Story by Joel Godett
SYRACUSE, NY - The Carrier Dome has never been friendly to Georgetown lacrosse. The #10 Hoyas (2-1) have never beaten the Orange on its home turf. Overall, the Hoyas are just 3-11 all-time against ‘Cuse.
That didn’t seem to matter to the Hoyas Friday. In fact, most Georgetown players weren’t aware of their school’s winless streak. Head coach Dave Urick was well aware, however.
“Beating Syracuse wherever it is, is a tough task. It just makes it that much more special,” said Urick. “This one we can point to and be pretty proud of.”
What Urick can point to is a 10-8 victory over the #5 Orange (1-2), and his team’s first ever win against Syracuse at the Carrier Dome.
Things got off to a quick start for SU. A slashing penalty gave Syracuse the EMO just 13 seconds in. The Orange capitalized, working it around the top until senior captain Brett Bucktooth found Virginia transfer Joe Yevoli from 10 yards out on the far side. That, however, would be the last time SU would convert in a man-up situation. The Orange was 1-for-9 in man-up chances.
With 12:25 to play in the first, the Orange would extend its lead to 2-0. Bucktooth’s point-blank shot soared high, but Yevoli was there to catch the misfire and toss it back to sophomore Mike Leveille on the nearside of the goal for the put-back.
Georgetown would come roaring back by the end of the first quarter, in the end taking a 5-4 lead.
The two sides exchanged scores in a rather uneventful second quarter. Brendan Cannon wrapped around the cage from the far side, spinning around the SU defender and depositing the ball under the falling stick of Syracuse keeper Peter Coluccini. Defenseman Steve Panarelli answered for the Orange with an unassisted bullet from 15 yards out on a sharp diagonal.
At the half Georgetown led SU 6-5.
Transition play and missed opportunities became the death of the Orange. The Hoyas opened the second half on the perfect transition play. SU botched a shot opportunity right in front of the cage, leaving Georgetown to streak down the field, immediately finding Mike White on the kick-out for the score with 1:39 gone by in the half.
“Everybody knows how we play. When you push it up the field it’s going to come right back in your face and that’s what happened,” said Panarelli. “We’ve got to work hard and clean that up.”
When SU’s defense was allowed the time to get back and set up, Panarelli believed the Orange were infinitely better.
“I thought we played well six-on-six,” Panarelli said. “We got settled down and we got into our set.”
As Panarelli said, Urick knew how good the Orange was in six-on-six situations, though, and he game planned around it.
“It’s very difficult to score in this game six-on-six,” Urick said. “You make it a lot easier for yourself when you get a man advantage.”
SU’s other downfall was missed offensive opportunity. The Orange took 48 shots, 23 on goal, and only converted on eight chances. In the second half, Syracuse netted just three scores on 27 shots.
The poor offensive play is attention grabbing as the Orange were looked at as an offensive power entering the season. Add to that the fact that the ‘Cuse is coming off a 15 goal performance against now #3 Virginia.
“We were doing a pretty good job in getting our shots,” said Syracuse coach John Desko. “We hit a number of pipes and the goalie made some good saves and we missed the cage a couple more times than we normally do and it turned out to be the story of the game.”
The key is the saves made by Hoya goalie Miles Kass. The sophomore saved 15 of 24 shots on goal – an fine 62.5 save percentage.
Kass and the Georgetown defense took away SU’s inside shot, forcing the Orange outside for 10-15 yard attempts at the net.
“The opportunities were there,” said senior SU middie Brian Crockett. “Georgetown just collapsed very quickly on us.”
Crockett collected two goals himself, both in the first quarter, but without veterans Greg Rommel and Stephen Brooks, the midfield line struggled. Rommel was sidelined with an injured thumb he suffered in the Virginia loss. Brooks was still out with a knee injury he incurred against Army in the opener. Rommel and Brooks combined for four goals in SU’s 10-7 loss to Georgetown last season, and provide a great deal of veteran leadership on the field. Rommel is the team’s only first team pre-season All-American and a Tewaarton Award candidate.
Replacing Rommel and Brooks in the starting line-up were freshman Dan Hardy and Pet Perritt. The two struggled mightily. Perritt recorded a goal on five shots, while Hardy never sent a ball in the cage’s direction.
As much as they struggled, Syracuse did have their share of nice goals. With just over four minutes left in the third, Bucktooth hit Kenny Nims who bounced the ball by Kass. The goalie bought Nims’ bait and leaned right, falling out of the goal and leaving a virtual empty net for the freshman.
Perritt’s goal was assisted by Leveille with two minutes to play in the third. From the GLE, Perritt fell forward towards the goal, flipping a dinger over the shoulder of Kass. That tally brought the score to 9-7 to end the third quarter.
Another good goal came off the stick of Leveille. The score that cut the Georgetown lead to 10-8 with fewer than eleven minutes to play involved the super soph juking his way around the defender, baiting Kass out of the net and dropping a shot behind the Hoya net-minder back.
Although he got the loss, another Orange man that did play well was redshirt freshman keeper Coluccini. After being pulled in favor of Jake Myers against UVa, Coluccini played the entire game Friday, surrendering ten goals on 24 shots while picking up a 58.3 save percentage.
The biggest change in Coluccini’s play was confidence. After the game, the goalie said he has gained more confidence in the players in front of him and visa-versa.
Regardless of how some players did individually against Georgetown, the team was still tripped up by missed opportunity and poor transition defense – two problems players said must be fix by the time they play defending NCAA champion Johns Hopkins on the road next Saturday at 1PM.
|Joe Yevoli||(1, 2)|
|Brett Bucktooth||(0, 2)|
|Brian Crockett||(2, 0)|
|Mike Leveille||(2, 0)|
|Patrick Perritt||(1, 0)|
|Steven Panarelli||(1, 0)|
|Kenny Nims||(1, 0)|
|Peter Coluccini||14 (0.583)|