Hopkins shot-rich, goal-poor

1-2 Blue Jays outshooting rivals, with minimal profit

now, No. 2 Virginia waits


March 22, 2000|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,SUN STAFF

Just keep shooting.

That's the advice Johns Hopkins coach John Haus has for his 1-2 Blue Jays, who certainly are not shy about taking shots.

Getting the ball past an opposing goalkeeper has been another matter.

Through their first three games, the Blue Jays have outshot their opponents, 159-111, including an astounding, 58-26 advantage over Syracuse in Friday's 13-12 loss at the Carrier Dome.

For the season, Hopkins has scored 35 goals, while converting only 22 percent of its shots.

And with No. 2 Virginia awaiting them on Saturday in Charlottesville, the Blue Jays had better start making more than one of every five attempts.

Not that Haus sounds worried.

"That [low shooting percentage] is not something I look at. At least we're getting all of those shots. That's a positive," Haus said. "I'd rather get those opportunities than not get them. You get into some games and you can't muster a shot. Keep shooting. They'll fall."

The loss to top-ranked Syracuse, in which Bobby Benson's game-tying goal was waved off since time had barely expired, typified a team shooting blanks.

Hopkins may have lost the game early, by dominating play throughout the first quarter, outshooting Syracuse, 16-3, yet taking only a 3-2 lead into the second period.

The Blue Jays repeatedly failed against goalie Rob Mulligan on point-blank shots, and missed the cage altogether on numerous other chances.

Midfielder Conor Denihan was the bright spot, as he snapped out of a 1-for-19 drought to score five goals on only seven shots. Now, Hopkins needs attackman Dan Denihan (6-for-37) and midfielder A. J. Haugen (8-for-35) to get hot.

The Blue Jays also need some depth at the offensive end. Their second midfield unit has produced just one goal.

Virginia would be a fine place to start the recovery.

Adaptable Loyola

Loyola took its lumps at graduation a year ago, losing six All-Americans, including its top four scorers and a four-year starter in goal.

The Greyhounds then took more abuse during the preseason by losing defenseman Joe Rodrigues to a broken hand and midfielder Peter Haas to a hamstring injury.

Haas has played sparingly, while Rodrigues practiced for the first time on Monday. He could play at Brown on Saturday.

And here are the 5-0 Greyhounds, ranked No. 4, owners of an NCAA-record, 28-game winning streak, and looking like the established power they have long since become under coach Dave Cottle.

The Greyhounds won their 13th consecutive road game by shutting out a pretty good Notre Dame offense on Saturday for an entire half, then cruising to a 12-2 victory. They may have found a full-time goalie in Jason Born, although Cottle wants to see more saves from him.

"We don't take a lot of shots, we don't win a lot of faceoffs and we don't make a lot of saves," Cottle said. "But the effort is always there, and everybody can score.

"We've already got six guys with at least six goals. We're shooting the ball much better than I would have expected. That's been a big difference for a team that isn't all that skilled."

The Greyhounds continue to win because of their depth. They lose Rodrigues, and sophomore Bryan England steps in to help the David Metz-led close defense shut down opponents. They lose Haas, and sophomore Michael Sullivan becomes a great, early-season story at midfield.

Sullivan is fifth on the team in scoring with 13 points, and has played equally well at the defensive end.

The Greyhounds also have found surprising offensive weapons in Gavin Prout (13 goals, seven assists) and Bobby Horsey (9, 7).

Meanwhile, the offensive leaders are doing as expected. Senior attackman Tim Goettelmann (11, 8) scored 10 points in yesterday's 19-9 victory over visiting Fairfield. And senior midfielder Mike Battista, perhaps the team's best player, already has passed his 15-point total from 1999.

Battista has scored at least twice in every game. He leads the team with 14 goals.

Et cetera

Maryland attackman Andrew "Buggs" Combs, the son of Towson football coach Gordy Combs, was named ACC Player of the Week after scoring three goals in back-to-back Terps victories last week. By beating Hofstra on Saturday, Princeton avoided a rare losing streak. The Tigers had only two of them in the 1990s under coach Bill Tierney. Last year, Princeton began the year 0-3, before winning nine straight. In 1995, the Tigers opened with an 0-2 record before finishing 11-4. Hopkins' defense has allowed just two goals in 19 man-down situations. Maryland coach Dick Edell ranks fourth on the all-time victory list with 263, and defensive coordinator Dave Slafkosky has been along for much of the ride. Slafkosky has coached for 23 years at Army and Maryland with Edell, and has been part of 218 of Edell's victories.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.