Orange Fizz – Daily Syracuse Recruiting News & Team Coverage


For the Birds: Jays Leave Orange Feeling Blue, Time to Bounce Back

It’s safe to say the all-powerful uniform minds at Nike have come out with some¬†downright horrible ideas¬†over the years, but it’s not as easy to explain why now 3-2 SU lax let the alternate jerseys steal their ability to play the Syracuse brand of lacrosse. Left to review another hard-to-swallow-loss, The Fizz¬†mulls over what went wrong against SU’s second elite test.

  • Face-offs: Well, they tried
One thing was clear in the 11-7 defeat at Homewood Field: the SU coaches had received the message about¬†the team’s struggle at the face-off X, and had spent some serious time working to address it. Through the first half, SU managed to win 5 of 12 battles (Hopkins won 7 of 12), and fought each one out to the sideline. There was a real sense of urgency to gain possessions, something the unit seemed to lack coming into the game. That completely disappeared in third quarter, when Syracuse went 0-for-3 at X. When all was said and done, the Orange gathered just 7-of-20 face-offs.


That’s a winning percentage of just 35%. Going into the game, Hopkins had won nearly 60% of it’s face-offs, and topped that against Syracuse, winning possession 65% of the time.


Possibly the scariest thing about this weakness is that SU may not have the right tools to do the job. In an afternoon filled with penalties, there were an innumerable amount of free possessions given to the Jays because of illegal face-off procedures by Syracuse.¬†Winning those battles implies striking a delicate balance between agility, physicality, and legality. While the Orange had plenty of the first two, it wasn’t able to play by the rules at X in many cases. Fans need to be concerned about the continual problem, especially after an obvious attempt to fix it in practice didn’t pan out.
  • So, how does this offense work?
That question seemed to affect every young SU player, with the exception of Derek Maltz. The sophomore phenom walks away with a hat trick to his name and another impressive performance. So goes the life of a crease attackman; many beautiful feeds in front of the crease combined with Maltz’s cannon of a shot is leading to scores. ¬†Maltz told¬†The Fizz¬†“I’m just doing the easy part” when asked about his team-leading 12 goals.


The Orange is a lethal group of scorers playing in a fast-paced offensive scheme, but against Hopkins, it looked out of sync. Midfielders and attackmen took 29 shots, but the attack relied heavily on midfield support that was heavily contested all afternoon.   Players resorted to shots from any angle they could get  Unfortunately, that meant low offensive efficiency for SU.


Part of that comes from replacing some of SU’s¬†best all-time players. Luckily for Syracuse, the new-look team has shown that it can operate at a deadly pace against preseason opponents and in the¬†season opener against Albany. The question going forward: can it access that deadly pace against top opponents? The answer against Virginia and Hopkins has been no.
  • Slow Start in Net
For the first time this season, John Desko finished a game with the same goalie he started it with. In case you’re wondering, it¬†should¬†scare you that this happened for the first time in week 5.


For Matt Lerman, 60 minutes proved to be a stout challenge. The redshirt sophomore allowed 11 goals on the day, making 8 saves (6 in a strong second half). Though he struggled to see the ball early, Lerman allowed just 4 goals in the second, compared to the 7 in the first. Though he was clearly tested by playing the full game, at least it’s a benchmark for a starting Orange goalie in the post-Galloway era.


The youth and inexperience of the 2012 SU team really hurt it against the Blue Jays.  The toughest part is that the energy was there, but in the wrong places at the wrong times. Instead of goals, assists, and saves, the energy SU brought to Baltimore translated to turnovers, lost face-offs, and penalties.


Though beaten and bruised, Desko & co. return home to the Salt City a 1-2 road team that’s seen competition from the best of the best.


Posted: Jake Moskowitz


The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.


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