Johns Hopkins’ first midfield got its first goals of the season, but pardon juniors John Ranagan and John Greeley and sophomore Rob Guida if they decline to celebrate.
Ranagan and Guida each scored in the No. 2 Blue Jays’ 8-6 win against No. 18 Delaware at Homewood Field in Baltimore on Tuesday evening, but the first line continues to struggle with its shooting.
Ranagan went 1-for-6, Guida – who added an assist – was 1-for-4, and Greeley went 0-for-3. For the season, Ranagan is 1-for-14, Guida is 1-for-8, and Greeley is 0-for-7.
Ranagan said the starting midfield didn’t feel any pressure to score with senior attackman Chris Boland out indefinitely with a shoulder injury, but he chastised himself for his shooting efficiency.
“I’m One-for-14 on the year, and that’s horrible,” said Ranagan, who was 18-for-66 last season and added 14 assists. “So we’ve got to put the time in as a group, and I don’t think the shots are going to stay like that for the rest of the year. I think we’re going to keep improving.”
Coach Dave Pietramala, who did not have an update on Boland’s status, said that while he thought the first line did a better job of recognizing when to take their shots Tuesday, their placement was less than optimal.
“We took some shots that we would say, ‘Let’s take them again.’ But I don’t think we put the ball in good spots,” he said. “I don’t think we shot the ball intelligently, and that’s a fundamental of the game we’ve got to improve upon. We didn’t do it last week either. So we’ve got to be better there and put in some extra time there. We had 35 shots, but we’ve got to come away with a few more than eight [goals].”
*In his first career start, freshman Wells Stanwick recorded one goal and two assists against the Blue Hens. The Baltimore native and Boys’ Latin graduate, who started in place of Boland, earned praise from Pietramala. “He lives 50 yards up the road, and I’m sure he was nervous, I’m sure he was anxious,” Pietramala said. “But I thought in the second half, he settled down. I thought we did a better job of getting guys organized. I thought [sophomore attackman] Brandon Benn got us in the offenses a little bit better. We’re going to need one of the older guys to step to the forefront there. But I thought for Wells, it was great. I thought he got his feet wet.”
*After winning just 3-of-14 faceoffs through the first three quarters in a 12-6 victory over Towson last Friday, the Blue Jays welcomed back junior Mike Poppleton. Poppleton, who sat out the game against the Tigers, won 9-of-15 faceoffs and collected a team-best six groundballs. “I thought Mike gave us a great lift,” Pietramala said. “When he didn’t win, what I liked about him was he didn’t let them win it cleanly. It became a scrum, it became a groundball, and I thought we came up with a bunch of those. I think we walked out 10-of-18. That’s a much better step than we had last week. So we improved there.”
*Delaware’s rally from a 7-2 deficit with 3:04 left in the third quarter was admirable, but it appeared that the players began to fade after clawing their way back to just one goal with 5:43 remaining in regulation. Coach Bob Shillinglaw conceded that dropping a 13-8 decision to No. 17 Loyola on Saturday played a role. “It is tough to play on Saturday and turn around and play on a Tuesday against a team like Johns Hopkins,” he said. “But our guys are blue-collar kids, and they kept looking to suck it up. I’m sure we’re going to be a little tired tomorrow, and I’m not sure how much we’ll get out of practice or what we’ll do. But it wasn’t an effort thing, that’s for sure. They played their hearts out. I thought they competed all four quarters.”