Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
June 30, 2022

Five minutes into the game against Maryland, the score was tied 0-0. Senior midfielder John Ranagan grabbed a 25-yard pass from his teammate, senior goalie Pierce Bassett, pushed his way to the goal and sunk it into the net to give the Jays the lead, 1-0. Two minutes later, the cage rattled again as Ranagan pulled out another goal.

The Hopkins-Maryland game is considered “Lacrosse’s Greatest Rivalry.” The match, one in which the Jays never trailed, was a crucial victory in the search for an NCAA tournament bid. Ranagan’s two initial goals pushed the team toward an early lead, propelling them to hold tight to a low scoring 7-4 victory.

Ranagan, a senior lacrosse captain, is that type of player —a leader that fuels his team when they need a push. Moving forward to the game against Navy and the homecoming weekend game against national champions, Loyola, the team needs that kind of leadership.

For Ranagan, clinching an NCAA tournament bid is a necessary step in his goal to winning a national championship. While he calls it a “tall task,” the upcoming weeks and the hunt for the championship will ultimately cement his career as a team leader.

The News-Letter caught up with the senior captain to talk about the rivalry game against Maryland and discuss preparations for the remaining weeks of the season.


News-Letter (N-L): What was it like scoring the first two goals of the game last week at Maryland?


John Ranagan (JR): It was awesome. The rivalry between Hopkins and Maryland is one of the best rivalries in all of college sports. We were talking all week about starting fast and for me to put those first two shots in the cage really gave us an emotional lift and I think it helped us throughout the entire game.


N-L: In such a close game, how do you stay focused and keep your head in it?


(JR): We have a really great senior class. I think that has contributed a lot to this team over the past four years and one thing we’ve always been talking about is working hard through four quarters in practice. At the end of practice, Coach usually leaves some of the harder drills and we want to do well on those drills. We have to keep our minds focused throughout the entire practice so when we get to the game on Saturday, when the fourth quarter comes, that’s when we want to be at our best. I think we do a pretty good job of that.


N-L: Would you consider the win against Maryland the turning point of the season?


JR: I don’t think we would say that. Maybe looking back, it might be, but right now our mindset is the game against Navy. If we don’t do our jobs against Navy it won’t be a turning point. We’re just excited to work this week like we did against Maryland, have a great week of practice and do a great job on Saturday.


N-L: How does this season compare to the ones in the past?


JR: We’ve had a little bit of a rocky regular season compared to the last two years but we’re starting to play better lacrosse right now. We have to take the positives and the negatives and use them for the next three games of the regular season to make a good run to the end.


N-L: As a team, what do you look forward to in the remainder of the season and the upcoming NCAA tournament?


JR: We’re really excited to get back on Homewood field and play in front of our fans and students. That happens this Saturday with the game against Navy, a team we lost to last year. We want to revenge that loss and then the following week is homecoming. A great part about Hopkins is having homecoming in the spring and it’s always a great environment. We’re playing Loyola, who’s right up the road from us and they won the national championship last year so that will be a really exciting game. In our last game against Army, I live pretty close to Army so it will be really exciting to go up to Army and play them.


N-L: How would you define your role as a team captain?


JR: I think the role of team captain is to be an emotional leader, to make sure that the guys are excited every day. I try to bring my best energy to practice and to the games. Really, the main thing is for me to do exactly what our coach asks of me — not more, not less — just exactly what he’s asking, and then have the guys mimic that. We have to set an example and do what the coaches say — do the best of your ability.


N-L: What are your personal goals as you close out your last season with Hopkins lacrosse?


JR: Being a captain of this team, we really understand that winning a national championship is one of our main goals every single year. It’s one of the reasons we all come to Johns Hopkins lacrosse to win a national championship every four years. That really helps us stay focused on our goal and although it might be a tall task, we’re all really excited for trying to live up to that, playing for this team.

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