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Postscript from Princeton vs. Johns Hopkins

Few things pain Dave Pietramala more than undisciplined play, which is why the Johns Hopkins coach was visibly frustrated by his team’s performance in yesterday’s 14-8 loss to No. 19 Princeton at the Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic at M&T Bank Stadium.

After incurring just two 30-second penalties in the season opener against Siena, the No. 4 Blue Jays (1-1) were flagged 10 times for a total of nine minutes yesterday. The Tigers (2-0) converted on only 2-of-7 extra-man opportunities, but Johns Hopkins constantly put pressure on its defense and junior goalkeeper Michael Gvozden by playing undermanned.

Pietramala was especially incensed at a sequence with 55 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Junior midfielder Michael Kimmel’s 1-minute slashing penalty was compounded by another slashing call on redshirt junior defenseman Matt Drenan and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on junior defenseman Sam DeVore. Although Princeton junior attackman Scott MacKenzie was also whistled for unsportsmanlike conduct, Pietramala was less than pleased.

He nodded twice in agreement as Kimmel tried to explain that sequence, saying, "It wasn’t the classiest thing we could have done." Added Pietramala: "We didn’t handle that play in a classy fashion. Just that simple. That’s not what we do."

Other notes:

*Pietramala was equally frustrated by the defense’s inability to close off the Tigers’ shooting lanes. Princeton, which took 60 shots in the season opener against Canisius, launched 51 yesterday. "We just talked all week about trying not to let them plant their feet and shoot, and we didn’t do a real good job of that, did we?" Pietramala asked rhetorically.

*Gvozden was pulled with 11:30 left in the fourth quarter and the Blue Jays trailing, 14-6, and replaced by freshman Steven Burke. Pietramala insisted that the decision to pull Gvozden, who was later reinserted, should not be interpreted as criticism of the goalie’s effort. "No. I don’t think that we were playing great defense in front of him," Pietramala said. "I don’t think our defensive effort in general was up to snuff, and for me to sit here and blame Mike, that would be out of line. Again, I blame me. It’s my job to get this team ready to play, and when I watch that film, it doesn’t look like we were ready to play."

*Did anyone catch the shouting match between Pietramala and Tigers coach Bill Tierney along the sidelines late in the first quarter? Tierney seemed to take umbrage with senior long-stick midfielder Charlie Wiggins’ illegal body check with 4:17 left and let Wiggins know about it. Pietramala, in turn, jumped in to defend Wiggins, and both coaches engaged in an exchange of words and glares. Afterwards, both coaches appeared to have forgotten about the incident.

Posted by Edward Lee at 12:06 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Johns Hopkins, Postscript

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About Faceoff
Faceoff is The Baltimore Sun's blog devoted to college and high school lacrosse. Faceoff contributors include Sun reporters Edward Lee, Mike Preston and Katherine Dunn.

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