Everyone knows that Johns Hopkins coach Dave Pietramala and New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick are close friends who invite each other to attend their respective teams' games. So it should come as little surprise that Pietramala delivered a Belichick-like assessment after his No. 9 Blue Jays' resounding 15-8 victory over No. 11 Navy in the season opener for both sides on Tuesday night.
"Happy to come away on the positive end, but feel like we still have a lot of questions that are unanswered and feel like we have a lot of work to do," he said Thursday morning. "Everyone's going to want to look at the score, but for us, it's about missed opportunities and being in the wrong spots and making wrong decisions. Defensively, it's about not making the right decisions and providing our opponent with specific opportunities.
"After playing a game and being pleased with the fact that we came out on the positive end, we still feel like there are still a lot of questions that need to be answered that weren't, and we still feel like there is a lot of work for this team to do."
Pietramala cited a few reasons for his less-than-enthusiastic evaluation. The Midshipmen scored the first three goals of the game before Johns Hopkins responded. The faceoff unit went under 50 percent with a 12-of-26 success ratio. And the man-down defense surrendered two goals in three situations.
But the offense was as good as – and maybe even better than – advertised. Junior midfielders Joel Tinney and Patrick Fraser and senior attackman Wilkins Dismuke each scored three goals and four others players found the net. And six players registered at least one assist against a Navy defense that had ranked second in Division I a year ago.
Still, Pietramala pointed out that the offense is trying to find the right grouping of players on attack and in the midfield.
"We played some midfielders at attack and some attackmen at midfield," he said. "At one point, we played all three lefty attackmen. So there's just a lot to consider, but there's just a very small sample size right now. I don't think we're at a place where it's unfolded right now, and that may be who we are and we may just eventually come to the conclusion that no midfield has separated itself. We might find the right combinations, but not one midfield has really separated itself from the other. … Very much a work in progress.