Duke Game Preview (3/20/24, 7pm) | Syracusefan.com

Duke Game Preview (3/20/24, 7pm)

Powellfan

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The Orange welcome the Duke Blue Devils to the Dome for both teams ACC opener. This should be a spirited affair. The Orange have had some Dome heartbreakers this season, hopefully they turn their luck around against a team they've had some success against recently. Duke has put up video game like numbers this season on offense, and despite a one goal loss to Penn have looked pretty dominant in most of their wins. That said, this will be the first time Duke has played a top 10 opponent, and well, they are Duke and are prone to blips in performance.

To me, the biggest x-factor will be the play of Duke's freshman goalie, Patrick Jamieson. He has been really good this season, with a 62% save percentage and a GAA of just 7.8. The Duke defense recently held Richmond to just three goals and Princeton to just five. That said, he's still just a freshman, and has looked shaky on occasion (below 50% in their loss to Penn, only six saves against Loyola). This will be the freshman's first time in the Dome, and will be the best offense he's faced this year. I think it's really important for the Orange to not let Jamieson get into a groove early.

The story in both matchups last year was the Devil's dominance in the face-off department. Duke won a combined 66% of the face-offs in the two matchups, SU lost by a combined four goals (losing the first game in OT). SU has proven to be a lot better this year with Mason Kohn and Johnny Mullen. But Jake Nasso does return for Duke and he's got a 62% winning percentage this year. He has shown some weakness this year, going 15-29 against Penn and went just 10-22 against Princeton. He really dominated teams like St. Joe's, Bellarmine, Loyola and Providence to boost his average. To me this looks like a chance for the Orange to at least go even with Duke, which would be a huge improvement over the last couple of years.

Lastly, we all know the Duke offense is very good. I agree with others who say Dwan should mark O'Neil and Figuerias should be on Zawada. That leaves Kol and Caccamo to take Williams, and it shouldn't surprise you one bit to hear me say Caccamo should draw that assignment. As important as Dwan on O'Neil is, I think the game rests on Figuerias slowing down Zawada, who has the same number of points as O'Neil but has taken 44 fewer shots. He's the guy who runs the show down low for Duke, and Figuerias will need to play a really good game. The Duke midfield is solid but I think the Devils will run most of their offense through their attack.

On paper I think Duke is probably favored in a lot of areas. That said, Duke (despite the metrics) have not faced a very challenging schedule this year. The Orange will be their first big road test. It sounds obvious, but SU will need to come close to matching Duke in the face-off area, and also shoot the ball really well. Also, obviously, Mark will have to have his play from the Delaware game carry over to this one. SU always seems to play the Devils pretty closely, but they can't afford to have any glaring weaknesses this time around.

A win over Duke would be huge for Tournament reasons obviously and would take a lot of pressure off this team. A loss wouldn't be devastating, but would push the pressure further down the schedule. Win this one and it sets up the rest of the season very nicely. Duke has a top 10 RPI and it's hard not to see them win some big games further down the road. This would be a big feather in SU's cap.
 
The Orange welcome the Duke Blue Devils to the Dome for both teams ACC opener. This should be a spirited affair. The Orange have had some Dome heartbreakers this season, hopefully they turn their luck around against a team they've had some success against recently. Duke has put up video game like numbers this season on offense, and despite a one goal loss to Penn have looked pretty dominant in most of their wins. That said, this will be the first time Duke has played a top 10 opponent, and well, they are Duke and are prone to blips in performance.

To me, the biggest x-factor will be the play of Duke's freshman goalie, Patrick Jamieson. He has been really good this season, with a 62% save percentage and a GAA of just 7.8. The Duke defense recently held Richmond to just three goals and Princeton to just five. That said, he's still just a freshman, and has looked shaky on occasion (below 50% in their loss to Penn, only six saves against Loyola). This will be the freshman's first time in the Dome, and will be the best offense he's faced this year. I think it's really important for the Orange to not let Jamieson get into a groove early.

The story in both matchups last year was the Devil's dominance in the face-off department. Duke won a combined 66% of the face-offs in the two matchups, SU lost by a combined four goals (losing the first game in OT). SU has proven to be a lot better this year with Mason Kohn and Johnny Mullen. But Jake Nasso does return for Duke and he's got a 62% winning percentage this year. He has shown some weakness this year, going 15-29 against Penn and went just 10-22 against Princeton. He really dominated teams like St. Joe's, Bellarmine, Loyola and Providence to boost his average. To me this looks like a chance for the Orange to at least go even with Duke, which would be a huge improvement over the last couple of years.

Lastly, we all know the Duke offense is very good. I agree with others who say Dwan should mark O'Neil and Figuerias should be on Zawada. That leaves Kol and Caccamo to take Williams, and it shouldn't surprise you one bit to hear me say Caccamo should draw that assignment. As important as Dwan on O'Neil is, I think the game rests on Figuerias slowing down Zawada, who has the same number of points as O'Neil but has taken 44 fewer shots. He's the guy who runs the show down low for Duke, and Figuerias will need to play a really good game. The Duke midfield is solid but I think the Devils will run most of their offense through their attack.

On paper I think Duke is probably favored in a lot of areas. That said, Duke (despite the metrics) have not faced a very challenging schedule this year. The Orange will be their first big road test. It sounds obvious, but SU will need to come close to matching Duke in the face-off area, and also shoot the ball really well. Also, obviously, Mark will have to have his play from the Delaware game carry over to this one. SU always seems to play the Devils pretty closely, but they can't afford to have any glaring weaknesses this time around.

A win over Duke would be huge for Tournament reasons obviously and would take a lot of pressure off this team. A loss wouldn't be devastating, but would push the pressure further down the schedule. Win this one and it sets up the rest of the season very nicely. Duke has a top 10 RPI and it's hard not to see them win some big games further down the road. This would be a big feather in SU's cap.
I think this game should be very close and I give Cuse a real shot at pulling this one out. My view has changed from earlier in the season about this game for the following reasons:
  • Hiltz has broken out and is living up to the elite expectations we have had since his freshman year
  • Kohn and Mullen continue to impress and have demonstrated consistency, toughness and strong ball handling skills
  • Mark looks sharper in goal
  • A short preparation week after Delaware maintains momentum and avoids too much hype around the Duke matchup
  • Jamieson has played well but hasn't faced as strong an offense as Cuse
I think this is a critical game for Cuse - I don't like our chances against ND and UVA and UNC will not be an easy one either.
 
The Orange welcome the Duke Blue Devils to the Dome for both teams ACC opener. This should be a spirited affair. The Orange have had some Dome heartbreakers this season, hopefully they turn their luck around against a team they've had some success against recently. Duke has put up video game like numbers this season on offense, and despite a one goal loss to Penn have looked pretty dominant in most of their wins. That said, this will be the first time Duke has played a top 10 opponent, and well, they are Duke and are prone to blips in performance.

To me, the biggest x-factor will be the play of Duke's freshman goalie, Patrick Jamieson. He has been really good this season, with a 62% save percentage and a GAA of just 7.8. The Duke defense recently held Richmond to just three goals and Princeton to just five. That said, he's still just a freshman, and has looked shaky on occasion (below 50% in their loss to Penn, only six saves against Loyola). This will be the freshman's first time in the Dome, and will be the best offense he's faced this year. I think it's really important for the Orange to not let Jamieson get into a groove early.

The story in both matchups last year was the Devil's dominance in the face-off department. Duke won a combined 66% of the face-offs in the two matchups, SU lost by a combined four goals (losing the first game in OT). SU has proven to be a lot better this year with Mason Kohn and Johnny Mullen. But Jake Nasso does return for Duke and he's got a 62% winning percentage this year. He has shown some weakness this year, going 15-29 against Penn and went just 10-22 against Princeton. He really dominated teams like St. Joe's, Bellarmine, Loyola and Providence to boost his average. To me this looks like a chance for the Orange to at least go even with Duke, which would be a huge improvement over the last couple of years.

Lastly, we all know the Duke offense is very good. I agree with others who say Dwan should mark O'Neil and Figuerias should be on Zawada. That leaves Kol and Caccamo to take Williams, and it shouldn't surprise you one bit to hear me say Caccamo should draw that assignment. As important as Dwan on O'Neil is, I think the game rests on Figuerias slowing down Zawada, who has the same number of points as O'Neil but has taken 44 fewer shots. He's the guy who runs the show down low for Duke, and Figuerias will need to play a really good game. The Duke midfield is solid but I think the Devils will run most of their offense through their attack.

On paper I think Duke is probably favored in a lot of areas. That said, Duke (despite the metrics) have not faced a very challenging schedule this year. The Orange will be their first big road test. It sounds obvious, but SU will need to come close to matching Duke in the face-off area, and also shoot the ball really well. Also, obviously, Mark will have to have his play from the Delaware game carry over to this one. SU always seems to play the Devils pretty closely, but they can't afford to have any glaring weaknesses this time around.

A win over Duke would be huge for Tournament reasons obviously and would take a lot of pressure off this team. A loss wouldn't be devastating, but would push the pressure further down the schedule. Win this one and it sets up the rest of the season very nicely. Duke has a top 10 RPI and it's hard not to see them win some big games further down the road. This would be a big feather in SU's cap.

As always excellent stuff.

I won't get into a huge breakdown here as I think most people are familiar with Duke and they are definitely loaded especially on offense. My memory could be failing me but I believe Olexxo has seen O'neil a few times before and had some success. I wouldn't be surprised if this is the game SU finally bumps him to close and let's Wright and Schmitt or Wright and Sageder play at LSM. In that scenario your putting Olexxo on O'Neil, Fig on Zawada and Dwan on Dyson Williams and Wright/backup LSM on MaCadorey. To me that is SU's best shot at winning.

O'Neil plays more of a midfield type O game then a natural attackmen so again to me Olexxo is the play here and it absolves SU from playing the continued Kol vs Cacammo back and forth game that they still can't seem to figure out. Duke's middies will get a few versus our shorties as Daneza, Sloat and the forsh kid are all fairly good but you have to make them beat you versus the 4 knowns. Duke can also run 3 midfields or throw a bunch of middies at you through an interchangeable second line. They also wont hesitate to push transition with a lot of former O guys playing D-middie.

Faceoffs will be key as you noted SU was dominated at the X last year but in both games and probably wins at least 1 if they could have even been at 45% at the X. Naso is a great FOGO but hasn't been as dominate as he has been in the past. Lot of mileage on him that maybe catching up a bit. Cuse needs to be in the neighborhood of 50%.

Offensively Cuse will be facing probably one of the better defenses Duke has had recently. Brower is somehow still there and will surely draw Spallina, Carpenter their LSM is very good as well. Much like against Maryland were gonna need the secondary guys to step up. Not clear who Duke is gonna pole but assuming its English, Leo and Thomson will need to make an impact ditto for Birtwistle and Rhoa. March and Gait should be ready to mix up the mid lines a bit to create some mismatches. Run a 1st line of Leo, English and Birtwistle and see who Duke tries to pole. I worry again about Thomson in a game like this, he has to be a factor. Duke has an experienced and above average SSDMs in Caputo Maguire, and Gray but I wouldn't classify them as an elite unit, Cuse will have to attack there and have success. Assuming faceoffs are at worse even, SU should be able to get some looks but will need to limit the turnovers and avoid that bad quarter that has plagued them vs Maryland and Army.

Intangibles will be interesting this game. Mark comign off his best game of the year will need to be close to that level again Sat. Him being under 50% won't work. Duke's opponents are clearing under 90% on the year but Duke's not a 10 man team or a big time riding squad. O'Neil and Williams will harass at times so SU will still need to be careful. Duke has not been great on the man up this year and has struggled on the man down, keep an eye on both of those numbers tomorrow night, I wouldn't be shocked if whoever did better on both of those came out with the W.

As Powell noted this is a huge game for NCAA tourney purposes and a game you'd love to grab a W. Beyond that its enormous for ACC tourney purposes. With SU at ND next Sat (and a team they don't matchup well with) your staring at an 0-2 start in the face if you lose another close one to Duke. Again as Powell noted its not a must win but you also don't wanna keep kicking the can down the road because games at Cornell and UNC wont exactly be pushover wins.
 
i disagree with olexo on o’neil. Yes we did do that before but o’neil isn’t the speedyest guy but does have size so think you go with dwan to start. Think then have fig on zawada and cacameo on williams maby can even switch fig n cacameo. Def can’t have Kol on williams as williams will just unload as Kol is terrible offball d. I don’t know what’s with back and forth think cacameo is clearly the better defender but i’m not coach. Think you have wright or olexo on macdory and then take ur chances with midfield. Faces off def have to be even if not slightly favored our way but also huge Mark has to play his best game toma. Not vs delaware but toma vs duke. Emo has to bury every chance they’re given and team needs take care of ball as everyone saids. Think thompson needs to invert more also as he seems more comfortable when doing so then up top. Also Roha has been quiet lately he needs to come back. He hasn’t seem to push it or shoot as much last few games. As always english and stevens need to continue doing what they have and Everyone has to get every first time grounder and Not give duke any second chances. I feel like should be close game but also feel may be let down. They have to come out storming the gates get on too early sending the gut punch and continuing it. Can’t let up at all even in 4th up few goals. Any time duke scores we have to counter specially with lead always putting pressure on duke. Come orange this is big game and HUGE chance prove people wrong and that are true force to be concerned about.
 
Duke is the best team in the ACC and this is a great test for us both teams return a ton from last year if you look at last years two games we had good offensive success and really really struggled facing off which was major factor in both
 
Naso lost the faceoff battle to the guy from Richmond, who has struggled at times this year. A couple I watched Naso won the initial clamp but got bodied off the ball. Naso is not the biggest guy and we have two big strong options to go against him. They have a freshman who takes some faceoffs and has been up and down. He certainly does not look as valuable as Mullen is backing up Kohn. Hoping we can get an advantage there, even if it means using our strength to counter Naso after he wins the clamp.

Duke has a strong 1-2 punch out of the midfield in Balsamo and Mcadory. Both are problems off the dodge. Question once again is if their insane middie depth will translate to serious production against top opponents. Think overall I am more scared of the starting middie line at ND. One line of elite and tough to guard guys (Faison Dobson and McLane) is scarier than a team like Duke who has about 10 very good middies. Still it feels like they have a lot of guys with the potential to go off. Think we have a lot of ssdms we are not entirely satisfied with. Would like to see us at least use the depth there so none of the weaker options are too gassed by the end.

Despite our ssdm issues, I am more scared of how we do against the Zawada Oneill combo than anything with their midfield. Would feel more comfortable with Dwan on Oneill if he was just a physical dodger, but he also happens to be lightening fast, and Dwan is not. Think we may see Olexo on him since he has the size and the speed, along with some more experience. Figueras will most likely get Zawada, who is probably the most impactful/annoying transfer this season. Figueras has to prove he has the foot speed for these kind of match ups. Caccamo is a very solid 1v1 cover guy who could backup either matchup if they go south.

We will see folks. As others have said, Duke has not faced an overly elite opponent this year. Freshman goalie looks solid but is still green. We had a lot of success against their defense last year. If the O does their job with enough help at the X we can win this thing. EVERYONE GO TO THE GAME I DON'T CARE WHERE YOU LIVE
 
Great stuff all around from the usual suspects. One thing I’d expand upon that DoctahLexus mentioned is not to underestimate the impact of switching Caccamo onto O’Neill now & then, as he’s 6’2” & looks a bit bigger than the 210 lbs he’s listed at. Also, Caccamo has a ton of experience marking O’Neill, as he did so his entire club career during Team 91 practices. He knows his tendencies & has had a few solid moments against him in college.
 
I like Dwan on O'Neil just for the fact of his size and toughness. Dwan will play physical with him and body him up. That's what u gotta do to O'Neil just smother him. Only times he has been held in check is when he was smothered all over him like glue. Push him around and not let him be the bully. Dwan is big and physical he might be the right matchup even with others having experience against O'Neil. Hey if he struggles u can always switch to Olexo or Caccamo. I don't think he will tho I think he will play physical with him all game long.
 
I doubt it happens, but I wonder if we consider putting Saam down low tonight to cover O'Neill. We can then put Fig on Zawada and get the rangey and high IQ Dwan to cover Williams. Throw Caccamo up at 2nd LSM with Wright. Just a thought.

Regardless, big game for our young d-mids tonight. Duke has legit athletes in the midfield, just like Army. I'd love to see some growth from our d-mids and have them at least get Duke's big middies flowing in the right direction. At this point I don't think we're gonna find or develop elite cover guys at the position this year, we have who we have, but I would love to see these guys dictate the direction of opposing offenses. Our d-mids get rolled back on a ton, which is difficult to slide to for any team defense.
 
I doubt it happens, but I wonder if we consider putting Saam down low tonight to cover O'Neill. We can then put Fig on Zawada and get the rangey and high IQ Dwan to cover Williams. Throw Caccamo up at 2nd LSM with Wright. Just a thought.

Regardless, big game for our young d-mids tonight. Duke has legit athletes in the midfield, just like Army. I'd love to see some growth from our d-mids and have them at least get Duke's big middies flowing in the right direction. At this point I don't think we're gonna find or develop elite cover guys at the position this year, we have who we have, but I would love to see these guys dictate the direction of opposing offenses. Our d-mids get rolled back on a ton, which is difficult to slide to for any team defense.
I think Carter Rice has to take a few extra run's tonight especially the end of game and lock up Balsamo. He has the feet to keep up with him and probably the only DMid on the team who can. Levine is bigger and can cover Dananza. He may have to take a few extra runs too. A big game like this they need to step up. Rice needs to be out there as much as possible. Last yr Petro ran his top 2 out there way to much but Rice held up so no reason he can't take a few extra runs this game.
 
I think that, for the first time since Ben Williams, we legitimately have the advantage at FO over Duke. Kohn & Mullen have statistically outplayed Naso & Girard against better comp.

Like most here, I still haven’t gotten over that 2013 title game watching our offense with Rice & Donahue torch their D at-will early only to spend the rest of the day watching Fowler win draw after draw. Rice & Donahue deserved to win a title.

We’ve kept it close & even beaten them a few times recently despite their often lopsided FO edge. Let’s flip the script on them tonight & win 60+%. It’s going to take great wing play from Olexo, Stevens, Wright, Rice, English, & Co. but I think Kohn & Mullen’s physical nature can wear down the smaller Naso.
 
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I think that, for the first time since Ben Williams, we legitimately have the advantage at FO over Duke. Kohn & Mullen have statistically outplayed Naso & Girard against better comp.

Like most here, I still haven’t gotten over that 2013 title game watching our offense with Rice & Donahue torch their D at-will early only to spend the rest of the day watching Fowler win draw after draw. Rice & Donahue deserved to win a title. I’ll never forget watching a distraught Chris Daddio in the postgame presser, one of the most tear-jerking moments in my Syracuse sports lore.

We’ve kept it close & even beaten them a few times recently despite their often lopsided FO edge. Let’s flip the script on them tonight & win 60+%. It’s going to take great wing play from Olexo, Stevens, Wright, Rice, & Co. but I think Kohn & Mullen’s physical nature can wear down the smaller Naso.
One of the many reasons why duke i hate and can’t stand more then any other team as i not only was at that game but was also in philly my town n to watch duke beat us in chip in philly was heartbreaken. Tho was also at game which wasn’t in philly but chester close enough when we beat duke with second left after tying the game just before if remember that game also.
 
or beat duke in semi final only to lose to notre dame in acc chip. But would really love to win tonight tho must say i’m positive i’m out of favors from man upstairs as used them all for hopkins win. As at time my wife’s mom was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer few days before that game and wife and I need something to pick our spirits up which that game did. Sadly that following tuesday after hopkins game we got the phone call bout her mother passing. Hasn’t been easy and win over duke would def put smile on both our faces as both huge cuse fans and she doesn’t like duke cause she loves me n knows i don’t. True loving wife. So win over duke would be fantastic but as said used all favors to get hopkins win and smile.
 
This is a game where we’ll really miss Landon Clary. The spotlight will be on Nathan LeVine vs their big, physical mids. We should try Fraterrigo at SSDM.
 

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