Another year another disappointing tournament exit (long post to follow)

JeremyCuse

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#1
Well here we are again another season and another shake your head finish. When we went into the half up 7-5 I head a feeling we were going to be in trouble if we didn't come out and grab a goal or two year. Unfortunately we scored two freeking goals the entire second half, just an utter embarrassment. While there were certainly some bright spots yesterday and the season as a whole but a lot of the same issues came back to haunt SU time and time again and they were on full display yesterday as well. This post is going to be brutally honest so if your not into my takes now would be a good time to leave the post.

Yesterdays game turned on 4 things: Turnovers, coaching, officiating, crease defense.
The turnovers were brutal and many unforced. Yes Cornell definitely got away with a bunch of stuff they shouldn't have but SU has struggled with turnovers all year and we had another 15 yesterday. The worst part of those 15 was that at least half were from defenders (long poles/SSDM). As someone astutely pointed out in the game thread, SU players were under attack on the clear especially our long poles who had to try and avoid multiple players and split defenders, where the hell was the attack to help out? I don't believe Cornell was in a 10 man ride just a good hard ride, the attack should have come up to help out so SU could pass out of it, instead they were no where to be found and our defenders were left for the most part to clear on their own. Terrible.

I am not one to blame a loss on the officials and I won't blame yesterday's loss on them either but they were horrible. I don't have a problem if your going to allow a physical game like that but we haven't seen that kind of physicality allowed in a decade +. While certainly not every Cornell hit should have been flagged (several were clean) there were at least a half dozen no calls and I am being conservative with that estimate. Not to mention on at least 2-3 occasions an SU player was rocked late with absolutely no call but we get it with an interference call late in the game. There were multiple blatant loose ball pushes right in front of the officials and of course zero call. The next time I hear a Hopkins fan complain about "Dome officiating" I am going to rip them a new one because no "blue blood" gets less home officiating then we do. I am not looking for favoritism but SU clearly was on the short of the end calls once again in a big game at home, its amazing. Lastly the rules need to change on flags and the game ending. The fact that Cornell mugged Solomon but the game ended before play stopped for the man up means were SOL is ridiculous, what kind of rule is that?

As PhatOrange and Creaserat have pointed out the last few years the man up unit was abysmal. After the first man up where Bomberry missed a wide open look it was a total disaster. Ball not moving crisply, minimal rotating/flashing, ball not being reversed quickly to force slides etc etc etc. You had zero faith SU was going to score on the man up in the 2nd half, absolutely zero. On the other hand Cornell was 3-4 and you knew once they went on the man up they were likely to score. Again so frustrating. Also Cornell didn't cover Lane at all and he had at least 3 or 4 wide open looks where he started to crank and then passed, good god man let it fly your out there because of your shot. If he isn't going to rip let Dordevic or Lipka or someone else with a long range shot get out there who will shoot. Man up unit needs more shooters, to many crease guys in Bomberry, Voight and Solomon.

Defensively I thought SU did a great job on Teat and overall did a pretty good job slowing down Cornell's offense. Unfortunately they again had issues with communications and slides and gave up 5 goals to Petterson none more then 5 yards a way. Individualy SU was again solid but when it came time for slides and communication it was again a Chinese fire drill, guys sliding late or Mellen taking off when SU is in a zone etc etc. You keep waiting for SU to clear up the communication issues with slides but every year its an issue and every year we complain about it. Still SU only gave up 7 6 on 6 goals and one of those was a fluke rebound. Giving up 3 of 4 man up goals was the dagger. Next year will be interesting as SU brings back everyone plus they add Fernandez who should be back from injury and Jerry Staats who won best D player in the JUCO tourney this past weekend. I think Bomberry is still dealing with nagging injuries as he never looked like himself this year and struggled to be that big time crease defender outside of the ND game, way way way to many penalties as well.

Give Varello and Madonna credit, both played excellent I thought. Varello took advantage of Cornells faceoff issues and really dominated. For SU to win 16 of 22 but lose the game is sickening and infuriating. I thought Madonna did a nice job, made some nice saves and didn't let in any bad shots save for 1. Also had a few doorstep saves, he and Varello deserved a better outcome.

Offensively it was all about the attack unit or lack there of. Bomberry had two goals and did what he could but I thought Rehfuss and Solomon were completely shut down and really struggled. Both had a a goal but they came on fluke plays and were pretty much non factors. Its hard to win any game when 2/3rds of your attack is zero factor can't score or force a slide. I hate to even mention this but even though he was the best of the three Bomberry unfortunately left at least 2 goals out there. He had 3 or 4 great looks that he missed that he normally nets at least half of. Again not putting it on him but that missed man up goal and one or two other point blank looks would have changed this game completely. Rehfuss needs to play as a 2, SU was forced to play him as the #1 attackmen/main dodger and thats tough to do for a guy seeing every teams #1 defender for the first time. He had some monster games this year but looked overmatched yesterday, He would do better as a Robin to someones Batman. Solomon is what he is, a decent attackmen who struggles against upper echelon or elite defenses and who hasn't learned to stop with the awful penalties. His performance yesterday was the most dissapointing. SU really needs to overaul the attack unit next year, Staats (if he makes it and Cook should be starting from day 1.

The biggest issue for me was the coaching staff and Desko. We were once again out coached in a big game and made zero adjustments in the second half. Whether you want Desko fired or not there is no rationalizing yet another poor SU performance when it counted most and staff that continues to have zero answers other then shrugging their shoulders and tipping their cap. First of all I am beating a dead horse here but why the hell were we playing the second line every other possession? It wasn't Memorial day and 85 degrees outside, it was 60 something and we hadn't played in a week plus and the 1st line was dealing. 2nd line should have played every third possession at most and probably not at all in the fourth quarter. Instead we got to watch Simmons and Carlin dodge to nowhere and the offense screech to a grinding halt in the latter part of the 4th when SU had a 2 min possession and couldn't put a decent shot on cage. Why no one from the media called out Desko on this in the post game is unbelievable. As someone astutely noted its probably Donahue who does the offensive substitutions, what the hell was he thinking playing the second line that much when the 1st line was playing so well. Again zero awareness from this staff, ZERO. Don't even get me started on the two timeouts in the last 1:30 with SU down a goal, did we even draw up a play, what the heck was that? Plus where was Dordevic the final 30 seconds?

So where do we go from here? I have never been a fire Desko guy but were reaching a point where Wildhack and the admin have to get off their asses before we become Princeton. First off a staff shake up is needed, period. Whether its Rogers or Donahue a young Coordinator needs to come in to inject some youth and emotion and energy on this team. Desko, Rogers and Donahue have become way to complacent and there is zero emotion on the sideline. The calm demeanor thing works when SU is winning games and advancing in the tournament that crap is infuriating when were losing. The end of the game summed it up when after the flag was thrown and the clock ran out, was Desko out there yelling or demanding answers, hell no he sauntered over to the Gatorade cooler shaking his head, Jesus man show some freeking emotion here and maybe fire your team up for a change, I saw more energy at an 85 year olds bday party this past weekend. How about working the officials after all of those missed calls, were Syracuse at home, you think Marr or Tierney is letting that crap happen in a home playoff game?

Going into next fall I assume the staff will remain the same because I doubt the administration will do anything at this point so its' hard to expect wholesale changes. We do need to find away to get Staats here and we need to overhaul the attack unit. The #1 objective has to be Staats, period. I don't care how we do it, get him here. Second Desko needs to get a transfer FOGO here and he needs to make sure we don't get hit to hard by transfers. It's no secret Trimboli's family wasn't happy with the lack of PT for the first line this year and I am sure yesterday isn't going to help. I am sure we will lose some guys to transfer but we need to keep the Quinn's and Buttermores of the world here and make sure Trimboli doesn't do something foolish. We also need to go back to our roots and get more run n gun in our offense. We saw flashes of it this year and it really seemed the team was playing its best in that kind of style. Now I am not advocating we try to go back to the Gait and Powell eras and do that 100% of the time because as UVA has shown thats not going to work but when transition is there push it and don't be afraid to take some risk. This was a mostly young team so I am not going to go over the deep end on this outcome but there needs to be noted improvement next year in all facets. SU needs to clean up the mistakes that haunted this team all year and we need to see growth next year and a solid tourney run or its time to call Galloway and make some difficult decisions.
 

JeremyCuse

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#3
It is all my fault, I attended the game.

Talked to Orangextreme at halftime with a 3 goal lead...sigh

I think I'm like 1-6 in NCAA playoff games.
LOL, seriously you gotta stop going. After the Bryant debacle I refuse to attend anymore first round games at home (at least thats what I tell myself, I am sure I will be there next year).
 
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#4
LOL, seriously you gotta stop going. After the Bryant debacle I refuse to attend anymore first round games at home (at least thats what I tell myself, I am sure I will be there next year).
As will I...unless Desko finds out and has me banned.
 

jr4750

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#6
Well said Jeremy. Also of note yesterday, where was Austin Fusco? Besides seeing him get absolutely rocked, he was AWOL. Dearth and Kennedy played well on the wings, so that might have kept him off the field a bit, but I rarely saw him, and never heard his name. I thought he was our defensive leader and captain.

Loved how the team came out of the gate yesterday. Normally being the Sunday night game, hurts us early, and it takes us a while to show up. We were flying around on both sides early and had firm control of the game at 6-3. From that point on, crazy foul calls, late flags, etc., bad misses as you mentioned, notably by Bomberry, hurt our chances to really pull away.

Varello and Madonna were solid as you said. I really liked Madonna. Thought he played well all year, and made tough stops. Defense certainly didn't play great. Tyson is definitely hurt. He was not himself most of this year. We def did waste a great day by Danny V. He was shaky most of the year, but yesterday he was absolutely locked in. Felt like a Ben game.

I don't know how I feel about Desko to be honest. Besides Maryland, maybe Duke, there aren't a ton of teams dominating year in and out. Desko wins big games during the year, but our tourney success has most certainly been snakebit. The Rice years should have been more successful. Those teams were solid. Is Galloway ready? Excited about him in the future, but if he's the next guy, don't we need to see him win a bit more at Jacksonville and get more experience? Do we bring someone else in, and use that guy as the bridge and/or hope he can right the ship? Tough to get rid of JD after he continually wins ACC coach of the year. However, the Raptors did something similar this year in the NBA, for lack of postseason success. (I realize this isn't the NBA, BTW). Finally, back to my point about not seeing dominant teams lately, that has certainly helped keep the noise down on JD, but I agree, it seems like its been a long long time since we won it all. A very long time.

BTW: I think Lars would have been great to go after, before he went to UVA. Like his style and think he is a very solid guy. Young and energetic, exactly what we need. He will have them in the hunt in the next year or two. Kinda like the situation in hoops, UVA has a young coach and are pulling out of the mud with a chance for long term success. We have an older coach, who has a system he is locked into. Who has the higher potential future? Are we just wasting time with status quo as our best case scenario, or do we need progressive leadership to shake things up.
 
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#7
Good point on the late hit...with 7 secs left. Should be a clock stopped and maybe a do something like womens lacrosse with a free shot on goal.
 

OrangeXtreme

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#8
Good point on the late hit...with 7 secs left. Should be a clock stopped and maybe a do something like womens lacrosse with a free shot on goal.
Clock doesn't stop until there's a change in possession.

Solomon should have dropped the ball as soon as he saw the flag.

But then we'd have a man-up with maybe 3-4 seconds left. We can't score when we're man-up for a minute. :oops:
 

PhatOrange

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#9
Lets talk Goalies.

Drake Porter
Willie Klan
Luke Strang
Nathan McPeak

With Shane Katchadurian coming in from John Jay.

I think Shane might be good enough to come in and start but man there's some talented goalies (on paper) on this roster.
 

ForCuseSake

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#10
I disagree about the need for a late game penalty rule change.

Solomon laid on the turf and grabbed Pulver’s stick after the flag was tossed.

He should’ve scooped it and tossed it out of bounds to stop the clock and get a 4 second opportunity.

Pulver was smart to pound him on that last drive. Solomon did nothing against him all day. Why he had the ball in his stick at the end (especially after committing that absurd penalty) was another bad coaching decision.

Edit - Pulver intentionally doesn’t try to scoop the ball knowing the clock will just run out. High IQ player.
 

JeremyCuse

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#11
Lets talk Goalies.

Drake Porter
Willie Klan
Luke Strang
Nathan McPeak

With Shane Katchadurian coming in from John Jay.

I think Shane might be good enough to come in and start but man there's some talented goalies (on paper) on this roster.
Agreed, lack of talented goalies won't be a problem. I am pretty high on Porter and Shane. McPeak is a bit of a wild card. Not sure what to make of Strang and Klan, think one or both might transfer.
 
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#12
Great post Jeremy. I too have never been a fire Desko guy, but I'm getting there. Two things in that regard:

First, yes they did a good job defensively by shutting down Teat, but why do you continue to employ that strategy when you're man down? When you shut off Teat while you're man down you're playing 5 on 4 and the slides have to come from 12+ yards away. Cornell was clearly exploiting this (3 man up goals). By the time the 4th quarter rolls around don't you make that adjustment?

Go to the 1:09 mark of this clip and watch how Teat pulls his man 8 yards off the crease forcing the slide to come from the far wing. No chance.


Second, I thought Desko did a terrible job managing the clock the last minute and a half - they get the ball with 1:30 left and call TO with 1:16 to set the offense. Team comes out and are running around like they were in a fire drill. So you call your last TO with 33 seconds left and follow that up with 3 horrible no angle desparation shots.

I get the complaining about the rule with Pulver's play in the last 5 seconds, but if you hadn't burned that last TO that's when you use it. And about that play - penalty or not it was a really smart play. Pulver was making heads up plays like that all game.
 

PhatOrange

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#13
Agreed, lack of talented goalies won't be a problem. I am pretty high on Porter and Shane. McPeak is a bit of a wild card. Not sure what to make of Strang and Klan, think one or both might transfer.
McPeak is definitely a wild card. Is overshadowed but I think he can play.
 

JeremyCuse

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#14
Great post Jeremy. I too have never been a fire Desko guy, but I'm getting there. Two things in that regard:

First, yes they did a good job defensively by shutting down Teat, but why do you continue to employ that strategy when you're man down? When you shut off Teat while you're man down you're playing 5 on 4 and the slides have to come from 12+ yards away. Cornell was clearly exploiting this (3 man up goals). By the time the 4th quarter rolls around don't you make that adjustment?

Go to the 1:09 mark of this clip and watch how Teat pulls his man 8 yards off the crease forcing the slide to come from the far wing. No chance.


Second, I thought Desko did a terrible job managing the clock the last minute and a half - they get the ball with 1:30 left and call TO with 1:16 to set the offense. Team comes out and are running around like they were in a fire drill. So you call your last TO with 33 seconds left and follow that up with 3 horrible no angle desparation shots.

I get the complaining about the rule with Pulver's play in the last 5 seconds, but if you hadn't burned that last TO that's when you use it. And about that play - penalty or not it was a really smart play. Pulver was making heads up plays like that all game.
Excellent point about the man down D. A lot of teams will shut off a great player on the man up but as you noted Cornell exploited this and SU needed to make an adjustment either with the slide package or roll the dice playing it straight up.

Your second point is also spot on, with that much time we should have gotten at least a half decent look if not two. Where were the designed plays? Where were the screens and picks to free guys up? Just a terrible job as you noted.
 

PhatOrange

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#15
Great post Jeremy. I too have never been a fire Desko guy, but I'm getting there. Two things in that regard:

First, yes they did a good job defensively by shutting down Teat, but why do you continue to employ that strategy when you're man down? When you shut off Teat while you're man down you're playing 5 on 4 and the slides have to come from 12+ yards away. Cornell was clearly exploiting this (3 man up goals). By the time the 4th quarter rolls around don't you make that adjustment?

Go to the 1:09 mark of this clip and watch how Teat pulls his man 8 yards off the crease forcing the slide to come from the far wing. No chance.


Second, I thought Desko did a terrible job managing the clock the last minute and a half - they get the ball with 1:30 left and call TO with 1:16 to set the offense. Team comes out and are running around like they were in a fire drill. So you call your last TO with 33 seconds left and follow that up with 3 horrible no angle desparation shots.

I get the complaining about the rule with Pulver's play in the last 5 seconds, but if you hadn't burned that last TO that's when you use it. And about that play - penalty or not it was a really smart play. Pulver was making heads up plays like that all game.
After that last TO Syracuse came out and ran an obvious play, which was a decent play and it worked. But when the shot didn't go in we had nothing else. Because it's a set play you know if the shot misses the general vicinity it's going to go out of bounds. So we should have had a secondary played called from where'd be inbounding the ball. We had nothing. It was 3 straight one on ones at that point.

Im fine with the end of game but it definitely exposed a potential issue. Hell I'd start holding and slashing on purpose with under 15 seconds and instruct my guys not to pick up the ball. They're going to have to amend the rule about defensive penalties under say 15/20 seconds. Play will have to be stopped immediately or coaches will figure out how to manipulate this. I know I would.

I don't think in that position (couple of seconds) you can expect players to have the where-with-all to throw it out of bounds. Everyone was monday morning quarterbacking that but in the heat of the moment it's not a normal play. I'm not sure I've ever seen that before and I watch a dozen games a week for years and years.
 

ForCuseSake

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#16
After that last TO Syracuse came out and ran an obvious play, which was a decent play and it worked. But when the shot didn't go in we had nothing else. Because it's a set play you know if the shot misses the general vicinity it's going to go out of bounds. So we should have had a secondary played called from where'd be inbounding the ball. We had nothing. It was 3 straight one on ones at that point.

Im fine with the end of game but it definitely exposed a potential issue. Hell I'd start holding and slashing on purpose with under 15 seconds and instruct my guys not to pick up the ball. They're going to have to amend the rule about defensive penalties under say 15/20 seconds. Play will have to be stopped immediately or coaches will figure out how to manipulate this. I know I would.

I don't think in that position (couple of seconds) you can expect players to have the where-with-all to throw it out of bounds. Everyone was monday morning quarterbacking that but in the heat of the moment it's not a normal play. I'm not sure I've ever seen that before and I watch a dozen games a week for years and years.
Technically speaking, I Sunday night second guessed not throwing the ball oob. ;)

If Pulver is smart enough to know not to pick it up then our team should be smart enough to know they need to stop the play ASAP.
 

Orangtiz

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#19
It's no secret Trimboli's family wasn't happy with the lack of PT for the first line this year and I am sure yesterday isn't going to help. I am sure we will lose some guys to transfer but we need to keep the Quinn's and Buttermores of the world here and make sure Trimboli doesn't do something foolish.
If anyone transfers this season and comes in and starts at another high end program, I am probably no longer going to follow the program and the team. I had no idea the Trimboli's felt this way. Did you hear if through the grape vine or was there a big deal made about this?
 

JeremyCuse

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#20
After that last TO Syracuse came out and ran an obvious play, which was a decent play and it worked. But when the shot didn't go in we had nothing else. Because it's a set play you know if the shot misses the general vicinity it's going to go out of bounds. So we should have had a secondary played called from where'd be inbounding the ball. We had nothing. It was 3 straight one on ones at that point.

Im fine with the end of game but it definitely exposed a potential issue. Hell I'd start holding and slashing on purpose with under 15 seconds and instruct my guys not to pick up the ball. They're going to have to amend the rule about defensive penalties under say 15/20 seconds. Play will have to be stopped immediately or coaches will figure out how to manipulate this. I know I would.

I don't think in that position (couple of seconds) you can expect players to have the where-with-all to throw it out of bounds. Everyone was monday morning quarterbacking that but in the heat of the moment it's not a normal play. I'm not sure I've ever seen that before and I watch a dozen games a week for years and years.
To me the rule should be the team is entitled to the penalty regardless of time left. If Cornell is called for a push SU should have gotten a 30 second man up with the game ending once that 30 seconds up. Just like in football where a defensive penalty can't end a game and a team gets one un-timed down.
 
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#21
Honest question: Does anyone at Syracuse University care about the downward trajectory of a non-revenue generating sport? While lacrosse has more visibility than any of the other sports, is the University losing any significant money by the recent performance? I feel like that would be the biggest driver of change at this point and it's just not there. The people that care the most are those of us in this thread.
 

ForCuseSake

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#22
To me the rule should be the team is entitled to the penalty regardless of time left. If Cornell is called for a push SU should have gotten a 30 second man up with the game ending once that 30 seconds up. Just like in football where a defensive penalty can't end a game and a team gets one un-timed down.
That’s an interesting idea and I like the concept.

Edit - the only risk I see with this is Homerwood refs tossing more flags during the “final down” penalty to extend the game. ;)
 
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#23
As for the officiating, there were a few calls that seemed questionable but I can honestly say that I know what a foul is/isn't anymore. There is a significant gap in how each crew handles the physical nature of the game and I just don't know what's allowed/isn't allowed.
 

laxsummit

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#24
Looking forward to the offseason discussions here where every prospect in every class is talked up in glowing terms by many before they are dissected n tore down by the same once they hit field. Here is my summary . Season went as expected other than early blow out losses to Albany n Hopkins. Team neither underacheive or overacheived. Younger team that was otherwise very competitive vs a tough schedule despite their inconsistencies with some young studs emerging. This board was at least consistent, quick to show up and criticize players and staff whenever given opportunity. All star cast . Looking forward to watching this team over the next few years.
 

Hoo's That

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#25
As for the officiating, there were a few calls that seemed questionable but I can honestly say that I know what a foul is/isn't anymore. There is a significant gap in how each crew handles the physical nature of the game and I just don't know what's allowed/isn't allowed.
A lot of what were clean body checks of the 20th century have become non-releasable fouls of the 21st. To me, the jury is still out as to whether that's better or not.
 


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