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Johns Hopkins men's lacrosse more concerned with quality of shots than quantity

By his own admission, Dave Pietramala said Johns Hopkins is not the type of team that is going to top the Division I rankings in shots taken.

"We're not a team that just steps in and unloads the ball," the coach said Wednesday morning. "We're not generating 50, 55 shots per game. We talk about not taking the first available shot, but the best available shot. … The goal is to generate quality shots. So to step in and just unload from 14, 15 yards out, that's not our forte right now. Maybe [senior attackman] Ryan [Brown] can do that, but we don't have a team of guys that can do that. So we have to work for high-percentage shots, and within our offense, we're fortunate to generate those kinds of shots."

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That formula appears to be working for the No. 10 Blue Jays (7-4 overall and 2-1 in the Big Ten). With a season high of 47 attempts in a 19-7 rout of UMBC on March 30, they have converted 32.2 percent of their shots (138-of-429), which is good enough to rank 11th in the country and contribute to the offense ranking 13th in scoring at 12.6 goals per game.

Four of the team's six starters are shooting better than 32 percent with junior attackman Wilkins Dismuke leading the way at 48.6 percent (17 goals on 35 attempts). Pietramala said under the supervision of offensive coordinator Bobby Benson, the players run through carefully crafted drills in practice designed to present them with the shooting opportunities they could see in games.

Pietramala also said the players have taken it upon themselves to improve their accuracy.

"You can only shoot a certain amount in a practice, but guys have to put extra time in," he said. "Ryan Brown, while it wasn't a very good shooting day for him against Penn State, he shoots all the time. [Junior midfielder] John Crawley is outside shooting all the time. The hope is that you see a kid like [sophomore midfielder] Brinton Valis, and he's out there shooting every day. So some of these older guys are bringing along these younger guys, and they're out there shooting."

On a related note, Pietramala said he intends to travel with the team on an airplane for Saturday's game at Big Ten foe Michigan (3-8, 0-3).

"I'm getting around a little bit better, I'm feeling better," he said. "The Penn State game was a challenge just because it was a long bus ride up and bus ride back. I'm doing a little bit more. I'm still trying to follow what my body tells me, but every day is a little bit better. It's all been positive thus far."

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