Of the three times Ryan Brown has scored eight goals on the collegiate level, the Johns Hopkins senior attackman's outburst against Syracuse on March 15, 2014 was his first.
The Blue Jays lost that game, 12-10, at Homewood Field in Baltimore, but the Sykesville resident and Calvert Hall graduate was reminded about that performance during Tuesday morning's conference call in advance of Saturday's showdown between the No. 3 Orange (5-0) and No. 8 Johns Hopkins (3-2).
"That was back when I was a sophomore," said Brown, who also scored eight times against Ohio State on April 5, 2015 and Maryland 20 days later. "That was a cool experience to score eight goals against a very good Syracuse team. I'm not really going out there trying to score eight goals every game. It's more about us as a team scoring as a collective group than me going out and taking a lot of shots and scoring eight goals."
Brown, who fell one goal shy of tying the program's single-game record set by William Logan in a 13-1 rout of Virginia on April 2, 1927, leads the team in goals (15) and ranks second in points (21). Coach Dave Pietramala, who half-joked that he has been on both sides of eye-opening showings in the Blue Jays' series with Syracuse, said Brown's value isn't limited to his ability to put the ball in the net.
"I think in our game where he didn't score a goal and yet we won and scored 17 goals against Princeton [on March 5] gives you a sense for his approach and our approach," Pietramala said. "Certainly you'd like from your best player to generate shots for him, but if the way a team is defending you is such where it's very difficult to do that and if you move away from him, it opens up things in other areas. Ryan's been able to impact our team in more than one way. It's not just in scoring. It's been by distributing the ball or just playing in the picking and screening game.
"So his performance a couple years ago was great, but we don't go into any game expecting a guy to score eight goals. I don't think many people do. We go in hoping that Ryan and our offense will execute appropriately and we'll get quality opportunities. At the end of the day, that's what it's about for us, generating quality opportunities."