After losing to Johns Hopkins, the Orange (4-2) came out strong Thursday against Providence (1-4) in a 10-6 victory. The Friars weren't really expected to put up much of a fight. Their only win this season came against Wagner. So this was just the game the Orange needed to get back on track heading into a matchup with No. 14 Villanova on Sunday.
Syracuse and Providence traded goals to start the game, but the Orange then went on a 5-0 run that lasted until the third quarter. In the second half, with a few subs in the game, the Orange didn't play as well and didn't produce the way they did in the first half, but they were still able to come away with the win.
Here are my three thoughts from the game:
1. No one really knows what's going on in net.
After the Johns Hopkins game, it appeared that Matt Lerman had sealed the starting spot. He started and played the entire game for the first time this year. But sophomore Dominic Lamolinara started on Thursday and played the entire game. The word is that Lamolinara will be the starter from here on out, but nothing was confirmed by coach John Desko or anyone on the staff. In the postgame press conference, Desko said Lerman was sick earlier in the week. Did this contribute to Lamolinara getting the start? Lamolinara came out strong Thursday with a pretty good first half. He gave up a couple questionable goals in the second but, overall, saw the ball well. He looks confident between the pipes, clears the ball well and seems to have established himself as a team leader. I think Lamolinara has established himself as the front runner, but to be honest, I don't really know at this point. We just have to wait and find out.
2. Why can't the Orange win face offs?
Face offs have been a problem all season. The Orange were sub-.500 again tonight against a Providence team that shouldn't have given them that much trouble. When asked about it in the postgame press conference, coach Desko said it's still a work in progress and that he is working to find a solution. He experimented a little bit more again tonight. In the past weeks, he has put Brian Megill in to take a few face offs. Today, Desko put in sophomore midfielder Drew Jenkins and freshman long pole Ralph D'Agostino to take a few. That strategy didn't really work as neither one of them shined. Something that did help the Orange out was moving Matt Harris to the wing. Desko was happy with Harris' play there.
3. Orange Offense starting to get on track.
Syracuse lost a lot of weapons offensively. Guys like Stephen Keogh and Jovan Miller graduated and left the Orange looking for some sharp shooters. Currently, other members are starting to step up offensively and this will really help the team in the coming games. Tommy Palasek has gotten more aggressive the last couple of games and has ignited the offense. Palasek had two goals and an assist tonight. Another weapon that has really stepped up for the Orange has been Derek Maltz. He only scored once tonight but it seems like he can do it all. His greatest strength is his rocket right-handed shot, but in the past few games he has proven he can get to the net. The next person that needs to get going for the Orange is Hakeem Lecky. He has so much talent. He's very quick and gets to the net well. But he hasn't been too involved in the last couple games. If Syracuse can get him involved, they'll have yet another dangerous weapon.
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