You get the feeling Dave Pietramala doesn’t like long pep talks in the locker room.
“Our goal, as a program, is to make the final on Memorial Day. The goal for Johns Hopkins as a program is to win a national championship,” Pietramala said at the annual lacrosse media tour at Bill Bateman’s in Towson.
Pietramala knows how to taste success. He’s won two national titles and appeared six times in the final four.
His Blue Jays come into the ’11 season fresh off a very un-Hopkins-like 18-5 loss to Duke in last year’s NCAA Tournament.
“You hope to learn from the loss,” Pietramala said, never breaking eye contact. “It was a culmination of bumps in the road. We carried deficiencies throughout the season and now we need to address and take care of those weaknesses.”
Pietramala’s squad enters the season with a ranking of 11, which means very little to the coach.
“It’s great for the fans,” Pietramala confessed. “Preseason rankings mean nothing.”
Towson’s legendary head coach Tony Seaman feels the same way.
Starting his 30th season as a division one coach, Seaman knows more about lacrosse than I do about french fries. And trust me, I love french fries. Seaman’s taken three different colleges to the NCAA Tournament, made 19 tournaments and was named coach of the year at two different schools. Seaman’s an old-school coach who likes short, direct answers.
“To get into the show (the Final Four in Baltimore) is a big rallying cry for our team,” Seaman assured me.
Towson doesn’t exactly ease into the schedule. The Tigers get a visit from Hopkins to start the season on Feb. 19.
Loyola gets the Tigers a weekend later. Greyhounds head coach Charley Toomey enjoys the atmosphere of a lacrosse media day, although he’d rather be coaching a game than talking about coaching a game.
As his begins his 6th season as Loyola’s head coach, Toomey might want to collect frequent flier miles for all the trips his Greyhounds will have this season.
Loyola will travel to Denver at least once and only hosts five home games in their brand-new facility.
“The road to the ECAC goes through Denver,” Toomey said on Tuesday morning. “Let’s go after the ECAC and take one game at a time.”
Toomey’s team starts with a number next to its name. Ranked 14th in the major polls, Loyola understands they have a shot of making a deep run in the tournament. Toomey just wants his team happy at the end of the season.
Each coach defines success differently, but they all can agree on one thing. Every one of these local coaches wants a home game for their club in Baltimore in late May.