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Johns Hopkins starting defenseman Patrick Foley to miss upcoming lacrosse season

Johns Hopkins knows one of the ingredients to a more successful season in 2017 is stouter play from its defense. That effort just took a hit.

Sophomore defenseman Patrick Foley will not play this season because of an academic issue, coach Dave Pietramala announced in a written statement. Foley will not attend school for the spring semester, but is planning to return in the fall if he can meet the university's academic requirements.

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"We look forward to Patrick's return for the 2018 season and know that he will dedicate his complete efforts to doing everything he can to rejoin us in the fall," Pietramala said in the news release.

Foley started all 15 games last spring as a freshman, registering 23 ground balls, 11 caused turnovers, and two goals. Foley played in a scrimmage Saturday at Homewood Field in Baltimore against Denver, according to Inside Lacrosse,

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The loss of Foley hurts a defense that surrendered 11.6 goals per game last season, but opens the door for senior Trevor Koelsch and freshmen Jack Rapine and Owen Colwell to join senior Nick Fields as starting defensemen. Senior Austin Spencer, who made 12 starts at close defense while posting 28 ground balls and seven caused turnovers, is an option, but Pietramala said last week he would prefer to keep Spencer at long-stick midfield, which is his more natural position.

"I have been encouraged by the effort and performance of the individuals who will now play an increased role in Patrick's absence," Pietramala said. "We have always expressed to our players that you never know when the call for the 'next man up' will be, and several players have quickly demonstrated that they are ready for the challenge and have prepared accordingly."

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