Rob Guida ended an eight-game absence from an unspecified injury by resuming his starting role in No. 15 Johns Hopkins’ 7-4 victory over No. 4 Maryland at Byrd Stadium in College Park on Saturday. But there was a price he paid.
By returning, the junior midfielder eliminated the idea of sitting out the remainder of the season and applying for a medical redshirt, which would have added another year of eligibility. Instead, he will finish out the three remaining games on the schedule and then have a final year of eligibility in 2014.
But that’s fine with Guida, who said one reason drove him to abandon the possibility of redshirting.
“Because I love these guys,” he said. “It’s a family. In my head, there were never any thoughts about redshirting. I wanted to get back as soon as possible. I did what I had to do in terms of the training staff getting me ready to go. For me, it really wasn’t any sort of question about whether I was coming back this year. It was a matter of timing, and I was happy to be out here against Maryland and it was a big win for us.”
Guida hadn’t played since the team’s 12-6 rout of Towson on Feb. 16, but the game against the Terps was the target date of his return. It coincided with coach Dave Pietramala’s decision to demote the first midfield of seniors John Ranagan and John Greeley and freshman Holden Cattoni and open the contest with Guida, senior Lee Coppersmith and freshman Ryan Brown.
Guida likened his return to playing in the first game of the season and said part of the adjustment entailed not working with Ranagan and Greeley. He said any reservations about his health dissipated in the first half.
“I think it was at the end of the second quarter and I kind of got triple-teamed, and it was good for me where I didn’t even think twice about going into that scrum and stuff,” he said. “That to me was a defining moment where I didn’t have to think about my injury. Just go out and play. And I didn’t think I played with any hesitation.”
Guida’s game still had some rust. He did score one goal, but only two of his eight shots were on-goal. And his turnovers (three) outnumbered his ground balls (two).
Still, Pietramala was pleased to have Guida back in the rotation.
“It was good to find out we had him,” he said. “We weren’t sure we were going to have him. We worked him into practice this week. You’ve got to be careful. A kid comes off injury and we just threw him back against the No. 1 team in the country and the greatest rivalry in our sport, which is usually very physical, and it’s very demanding and we asked him to play a full game. I thought [offensive coordinator] Bobby Benson did a real good job of putting him in the right spots.”
Guida’s presence was a welcome sight for teammates like Ranagan.
“Rob’s a really special player who can do a lot of things, and he had been itching for a long time to get back,” said Ranagan, who paced the offense with three points on two goals and one assist. “Just to see him out there running around and to see him put one in the back of the net, I’m just really happy that he’s back.”Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times