Gvozden to start in net for Johns Hopkins
The preseason had been somewhat of a departure for goalkeeper Michael Gvozden, who had started the previous two seasons but found himself in a spirited competition with sophomores Steven Burke and Guy Van Syckle and freshman Pierce Bassett.
On Wednesday, coach Dave Pietramala announced that the senior from Severna Park would start Friday's season opener against Manhattan.
"Michael Gvozden, we’ve been pleased with his improvement over last season," Pietramala said. "What happens is, it’s not necessarily because Michael isn’t performing well. It’s a couple of other guys who are performing very well. So right now, it’s a situation where we feel like Michael, as the senior, has logged a lot of miles here and understands our defensive schemes by far and is our best leader. So I would expect that you’ll probably see Michael Gvozden on Friday."
Last season was a disappointing one for Gvozden, who -- after posting a 8.10 goals-against average and a .598 save percentage as a sophomore -- registered a 10.19 goals-against average and a .503 save percentage. If he should falter early, the Blue Jays have some talented candidates waiting in the wings.
Burke was an Under Armour All American as a senior at the Bullis School in Potomac, Md., Van Syckle was the Washington, D.C. Player of the Year as a senior at St. Albans in Washington, and Bassett was a two-time Arizona Defensive Player of the Year.
But Pietramala made it clear that he will give Gvozden time and room to perform and avoid setting pre-game standards that he must meet.
"You don’t send someone into a game with an ultimatum because I think you’ve then created an adverse situation there," Pietramala said. "Like any situation, you want to let your kids know that you have confidence in their abilities and their ability to get the job done, and we have that in Michael. … That being said, I think at every level, a player knows that if he is not performing or under-performing and a change is necessary, then a coach makes that change. I don’t think that’s any different from Johns Hopkins to any of the other schools out there."