A low point for Blue Jays

face-off classic

Pietramala 'disappointed' after team routed by Tigers

March 01, 2009|By Mike Preston | Mike Preston,mike.preston@baltsun.com

Dave Pietramala has coached a lot of games in his nine years at Johns Hopkins, but he couldn't remember one as bad as the Blue Jays played yesterday. Sophomore attackman Jack McBride scored four goals and Princeton teammates Mark Kovler and Paul Barnes scored two each as the No. 19 Tigers routed No. 4 Hopkins, 14-8, at M&T Bank Stadium.

The Blue Jays (1-1) - who were led by three goals and an assist from junior midfielder Michael Kimmel (Loyola) and two goals and an assist from senior midfielder Brian Christopher - were outplayed in just about every phase of the game. Princeton (2-0) built a 6-1 lead after the first quarter and was up 9-1 before allowing the last two goals of the half. Hopkins was never in the game after the midway point of the first period, and soon afterward all the trademarks of great Hopkins teams disappeared.

The Blue Jays weren't physical, and they were slow on their defensive slides. Princeton held a 30-18 advantage in ground balls, which indicates the Blue Jays were outhustled. When circumstances were tough, Hopkins lost its poise. The Blue Jays did have one advantage. They led the Tigers in cheap shots, which clearly irritated Pietramala.

"I'm disappointed," Pietramala said. "We spent too much time whining about calls, too much time worrying about a goal we gave up instead of spending enough time doing our job. It starts with the coach. Obviously, the head coach didn't do his job well enough in getting his team prepared. It's really not much more complicated than that."

Added Pietramala: "We have to go back to work, go back to basics. We didn't do the fundamentals of the game. We didn't shoot the ball where we needed to. There are certain fundamentals of the game you have to execute, like defending, sliding, covering. In a nutshell, we were as undisciplined as we've ever been in my career."

Princeton punished Hopkins every time the Blue Jays were slow on slides, and there were numerous occasions because the Tigers were simply faster and more athletic. Hopkins had no answer for McBride, fellow attackman Tommy Davis or Kovler, a midfielder.

Princeton was relentless on offense as the Tigers outshot Hopkins 51-28. In the second quarter, Johns Hopkins went almost nine minutes without an offensive possession. The Blue Jays went nearly 20 minutes between goals in the first half.

"We're pretty much of an unknown quantity," Princeton coach Bill Tierney said. "We've tried hard to stay under the radar. We've tried very hard to understand that people believe that Princeton lacrosse is gone."

It didn't take long for Hopkins to recognize that Princeton is for real. Attackman Scott MacKenzie scored barely three minutes into the first quarter, and Kovler added a goal just more than a minute later. McBride scored from behind the goal with 8:51 left in the first period, and when attackman Rob Engelke scored on an extra-man opportunity with 6:54 remaining, the rout was on.

Princeton scored the last two goals of the first period in the final three minutes for the five-goal lead at the end of the quarter.

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