Syracuse made a statement last weekend against Holy Cross. The Orange peppered the Crusaders with 28 goals and took care of business against a lesser opponent. It’s difficult to really put a whole lot of stock in a blowout win over a very below average Patriot League team. With that said, there were some positives to takeaway from this win and they’re evident when you watch the film.
Holy Cross was running a lot of zone defense in this game. Teams typically deploy this strategy when they know they can’t matchup physically or athletically with an opponent. Honestly it didn’t matter what defense the Crusaders ran, this offense was going to eat.
First of all, shoutout to the ACC Network crew for adding this all-22 type camera angle it’s absolutely awesome. You can clearly see the zone setup from HC with the shorties stacked at the top of the box and crease.
Now SU’s new weapon at “X”, Mikey Berkman sees a massive gap between the two back line defenders. Coaches always say, “If you see the back of someone’s head then cut.” Berkman does that and as a result gets an easy dunk. Great feed and pass placement as well on a no-look dish from Pete Fiorini at the point.
Man-up situation here for Syracuse. Just for reference, this unit features Brendan Curry (16), Griffin Cook (2), Owen Seebold (14), Tucker Dordevic (23), Liam Ferris (20), and Tyler Cordes (29).
The purpose of this play is to create a diversion and cause the Holy Cross defense to forget about Owen Seebold on the back side. Liam Ferris attracts all the attention as he rotates with Tyler Cordes. On this play it ends up in the hands of Seebold who punches it in.
However, Ferris and Cordes could have also worked a 2 on 1 on goal line extended or perhaps a skip pass from Ferris back to Griffin Cook for a step down shot. This man up offense could be scary for ACC foes this season.
Nothing really special on this play just horrendous assignment defense from Holy Cross. One thing that is interesting though is that the Crusaders began to specifically assign a long pole to cover Brendan Curry. By doing this, the Crusaders allow another skilled dodger like Griffin Cook or Tucker Dordevic to get a short-stick matchup.
If teams don’t have an answer for Curry at their SSDM position, they’ll have to adjust which will give opportunities for other players to do some damage.
Also love the cut here from Dordevic recognizing he’s seeing the back of a defenders head and simply hedging for a catch-and-shoot opportunity. Maryland if you’re reading this, don’t let SU get after it in transition.
We didn’t see a whole lot of 1 on 1 dodging from Owen Seebold lsat year. The Texan was more a catch and shoot type player and a opportune scorer in transition.
This is an impressive move here swimming over a long pole stick. It’s a highlight reel play against Holy Cross but these kinda dipsy-doos won’t work against more talented close defenders. With that said, it’s nice to get a glimpse of what Seebold could do as a dodger from behind.
Matteo Corsi is extremely underrated and clearly Holy Cross had never heard of him coming into the game. Why do I say this? Well the Crusaders had two short-sticks at the top of the defense. So when Corsi takes a screen from Pete Fiorini, all he has to do is get his hands free because there won’t be a long pole sliding to his face.
The IMG Academy product does an excellent job here of cradling until the very last second until he finally has to let it go. The freshman worked extensively with Nick Diegel growing up who owns the world record for the fastest lacrosse shot. How do you get more power and a more favorable shot? Continue to pickup speed and power cradle for as long as you can. Corsi makes what could’ve been a 15-yard on the run shot, just 10 and he buries it.
There’s not a whole lot to talk about on the defensive end. We’ll learn more about Dave Pietramala’s unit after it gets a real test against #1 Sunday. However there were a couple lapses from Brett Kennedy (11) specifically that need to be addressed.
Dean DiNanno with a strong take here but could’ve easily been mitigated. Kennedy gets caught chasing stick and allows the Holy Cross attacker to put on the brakes and get back to topside for a shot. The experienced defender needs to force DiNanno behind goal line extended in this situation and stay on top of him. The Terrapins will expose ‘Cuse defenders for not playing sound positional defense next week and this is a big reason why the Orange struggled so much in their defensive end last season.
This score isn’t a big deal because Holy Cross was on the man-up but this goal could’ve easily been prevented. So again Kennedy is the player we’re picking on. The close defender is in a 2 on 1 situation with the man at “x” and wing attacker. However, DiNanno (14) isn’t even in a threatening position when he passes the ball. Ergo, there’s no reason for Kennedy to be right on top of the crease, he should push out towards the wing a step or two.
If Kennedy does this he takes away the passing lane and at the same time is ready to stifle DiNanno if he makes a run on cage. On top of lack of positional awareness, Kennedy’s stick isn’t up. Coaches always preach keeping sticks up high in man-down scenarios to take away passes and clog up open lanes. Kennedy did neither here and as a result Holy Cross adds another.
Last point is that Bobby Gavin (88) should make this save. The shot came from about ten yards away with a sidearm release and the ball never really changed planes. The projectile was fired high to high off-stick. Now Gavin has a tendency to drop low off the rip but still a high-to-high sidearm shot should be easy pickings.
That’s all we have for the Holy Cross recap, come back on Monday to see what went right/wrong against Maryland!