Despite boasting a defense headlined by junior close defensemen Tucker Durkin and Chris Lightner, sophomore long-stick midfielder Jack Reilly and junior goalkeeper Pierce Bassett, No. 9 Johns Hopkins isn’t shy about tweaking that unit.
The Blue Jays (9-2) have started freshman defenseman Robert Enright in each of their last two contests. Senior Gavin Crisafulli, who had started the previous nine contests, has come off the bench to rotate with Enright and play on the team’s man-down unit.
Coach Dave Pietramala said the rationale behind starting Enright was to help him gain on-field experience and further develop the defense’s depth.
“Towards the end of the season, it gets warmer and you can sustain an injury and the matchups are different. But the games get a little bit more challenging and conditioning plays a role,” Pietramala said. “We want to make sure we have some depth there. So we’ve played both of those guys in the last two games. We just felt like both of those guys need to have experience. We felt like Robbie needed it. We can either wait and let it happen when someone gets hurt or someone needs a blow or we can do it now and give him some experience and give him some time down there so that when Gavin does get tired or Tucker or Chris needs a break, we’ve got a guy who’s seen the field, who’s comfortable in the defense, who’s not walking out on the field for the first time.”
Enright has collected just two groundballs in his starts and was victimized a couple times by Maryland junior attackman Owen Blye in the No. 8 Terps’ 9-6 victory over Johns Hopkins Saturday night. But Pietramala said Enright has fared well thus far.
“He played very well against Albany and did a very nice job against one of the Thompson boys,” Pietramala said. “He obviously played in the Maryland game and played a very good player who’s having a very good year. Is he developing? Sure. Does he have things to learn? Sure he does. It was the second start of his career, and anybody that’s getting the second start of his career has things to learn and has to grow comfortable and confident. But we wouldn’t have placed him there if we didn’t think he was developing and growing and learning the system and becoming more comfortable in it.”