Syracuse (2-1) led Virginia (5-0) 6-4 at halftime after going on a 4-0 run to end the first half, but the Cavaliers overpowered the Orange in the second half and secured the 14-10 victory at Klockner Stadium. Sophomore attack Derek Maltz scored three goals and registered 2 assists. Tim Desko also had 3 goals, one of them was a highlight-worthy between the legs shot in front of the net that sparked the first-half run.
1. The defense is starting to click.
Virginia's offense features its fair share of weapons. One of those weapons is 2011 Tewaaraton Trophy winner Steele Stanwick. The senior attack was Brian Megill's assignment today and Megill wasn't intimidated. Stanwick scored just one goal and it was on a defensive switch when Megill wasn't guarding him. David Hamlin and Matt Harris were also dynamic today. The Orange have developed a hard-nosed, physical defense that forces turnovers and features big hits. By the end of the season, this defensive unit has the potential to be special.
2. Can the Orange win faceoffs?
It sure didn't look like they could today. Syracuse won just 8-of-28 faceoffs after having such a great performance last week against Army. The wing play was starting to come around and the Orange was really starting to pick up ground balls. But today, everything changed. Coach John Desko was forced to play two long sticks at the wings in an effort to pick up more ground balls off faceoffs, which impaired them offensively.
3. Syracuse has no identity between the pipes.
The Orange goalie woes continue. After an incredible first half with six saves, stunting the Cavailers offense, Matt Lerman was given the nod to start the second half. Earlier in the week, coach Desko said he would start sophomore Dominic Lamolinara in the second half no matter what, but Lerman's performance convinced him otherwise. Desko finally thought he had found his man in the net. But in the third quarter, Lerman collapsed and gave up six goals. So in the fourth quarter, Lamolinara came in cold and didn't make a save. One of these two really needs to step up as the go-to guy within the next couple games.
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