'Cuse overcome mental test, beat ND again

The Syracuse men's lacrosse team put away Notre Dame in the Big East Conference Tournament semifinals Thursday afternoon and now look ahead to its rematch against Villanova on Saturday. But first, lets talk about the takeaways versus the Irish. More inside.

Behind another stout defensive effort, Syracuse (10-3) took care of Notre Dame (10-4) 9-3 in the Big East Conference tournament semifinals Thursday afternoon at Villanova. Here are a few takeaways from the game:

Syracuse Defense:

Bulletin board material – Notre Dame's head coach Kevin Corrigan's comments didn't sit too well with senior Brian Megill and the rest of the defensive unit following its 10-4 loss to Syracuse. Corrigan dismissed the Orange's defense and blamed his team's poor performance on sloppy play and not passing and catching. To say that Syracuse had a chip on its shoulder entering this afternoon's contest would have been an understatement.

The Orange played a sag style defense, packing it in and not allowing the Irish offense to penetrate and score. The defensive unit also held Notre Dame scoreless for roughly 35 minutes and forced 15 turnovers.

Steve Ianzito: When people talk about players doing what's best for the team, captain Steve Ianzito is at the top of that list. The redshirt senior transitioned from the second midfield line to defense and has become the Orange's primary threat as a defensive midfielder. Like senior defender Becca Block on the women's team, Ianzito's speed and quickness in transition has teams not only guessing, but scrambling to catch up to him. As a dual threat, he is able to give the Orange another added dimension on offense if need be.

Overcoming the mental game with ease: In any sport, it's really tough to beat a team twice with ease. The Orange did just that in the span of five days. The two games weren't even close with Syracuse outscoring Notre Dame 19-7.

As head coach John Desko pointed out earlier in the week, it's about knowing your personnel and what they do. Alongside Desko, he has some of the best assistants and tacticians in the business in Donahue and Rogers. For example, the Orange defense held Matt Kavanagh, one of the best dodgers on the team, to zero goals. In its first matchup, the freshman scored two goals in the loss. It's only the second game out of 14 that he has been held without a point.

Not switching it up: Watching the game as a regular viewer it didn't seem as though coach Corrigan implemented any necessary adjustments from last weekend's game, specifically on the defensive end. If you have watched the Irish consistently throughout the season, one will know that the team switches on everything and are not concerned with matchups. Despite a solid game from senior goalie John Kemp (15 saves) it wasn't enough to contain Syracuse's potent offensive attack.

It's obviously too late to switch up your rotations and lines, however, something will need to be tweaked in order for this Irish team to be successful in the NCAA playoffs.

Syracuse will get another crack at Villanova on Saturday, May 4, at noon in the Big East Conference tournament final.

Syracuse scoring sheet:

Derek Maltz (2 goals, 2 assists), Hakeem Lecky (2 goals), Kevin Rice (2 goals), Luke Cometti (1 goal), Henry Schoonmaker (1 goal), Dylan Donahue (1 goal), Jojo Marasco (4 assists).

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