Aside from picking four leaf clovers while stretching and de-pantsing my teammates in warmup lines, I'll be honest with you, I really didn't learn anything lacrosse wise in high school. It wasn't until college I learned the intricacies of the game and developed as a defender. Where running for my life because I had a bomb in my stick actually proved very beneficial. Anyways, here are my observations (I thought I saw) from the Maryland-Syracuse game:
Syracuse's offense: There is no question that Alyssa Murray and Michelle Tumolo make up a great deal of the Orange's fire power on offense. Freshman attacker Kayla Treanor seems to be finding her way, too, contributing seven goals and one assist in the games against Jacksonville and Maryland.
In my Maryland-Syracuse preview, I pointed out that draw controls would be critical, noting sophomore attacker Kailah Kempney as the specialist and a viable scoring threat. Kempney, though, was invisible against the Terps, recording donuts in draw controls, goals and assists. Other players will have to step up in order for this team to be successful.
As someone who spent four years on defense at Gannon University, it's safe to say that I let my former teammates, the ones who were very talented and gifted on offense, give advice when it came to the game's Xs and Os. I'm going to go out on the limb and say I really couldn't comprehend what the Orange were running. I saw a lot (A LOT) of shovel passes/exchanges coming from behind the cage and up top. It was too predictable, I thought. Maryland wouldn't budge, sticking like glue to their players and disrupting Syracuse's flow repeatedly.
Syracuse's Defense: "Maryland offense two steps quicker than Syracuse defense" -- one of many sentences I jotted down in my notebook following the loss. The Orange's brain farts struck me as odd considering some of this stuff is Lacrosse 101. Basic communication. Weak-side help. Ball watching.
Cool it: The Orange accounted for four of the five yellow cards, three of them coming at the end of the game when it was out of reach.
Sitting in the press box, I thought back to the national championship game against Northwestern. Gait received a yellow card for stepping onto the field and then criticized the officiating crew during the postgame press conference while Tumolo got whacked a red card for abusive language to an official. Both were reprimanded by the NCAA.
The Orange can't afford silly errors plaguing them, especially if they find themselves in close games.