In the first quarter, Syracuse came out firing on all cylinders and everything was clicking offensively. The Orange jumped out to a 4-0 lead before Yale's Brandon Mangan got the Bulldogs on the board with four ticks left in the first quarter. Below is the breakdown of all four Syracuse goals:
Syracuse goal: Senior Jojo Marasco got Syracuse on the board first on a one-on-matchup from the left corner of goal. The midfielder was simply trying to figure out the defense. Was Yale going to slide or double team? Marasco saw none of those matchups and decided to be the aggressor and take it himself.
In the beginning of the game, Yale head coach Andy Shay stressed the importance of playing Marasco as a passer first. Shay did not want the unselfish senior to get his teammates involved in the early going of the game.
Syracuse goal: Senior Luke Cometti let one rip from the left side of the field, placing his shot perfectly in the top right of the goal. Cometti simply stepped into the right spot at the right time. Donned one of the best off-ball players on this Syracuse team, it wasn't a surprise when he found the back of the net.
Syracuse goal: Kevin Rice finds Derek Maltz filling an alleyway when Yale double teams Henry Schoonmaker from the side. This give-and-go play for Syracuse is its bread and butter. Aside from Cometti, Maltz is always lingering around the crease looking for a scoring opportunity from either Kevin Rice or Marasco.
Syracuse goal: With 1:22 remaining in the first quarter, Maltz, again, connects from up top. This time, the Orange draw up a 2-4 set on offense -- two players behind the cage and four players draped up top. Cometti simply set a pick for Maltz up top and in this instance, Yale's defense was late to switch. That slight delay allowed the Orange to counter and connect on the score.
Summary of first quarter play: While Syracuse controlled the tempo and played almost flawlessly in the first, there was one negative I picked up on the tape: No backup on shots. There were a few times that Syracuse would shoot and no one would be behind cage to regain possession. In the matchup against Denver, the Orange will need every possession possible, especially since the team hasn't had much luck at X.
Second quarter: This quarter of play featured only one goal by Yale's Conrad Oberbeck on a garbage rebound. The goal brought the Bulldogs to within two heading into intermission. Syracuse also began its daunting 43-minute scoring drought around this time. Not much scoring going on, but plenty to make note of:
•Syracuse defensive midfielder, Steve Ianzito, went down early in the second quarter with an ankle sprain. The fifth-year senior helped out on a slide down on the crease and got tangled up with Oberbeck. This is an injury to keep an eye on as Ianzito is a big part of Syracuse's transition game. Although his status is questionable, the microscope will now be on Matt Pratt and Drew Jenkins to step in and contribute meaningful minutes.
•The goalie play of Syracuse's Dominic Lamolinara was solid through two quarters. Despite giving up two goals to Mangan and Oberbeck, the junior was very active. Syracuse head coach John Desko mentioned earlier in the season that Lamolinara has a certain dynamic he brings to the team. Whether it's a hustle play out of net, to grabbing ground balls or picking off passes, there was a method to Desko's madness when he made the switch at halftime of the Johns Hopkins game. His play proved to be huge down the stretch of this game (keep reading).
•In the second, the Bulldogs settled down and dictated the pace against Syracuse. Yale jumped from a man to zone and forced Syracuse to try and figure it out from an offensive point-of-view.
Third quarter: Down 4-2 to start the second half, Yale started making its move. Slowly, but surely the Bulldogs made the best of Syracuse's sloppy play. Yale would have some careless play of its own, too, but would persevere and come out on top heading into the fourth leading, 5-4. The breakdown of Yale's goals is as follows:
Yale goal at the 5:23 mark: Magnan uses his maneuverability and headiness to take Syracuse defenseman Brian Megill from behind the crease. Magnan's first step is enough to get Megill off kilter for a second.
Yale Goal at the 5:14 mark: After a Chris Daddio false start on the X, the Bulldog's notched its second consecutive on an Oberbeck riser from the wing. With the game now tied at five, Yale is reeling, full of confidence.
Yale goal with just 25 seconds left: Magnan steps up big with a transition goal. Megill, again, was late to slide and the junior stings it up top.
Summary of third quarter play: Sloppy play by both teams was highlighted in this quarter. While Yale prevailed, it was its defense that kept Syracuse guessing. The Bulldogs packed it in and prevented the Orange from penetrating inside. Yale also took away its game planning from behind. It didn't help either when the shots Syracuse did take, didn't fall. Dodging was non-existent for Syracuse, too.
Fourth quarter: Remember when you were advised to keep reading on to find out about Lamolinara's play? Well, it couldn't have come at a more crucial time then in the fourth quarter when the Orange were mounting yet another come-from-behind victory.
Yale goal at the 13-minute mark: A score by Michael Lipin gives the Bulldogs some slight breathing room. Orange fans at this point are probably thinking the worst.Yale is now up,6-4.
Key play: At the 11:45 mark, Lamolinara hustles to gain possession on a Yale shot. With momentum working in its favor, the Bulldogs could have capitalized and put the team up by three. That was not the case.
Syracuse goal at the 3:36 mark: Yale faceoff specialist Dylan Levings is unable to control the draw and the ball is automatically scooped up by a Syracuse long pole. Rice connects from the side of the crease, ending a 43-minute scoring drought.
Syracuse goal at the 2:20 mark: Marasco connects to his favorite target in Cometti on a give-and-go. The game is now tied and Yale calls a timeout.
Key play: A point blank save by Lamolinara. Yale's Oberneck was wide open and the junior turned him away. A call on Yale resulted in Syracuse getting the ball.
Game winning Syracuse goal: Coming out of a timeout, Marasco finds Dylan Donahue down low.
Re-watching the film, you can see that a total of five defenders were more concerned about Marasco up. Yale simply got caught ball watching.
Final: Syracuse 7, Yale 6
•Through its nine, one-goal wins, Syracuse has shown incredible character, grit and grind. You really can't count them out in any game, really.
•Despite its weaknesses on the X, Syracuse continues to make use of every single possession. The team, from what I've seen, really doesn't make any unforced errors. The Orange takes care of the ball.
•Syracuse really doesn't favor one style of play over another. The team isn't afraid to get out and run or slow it down.
Tale of the tape: Yale vs. Syracuse
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