Faceoffs hurt Syracuse again in loss to Virginia

Syracuse fell to 2-2 on the season

Syracuse dropped to 0-2 in ACC play with a loss at Virginia on Saturday evening. Here is a look back at the game:

WHAT HAPPENED: Syracuse jumped out to an early 3-0 lead midway through the first quarter, but Virginia rallied for six unanswered goals and took an 8-6 lead into halftime. The lead would balloon to 13-9 before Hakeem Lecky nearly single-handedly willed the Orange back into the game with three second half goals. The last of that trio pulled SU to within 14-12 with 7:43 left. But Zed Williams scored less than a minute later, and Virginia would add two more goals from there.

Syracuse fell to 2-2 on the season

WHAT IT MEANS: Syracuse’s main problem in the 2013 campaign continues to haunt SU in its 2014 season. Last year, the Orange won just 42 percent of faceoffs, and that bugaboo hurt the Orange again on Saturday. Virginia won that category 24-7, including 8 of 9 in the third period. Unfortunately for Syracuse, that was only part of the problem. The Orange struggled to clear in the third period (4 of 8) and also was trounced 51-22 in ground balls. While the offense was efficient, scoring on 12 of its 32 shots, the fact remains that SU isn’t on offense enough to make that count. The Cavaliers dominated possession time and outshot the Orange 55-32.

» More SU Lax: Syracuse lacrosse faceoff woes return, but that’s not the only problem

STAR GAZING: Syracuse couldn’t do much to stop James Pannell, as he scored seven goals on 12 shots. Mark Cockerton matched him in points, scoring 4 goals and adding 3 assists. SU goalie Dominic Lamolinara played nearly the entire game, save for 27 seconds, and notched 14 saves. The goalie made up for some obvious deficiencies in the defense.

WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse flies down to the Atlanta area to take on St. John’s in the Cobb County Lacrosse Classic. The game, played in Kennesaw, Ga., will be on Saturday, March 8 at 4 p.m.

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About Wes Cheng 2907 Articles
Wes has worked for Rivals.com covering the New York Knicks, as well as for Scout.com covering Syracuse athletics. Wes has also been a contributing writer for the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), for SportsNet New York (SNY) as a news desk writer covering all of New York professional sports, and reported on the NBA and MLB for the New York Sportscene. A native of Long Island, New York, Wes graduated from Syracuse University in 2005 with a degree in journalism. Contact him at wes[at]sujuiceonline.com.