The Syracuse Orange men’s lacrosse team is back in action with some Friday afternoon lacrosse to hopefully get our weekend started off right!
The Orange are playing host to their second straight first-time opponent, the Stony Brook Seawolves from the America East conference.
Syracuse enters the day at 2-1 and on a two-game win streak, while Stony Brook sits at 2-2 after back-to-back losses to Hofstra and UMBC.
Although the boys have won two in a row, they’ll be looking for a bounce-back performance of sorts after their somewhat-lackluster showing last weekend in a 17-13 win over Vermont.
Let’s take a look at some of the keys to watch out for today as the Orange try to extend their winning streak:
Last week was tough to watch on the re-starts, as Jakob Phaup and Danny Varello got manhandled by Vermont’s Tommy Burke.
Coming off a dominating game against Virginia in which Phaup went 22-of-33, the FOGOs experienced a recurring nightmare as they combined to go a putrid 10-of-34 (29.4 percent) against Burke.
Sometimes, you just have to chalk a bad face-off day up to a bad matchup, so let’s all hope that’s exactly what Vermont’s Burke was for our guys. I think we’ll all feel a lot better with an even pseudo-bounce-back performance at the dot today.
So, the offense scored 17 goals against Vermont while winning less than 30 percent face-offs. They shot an absurd 17-of-32 (53.1 percent) and proved they can execute even with limited possessions.
Right now, the team’s just looking to keep the good vibes rolling after scoring 37 goals in the last two games.
What’s been especially exciting is how they’ve done it in different ways the past two weeks. Against Virginia, it was the midfield inverting behind the net and attacking shorties to initiate the offense, led by a career day from Brendan Curry (seven points). Last week, it was the attack who took over against Vermont, as it was Stephen Rehfuss’s turn to have a career day with eight points.
After the Army game, we were all worried about the impact the attack unit would make to take pressure off the midfield. The insertion of Owen Hiltz into the starting lineup has coincided with the re-emergence of the attack.
Can’t wait to see whose turn it is to go off today.
Aside from Drake Porter having the game of his career with 21 saves against Vermont, the defense struggled at times last weekend. In some ways, it was a regression back to the Army game with missed assignments and communication troubles leading to 13 Vermont goals.
Of course, having to play defense after almost every face-off hurt big time, too.
But today, we really want to see the defense tighten up some of last week’s issues such as trouble switching between shorties and long-poles and off-ball, weak-side marking.
As good, make that great, as Drake is, we don’t want to have to rely on his to bail the team out every game. There’s talent in front of him, let’s just hope they can make some strides today and shore up some of their technical aspects.
I hope you’ll be checking out the Friday matinee action on the ACC Network at 1 PM.
Leave your comments below and Let’s Go Orange!!