Last season was considered a breakout year for John Ranagan, who established himself as one of Johns Hopkins’ dangerous initiators from the midfield.
The then-sophomore racked up 11 goals and nine assists in the team’s first nine games. But opponents got wiser in the latter half of the season, shadowing Ranagan with long-stick midfielders who limited him to seven goals and five assists in his final seven games.
Ranagan’s linemates did what they could with mixed results. Then-sophomore John Greeley recorded seven goals and four assists in the team’s last seven games, but then-freshman Rob Guida managed just four goals and zero assists over that same span.
Ranagan – considered by some to be a candidate for the Tewaaraton Award – will likely see a similar strategy this season, and Blue Jays coach Dave Pietramala said his teammates on the field must take advantage of their matchups.
“Obviously, you hope that John continues to grow in his role and handles that pressure that he puts on himself. But you ask other people to step up, and it’s not like we have a young group at the attack,” he said Wednesday. “We’ve got a fairly veteran group there. [Junior attackman Zach] Palmer’s now in his second full year starting there and [fifth-year senior attackman Chris] Boland has been around forever. So we need those guys to pick up the slack. And it’s great if people want to give attention to John Ranagan. Then John Greeley and Rob Guida and [junior midfielder] Lee Coppersmith and [sophomore attackman] Brandon Benn need to step their play up. What people don’t realize is that a year ago, the attention that John Ranagan drew made John Greeley a much better player. And at times, other teams were giving John Greeley more attention. So we just need those guys to do what they’re supposed to do, which is to step up and improve their game and assume a greater role.”