Adding injury to insult, No. 9 Johns Hopkins’ stunning 8-2 loss to unranked Navy on Saturday was exacerbated by the loss of junior midfielder John Greeley, who appeared to re-injure the knee in which he had tore the anterior cruciate ligament last summer.
On Monday morning, coach Dave Pietramala declined to update Greeley’s status for Saturday’s road contest at No. 2 Loyola, saying, “He’s working with our trainers and the doctors. But I won’t comment on where he is and what’s going on.”
Greeley, who has recorded seven goals and seven assists in 12 starts, suffered the injury 51 seconds into the second quarter when he intercepted a clearing pass by Midshipmen senior goalie RJ Wickham and crumpled to the turf at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium without being touched. Greeley grabbed his left knee and did not return.
Junior Lee Coppersmith was bumped from the second to the first line to run with starters Rob Guida and John Ranagan, but he did not post a goal or assist and took just two shots.
If Greeley can’t play Saturday, Coppersmith or freshman Wells Stanwick could join Guida and Ranagan as starters. Stanwick is an attackman, but he has been a fixture of the second midfield since the return of senior attackman Chris Boland from a left shoulder injury.
“He’s playing attack as a midfielder,” Pietramala said. “So that’s not an issue for him. That’s an easy transition. We’ve been doing that with him prior to this game anyway. For Lee, he’s made the trek up to the first midfield. He’s had to carry the load on the second midfield. So I don’t think there’s a transition for him as well. I think the transition is more for our offensive schemes in that with John, we run certain things and without him, we don’t run certain things. With Lee, we’ll run certain things and without Lee, we’ll run other things. So there’s an adjustment there and that’s probably where the great adjustment is in terms of what do you run and what do you run well with those guys together.”
The impact of Greeley’s absence won’t be determined until it actually occurs, but Greeley had been a three-year starter who had developed a chemistry with Guida and Ranagan. Still, Pietramala said the onus will be on Greeley’s teammates to fill the void.
“[I]f we experience an injury – whether it’s John Greeley, John Ranagan, someone at the attack – we hope we’ve practiced enough with those guys at different positions that we don’t miss a beat,” Pietramala said. “We certainly hope we have the mental attitude where it’s, ‘OK, the next guy steps in.’ [Junior attackman] John Kaestner stepped in for Stanwick after Stanwick stepped in for Boland. Do those things affect you? Yeah, of course. But you do different things and although I wish we hadn’t been in that position before, if we find ourselves in that position now or moving forward, I hope that our guys are mentally strong enough to move forward and do their jobs.”