Will Ryan made nine saves to anchor Johns Hopkins' 11-10 double overtime win against Big Ten foe Penn State on Saturday night. The junior goalkeeper will play again on Saturday against Michigan, but he won't be alone.
Ryan and fifth-year senior Eric Schneider are expected to split duties for the Blue Jays (5-6 overall and 2-1 conference), coach Dave Pietramala said Wednesday morning. That was the plan against the Nittany Lions, but Ryan played well enough in the first half to convince Pietramala to continue to go with him for the remainder of the game.
"We'll split halves," Pietramala said, adding that he has not determined who will open the game. "That was our decision last week, and like any other situation, we had only given up three goals in the first half, and we felt like the defense was playing OK and we were clearing the ball well. So we felt like we would stay with him, but right now the plan is to split halves."
Rotating players in the net is an atypical philosophy for Pietramala, who said he has never been a fan of what he called "musical goalies."
"I think it's important that guys know that they're the guy," he said. "But in this instance, our play in the cage has been inconsistent. With that being the case, we felt like this was the best way to go about it for the team. And the goalies have been very supportive of it."
The 6-foot, 170-pound Schneider started the first 10 games, recording a 10.77 goals-against average and a .434 save percentage. The 6-4, 230-pound Ryan has posted a 9.25 goals-against average and a .450 save percentage in two games, including Saturday's start.
While the players differ in size and styles of play, Pietramala said members of the starting defense have adjusted to each goalkeeper and vice versa.
"Quite frankly, since the Virginia game, we have given both goalies close to equal reps," he said. "So both guys have seen close to equal time with the first defense, the first defensive midfield unit. So they're not unaccustomed to being with either of them. Both are very different young men. They're different in terms of size and stature in the goal. They're different in terms of style of play. They're different in terms of leadership style.
"But the bottom line is we've done a good job of making sure that the defense has had ample opportunity to play in front of both, and both goalies have had ample opportunity to play behind the defense, and I think there is a level of comfort with both guys for the defense."