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Syracuse Lacrosse: Previewing the Army Black Knights

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Syracuse attempts to bounce back after a disastrous outing against Albany last week.

2013 NCAA Division I Men's Lacrosse Championships - Semifinals - Syracuse v Denver Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

Opponent

School: Army

Mascot: Black Knights

Coach: Joe Alberici

Location: West Point, NY

Conference: Patriot League

Game Location: Carrier Dome

Game Time: 2 PM

Television/Radio: ACC Network Extra / ESPN 97.7

Weather: DOME WEATHER!

All-Time Syracuse Record Vs. Opponent: 24-40

Previous Matchup: 13-14 Syracuse Loss

Opponent Ranking: #9

Quick Facts

2018 Record: 3-0

2018 Conference Record: 0-0

2017 Conference Postseason Results: Patriot League Runner Up

2017 NCAA Tournament Postseason Results: Did Not Qualify

2018 Team Statistics

Total Goals– Shot Attempts: 41-132

Total Opponent Goals– Shot Attempts: 18-70

EMO Goals (Percentage): 6 (.429)

EMO Goals Against (Percentage): 0 (.000)

Team Shooting Percentage: .311

Opponent Shooting Percentage: .257

Shots on Goal Percentage: .652

Opponent Shots on Goal Percentage: .529

Groundballs: 100

Opponent Groundballs: 67

Turnovers: 35

Caused Turnovers: 52

Faceoffs: 40/68 (.588)

Clearing Percentage: .860

Opponent Clearing Percentage: .768

Penalties: 6:30 PIM

ATTACK

You can say a lot about last week’s loss to Albany, but it’s hard to find a lot of fault with the defense. I thought the longpoles did a pretty good job covering the Albany attack, you really can’t ask for more than Nick Mellen and Tyson Bomberry gave you. Saturday, they will need the same effort though, as a talented and experienced offense makes a visit to the Dome.

The outside shooting game is one of Army’s strengths. Nate Jones is the leading goal scorer for Army with eight goals. Watch for Jones around the crease, he has an ability to bury rebounds. This is Conor Glancy’s third year as a starter at attack. Last season, Glancy put up 18 goals and seven assists including two against SU. The third attackman should be Sean O’Brien. O’Brien is not as experienced as his other line mates with only five games played and zero starts as a freshman last year.

FACEOFF

Coming off of a dominant performance against Binghamton, Danny Varello couldn’t get it going against Albany with a three for 13 record. Varello had just one groundball to boot. Seth Delisle and Jared Fernandez both took multiple draws with neither winning more than one. It was an absolutely deflating day at the X.

This Saturday, the Orange will find no respite as they take on John Ragno who has taken more faceoffs through three games in his senior year than he has in any other year. A .676 faceoff winning percentage puts Ragno sixth in division I this year. Long pole Jon LaMonica is the star on the wing.

One thing to note is that Army won six faceoffs on violations against Rutgers. Against Albany Syracuse gave up four on faceoff violations.

MIDFIELD

The number one midfielder for Army is David Symmes the guy you may remember as having the game winning goal last season against Syracuse with less than a second on the clock. The 2017 All-Patriot League First Team midfielder has a big outside shot and six goals through three games as he attempts to repeat his 25 goal performance from last season. Also on that first line will be California boy Austin Colvin who picked up 13 starts in 2017. In the third spot look for either Ted Glesener or Matt Manown to get the nod. Glesener is a familiar name on the Army directory. Older brother John Glesener had a heck of a career as an attackman and fellow older brother Dan Glesener is also a former player. I didn’t know the Military Academies have a legacy bonus in the application process. Ted, a West Genesee grad, has been a steady producer for Army with 37 goals and 14 assists in his four years. Meanwhile while Manown had a four point game against Rutgers, he is one of the best defensive players on this Army team.

DEFENSE

The big dog on defense is Johnny Surdick, but after missing the Rutgers game with an injury it is still unclear whether he will dress or not. If he is not ready to go Jon LaMonica will fill in for the second straight game. After not seeing much action in his first two years at Army, Griffin Schultz has started all three games this year. Next to Griffin is Dom Ricca who leads the Black Knights in caused turnovers with four. This defense is aggressive, SU will have to do a better job of holding on to the ball and not making a lot of the little mistakes it made on offense last weekend.

In terms of the special teams, Army is perfect this year in the man-down game. Syracuse, meanwhile is just two of five on extra man opportunities, going 0-2 against Albany. The clearing game was perfect against Binghamton but versus the Great Danes, Syracuse went 17-21. The Army ride has been holding opponents to a .768 clearing percentage. These are small areas of the game but can have a huge impact in the final score.

GOAL

The Black Knights have played five goalies this season but AJ Barretto is the starter. The junior has a 5.78 goals against average and a .548 save percentage which are some of the best numbers in the country. If I’m running the offense for Syracuse on Saturday, I’m telling my guys to shoot high and shoot high all day, looking at some of the highlights on Barretto he’s given away a lot of goals up top.

The Orange will need to do better than the 13 shots on goal they mustered last weekend. Yes they ran into a hot goalie but three goals is an embarrassment at home.

On the other side, Dom Madonna had a great first half against the Great Danes last week. While the momentum went against him hard in the second half, I’m glad he was not pulled. However, I am slightly worried about how he will respond mentally. Goalies are trained to forget the last one, but when you make just two second half saves and give up 11 goals in that same time period it can be difficult. He’s shown he belongs at this level and hopefully he focuses on the nine first half saves. Saturday’s game is all about how he bounces back mentally.

The Orange will host the Army Black Knights on Saturday at 2 PM. The game can be seen on the ACC Network Extra and heard on ESPN 97.7. Of course you can also follow me @Orangelax for updates.