Hobbled Hopkins braces for Syracuse

March 16, 1994|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,Contributing Writer

Johns Hopkins coach Tony Seaman has some worries heading into Saturday's matchup with top-ranked Syracuse, and they center on the toll the season already has taken on his defensemen.

His inexperienced defense is banged up, and defense is the last aspect that needs to be hurting when facing the run-and-gun Orangemen.

Junior Dan Evans, the Blue Jays' most seasoned defenseman, and freshman Mac McCulloch suffered season-ending knee injuries before the first game and are scheduled for surgery this weekend. And on March 6, freshman starter Aaron Van Horn badly twisted his ankle against Division III Washington.

"That's one area where we couldn't afford any injuries," Seaman said. "I have four guys going for knee operations, and [two] of them are defensemen."

The starting Hopkins close defense of freshman Brian Kuczma and seniors Carmen Cavolo (Dulaney) and Jason Pressman did not start a game last season. Pressman had his best game of the season last Saturday at Rutgers, when he picked up six ground balls and held All-American attackman Ryan O'Shea to one goal. The Blue Jays (2-1) beat Rutgers, 11-7.

"The best thing about Rutgers is that we didn't get anybody hurt," Seaman said.

Syracuse (2-0), which has the nation's longest winning streak at 13, still retains its explosive reputation.

In their 17-10 rout of No. 2 North Carolina, the Orangemen scored seven of the final eight goals. Last season against Hopkins, Syracuse broke a 15-15 tie by scoring six straight goals in the final quarter en route to a 21-17 victory.

Syracuse, winner of 37 of its past 42 road games, also has scored in double figures in 14 straight games and 92 of its past 94 games.

Against Hopkins' depleted defense, will the Orangemen reach double digits by the end of the first quarter? Seaman said he has heard speculation that Syracuse could score 30 or 40 goals.

"If that happens, we'll have to hang a 'For Sale' sign out there," Seaman said.

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