The goalie carousel at Johns Hopkins was set to take another spin before the No. 6 seed's NCAA tournament first-round game against Duke on Saturday, but there was even more turmoil before the team even walked onto Homewood Field in Baltimore.
Graduate student Gerald Logan was scheduled to make his first start in seven contests, but the Michigan transfer was ruled academically ineligible, which was announced about 90 minutes before faceoff. So the Blue Jays turned back to junior Brock Turnbaugh (Hereford), who had started the previous six games. Turnbaugh gave up 11 goals before the first half was even completed as Johns Hopkins was blasted in a 19-6 loss to the Blue Devils.
Coach Dave Pietramala said he learned of Logan's unavailability Friday night.
"Certainly not the way you want to head into your first-round playoff game with that kind of distraction," he said in his postgame conference. "But we've had distractions before. We tried not to make much of it. No offense, [but] that had no bearing on the way we played today. You could've put three guys in there. We just didn't play well. They punished us for everything we did wrong."
Turnbaugh, who entered the game with an 11.87 goals-against average and a .421 save percentage compared to Logan's numbers of 10.24 and .481, was pulled with 2:27 left in the second quarter for graduate student Will Ryan. After Ryan surrendered four goals while making only two saves, Turnbaugh was re-inserted, finishing with seven stops and 14 goals allowed. The Blue Jays even went to a third goalkeeper in senior Ryan Feit, who gave up one goal and did not make a save.
Asked what impact Logan's sudden removal had on the team, Pietramala defended the player.
"I'd love to blame somebody, but I'll blame myself because it's my responsibility to get the team ready," he said. "I thought we were. I don't think they didn't do anything we were unprepared for. I can tell you this right now: there's not a darn thing they did on offense that we were unprepared for. Their three-out, their invert, we were prepared for all of it. But you have to have your team prepared to play well. So our not having Gerry today, it doesn't fall on his shoulders. That was a team loss today."
Circling back to "Three Things to Watch" …
1) Duke's Justin Guterding and Jack Bruckner vs. Johns Hopkins' defense. Guterding, a junior who had become the sixth player in Blue Devils history to reach the 80-point plateau, became the fourth to get to 90 with a four-goal, six-assist performance against the Blue Jays. Guterding posted two of his goals and all six helpers in the first half including a beautiful no-look pass from the right point to sophomore midfielder Brad Smith on the doorstep during an extra-man opportunity to open the second quarter. Duke coach John Danowski sounded as if Guterding's outing was almost typical.
"We had no idea he had two and six at halftime," he said. "We just didn't know because we were just playing the way we play. So we were running whether we were on extra-man or six-on-six. So he was obviously very efficient. But it's not like we say, 'We've got to get Justin the ball,' or 'This is set up for Justin.' He's just playing within how we play."
2) Duke's Kyle Rowe vs. Johns Hopkins' Hunter Moreland. Rowe, a senior who entered the game ranked 16th in Division I in faceoff percentage (58.4 on 184-for-315) and 13th in ground balls per game (6.9), was almost as overwhelming as Guterding was. Rowe won 18 of 24 draws (75 percent) and scooped up a game-high 15 ground balls. To counteract Rowe, the Blue Jays used four different players in Moreland, a junior from White Hall who graduated from Boys' Latin (6-for-18 and four ground balls), senior Craig Madarasz (2-for-7, 1 GB), senior long-pole Riley DeSmit (0-for-2), and senior Kevin O'Toole (1-for-1), but they could not find a reliable solution for Rowe.
"Their wings were excellent, and ours were not up to snuff," Pietramala said. "Then we went to a pole. Riley DeSmit, we used him, and we put a short-stick down. We had no answers. When you try two of your faceoff guys and then a pole and none of it is providing you with the answer that you need … we thought about going into the 10-man right out of that. But to do it with our faceoff guy, it just wouldn't have been beneficial to us."
3) Duke's Danny Fowler vs. Johns Hopkins offense. Entering the game ranked seventh in the country in goals allowed at 8.1 per game, the Blue Devils will likely improve after giving up only six goals. Fowler, a senior, made eight saves, but he was rarely tested before getting pulled with 6:11 left in the fourth quarter. The Blue Jays took only 25 shots – their second-lowest total of the season – and their woes on offense were compounded by a season-worst 20 turnovers. Junior attackman Shack Stanwick said the giveaways prevented the offense from gaining any rhythm.
"It just hurt the whole team," the Baltimore resident and Boys' Latin graduate said. "I think that was the most turnovers we've had all year – by far. That puts way too much pressure on the defense, and it spirals, and they go up by that-many goals."