After scoring double digits in goals in each of its first two contests – something that hadn’t happened in 2011 – Princeton’s offense returned to earth in a 10-8 loss to No. 2 Johns Hopkins.
The No. 20 Tigers’ day was exemplified by a disastrous second quarter in which the unit failed to take. Coach Chris Bates said of the team’s five possessions in that period, the first four ended in turnovers.
“We didn’t feel like we were firing on all cylinders,” he said Monday. “We turned the ball over a little bit with couple in the crease. We stepped into the crease a few times, we dropped a few passes, we moving-picked once, we were offsides another time. Against a team like Hopkins, we can’t afford to give them the ball those six or seven times.”
The efficiency that Princeton demonstrated in the first two victories was noticeably affected when Tom Schreiber was shadowed by Blue Jays junior defenseman Tucker Durkin. The sophomore midfielder finished with three points, but only scored once on five shots.
Bates said he wished that he could have utilized Schreiber in a different way to free him up and get his teammates involved.
“[W]e’re trying not to rely on Tom to initiate, especially when he’s got a tough matchup,” Bates said. “We didn’t do as much as I would’ve liked setting some picks on-ball and getting him up top for some middie runs. In hindsight, I think that would have posed a few more problems. They put a close defenseman, and although I think they’re comfortable with him up top, I think Tom – when he uses his legs and has that much more space – is that much more dangerous. Ultimately in the second half, we thought we were able to generate some kind of rhythm and some kind of flow offensively, but we don’t want to completely rely on Tom because defenses are going to be geared towards him.”