Cornell Game Preview (4/2/24, 7pm) | Syracusefan.com

Cornell Game Preview (4/2/24, 7pm)

Powellfan

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The Orange and the Big Red are both coming off conference losses, looking to avoid a fourth loss on the season. It's a quick turnaround for both teams as they both played on Saturday, and it's probably not great for Cornell that they played a double OT game. That said they'll be at home, where they are undefeated on the year (1-3 on the road).

The Cornell offense will pose a difficult task for the Orange, CJ Kirst is one of the best players in the game the game. And he doesn't even lead the team in scoring (that would be Michael Long, who has 38 points to Kirst's 37). I have to imagine that Billy Dwan will take the physical lefty in Kirst and that Riley Figuerias will draw Long. That leaves the duo of Caden Kol and Nick Caccamo to do battle with the slight Ryan Goldstein who has 11 points in three starts. After playing the finisher extraordinaire Jake Taylor a few days ago, taking on the lightening quick dodger Goldstein will probably produce a case of whiplash. It's a worrisome matchup for the Orange, but have to hope that Kol or Caccamo can outmuscle the 5'9 145 freshman. Cornell looks top heavy stats wise, with the next leading scorer for the Big Red having 21 points, but they are a deep team. They scored 15 goals against the most efficient defense in the country (Princeton) with Kirst and Long combining for just four points.

On paper, I think the Orange should have a lot of advantages all over the field. The Big Red are under 50% for both goaltending and face-offs, which usually means the Orange should have the upper hand. That said, games aren't played on paper. SU has been shaky at the face-off x these last three games, losing the battle in two of the three games and producing just a 40% winning percentage over that time (Duke, Hobart and ND). Mason Kohn was apparently under the weather against ND, but he'll have just a few days of recovery and it sounds like this game will be played in not great conditions (rain). The Orange will need Kohn or John Mullen to step up this week because the Cornell offense is not a team you want to give multiple looks to. SU will be facing a freshman in goal who's first 50% day came against Penn when he saved 11 and let in 11 (not counting an early season game against Hobart). The Orange simply have to start fast and try and get under Matt Tully's skin.

There has been lots of talk regarding SU's offense. I think you can put me in the officially concerned camp, at least when it comes to first half performances. Since the Hopkins game they are averaging just 13 goals a game, and just five in the first half of games. Some of this comes down to weather, at least in regards to the Hobart and Hopkins games, but it still raises eyebrows. From my vantage point, it seems like the team is really struggling when opposing teams bump a defenseman to the midfield, Even when the attackman getting the short stick does well, the offense as a whole just looks very uncomfortable, and unprepared. In the Notre Dame game it seemed like Hiltz felt like he had to press things against the shorty and frankly it didn't work out. The Cornell defense should be an opportunity to right the ship (they were 38th in IL's adjust efficiency numbers last week), but of course SU needs to execute and with not great weather conditions, it will be that much harder. I think this will be a big game for SU's middies and I'm curious how Spallina performs. He has not looked right since that big hit against Delaware and I have to imagine it's effecting him somehow. If he still looks shaky against the Big Red, who don't have an All American worthy defender, I'll be concerned.

In the grand scheme of things, it seems this would definitely wrap up an NCAA tourney bid if this game ends in the win column for SU. And probably makes the case for a home game that much stronger. Win this one and the UNC game and I think that would set up SU for a very good tournament seed. Lose, and suddenly it's a very quick two-game losing streak with what feels like a must win road game against a better than advertised UNC team. Lot's riding on this one. Go Orange.
 
Maybe I eat crow for this, but I am firmly not in the concerned camp for the offense. People are basing that on a 12 goal performance against ND when we were burned at the X, a 10 goal performance against Duke where we we played stall ball for damn near the entire 4th quarter (and were burned at the X), a 13 goal performance against Hobart in the freezing cold with one of our starting attack deciding to sit last minute. It is true that we are struggling to draw slides out of the attack, but we are still getting quality looks on offense from the unit as a whole, with a lot of that generated from the attack's passing.

ND had Pat Kav go 2-1, with Chris Kav not doing jack. Pat Kavs goals were a miscommunication on a pick, a lefty shot from up top, and an assist when mismatched against a short stick. They got nearly all their goals off of middie dodges. I am sure percentage wise our offenses were at similar efficiency Saturday, with ours probably having a slight edge that was canceled out by the lopsided faceoffs. Is the ND offense broken? Do you think they are concerned? Of course not. In these high level games, 9 times out of 10 it comes down to who can make the most out of exploiting short stick match ups. Similar story if you look at ND and Cuse's stats against MD. ND even with the saintly Kavanaughs is not so different from us. And we have a similar stable of dodging middie weapons to make those plays happen. Stevens burries that wide open shot at net and its a different narrative. Thomson cans that cross crease skip pass from Hiltz and it is a different narrative. We were close on saturday.

If they struggle to get to 12-13 against this Cornell defense, which is much worse both on ball and off ball, then I will submit my letter of apology and resignation from the analysis staff here at Syracusefan.com. We SHOULD have an advantage at the faceoff x, but that area has been a true concern for me with the downturn they have been on. A better day there will help the O get into a rhythm they were denied against Duke and ND.
 
Maybe I eat crow for this, but I am firmly not in the concerned camp for the offense. People are basing that on a 12 goal performance against ND when we were burned at the X, a 10 goal performance against Duke where we we played stall ball for damn near the entire 4th quarter (and were burned at the X), a 13 goal performance against Hobart in the freezing cold with one of our starting attack deciding to sit last minute. It is true that we are struggling to draw slides out of the attack, but we are still getting quality looks on offense from the unit as a whole, with a lot of that generated from the attack's passing.

ND had Pat Kav go 2-1, with Chris Kav not doing jack. Pat Kavs goals were a miscommunication on a pick, a lefty shot from up top, and an assist when mismatched against a short stick. They got nearly all their goals off of middie dodges. I am sure percentage wise our offenses were at similar efficiency Saturday, with ours probably having a slight edge that was canceled out by the lopsided faceoffs. Is the ND offense broken? Do you think they are concerned? Of course not. In these high level games, 9 times out of 10 it comes down to who can make the most out of exploiting short stick match ups. Similar story if you look at ND and Cuse's stats against MD. ND even with the saintly Kavanaughs is not so different from us. And we have a similar stable of dodging middie weapons to make those plays happen. Stevens burries that wide open shot at net and its a different narrative. Thomson cans that cross crease skip pass from Hiltz and it is a different narrative. We were close on saturday.

If they struggle to get to 12-13 against this Cornell defense, which is much worse both on ball and off ball, then I will submit my letter of apology and resignation from the analysis staff here at Syracusefan.com. We SHOULD have an advantage at the faceoff x, but that area has been a true concern for me with the downturn they have been on. A better day there will help the O get into a rhythm they were denied against Duke and ND.
Slight concern here. Doctah to your point they still put up 12 against a very good D unit and AA goalkeeper, and left 3-4 goals easy on the table. I'd like to see more consistency, obviously less turnovers, and a good counter to teams that double pole the midfield. Mule has faired pretty well IMO there, but Hiltz looked very uncomfortable in that role on Saturday. Think last year(?) the same thing happened when he got the short stick matchup, overaggressive and ended up with a bunch of turnovers and bad shots.

I'm not super concerned with Joey, unless there is a lingering injury that might be more serious than we are aware of. The lacrosse media world has overhyped him especially with the numbers he put up against the softer side of the schedule, but the reality is he is not going to be able to win individual matchups against #1 defenders for elite teams that are bigger, faster, stronger. We shouldn't expect that, and given his lax IQ I think he can still be an effective component of the offense in those games. Still think there are opportunities out there for the offense to help him get a bit more space to operate and get some looks against matchups.

Great opportunity to get right against a lesser defense on paper.
 
Slight concern here. Doctah to your point they still put up 12 against a very good D unit and AA goalkeeper, and left 3-4 goals easy on the table. I'd like to see more consistency, obviously less turnovers, and a good counter to teams that double pole the midfield. Mule has faired pretty well IMO there, but Hiltz looked very uncomfortable in that role on Saturday. Think last year(?) the same thing happened when he got the short stick matchup, overaggressive and ended up with a bunch of turnovers and bad shots.

I'm not super concerned with Joey, unless there is a lingering injury that might be more serious than we are aware of. The lacrosse media world has overhyped him especially with the numbers he put up against the softer side of the schedule, but the reality is he is not going to be able to win individual matchups against #1 defenders for elite teams that are bigger, faster, stronger. We shouldn't expect that, and given his lax IQ I think he can still be an effective component of the offense in those games. Still think there are opportunities out there for the offense to help him get a bit more space to operate and get some looks against matchups.

Great opportunity to get right against a lesser defense on paper.
All well said. I will say I think if teams actually were to put a short stick on Hiltz for a full game (only happened once or twice against ND) then they will pay dearly for it. He has better footwork than he gets credit for and would own most short stick match ups if they tried it for a full game. It has been an up and down year for him, potentially from a health standpoint as well, but at 100% he has the speed and footwork to give short sticks and long poles trouble. One of the times ND had a short stick on him he drew a slide and we got off a decent shot inside from either Rhoa or Birtwistle. I worry overall he looks a step or two slower than he did last year, which is limiting the looks we get from him dodging against a long pole, but he still makes a lot happen.

Joey makes things happen no matter what with his feeding ability. Hop and Duke games he created something out of nothing with his passes on several occasions. Throw a pick in the mix and he draws a slide more often than people give him credit. Teams do not want to deal with him posting up in front of the cage and often send a defender if he lingers there, which opens up the rest of the offense. That still counts as being effective with the ball in your stick, even if he does not do it with speed. I want to see us do more dodges with him from up top or higher on the right wing. That got us some quality looks last season.
 
I don’t know why we don’t send him in middle and set picks there for him also. Specially if top defender on him ya put him in middle then his defender becomes part of the slides packages instead just staying out on low net or behind. He has great hands so can be good inside finisher as well. He is also only sophomore playing in Acc. If he had foot speed of mikey powell then i say it’s concerning. But we all knew he didn’t but does have the smarts. I think we try to get the perfect shot to much rather then taking what is open or what defense is giving us. They have been good lately with limiting the flashy passes n all mostly when it improves their chances have they done it lately. But also think most teams know that of us will do BTBs n i never see any of us try the fake with it. I think a lot of defenders will bite with fake btb. We don’t do many fakes period even on open looks on top of goalie. One nice hard fake high n go low or hard fake low go high. Think we tend to over think our shots at times. I still think we also need to bury some rangy shots as we mostly get close middle looks. Think if can start bury some outside shots defense will have no choice to press out n then opens up middle where we are strong. But def need to go into cornell ready to play and come out with the win for many reasons.
 
A few thoughts I had after watching Cornell live this past weekend:

Cornell is good but this is certainly a game Cuse should win,
Penn did a good job of handling the initial Cornell onslaught when they went up 6-3 I believe it was.
Kirst finished with 4 goals but I actually thought Penn played him ok, they doubled him pretty quickly most possessions. I expected more from Long but he only had one goal and didn't shoot the ball very well. Goldstein is a tiny kid in person and Penn is a pretty physical team and he didn't get anything going. Outside of Kirst I'm not sure what their plan was, they just didn't seem very confident for what is a very good unit but props to Penn I guess. There was a lot of sloppyness from both teams and that was with a pretty good weather day for late March so not sure what that means if the forecast is supposed to be crappy tomorrow.

Feels like Cuse probably has the advantage at the face-off and def in cage. BR started winning mire draws in the 2nd half. Cornell's goalie I think let in 5-6 goals before he made a save. He played better in the 2nd half, they def did a better job forcing shots he was able to read cleanly. Cornell's defense isn't great by any means and like most teams, their ssdm's can be taken advantage by on offense like the Orange.

Big Red sit at 5-3 and I think they def lose to ND in a couple weeks, they could be looking at having 5 or 6 losses depending on how the Harvard game goes so I think they could so I don't want to say this is a must win but I wonder if this ends up a "good" loss at the end of the day?

Hope the strong finish against the Irish carries over tomorrow night!
 
On the ND broadcast, the announcers stated Kohn was under the weather all week and it’s hard to play the whistle game at the dot when you have two violations in the first 10 minutes. I hope he feels better.
 
Man it looks like it going to be a soaker today for the double header
 
The Orange and the Big Red are both coming off conference losses, looking to avoid a fourth loss on the season. It's a quick turnaround for both teams as they both played on Saturday, and it's probably not great for Cornell that they played a double OT game. That said they'll be at home, where they are undefeated on the year (1-3 on the road).

The Cornell offense will pose a difficult task for the Orange, CJ Kirst is one of the best players in the game the game. And he doesn't even lead the team in scoring (that would be Michael Long, who has 38 points to Kirst's 37). I have to imagine that Billy Dwan will take the physical lefty in Kirst and that Riley Figuerias will draw Long. That leaves the duo of Caden Kol and Nick Caccamo to do battle with the slight Ryan Goldstein who has 11 points in three starts. After playing the finisher extraordinaire Jake Taylor a few days ago, taking on the lightening quick dodger Goldstein will probably produce a case of whiplash. It's a worrisome matchup for the Orange, but have to hope that Kol or Caccamo can outmuscle the 5'9 145 freshman. Cornell looks top heavy stats wise, with the next leading scorer for the Big Red having 21 points, but they are a deep team. They scored 15 goals against the most efficient defense in the country (Princeton) with Kirst and Long combining for just four points.

On paper, I think the Orange should have a lot of advantages all over the field. The Big Red are under 50% for both goaltending and face-offs, which usually means the Orange should have the upper hand. That said, games aren't played on paper. SU has been shaky at the face-off x these last three games, losing the battle in two of the three games and producing just a 40% winning percentage over that time (Duke, Hobart and ND). Mason Kohn was apparently under the weather against ND, but he'll have just a few days of recovery and it sounds like this game will be played in not great conditions (rain). The Orange will need Kohn or John Mullen to step up this week because the Cornell offense is not a team you want to give multiple looks to. SU will be facing a freshman in goal who's first 50% day came against Penn when he saved 11 and let in 11 (not counting an early season game against Hobart). The Orange simply have to start fast and try and get under Matt Tully's skin.

There has been lots of talk regarding SU's offense. I think you can put me in the officially concerned camp, at least when it comes to first half performances. Since the Hopkins game they are averaging just 13 goals a game, and just five in the first half of games. Some of this comes down to weather, at least in regards to the Hobart and Hopkins games, but it still raises eyebrows. From my vantage point, it seems like the team is really struggling when opposing teams bump a defenseman to the midfield, Even when the attackman getting the short stick does well, the offense as a whole just looks very uncomfortable, and unprepared. In the Notre Dame game it seemed like Hiltz felt like he had to press things against the shorty and frankly it didn't work out. The Cornell defense should be an opportunity to right the ship (they were 38th in IL's adjust efficiency numbers last week), but of course SU needs to execute and with not great weather conditions, it will be that much harder. I think this will be a big game for SU's middies and I'm curious how Spallina performs. He has not looked right since that big hit against Delaware and I have to imagine it's effecting him somehow. If he still looks shaky against the Big Red, who don't have an All American worthy defender, I'll be concerned.

In the grand scheme of things, it seems this would definitely wrap up an NCAA tourney bid if this game ends in the win column for SU. And probably makes the case for a home game that much stronger. Win this one and the UNC game and I think that would set up SU for a very good tournament seed. Lose, and suddenly it's a very quick two-game losing streak with what feels like a must win road game against a better than advertised UNC team. Lot's riding on this one. Go Orange.
Always appreciate your thorough analysis. Regarding the sluggish offense - the numbers don't lie, but I think it's worth pointing out the goalies we've played against recently (Delaware, Duke, and ND) have been outstanding. Both the Delaware and Duke games would have been blowouts if they didn't show up.
 
Always appreciate your thorough analysis. Regarding the sluggish offense - the numbers don't lie, but I think it's worth pointing out the goalies we've played against recently (Delaware, Duke, and ND) have been outstanding. Both the Delaware and Duke games would have been blowouts if they didn't show up.

You raise a godo point about the great goalie play but some of that is also on the SU offense and some of the shots they took and placement. Clearly Jameison from Duke and Entenmann both played extremely well but SU also only put up 13 on a bad Hobart defense.
 
Thing to keep in mind is that Kohn had the same officials for all home games - that gets you used to his whistle and probably led to a bit of an advantage frankly.

Probably hurting him when he leaves the Dome. Definitely led to some of the technical jumps. Will be interesting to see if it repeats today.
 
The Orange and the Big Red are both coming off conference losses, looking to avoid a fourth loss on the season. It's a quick turnaround for both teams as they both played on Saturday, and it's probably not great for Cornell that they played a double OT game. That said they'll be at home, where they are undefeated on the year (1-3 on the road).

The Cornell offense will pose a difficult task for the Orange, CJ Kirst is one of the best players in the game the game. And he doesn't even lead the team in scoring (that would be Michael Long, who has 38 points to Kirst's 37). I have to imagine that Billy Dwan will take the physical lefty in Kirst and that Riley Figuerias will draw Long. That leaves the duo of Caden Kol and Nick Caccamo to do battle with the slight Ryan Goldstein who has 11 points in three starts. After playing the finisher extraordinaire Jake Taylor a few days ago, taking on the lightening quick dodger Goldstein will probably produce a case of whiplash. It's a worrisome matchup for the Orange, but have to hope that Kol or Caccamo can outmuscle the 5'9 145 freshman. Cornell looks top heavy stats wise, with the next leading scorer for the Big Red having 21 points, but they are a deep team. They scored 15 goals against the most efficient defense in the country (Princeton) with Kirst and Long combining for just four points.

On paper, I think the Orange should have a lot of advantages all over the field. The Big Red are under 50% for both goaltending and face-offs, which usually means the Orange should have the upper hand. That said, games aren't played on paper. SU has been shaky at the face-off x these last three games, losing the battle in two of the three games and producing just a 40% winning percentage over that time (Duke, Hobart and ND). Mason Kohn was apparently under the weather against ND, but he'll have just a few days of recovery and it sounds like this game will be played in not great conditions (rain). The Orange will need Kohn or John Mullen to step up this week because the Cornell offense is not a team you want to give multiple looks to. SU will be facing a freshman in goal who's first 50% day came against Penn when he saved 11 and let in 11 (not counting an early season game against Hobart). The Orange simply have to start fast and try and get under Matt Tully's skin.

There has been lots of talk regarding SU's offense. I think you can put me in the officially concerned camp, at least when it comes to first half performances. Since the Hopkins game they are averaging just 13 goals a game, and just five in the first half of games. Some of this comes down to weather, at least in regards to the Hobart and Hopkins games, but it still raises eyebrows. From my vantage point, it seems like the team is really struggling when opposing teams bump a defenseman to the midfield, Even when the attackman getting the short stick does well, the offense as a whole just looks very uncomfortable, and unprepared. In the Notre Dame game it seemed like Hiltz felt like he had to press things against the shorty and frankly it didn't work out. The Cornell defense should be an opportunity to right the ship (they were 38th in IL's adjust efficiency numbers last week), but of course SU needs to execute and with not great weather conditions, it will be that much harder. I think this will be a big game for SU's middies and I'm curious how Spallina performs. He has not looked right since that big hit against Delaware and I have to imagine it's effecting him somehow. If he still looks shaky against the Big Red, who don't have an All American worthy defender, I'll be concerned.

In the grand scheme of things, it seems this would definitely wrap up an NCAA tourney bid if this game ends in the win column for SU. And probably makes the case for a home game that much stronger. Win this one and the UNC game and I think that would set up SU for a very good tournament seed. Lose, and suddenly it's a very quick two-game losing streak with what feels like a must win road game against a better than advertised UNC team. Lot's riding on this one. Go Orange.

Preview is another homerun, not sure how much more I can add, lol.

A few general thoughts and concerns for tonight

Today's forecast is again another reminder why SU tries to play so many home games. Upper 30's and a monsoon, great lax weather. SU has unfortunately hit some bad luck with local weather this year, the Bart game was bad and tonight looks god awful. To make matters worse they couldn't even move the game ot the Dome if they wanted to.

Put me with the camp that has some concerns about the offense. I htink Lexus and other have made some excellent points but its hard to note feel like the attack is missing that secondary dodging threat and or an elite dodger that would help them against elite defenses ie the ND's Marylands Duke to extent and even Army. Offense has good enough players and talent that they can still put up points but the last month or so outside of the Delaware game has been uneven. The teams ball movement remains unreal but it also leads to them having more potential turnovers (as we saw Sat) as SU's O is more derived from excellent ball movement then one on one dodging. SU tried to feed the crease a bunch on Sat and it didn't end well for the most part. Thought we did a much better job in the 2nd half but when Spallina has an elite defender on him we really should be at least rotating in a Leo or a Birtwistle a few possessions a half to try and let them dodge and free him up.

Speaking of Spallina we need to move him around more and let him play up top some and of the wings. To many times he's initiating or getting ball behind the cage or of the wings behind the cage. Let him move around, set some picks up top, let him draw a shortly or double to free up someone else etc.

Regarding tonight SU should be able to put up points. Cornell is dealing with multiple injuries and still haven't really replaced losing Adler. Their starting a trie frosh in goal and their Short Sticks have been attacked relentlessly. The weather could be a major issue and could even the field for the Cornell defense. Thought Thomson looked great vs ND, he and Leo will need to play well as I assume Cornell will pole English and I doubt they will try and doube pole. SU has to avoid a turnover fest, yes the weather will blow but another high teens amount of turnovers will lead to disaster.if SU loses tonight don't be surprised if they have 20+ turnovers.

From a defensive standpoint this is another real tough assignment. Cornell can score with any team in the country. That starting attack line is nasty and can fill it up quick. SU has to avoid giving up easy goals and try limit runs. They got off to a red hot start vs Penn but then Penn switched some stuff and apparently began packign things in and stopped extending out. When that happened Cornell began to struggle. Seems like Penn was slow to slide and when they did their secondary slides were spot on. I am sure Cornell will try and attack our shorties same as us. Need that secondary shorty to team with Rice. Levine has the size but has struggled with foot speed.

I agree with Powell regarding the matchups seem pretty clear. Dwan on Kirst, Fig on Long and then Kol/Caccamo on the frosh Goldstein. Kol has done a real nice job on crease guys the last few week but this to me feels like a Caccamo matchup, as I suspect they will try and initiate with Goldstein. SU needs to win that matchup, Goldstein has a frosh build as Powell noted, SU needs to bully him. Cornell has a solid 1st mid line with guys who can invert and I believe Firth is running on the 1st mid line as well who can cause problems. Again the key here is limiting runs and making Cornell earn their goals. Clearly they are gonna score, that offense is being limited to 7 goals, but you can't let them rip off 5 in 10 minutes. The Cuse defense has been pretty good this year for the most part but this is a tough matchup, they will be tested.

SU's back end of the schedule is a cluster , Quint was right on Saturday when it called it weird. I know there's issues with the Dome and apparently Duke caused major issues resulting in the need to play midweek but it's absurd these guys only play 2 games after tonight, burl scheduling job. I know Cornell has conf issues to work out to but these guys should be playing on a Sat or SU should be playing someone this Sat or the 27th. Scheduling has to be better.

SU has played well enough this year that I think you can say this is a game they "should" win. A loss here isn't devastating as Cornell is no slouch clearly but with only 2 games left your playing with fire a bit and making that UNC game absolutely enormous. SU should have a big edge at the X and after the last few games we really need Kohn to come out and have a monster performance. First world problems but against the 4 elite fogos SU has seen this year, SU is under 50% in all 4. With Cascadden out for the year SU needs to be 55% at least tonight.


Overall it's hard to get a great feel on this game. This feels like a game where one team will get up 3-4 and the other is chasing a lot of the game but maybe that's way off. SU really needs to find away to get the W, a loss here puts a lot of pressure on that UNC game.
 

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