After Lee Coppersmith’s three-goal performance in Johns Hopkins’ 12-11 win against Virginia on March 26, 2011 while spelling then-sophomore midfielder John Greeley who had left because of a concussion, the clamoring for Coppersmith to join the starting midfield had begun.
With Greeley suffering on April 21 a season-ending injury in the left knee in which he had torn the anterior cruciate ligament last summer, Coppersmith has gotten his chance, joining sophomore Rob Guida and junior John Ranagan on the first line. But the junior said the promotion doesn’t include the outside expectations that usually accompany such a move.
“I think I’ve just got to go out and do my job and hopefully everything falls into place,” he said Wednesday morning. “I feel like if I work hard and do the things that we talked about in practice and focus on what my role is and what I have to do, I think we’ll all be successful.”
In two starts, Coppersmith has scored two goals in the Blue Jays’ 10-9 overtime win against Loyola on April 28 and then gone pointless in a 13-6 rout of Army last Saturday.
Unlike his time on the second midfield, Coppersmith – who has scored 14 goals this spring – is no longer the only dodging option. Guida and Ranagan are just as dangerous in initiating the offense, and coach Dave Pietramala said the burden on Coppersmith is a little lighter.
“So from that point of view, we’ve asked a little less of him because there are other guys around him that are able to do more, and it allows him to do a little bit less in terms of having to dodge each and every possession,” Pietramala said. “When he was on the second midfield, he was the main threat to do that. On the first midfield, he has two other guys with him that are threats to do that as well.”
Pietramala did say that Coppersmith is being asked to hone his off-ball movement, and Coppersmith said he’s been working in practice to improve that facet of his game.
“We talked about it yesterday and the one thing I really have to work on is getting to better spots off the ball,” he said. “What I’m doing off the ball is really important because the ball’s not going to be in my stick as much on the first midfield line. So I really have to know where they’re going to be and where I have to be in situations so that we can help get the offense running.”