Postscript from Princeton at Johns Hopkins

No. 5 Blue Jays view game vs. No. 14 Tigers as barometer, but not panicking about 11-8 loss

March 02, 2013|By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun

No. 5 Johns Hopkins had thought that Friday night’s contest against No. 14 Princeton would be a good barometer of the team’s progress thus far. The result, however, was not what the Blue Jays had been hoping for.

The 11-8 setback exposed Johns Hopkins on several fronts. The defense was slow on its slides and had problems with the Tigers’ picks, the offense was inaccurate and couldn’t take advantage of a retooled defense, and the team was turnover-prone.

It all adds up to what should be a good deal of soul-searching among the Blue Jays.

“We thought this was going to be a good measuring stick for us,” senior defenseman Tucker Durkin said. “We’re going to see from the film what exactly we need to work on. It’s a long season. We’re not going to hand our heads right now. We’ve got another big one on Tuesday that we’re looking forward to. More than anything, I’m just going to remember this feeling and just kind of use it as motivation going forward.”

When asked to describe that feeling, Durkin answered, “Disappointed in myself, in our defense. There’s a lot of things we could’ve done better. Like I said, I’m going to remember this, and we’re going to use it as motivation moving forward.”

To be fair, Johns Hopkins’ first loss in four outings should not be a source for panic. The team has games against Mount St. Mary’s (2-2) and UMBC (1-2) before tangling with its next ranked opponent in No. 19 Syracuse (2-1). But how the Blue Jays fell is a wake-up call, according to junior attackman Brandon Benn.  

“I think it’s a good way to see where we’re at,” he said. “We got by our first three games the way we wanted, and we felt like this was going to be our first real big test. We definitely saw what we need to work on and what we need to improve.”

Johns Hopkins won’t have much time to lick its wounds. The Mountaineers are scheduled to visit Homewood Field Tuesday night, and that’s fine with coach Dave Pietramala.

“[Q]uite frankly, we need to get back on the horse,” he said. “We need to put this feeling away. I think we’re all disappointed. Who’s happy when you lose? None of us are. So it’s the disappointment and what you are as a man, you figure out through your disappointments. We’ll handle it the right way. We’ll come back to work on Sunday. We’ll watch the film [Friday night] and [Saturday] and then we’ll get together with the team on Sunday, put Princeton to rest, and then get started working on Mount St. Mary’s.”

Other notes:

*Johns Hopkins’ starting midfield of seniors John Ranagan and John Greeley and junior Rex Sanders combined for 0-of-11 shooting and just one assist (by Ranagan). In the second half, the second line of senior Lee Coppersmith, junior Greg Edmonds and freshman Ryan Brown got extended playing time, but Pietramala said that had more to do with specific matchups. Pietramala said the Tigers had a good plan for neutralizing the starting midfield. “If you look at it, they were sliding as early as can be to John and John,” he said. “They said, ‘We’re going to pole Rex Sanders, and we’re going to slide to these other two guys, and we’re going to slide immediately.’ So what you do is you’re trying to force John and John and Lee – who had three assists and everybody talks about how he’s not a very good passer and he had three assists today – they forced the ball out of our midfielders and we got the opportunities. We just didn’t make the most of their opportunities.”

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