Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE
Danielle Bernstein of Inside Lacrosse is back again, this time offering her expertise and previewing No. 8/7 Virginia at No. 2/6 Syracuse this Sunday.
The Orange took the biggest fall in the deBeer Women's Media Poll this week, falling to No. 6 (146 points) while Virginia is tabbed at No. 7 (143 points).
CW: Last year, Virginia beat Syracuse 9-7 very early in the season. Syracuse made a push towards the end of the game, but the Cavaliers were able to hold them off. What do you think the Orange can pull from that game and apply to this Sunday's matchup?
DB: I think it's a new season and a lot had changed. Both teams are different going into this matchup that they're going to pull more from what they've done so far this season and preparing for current personnel, etc. Syracuse will watch tape from Virginia's game against Loyola last weekend and Virginia will do the same of Syracuse's game against Maryland.
CW: Syracuse and Virginia are two fairly young teams. What does each team need to do in order to win?
DB: Virginia needs to win the draw controls and control the tempo of the game. Draws were huge for them against Loyola as they won 14 to Loyola's 7 on Saturday. Coach Julie Myers said one of their halftime adjustments was to take up the notch a little on tempo, which was the pace they were used to competing at in practice. Syracuse cannot turn the ball over with the frequency they did against Maryland. In a game that was completely within their reach at halftime, the Orange didn't make things easy for themselves by turning the ball over 10 times in the second half. Playing as a cohesive defensive unit will also be key against a Virginia team that looks like it has multiple threats on offense.
CW: Virginia brings back all of its starters on defense and is led by Megan Dunleavy. What will the Orange attack have to do in order to be successful?
DB: Syracuse has so many offensive threats and they can create from different areas of the field. I think being diverse and spreading the ball around will be key.
CW: On a team filled primarily of sophomores, what will transfers Casey Bocklet (Northwestern) and Caroline Seats (Georgetown) bring to this Virginia team?
DB: Bocket is fantastic and it's clear the Virginia offense runs through her. She can distribute, but she also goes hard to goal and that makes her a difficult matchup. Seats is a great two-way midfielder who does a lot of the dirty work between the 30s and played well against Loyola despite not showing up much on the stat sheet.
DB: I think Syracuse will rebound. 14-11 Orange.