First Look at Hopkins-Navy
Today we have insights from a Navy grad and a Hopkins grad on the Hopkins-Navy game Saturday. Oh, these guys also are a pair of Hall of Famers: former Navy midfielder Dick Long and former Hopkins goalie Larry Quinn. We are whimperingly grateful for their contributions and very much hope you find what they have to say as fascinating as we do. Quinn and Joe Miller will call the game for the Hopkins network on WVIE in Baltimore. It's also on CBS College Sports, WNAV-AM and WFED-AM.
Larry Quinn's Take
Navy is very impressive on defense. They will probably pressure Hopkins and try and push the play on the defensive end. As always, faceoffs will be important and whether one of the goalies gets hot.
Quite a bit of Navy's offensive punch graduated last year and Nick Mirabito has been asked to be more of a goal scorer this year. I'm sure Navy will play up that they ended the losing streak against Notre Dame in football and now it is the lacrosse team's turn.
I think both coaches will be more focused on stressing the need to win because of the impact on the playoffs. Navy had a tough loss up at Army, but with the big crowd expected it won't be difficult for them to bounce back.
Hopkins has to try to build on their win over Maryland. Hopkins was more cohesive defensively and G Michael Gvozden played well and, probably more importantly, with confidence.
Playing at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium is never easy. Hopkins has the win streak, but there have been several, especially in Annapolis, that Hopkins was fortunate to come out on top.
When we played down there, Fred Smith (long-time defensive assistant coach) would point to the naval battles listed on the facade of the upper deck and remark that Navy played a much tougher schedule than we did.
Dick Long's Take
Hopkins has a lot of talent and against Maryland actually started to lighten up and their play reflected it. Navy against Army looked a little like Hopkins in previous weeks, uptight and playing not to lose.
Hopkins is carrying a lot of expectations with a horrendously tough schedule. No college coach works harder than Coach Pietramala, a taskmaster supreme. But the pressure at Hopkins to win can sometimes can be self-defeating. In their losing streak they began struggling on both sides of the ball but when it started to focus in the goal these became game breakers.
Hopkins to do well must get a big game from their goalie, Michael Gvozden. He needs to see the ball better and limit rebounds. Make the saves he should and the rest of the game will take care of itself. Hopkins would like to get on the board early. I'm betting Paul Rabil (DeMatha) will try and set the stage early, similiar to what Kyle Harrison used to do, strong sweeps down either lane with a rocket shot to the goalie's "off-hip" side (i.e. shooting at whichever of the goalie's hips is opposite of his stick--Ed).
The Blue Jays will push the ball offensively and skip passes across crease down low will be a problem for Navy.
Michael Doneger (#14) will get alot of attention as Rabil, when defenses slide to him early, looks for him continously. Doneger can finish.
The Hopkins defense will be pushing out on Navy and I'm not sure they will be quick to slide. They want to see if Navy can beat them 1 on 1.
Face-offs will be key to Navy as Hopkins will be swarming Navy's FOGO [Face Off Get Off--ed] man similiar to what Army did. Navy must work this to their advantage to get quick fast break goals.
Navy offensively needs to play like it did in the 2nd half against Georgetown. Nothing to lose and go for broke. Aggressive to the cage and off ball diagonal cuts, off of picks. If Hopkins is slow to slide then Navy will need inverts from behind with on-ball picks.
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Posted by: Navyblue12 | April 17, 2008 4:04 PM
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