Hobart Quick Facts
Hobart All-Time Record Vs. SU: 26-73-2
Hobart Streak Vs. SU: L2
Hobart Last Win Vs. SU: April 16, 2013
Hobart 2015 Record: 7-7; Lost in the Northeast Conference Semifinals
Hobart 2016 Record: 5-4; Wins versus Siena, Binghamton, Georgetown, Canisius, Wagner; Losses versus Penn State, Cornell, Colgate, Saint Joseph's
2016 Northeast Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll: #3 out of seven
2016 Northeast Conference Preseason All-Conference Players: None
2016 RPI: #49
2016 SOS: #54
The Hobart Statesmen and Syracuse Orange take the field in Geneva, NY on Wednesday at 7 PM in a battle for the Kraus-Simmons Trophy. The trophy is named in honor of two legendary coaches, Babe Kraus and Roy Simmons Sr. While this distinguished piece of hardware has remained in Syracuse for most of its existence, the Statesmen did house it, most recently, in 2013.
As these two squads prepare for the 102nd meeting in this rivalry that dates back to 1916, the first year of existence for Syracuse's program, the Orange face numerous questions after getting embarrassed by Notre Dame on Saturday. The biggest of those questions revolves around the goaltender. Warren Hill had just four saves in the Notre Dame game while allowing 14 goals. Although the defense did not help its netminder, Hill's performance left much to be desired. The junior has had a rough season and sits 59th in the country in save percentage and 58th in the country in saves per game. There was a lot of hype surrounding Hill after a tremendous two years at Onondaga Community College and a great performance in the 2014 FIL World Championships. Nevertheless, Hill has looked outmatched in several games this year. Evan Molloy replaced Hill with 11:14 to go in the match versus the Irish and the redshirt junior made five saves and allowed three goals. After the game Coach John Desko said that the Orange would be reevaluating the goalie situation. What that means is still unclear, but we could see a two-goalie situation as we did with Dominic Lamolinara and Bobby Wardwell a few years back.
While I thought Hill played poorly, his defense did not give him any help. The same issues that we saw in 2015 have re-arisen this year. Amongst the close defense, it appears that communication may be the biggest problem, and while that may originate with the goalie, there is no excuse for the long-poles to lose the opposition's number one attackman. The slides are not crisp and the defense looks lost at points.
Another major issue this team had last week was the defensive midfield, which failed to aid the close defense. The middies had trouble keeping pace with their Notre Dame counterparts all game on Saturday, but that shouldn't be the case against Hobart. The midfield and defense's issues were also exposed in the clearing game. Syracuse, usually a very good clearing team, was exposed on Saturday successfully clearing just 15-23. The Hobart matchup should be a much needed tune up for ‘Cuse.
My Hobart projected starters are listed below. The Statesmen's leading goal and point scorer is attackman Frank Brown, a junior out of Salamanca, NY. The number two attackman is freshman Chris Aslanian who has 12 goals on the year including a five-goal performance against Canisius.
The most capable midfielder is Cooper Stefaniak. The senior captain has 8 goals and 2 assists this year. At the faceoff X, J Andrew Spallanzani will be doing most of the heavy lifting. He is 90-152 and 16th in the nation in faceoff winning percentage. Last year against Syracuse the sophomore went just 2-8.
Defensively, the Statesman have been pretty good. Junior Arik Andreen leads the close defense unit, and has 15 caused turnovers on the year although Grant Soucy is the best close defender in the unit. More impressive, Hobart has killed .840 percent of its opposition's extra-man opportunities, but on Wednesday will go against the second best man-up unit in the country.
Gerald Flood 1/3
Sean Donnelly 8/9
J Andrew Spallanzani
D. Bennett Moore
Syracuse will visit the Hobart Statesmen on Wednesday at 7 PM. The game will be broadcasted on TWCS and can be heard on TK99.