Syracuse falls to Virginia

Syracuse dropped to 2-1 on the season with a 14-10 loss to No. 1 Virginia. The Orange struggled at the X and couldn’t quite solve Virginia’s zone defense.

WHAT HAPPENED: Syracuse started off slow. Virginia jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead and dominated for most of the first quarter. The Orange defense finally settled down, stopping the Cavaliers on its next 8 shots. The second quarter featured a highlight goal on a between-the-legs shot from Tim Desko to make the score 3-2, in favor of the Cavs. From that point on, Syracuse had all the momentum, going up 6-3. Virginia was able to score one before the end of the half and the Orange went into the locker room up 6-4.

The third quarter started much like the first quarter did. Virginia came out firing, in complete control. The Cavaliers scored 6 straight to start the half and took an 8-6 lead. Virginia continued to dominate in almost every stat category. At the end of the third, UVA was up 10-8.

Virginia and Syracuse played pretty evenly in the fourth quarter. The Orange just couldn’t get out of the hole they dug themselves in the third.

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WHAT IT MEANS: The Syracuse defense is starting to click. Megill did an impressive job on 2011 Tewaaraton Trophy winner Steele Stanwick. Matt Harris and David Hamlin played extremely well, also. The defense today was extremely physical. A lot of big hits forced Virginia players to turn the ball over.

After a great performance at the X last week against Army, the Orange got just 8-of-28 today. Syracuse was forced to put two long sticks at the wings in the fourth quarter in an effort to get more face offs, but it didn’t work and Virginia continued to roll. UVA also had the advantage in ground balls, picking up 42 to Syracuse’s 21.

The offense struggled against Virginia’s zone defense. Coach Desko tried to overload one side of the zone but the Cavaliers held strong, especially in the second half, forcing the Orange to settle for long, stick-side shots.

Orange fans finally thought the questions in net had been solved. Matt Lerman was great between the pipes during the first half. He shut down the Virginia offense in the second quarter and was convincing enough to get the start in the second half. Earlier in the week, Desko said he would start Lamolinara in the second half, but Lerman’s play earned him the spot. However, Lerman collapsed in the third quarter and Desko was forced to put in Lamolinara in the fourth. Coming into the game in the fourth quarter is tough for any goalie and Lamolinara couldn’t stop UVA. He didn’t make a save and gave up 4 goals.

STAR GAZING: Derek Matlz was incredible for the Orange today. He scored 3 goals and had 2 assists. Tim Desko also had 3 goals and was the one who sparked the huge second quarter run. For Virginia, Colin Briggs’ 3 goals were huge, but the star was first-year goalie Rob Fortunato who made 16 saves and came up big for the Cavaliers down the stretch.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Orange will travel to New York City to play St. John’s on Sat., March 10 at 1 p.m.

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