Postscript from UMBC at Johns Hopkins
No. 7 Johns Hopkins got a combined nine goals and eight assists from attackmen Steven Boyle and Kyle Wharton and midfielder Michael Kimmel in a 16-10 shellacking of No. 19 UMBC Tuesday night at Homewood Field.
But nearly as significant were the contributions the Blue Jays got from their other midfielders.
Freshman Zach Palmer contributed three goals and two assists, and senior Max Chautin and freshman John Ranagan each scored once. The seven points from midfielders without the last name of Kimmel tie a season-high set in the season-opening 14-3 victory over Manhattan.
Coach Dave Pietramala said the offense needs that kind of production from its midfielders.
"It’s not going to be one guy that does it," Pietramala said. "It needs to be all of them that get one. And tonight, we got three from Palmer and one from Ranagan and one from Chautin. That’s a big deal to alleviate the pressure on Michael."
Kimmel usually plays offense, defense and as a wing on face-offs. Tuesday night, the team removed Kimmel from face-off duty, inserting sophomore midfielder Marshall Burkhart in his place.
While Palmer (seven goals and two assists) and Chautin (three goals) play on the first line with Kimmel, senior midfielder Nate Matthews is tied for fifth on the team in goals with four, and Ranagan is tied for seventh with three goals.
Pietramala said playing young guys has its benefits and concerns.
"To a point, maybe it hurts you a little bit as you’re helping those guys develop, but in the long run, it’s got to help you," he said. "When we’re playing in the bigger games – and they’re coming now – the guys have to have experience. Look at the Princeton game with four minutes to go, and who was out on the field? It’s [freshman John] Greeley, Ranagan and Nate Matthews. Two guys who weren’t here and one that didn’t play a ton last year. It’s important that we do our job as coaches and get those guys the experience. We can’t expect them to do the job if they don’t have the experience."
*The Retrievers have started three goalies in four games. Senior Kevin Kohri started the season opener against Delaware, freshman Adam Cohen started the next two against Rutgers and North Carolina, and sophomore Brian McCullough started Tuesday night against Johns Hopkins. Coach Don Zimmerman said he is still searching for a goalie he can announce as the starter for the remainder of the season. "You’d like to settle in on one goalkeeper, but we’ve got a bunch of young guys," he said. "Kevin Kohri is a senior, but Kevin didn’t have any real game experience coming in. So as far as game experience is concerned, he was a pretty inexperienced guy as well. But they all support one another, which is what I’m proud of. Kevin could be moping and Adam Cohen could be moping and [freshman] Matt Holman could be moping, but they’re not. They support one another, and that’s what it’s all about."
*McCullough finished with eight saves, including several from point-blank range. Still, McCullough wasn’t entirely satisfied with his performance. "It was all right," he said. "I saw the ball pretty well. I just thought I could stop a few more." Zimmerman wasn’t quite ready to pronounce McCullough as the starter against No. 5 Princeton on Saturday. "I want to see what Brian does [today] out at practice," Zimmerman said. "We’re telling all of our guys that everyone has an opportunity to step out on the field for us and play, and that gets them excited and hungry to practice well, and we’re just going to keep doing it. Who knows? It may change all year, but we’re just going to keep trying."
*Part of the Blue Jays’ game plan actually entailed UMBC’s first midfield of senior Kyle Wimer and juniors Bobby Stockton and Jamie Kimbles. Pietramala said the coaches noticed that the first line tries to race off the field when the offense loses possession to conserve their energy. So Johns Hopkins kicked up its transition game in an effort to prevent the first line from being subbed for. "What we did see in the Carolina game was, we noticed that they were on the field so much offensively, but we rarely saw them on defense," Pietramala said. "We didn’t get to practice it very much because of the short turnaround, but we did talk about trying to push the ball up the field."