopkins 11 Byrd Stadium May 16, 1964 Maryland 17, Hopkins 12 Homewood 5,500 May 16, 1965 Hopkins 11, Maryland 8 Byrd Stadium May 21, 1966 Maryland 12, Hopkins 8 Homewood 5,500 May 20, 1967 Maryland 9, Hopkins 5 Byrd Stadium 11,500 May 18, 1968 Hopkins 10, Maryland 8 Homewood 11,000 May 17, 1969 Hopkins 14, Maryland 8 Byrd Stadium 9,501 May 16, 1970 Hopkins 7, Maryland 4 Homewood 8,273 May 15, 1971 Maryland 8, Hopkins 5 Byrd Stadium 3,500 May 13, 1972 Maryland 13, Hopkins 12 Homewood 8,000 May 27, 1972 Hopkins 9, Maryland 6SF Byrd Stadium 8,100 May 12, 1973 Maryland 17, Hopkins 4 Byrd Stadium 17,586 June 2, 1973 Md. 10, Hopkins 9 (2ot)F Philadelphia 7,117 May 11, 1974 Hopkins 17, Maryland 13 Homewood June 1, 1974 Hopkins 17, Maryland 12F Rutgers 11,500 May 17, 1975 Maryland 19, Hopkins 11 Byrd Stadium 10,300 May 15, 1976 Maryland 21, Hopkins 13 Homewood 12,200 May 14, 1977 Hopkins 21, Md. 20 (ot) Byrd Stadium 14,386 May 21, 1977 Hopkins 22, Maryland 12SF Homewood 11,000 April 29, 1978 #3 Hopkins 19, #2 Maryland 13 Homewood 11,500 May 20, 1978 #2 Hopkins 17, #3 Maryland 11SF Homewood 8,000 April 28, 1979 #1 Hopkins 13, #2 Maryland 12 Byrd Stadium 15,283 May 26, 1979 #1 Hopkins 15, #2 Maryland 9F Byrd Stadium April 26, 1980 #2 Hopkins 15, #6 Maryland 6 Homewood 6,500 April 25, 1981 #5 Hopkins 12, #1 Maryland 8 Byrd Stadium May 20, 1981 #1 Hopkins 19, #7 Maryland 141stR Homewood April 24, 1982 #4 Hopkins 14, #6 Maryland 6 Homewood May 19, 1982 #3 Hopkins 14, #8 Maryland 91stR Homewood 1,500 April 23, 1983 #2 Hopkins 14, #9 Maryland 7 Byrd Stadium 7,500 April 21, 1984 #2 Hopkins 16, #9 Maryland 10 Homewood April 20, 1985 #1 Hopkins 8, #7 Maryland 7 (ot) Byrd Stadium 13,775 April 19, 1986 #2 Hopkins 14, #3 Maryland 9 Homewood 12,600 April 18, 1987 #1 Maryland 11, #4 Hopkins 7 Byrd Stadium 19,850 May 23, 1987 #4 Hopkins 13, #1 Maryland 8SF Rutgers 20,000 April 23, 1988 #2 Hopkins 11, #11 Maryland 7 Homewood April 22, 1989 #1 Hopkins 10, #4 Maryland 9 Byrd Stadium 16,759 April 21, 1990 #12 Hopkins 17, #11 Maryland 11 Homewood April 20, 1991 #6 Maryland 11, #3 Hopkins 8 College Park April 18, 1992 #7 Maryland 13, #3 Hopkins 9 Homewood April 16, 1993 #4 Hopkins 19, #11 Maryland 11 Byrd Stadium April 16, 1994 #6 Hopkins 12, #8 Maryland 10 Homewood April 15, 1995 #1 Hopkins 16, #3 Maryland 15 Byrd Stadium 12,200 May 27, 1995 #4 Maryland 16, #1 Hopkins 8SF Byrd Stadium 30,327 April 13, 1996 #1 Maryland 12, #4 Hopkins 9 Homewood 9,150 May 19, 1996 #7 Hopkins 9, #2 Maryland 7 QF Homewood 9,346 April 12, 1997 #7 Hopkins 13, #4 Maryland 9 Byrd Stadium 3,150 April 11, 1998 #6 Hopkins 10, #1 Maryland 6 Homewood 10,219 May 17, 1998 #5 Maryland 11, #4 Hopkins 10 QF Byrd Stadium 11,163 April 16, 1999 #3 Hopkins 13, #7 Maryland 3 Byrd Stadium 5,829 April 15, 2000 #8 Hopkins 20, #7 Maryland 11 Homewood 5,395 April 14, 2001 #5 Maryland 10, #2 Hopkins 9 Byrd Stadium 7,219 April 13, 2002 #3 Hopkins 9, #6 Maryland 8 (ot) Homewood 8,642 April 12, 2003 #1 Hopkins 6, #5 Maryland 5 (ot) Byrd Stadium 8,183 Note: NCAA games in italics with superscripts for round (F-Final, SF-Semifinal, QF- Quarterfinal, 1stR-First Round) Rankings are USILA and only since 1978