Entering this season, John Haus figured to be comfortably situated on a Maryland first midfield that featured the steadying presence of senior Jake Bernhardt and the dazzling potential of redshirt sophomore Mike Chanenchuk.
But Bernhardt suffered a left shoulder injury in a scrimmage against Loyola that eventually led to a mutual decision by player and coaching staff to sit out this spring and apply for a medical redshirt. Chanenchuk has missed just one start in the Terps’ 14 contests, but he struggled to find his shooting stroke after undergoing surgery in December.
That left the burden of igniting the offense from the midfield to Haus, a junior, and senior Drew Snider. Haus has responded, leading the team in assists (16) and ranking third in points (29) behind senior attackman Joe Cummings (41) and junior attackman Owen Blye (31).
Haus conceded that filling the void had crossed his mind in the early part of the season.
“[B]ut I definitely did not feel like I had to carry the load,” he said Tuesday. “We like to say around here that we can be two-way middies playing both defense and offense. At times, we’ve really relied on our midfield to produce scoring, and at times, we’ve relied on our attack to produce scoring, and I think that’s what’s special about this team. It’s never just the midfield or the attack or offense versus defense. It’s everybody as a collective unit. We have guys like [junior short-stick defensive midfielder] Landon Carr scoring multiple goals this year that were huge goals for us. [Junior long-stick midfielder] Jesse Bernhardt has scored some goals and made plays in the midfield, and I think all of that makes our offense.”
Coach John Tillman also shrugged off the notion that Haus was under pressure to lead that first group.
“I think there was an opportunity for him to fill a bigger role,” Tillman said. “Whether it was as a playmaker, a scorer, a leader, a groundball guy, he’s done an excellent job of that. He’s playing wings at times, playing a little more defense. And John’s been there. He’s capable, he’s ready, he’s really a complete player. So that opportunity showed everybody what we knew, that he’s a real solid all-around, versatile player.”
Haus’ ability as a dodger has attracted the attention of opposing defensive coordinators, who have assigned their long-stick midfielders to shadow him. That has provided opportunities for Snider (14 goals) and Chanenchuk (13).
Haus, who registered a career-high six points on two goals and four assists in Maryland’s 13-11 loss to Colgate last Saturday, has a game built on fundamentals and was probably honed as a result of being the son of former Johns Hopkins and North Carolina coach John Haus.
“I wouldn’t say I’m the most skilled guy or the prettiest guy or anything like that,” the younger Haus said. “It’s just the hard work, the toughness, the determination that I have on the field that have really led me to where I am.”