A Bearcat? I've been looking up pictures for the last half-hour, and they look really lazy. So that's a good sign, I guess.
Anyway, Syracuse gets a bit of a respite this week, taking on the 3-5 Binghamton Bearcats Wednesday. The Orange boast a 5-3 record (1-3 ACC) and are coming off of crucial 11-10 win against Notre Dame. Syracuse pulled together their most complete game of the year against the Irish Saturday. The face-off, turnover and possession troubles that have plagued SU all year, disappeared against Notre Dame. Hopefully this trend will continue on Wednesday when the Orange play host to the Binghamton Bearcats, after which they will prepare for a visit to upstate New York rival Cornell.
Binghamton and Syracuse have faced each other just three times with the Orange taking all three by no fewer than six goals. Their most recent matchup came in 2009 when the Bearcats fell 13-4 at the Dome. Binghamton picked up their third win of the season against Hartford last weekend in an 11-10 victory. The Bearcats lost to Siena 13-9 early in the season, a team the Orange toyed with in a 19-7 win. They also played #2 Cornell to a 14-8 loss. Binghamton has never been to the NCAA tournament and has just one winning season in their 12 year history when they finished 2004 10-6. Needless to say, SU should win this game handedly; a loss would be a major upset. The lack of video on this team makes them difficult to scout, but here we go...
This year, Matt Springer became the first Bearcat in school history to break the 100-goal mark. The redshirt senior has 24 goals on the season including 5 in a 1-goal loss to Colgate and 4 in Binghamton's last game against Hartford. Springer is the center of their offense. The Big Red locked down Springer, only allowing him 1 goal, showing that it is possible to keep him down. Tucker Nelson leads Binghamton in assists with 16 and adds 9 goals to his resume. In the last two games, Nelson has put up 3 goals and 5 assists. The junior from Vestal, NY is ranked twelfth nationally in assists per game. Tucker's father, Scott Nelson, is the head coach of Binghamton, a former NC State lacrosse standout, and has previously had lengthy head coaching tenures at Nazareth, Brown, and Marist. Skaneateles native Paul O'Donnell has 13 goals and 19 points on the year. He had career high 5 goals against Sacred Heart and led his team in scoring against Cornell. The Binghamton attack has had problems scoring, putting away just .323 percent of their shots. O'Donnell has had the toughest time, with a .295 shot percentage putting just 24 of 44 shots on cage.
The Bearcats have used a platoon midfield, switching up the lines on nearly a regular basis. Garrett Augustyn has been the only steady starter with 7 of 8 games under his belt at the long stick midfielder position. The senior out of Amherst, NY stands at an imposing 6'3," and has 9 groundballs and 9 caused turnovers on the season. Michael Antinozzi has led all midfielders this year with 10 goals and 10 assists. As a senior, co-captain, he also leads his team in penalty minutes with 4. Interestingly enough, Antinozzi only has 1 start on the year. J.T. Hauck, a midfielder with zero starts this year, is second on the midfield corps with 6 goals and 4 points. His 6 goals come on 8 shots on goal.
Kelly Donigan has one start, 1 goal and 3 assists. Donigan is a co-captain and a senior out of nearby Skaneateles, NY. I don't know who is letting this kid shoot but it took 21 shots for him to get his only goal on the season and he currently has a .040 shooting percentage. The overall impression is that the only real offensive, midfield threats are Antinozzi, and Hauck, but it will be interesting to see who gets the start on the midfield.
Alex Doerflein has gotten 5 starts on the year, and compiled a 31-74 win record, a decrease from 2013 when he had a .546 f/o win percentage. Against Cornell, the senior managed 9 of 18 face-offs. Doerflein also has 2 goals and 3 assists in 2014. Freshman Dan Mazurek has put together a better record going 50-100 and snagging 29 groundballs. He is the Bearcats' top face-off guy but Doerflein should see some time at the center too. The face-of game might be the best part of this Bearcats team. Don't underestimate them, but also don't brush off a nice night from Chris Daddio if he does well.
The Bearcats have stuck with the same defensive look all year. Senior Shawn Needham has an impressive 27 groundballs and an even more impressive 16 caused turnovers. The second year starter is tenth in the nation in caused turnovers with 2 per game. Chris Bechle earned Second Team All-Conference Defender last year in his rookie season. In his sophomore season, he has struggled a bit, picking up just 4 GBs and receiving 3 penalty minutes. Senior Greg Cove, a co-captain for the Bearcats, has 13 GBs and 8 caused turnovers. This should not be a challenging game for the Syracuse attack, especially considering some of the staunch defensive units the Orange have taken on this year.
Second year starter Max Schefler is in the midst of his red-shirt junior season. He has a .520 save percentage and is averaging 11.13 saves per game, good enough for fourth nationally. Through their 8 games Schefler has allowed 82 goals giving him a 10.36 goals against average.
Wednesday's game between Binghamton and Syracuse will be played at 7 pm and can be seen on TWCS and heard on 99.5 WTKW.
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