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Fizz Film Room: ‘Cuse Lacrosse vs. #1 Maryland

The first loss of the Gary Gait era is in the books but if anyone would earn that honor it would be the #1 team in the land. Syracuse was put in a 25-foot hole early but climbed its way back in it and even got as close as peering its head above ground. However, the Orange could never bring the game back to a tie, one goal is as close as it would get. Maryland used a late push to put the game on ice.

We’re back with more film review following the contest. You can catch this featured content and even more lacrosse coverage on Tuesday’s and Friday’s and live coverage on some games throughout the year on our Twitter @orangefizz.

So look, many people probably had the inclination that SU would get routed by the Terps on Sunday afternoon. The ‘Cuse hung in there though and battled every step of the way with the reigning national runner-ups. Let’s rewind the film, turn the projector on, and settle in to see what went right and what went wrong.

Play 1

Let’s start with a play that has absolutely nothing to do with x’s and o’s. So you have to love the hustle from Brett Kennedy (11) fighting for the loose ball. However, he tips it out of bounds and for some reason there are two of his teammates near him, completely out of position. Then the Terrapins get possession off of an extremely quick restart and the defense is completely out of sorts.

Of course Maryland does have an extra player here on the man-up but there’s no reason to be selling out and gambling for a ground ball with more than one defender in this scenario! Everybody needs to stay home and if you don’t you HAVE to get back to your spot. Brandon Aviles (43) and Nick Fraterrigo (25) were late getting back to the hole and as a result Anthony DeMaio has an easy step down rip from ten yards out. Moral of this story: don’t gamble for a GB when you’re man-down, don’t turn you back to the ball, and bust it back to the hole if you vacate your zone.

Play 2

This is fantastic ball movement from Maryland. SU deployed a zone defense in this sequence and the Terrapins just shredded it. Jack Brennan recognizes that ‘Cuse is in the zone and sees that everyone is ball watching and nobody accounts for him fading to the right wing where he catches in stride and pellets it top shelf.

What was wrong here? Well for one, there’s no possible way that a cross-field skip pass can penetrate a zone. Every defender needs to have their stick up and to the inside so that the passing lanes are taken away. The back side defenders Saam Olexo (48) and even Brett Kennedy (11) need to put their cross in their other hand. If both players did that then the pass wouldn’t get through. Additionally, the back side and top defenders needs to keep their heads on a swivel and recognize what Brennan was looking to do.

Play 3

Simple lack of communication here from two guys that are inexperienced. Olexo (48) is playing with a pole in his hand for just the second time in an Orange uniform. Meanwhile, Carter Hill (12) is a true freshman and is still adjusting to the college game.

Hill gambled and tried to force a turnover but by doing that left his man wide open in the left alley. Anthony DeMaio then moves it quickly to the place that the slide just came from and former SU player Logan Wisnauskas ripped it past Bobby Gavin. Against a Maryland offense that entered the game scoring over 20 goals per outing that is just far too easy. The Orange should’ve stuck with a more conservative approach here.

Play 4

Listen closely and you’ll hear the words “iso-iso” and “go ahead.” Just like we discussed last week, any time that Tucker Dordevic (23) gets a short stick matchup he must take it. The Oregon native is just so quick and twitchy that fewe SSDM’s can keep up with him. The attacker splits down the right alley and takes the shot himself but it’s nice to see that he also has an outlet option. Jacob Buttermore (31) was worked a pick-and-roll type action there and was ready for a catch-and-shoot opportunity if Dordevic didn’t get a good look but he did and scored it.

Play 5

See above. Feed 23.

Play 6

Transition defense has been a struggle for Syracuse to start the season. This occasion it’s pretty simple. Hill (12) does a good job to hustle back and make sure the odd-man rush becomes an even-man rush. However, Grant Murphy (90) sags over to the far side of the field as if SU was sliding but they never did! Murphy leaves the most dangerous shooter on the field wide-open and Wisnauskas makes him pay. Murphy needs to pay closer attention to the slide calls and if he doesn’t hear anything, stay on his guy to negate any of these open looks.

So pretty defense heavy in this edition of Fizz Film Room. The offense had some ups-and-downs as well and it mostly looked like hero ball all day. SU might have some issues finding production on the scoreboard going forward because a lot of the shots that went in today won’t against better goaltenders going forward. On top of that, these defensive improvements must be made and quickly.

Next up for SU is #2 Virginia on the road on Saturday.

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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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