2018 Johns Hopkins Men's Lacrosse Preview - Defense/Goalies
By Ernie Larossa
Associate AD/Director of Athletic Communications
BALTIMORE, MD - In the third of a three-part series breaking down the 2018 Johns Hopkins men's lacrosse team, HopkinsSports.com takes a look at the Blue Jay defense and goalies.
What Was Lost: Head coach Dave Pietramala will need to replace three-year starter Nick Fields on close defense, four-year regular Joe Carlini at short-stick defensive midfield and Austin Spencer, who played two years at Hopkins and saw time on close defense and long stick midfield. He must also replace Trevor Koelsch, who started 14 games on close defense last season. There is a strong young nucleus to work with on defense, but these four players took more than 160 games of experience with them at graduation - that's not easy to replace.
Foley, Rapine Return on Close Defense: Replacing the four key figures on defense has been a priority for Pietramala throughout the fall and preseason, but he has a strong group of young players to build around, including several with starting experience.
Back in the fold this season after missing 2017 is junior Patrick Foley, who started all 15 games as a freshman two years ago and takes over for Fields as the Blue Jays' top defender. He grabbed 23 ground balls and added 11 caused turnovers in 2016 and is also a threat in transition as he scored a pair of goals as well. He will likely draw the assignment of marking the opposition's top attackman and his ability to win that matchup will be crucial to the success of the Blue Jay defense.
Also back in a starting role is sophomore Jack Rapine, who will match up with many of the more physical attackmen the Blue Jays see through the year. Rapine started all 15 games as a freshman in 2017 and had 29 ground balls and 17 caused turnovers; his 17 CTs ranked second on the team and rank as the second-best total in school history by a freshman.
Senior Sam Bamigboye and sophomore Owen Colwell are the leading candidates to earn a starting spot alongside Foley and Rapine. Bamigboye is a two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection and has played in eight games in his career, while Colwell played in all 15 games with one start last season and had eight ground balls and three caused turnovers to his credit. Regardless of which starts, both should see regular playing time.
Beyond Bamigboye, there are no other seniors playing close defense for the Blue Jays and the competition for playing time in the fall and preseason has been intense. Junior Cameron Hyde, sophomore Paul Steel and freshmen Jared Reinson, Lucas Capobianco-Hogan and Brandon Shure round out a talented young defense that should grow and improve throughout the season.
Kuhn Back for Third Season at LSM: Junior Robert Kuhn figures to hold down the top spot at long-stick midfield for the third consecutive season. Kuhn never played the position prior to arriving at Johns Hopkins, but has played in all 30 games and has 52 ground balls and 14 caused turnovers in two years. He has also developed into one of the most dangerous LSMs in the nation in transition as he has seven goals and five assists in his career, including six goals and three assists last season.
Sophomore transfer Marc Pion, sophomore Jack Lyne and freshman Hunter Graefe will all battle for time with Kuhn at LSM and could help in six-on-six or man-down situations. Not one player likely to make a run at LSM for the Blue Jays this season is a senior.
Bruno Tops Rotation at SSDM: Senior Tal Bruno is back for his fourth season as one of Hopkins' top short-stick defensive middies. He has played in 42 games and has three goals, one assist, 32 ground balls and 11 caused turnovers in his career. He has good size (6-1 / 195) and is one of the most experienced players in the nation at the position.
Junior Danny Jones played in all 15 games last season and figures to be a regular in the rotation again in 2018 after gaining valuable experience, while a pair of brothers - senior Chris Hubler and sophomore Matt Hubler - are expected to play significant roles. Chris Hubler has played in 16 games in his career, while Matt Hubler saw action in one game as a freshman and has emerged as strong presence through the fall and preseason.
Turnbaugh Returns in Goal: Senior Brock Turnbaugh is back for his third season in goal. He has played in 28 games with 22 starts and has logged more than 1,300 minutes in goal during his career. He enjoyed the best fall of his career and that performance carried over into the preseason.
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