One week after their season opening domination against Holy Cross, Syracuse hosted top-ranked Maryland. In a competitive back and forth game that proved to display two of the top teams in the country, Maryland rode out a strong start to propel them over the Orange, 14-10.
Here are some key takeaways from the game:
#1: Early defensive troubles prove too much to overcome
Syracuse’s slow defensive start proved to cost it the game.
Maryland scored four goals in the first quarter by four different players, and went up 5-0 early in the second quarter before Syracuse even got on the board.
Playing in front from the beginning, Maryland’s offense dictated the game. Attackman Logan Wisnauskas netted four by the end of the day to lead Maryland.
The Syracuse defense quickly made adjustments that slowed down the Terps on offense for much of the second quarter and went into halftime down just 7-6. It was 9-8 heading into the fourth quarter before Maryland showed why it’s the No. 1 team in the country.
It scored three unanswered goals, and took a 12-8 lead with 11:07 left in the fourth quarter on Daniel Maltz’s unassisted goal.
#2: Syracuse fails to execute down the stretch
Contrary to their first game of the year, Syracuse struggled to find consistent looks they wanted offensively.
Syracuse finished with 22 shots on goal, but aside from Tucker Dordevic’s five goals and Lucas Quinn chipping in wit ha hat trick, the Orange struggled to find consistent offense.
“We have to communicate better and buy into what we are trying to do,” Syracuse head coach Gary Gait said. “There were plenty of times on the offensive end where we weren’t moving the ball or our feet. We work all week and prepare and it does not happen on the field. That just takes a little more leadership and communication.”
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#3: Syracuse opens ACC schedule next
As adamant as Gary Gait was postgame about where Syracuse went wrong on both sides of the ball, the general theme for his players was to learn and get better.
The Orange, now 1-1 on the season, can use this loss to improve after competing top a top echelon team. Certainly, a good sign for SU was that it went down five goals in the opening minutes, but rallied and continued to challenge Maryland all afternoon.
“They did not quit and gave it everything they have,” Gait said. “I am proud of that because that is the attitude that has to be at the core of what we are going to do this year going forward.”
As the Orange players and coaches continue to stress the idea of moving forward, they must adjust quickly as they head to Charlottesville to play No. 1 Virginia.
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