BALTIMORE — The 2021 season hasn’t been what the Johns Hopkins University men's lacrosse program is used to.
"It’s been a difficult year in a lot of ways," said first-year Blue Jays Head Coach Peter Milliman.
Hopkins played to a 2-8 regular season, last place in the Big Ten and the No. 6 seed in the conference tournament.
"We’re just happy to be where we’re at and trying to earn a little bit more time," said Milliman.
That’s exactly what they doing. They upset third-seeded Penn State 15-7 in Saturday’s Big Ten quarterfinal in University Park, Pa. Milliman said his team feels like its playing with a clean slate.
"It’s part of the sentiment that everything that is behind us is behind us and however we got to where we are, we’re here."
And they’re on a mission.
Senior Cole Williams (Marriottsville/Loyola) scored four goals against the Nittany Lions, including the 100th of his career. He also set the program record playing in his 65th game. On Thursday night Williams, Milliman and the Jays get second-seeded Rutgers in the Big Ten semifinals. The Scarlet Knights topped Hopkins in both meetings this season, each by six goals. Thursday is just another chance to put together a Cinderella run.
"We just have to be thankful for our opportunities to play and enjoy what we’re getting out of it," said Milliman. "I think our guys are playing better with respect to that appreciation."
Thursday's game begins at 7:30 p.m in University Park. With a win Hopkins advances to Saturday’s title game where they could get rival Maryland. The top-seeded, undefeated Terps play fifth-seeded Michigan in the other semifinal before the Hopkins-Rutgers game.