Senior goalkeeper Dominic Lamolinara is aware that losing Brian Megill to graduation last year was a big hit to the defense.
"Megill was like another coach out there," he said. "He knew all the calls and where everyone was supposed to be."
Megill was the team's shutdown defender for the Orange last season and is the team's career leader in caused turnovers (103). He also scooped up a team high 55 ground balls and was often matched up against the opponent's best offensive player.
"I have to pick up the slack," Lamolinara said.
Alongside him, Bobby Wardwell is also competing and trying to regain his status as the go-to goalie. Wardwell was named starter at the beginning of last season, but lost the job to Lamolinara in its game against Johns Hopkins. Lamolinara relieved Wardwell of his duties in the second half en route to a 13-8 victory over the Bluejays.
The two aren't worried about who starts in goal, though, as long as they return to the Promise Land that is the National Championship game.
"Bob and I have been pushing each other since we got here two years ago," he said. "We both jump rope and do ladders together. We take some extra shots before and after practice, too."
He continued, "We are just trying to get better. We really don't care who is starting as long as we get that championship."
Considering the freshmen did not suit up in their first two exhibition games, Lamolinara is especially excited to see what exactly Parker Ferrigan can do in the net.
"Parker is doing a really great job," Lamolinara said. "He has been killing it. Outside of the goal, I don't think I have ever see a freshman so confident and active."
The Baldwinsville, N.Y. native was one of six Under Armour All-Americans for Syracuse that arrived on the hill this fall.
"He is so calm in the goal. He makes everything look so easy - that's what all the other goalies have been saying about him. Parker is sitting in the goal, staying patient and taking away the angles like a veteran would be. He has shown no signs of being a rookie right now. I'm really excited to see what he is like."
Lamolinara evens adds that Ferrigan -- when outside the goal -- is picking off passes and running down and getting assists on offense. For some that have witnessed Ferrigan play in his high school days, this may be a familiar scene. He notched one goal and dished out three assists while putting up a .743 goals against average as well as turning away 237 shots on goal as a senior.
With juniors Sean Young and Brandon Mullins out for a majority of fall ball, there has been a young crop of defenders that have emerged and caught the eye of Lomolinara and Kevin Rice: Bobby Tait, Jay McDermott and Chris Swanson.
"Those three guys got a lot of time to watch, talk to a lot of seniors (last season)," Lamolinara said. "I get the feeling that they ask a lot of questions and the leadership last year really helped them out."
"I think they've done a really good job and played well against Iroquois," Rice adds.
With fall ball officially coming to a close with the alumni game, the team is anxious to see where they stack up when it comes to playing some of the best lacrosse talent.
"We are going against a team that might be the best team we play all year," Rice said. "It's full of All-Americans, MLL (Major League Lacrosse) players and guys that will be playing on the National team. It's going to be a good test for us."
Lamolinara weighs in on the defense
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