Well how bout that folks? For some reason it has felt like months since we've seen this team win, and even though it came against St. John's, grabbing a win felt really nice. Across the board, SU dominated St. John's this afternoon in Kennesaw, Georgia. The teams made the trip to take part in the inaugural Cobb County Lacrosse Classic in which Syracuse walked away with a 14-8 win.
Before we get into today's game, it was a wild day in college lacrosse. #15 Cornell shocked #2 UVA 12-9, #6 Notre Dame lost to a good #12 Denver team 10-7, #17 Albany put up 25 (22 points out of those Thompson brothers) on #10 UMass and #1 Maryland had trouble shaking off unranked Stony Brook. Tomorrow Loyola and Duke faceoff at 6 pm in what should be an excellent game. I don't expect to really move at all in the polls, a win over Hopkins next week will be more helpful for that.
Dom Lamolinara finished his day with 12 saves and 4 goals allowed in 3 quarters. The kid has been great this year and I think the coaching staff is making the right decision in sticking with him in net instead of having him and Bobby Wardwell split time. Speaking of Wardwell, he did get into the game to start the fourth quarter, finishing with 1 save and 4 goals against. The stats are deceiving however as the backups were sent in for much of the quarter and quite frankly the defense let him down on several occasions.
Randy Staats didn't play today due to a leg injury. Filling in for Staats was co-captain Derek Maltz. Coming into the game the senior from Stone Bridge, Virginia had 2 goals and 2 assists. Today however, Maltz took advantage of this opportunity to start by adding 4 goals and an assist to the SU effort. And then there was Kevin Rice. The sophomore has been somewhat quiet so far this season. Saturday Rice went off for 4 goals and 4 assists. Dylan Donahue had 3 goals, two of which were assisted by Rice.
It took 5 games, but Nicky Galasso finally put some points up. The former #1 recruit in the nation, appears to be finding his grove after being hampered by a preseason foot injury and today he scored his first and second goals of the season.
SU went 10-25 on faceoffs with FOGO Chris Daddio going 10 of 21 and losing 6 of those 11 faceoffs due to violations. Mike Iacono got 3 faceoff opportunities and Austin Wentworth took 1, neither player winning. Daddio is clearly the best faceoff man on this team, and there is no argument to give the faceoff opportunities to anyone else. The wings need to be better getting to the groundballs and the faceoff violations need to stop.
Clearing, the other big problem for SU, went ok today. The Orange went 23-29 on clears, although on three of them Lamolinara threw the ball away. This is an improvement on the season, but take into consideration the opponent. Clearing is something that SU needs to continue to work on and I imagine as the weather improves and the basketball team vacates the Dome, the team will be able to practice clears much more. Balancing the turnover situation was the 13 caused turnovers which Syracuse created. They did a great job covering the ball today, much better than last week, and did not allow the backdoor cuts which UVA burned them with. The long stick middies, Peter Macartney and Scott Firman, were especially impressive on the defensive end.
A lack of opportunities was not necessarily the issue for St. John's. Yes, Syracuse won on number of possessions and time of possession, but the Red Storm did get their chances. SU just simply stifled the senior laden St. John's offense. I said it in the preview for this game, St. John's needs their midfield to step up offensively and provide more production. Simple fact is that this didn't happen. The highly regarded Kieran McArdle scored the 2nd, 3rd and 8th goals for St. John's while assisting on 2 more. Colin Keegan picked up 2 for himself. Kevin Cernuto matched Keegan with two of his own. The frustration for Cernuto was evident in the fourth period, as the senior seemed to force several shots on net, shots which he wouldn't have taken earlier in the game. Ryan Fitzgerald, the lone midfielder to make an offensive impact, had 1 goal and 2 assists. The Syracuse transfer Eric DeJohn also had an assist. Overall though, St. John's did have 40 shots on the day, 5 more than SU.
Turnovers helped kill the game for St. John's today. They coughed the ball up 17 times and on the other side were only able to cause 4 Syracuse turnovers. That being said, the Red Storm was perfect on the clears.
Syracuse takes on Hopkins on Saturday at 12 pm. The game will be held at Homewood Field in Baltimore and can be seen on ESPNU or heard on WTKW 99.5 FM.