Johns Hopkins Game Preview (3/8/24, 6:30pm) | Syracusefan.com

Johns Hopkins Game Preview (3/8/24, 6:30pm)

Powellfan

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Rivalry renewed as Hopkins and Syracuse meet in Charlotte, NC for a top 10 matchup. The Blue Jays are coming off a big win over Virginia, and the internet is a flame with proclamations that Hop is back, baby. The Orange have a great chance of bursting the Hopkins bubble, and picking up a huge OOC victory in the process. Is it possible? Yes, but it will be difficult (duh).

UVA decided to poll Dylan Bauer on the first line in their matchup. That seemed to awaken Matt Collison from his early season slump, and the sophomore scored a season high four goals and had one assist (he had seven points coming in). If I am SU, I am not following the same strategy. Put the poll on Collison and don't overthink it. The shorties will have their work cut out for them, as Johnathan Peshko (8 pts) is a big guy who also had five points against the Cavs (3 pts prior). Have to hope that players like Carter Rice or Nate LaVine can stick with the Hopkins middies, as you don't want to short any of the Hopkins attackmen. I imagine Riley Figuerias will mark the shifty Jacob Angelus (27 pts) and Billy Dwan will take Russell Melendez (13 pts), who has been struggling a bit this year (could be injury related). It's a mystery as to who will start in the third spot for SU - Nick Caccamo or Caden Kol who started in the last game. Kol is solid on ball but falls asleep off ball. With Garrett Degnon (19 pts) sniping from afar I think Caccamo is the right choice here. I think its imperative that Figuerias really step up here. He has not looked sharp against upper level talent. I understand not all of the goals and points his marks have gotten this year have been his fault, but opposing teams top attackman has put up a lot of points against the Orange this year. He was burned twice pretty badly by Jack VanOverbeke of High Point last week and was replaced by Caccamo late in the game. He simply has to make more big time plays.

The Hopkins defense, led by Chayse Irelan and Scott Smith is very good. Syracuse will have to use excellent ball movement against the Hopkins if it wants to score points. The "Spallina against high defenders" debate/argument will continue for another week as he'll get Smith. I am a broken record but Hiltz and Mule simply have to give Spallina more help this week. Quinten Kilrain looks to be a great defender, whoever is being marked by Beaudan Szluck will have to make an impact on this game. Hopkins has good short sticks, so not all the offense can run through the midfield for the Orange. Virginia had the most success against Hopkins when they moved the ball, and especially when they threw cross field passes, this should be a game where Hiltz should make an impact. Irelan is a very good goalie, but he can be extremely streaky. He's definitely on a hot one right now after having 16 saves against the Cavs. But he also gave up 22 goals on just seven saves to Yale last year in the Ivy League tourny, and the last time he played Syracuse he gave up seven goals without a save and was taken out of the game. He can be gotten to. Virginia was having success going five-hole against him early, but got away from that.

For the face-offs, Hopkins has been good this year, but not spectacular (55% on the year). They did look very good last week against UVA, but the Cavs were without their main FOGO. They lost the overall battle to both UNC and Denver, but have had the better go of it against Loyola, Georgetown and Towson. Their main guy Logan Callahan is 56% on the year. It should be interesting as both teams have very good backups, I am sure there will be a bit of gamesmanship in this one as coaches try and match strength against weakness. SU will need to get to at least 50% in this one.

Last point, is this is not your dad's Blue Jays. They clear well, they can attack in transition and they are physical (26 man-ups given this year, about four a game). SU will need to be diligent and careful with the ball, score on their man ups and do their best to control tempo. Will Mark will have to have a big game here, as he hasn't against Army and Maryland (sub 50%). Face-offs will be key of course, as the best defense against the Jays will be a good offense. Lastly, it should be interesting to see how the Orange handle their first game away from the Dome. Nice that its not a true "road" game, but of course, the Orange haven't played outside yet. I can see this game go a number of ways. Feels like the last two years SU has outplayed the Blue Jays, but Hop has come out the winner. If SU can get to the magical 50% line for both goalie and FOGO, I think this win this one, 14-12.
 
Definitely agree on polling Collison. There were a couple almosts including a pipe shot from Angelus, but Hop attack got nothing going on their own. All their points were off of cuts/finishes off ball or broken plays. Never a situation where an attack blew by his man and scored or got the assist. Was the middies generating the looks and getting the party started while the attack capitalized on finishes and broken plays when needed. When we do that people just say our attack line sucks! But I digress.

It looked like a situation we have seen with our own ssdms where UVA started to feel like they had to slide when someone had the ssdm matchup and it opened up options off ball. Have to trust the feet of guys like Rice on Dylan Braun and hope we have enough answers for secondary dodgers. Peshko Grimes and others do have their moments, but there is still a dropoff in overall middie dodging quality after Collison and Braun (their English brother going down with an injury is quite fortunate for us and all future Hop opponents). Compared to UVA our attack are worse at dodging, but they are just as good as distributors and we have more dodging options out of midfield. I am hoping we can put Hop into some similar situations that Hop put UVA in, where we force slides with English Leo Rhoa or Stevens and get things going from there.

I don't have full confidence in our ssdms so I don't want to make a big claim like "our ssdms are better than UVA's" but it is noteworthy that this was Hopkins most productive day on offense by a good margin and it was basically all from the midfield. If our longpoles can lock down close to what UVAs did, we can hopefully limit enough out of their midfield where they put up a number closer to 13 gs. Mark on his game and a good day at the X makes that even more realistic. Then our O needs to finish the job and we can win this thing!
 
Will put out something more detailed later today or in the week but lots of good points as usual. The OT losses to Maryland and Army come home to roost in a game like this for SU. This is almost a must win against a very good team. I think SU can certainly win this game but there's some matchups on both sides of the field that look less then optimal on paper.
 
Rivalry renewed as Hopkins and Syracuse meet in Charlotte, NC for a top 10 matchup. The Blue Jays are coming off a big win over Virginia, and the internet is a flame with proclamations that Hop is back, baby. The Orange have a great chance of bursting the Hopkins bubble, and picking up a huge OOC victory in the process. Is it possible? Yes, but it will be difficult (duh).

UVA decided to poll Dylan Bauer on the first line in their matchup. That seemed to awaken Matt Collison from his early season slump, and the sophomore scored a season high four goals and had one assist (he had seven points coming in). If I am SU, I am not following the same strategy. Put the poll on Collison and don't overthink it. The shorties will have their work cut out for them, as Johnathan Peshko (8 pts) is a big guy who also had five points against the Cavs (3 pts prior). Have to hope that players like Carter Rice or Nate LaVine can stick with the Hopkins middies, as you don't want to short any of the Hopkins attackmen. I imagine Riley Figuerias will mark the shifty Jacob Angelus (27 pts) and Billy Dwan will take Russell Melendez (13 pts), who has been struggling a bit this year (could be injury related). It's a mystery as to who will start in the third spot for SU - Nick Caccamo or Caden Kol who started in the last game. Kol is solid on ball but falls asleep off ball. With Garrett Degnon (19 pts) sniping from afar I think Caccamo is the right choice here. I think its imperative that Figuerias really step up here. He has not looked sharp against upper level talent. I understand not all of the goals and points his marks have gotten this year have been his fault, but opposing teams top attackman has put up a lot of points against the Orange this year. He was burned twice pretty badly by Jack VanOverbeke of High Point last week and was replaced by Caccamo late in the game. He simply has to make more big time plays.

The Hopkins defense, led by Chayse Irelan and Scott Smith is very good. Syracuse will have to use excellent ball movement against the Hopkins if it wants to score points. The "Spallina against high defenders" debate/argument will continue for another week as he'll get Smith. I am a broken record but Hiltz and Mule simply have to give Spallina more help this week. Quinten Kilrain looks to be a great defender, whoever is being marked by Beaudan Szluck will have to make an impact on this game. Hopkins has good short sticks, so not all the offense can run through the midfield for the Orange. Virginia had the most success against Hopkins when they moved the ball, and especially when they threw cross field passes, this should be a game where Hiltz should make an impact. Irelan is a very good goalie, but he can be extremely streaky. He's definitely on a hot one right now after having 16 saves against the Cavs. But he also gave up 22 goals on just seven saves to Yale last year in the Ivy League tourny, and the last time he played Syracuse he gave up seven goals without a save and was taken out of the game. He can be gotten to. Virginia was having success going five-hole against him early, but got away from that.

For the face-offs, Hopkins has been good this year, but not spectacular (55% on the year). They did look very good last week against UVA, but the Cavs were without their main FOGO. They lost the overall battle to both UNC and Denver, but have had the better go of it against Loyola, Georgetown and Towson. Their main guy Logan Callahan is 56% on the year. It should be interesting as both teams have very good backups, I am sure there will be a bit of gamesmanship in this one as coaches try and match strength against weakness. SU will need to get to at least 50% in this one.

Last point, is this is not your dad's Blue Jays. They clear well, they can attack in transition and they are physical (26 man-ups given this year, about four a game). SU will need to be diligent and careful with the ball, score on their man ups and do their best to control tempo. Will Mark will have to have a big game here, as he hasn't against Army and Maryland (sub 50%). Face-offs will be key of course, as the best defense against the Jays will be a good offense. Lastly, it should be interesting to see how the Orange handle their first game away from the Dome. Nice that its not a true "road" game, but of course, the Orange haven't played outside yet. I can see this game go a number of ways. Feels like the last two years SU has outplayed the Blue Jays, but Hop has come out the winner. If SU can get to the magical 50% line for both goalie and FOGO, I think this win this one, 14-12.

Tough game for SU, Hop is very similar to Army. Fairly balanced Attack and Mid units with a good fogo unit and a very good defense. Army has the better overall offense but Hopkins in my mind has the better defense so it's a bit of a wash.

From a defensive standpoint Hopkins can be tough to match up with. Most of their offense is Seniors or 5th years (or 6th years in Degnons Case) so there isn't much they haven't seen. The only silver lining is 4 of the top 6 are gone after this year and it's unclear if Melendez will use his 5th year. Hopkins Offense can run hot and cold, when a guy like Peshko goes off for 5 points (he had 3 going into the game) there's not much you can do besides the Desko tip of the cap. UVA's problem all year has been that their defense is uber aggressive and they slide early a lot. A good ball movement team (which Hop is) was gong to give them major problems and they absolutely did. Hop also took apart Terenzi the R-frosh SSDM for UVA who had his welcome to D1 moment.

I highly doubt SU is going to short Collison. He will surely draw Olexxo/Wright and that will be that. I don't think SU will try and double pole the midfield. Bauer is a good player but polling him over Collision made zero sense. Peshko had a great game against UVA, but history says he can't repeat it, if he can consistently Hop can win a title. If SU were to try and double pole, the choice to try and short is Degnon. Guy is lethal with time and room but he's the least effective dodger on the attack unit and rarely scores unassisted goals. He does move off ball though which makes it a tough matchup for a SSDM. From a matchup standpoint if I were SU I would put Dwan on Angelus. Dwan's been the most consistent close defender and should start being the matchup for each teams top assistant guy. I would put Riley on Melendez and then Caccamo on Degnon. Riley does seem to be a bit in a slump which I think goes back to his injury and still working to get all the way back. He will get back there but your probably not going to see him at his true 100% self until next year when he's two years removed from surgery.

Hopkins has shorted up it's bench and is only running 2 mid lines. I really hope Odierna gets the word out on Chavette the younger. If you stay on his hands and refuse to slide he'll struggle to do much as he has no dodging game at this point to speak off and has as many assists as Birtwistle. History says SU's ssdm's will inevitably slack off of him or start to drift and he'll get a couple of goals, really hope this is emphasized this week. Overall key here is to make Hopkins score 6 on 6 and not via transition or scramble plays. When forced to score 6 on 6 and defenses are slow to slide teams have had success against them even if they end up losing the game ie Loyola, Gtown and even UNC. If you let them get out in transition or slide hap hazardly (like SU did again vs Army) they'll bury you. They also love to push it off the draw, they burned UVA for at least 2-3 goals right off of faceoff wins.

Defense needs to play one of their better games of the season for SU to have a chance Sat. Can't be sliding early or with zero purposed like the first 1qtr of the Army game.
 
I tend to disagree with fig on angelus as fig has struggled with speeder attackman. Grant he should have least more size over angelus but speed is speed. I kinda like dwan or cacameo on angelus prob more cacameo n dwan on melendez with fig on dagnnon. Then think have to have olexo or wright on collision. I’m also not fully against to see how plays out or how much scoring goes on our dmids being slid to if arnt beat or shooters don’t have great angles. Feel kinda should stay home n let them shoot as feel mark has to gabble those shots up. Specially if they’re 10yrds or more out. They def have dudes who can sling rock from range. But once again feel those have to be all mark. Offense def has to be very potent when have ball. Faceoffs goalie play easily has to be 50% and another big key is GBs. We have to scoop up every first time grounder and most 50/50 battle gbs. To many of our guys try pick ball up in traffic and defender just waiting to check hands. I’d like to see maby more calling man/ball or goosing it to space or to our guy. We have gotten the better of ireland before but our shooters can also take terrible shots. I think this is game gonna be close and battle again n feel have to use little more fresh legs. Hopkins was using 4-6 dmids against uva n even other games. I’d like us to use more dmids of our own and more lsm. Be nice for dmid to be rice , spallina, levine, titus , trujillo (not in that order) while also olexo wright schmidt atleast maby even puckhaber. Giving a guy a chance who hasn’t had one can make him play game of his life or with tons of heart to where good things can happen. But def agree this is a huge game and a win would surely help loads as lost then really gotta take 1-2 from acc guys.
 
Would like to see Joey move around and not just work from X. The “top” guys Figueiras is covering are coming from many different spots on the field. They aren’t stationary at X. Need to let Joey roam like they do.

I thought this the other day watching ND/Maryland. Pat Kav was catching the ball all over the place. He wasnt all that successful going at Zap, but just by virtue of proximity other defenders paid close attention.
 
I thought this the other day watching ND/Maryland. Pat Kav was catching the ball all over the place. He wasnt all that successful going at Zap, but just by virtue of proximity other defenders paid close attention.
I think he got the better of Zap a couple of times. I haven’t seen too many of these attackman beating guys covering them without the help from a pick.

Watch the way we have been playing the pick and how they play the pick. Our DM back away, their DMs jam the ball carrier.
 
I think he got the better of Zap a couple of times. I haven’t seen too many of these attackman beating guys covering them without the help from a pick.

Watch the way we have been playing the pick and how they play the pick. Our DM back away, their DMs jam the ball carrier.
Agree with ya we need to also jam or even little check as they go by just to say “hey “ lol. Penn did that many times to o’neil on picks even jumped him to which he had to disengage. We are aggressive at times but feel in the wrong ways. Also one thing would like maby some kind of set play when joey has his man hung up which happens often. Then just dudes trying to cut for pass which defense really doesn’t have to move alot cause everyone is same area. Know wanna have least 1 guy up top for pass thru or gets away so no breaks. Maby the other guy on top can cut above the middle to side for a shot grant feel we don’t have many snipers. Feel most of our guys are short range or finishers but no one with range. Birt kellogg roha prob our best rangy shooters. We have to be able to stretch defense to open up middle or teams can just play the middle making it even harder. Feel like specially man up they’re daring us to hit a range shot.
 
A few things:

1) If we lose in overtime this weekend I may just go all in on our field hockey team instead - not even sure if it's field hockey season but it has to be less emotionally taxing.

2) After watching the Hop/UVA game last week (to my unsophisticated lacrosse eye) goalie play was the primary reason Hop won and it was also the reason they beat us last year. Hopefully this weekend Mark has his biggest game of the year.

3) I went to the same high school and college as Peter Milliman - he's slightly older so our paths never crossed but he was an absolute legend at Gettysburg. I wish him all the best...and by best I mean I hope he gets fired tomorrow and they bring Petro back effective immediately.
 
Right now, Hopkins is favored by 1.5 on Draft Kings.
 
Right now, Hopkins is favored by 1.5 on Draft Kings.
Of course there gonna be the favorites they beat two top teams. Should be undefeated they blew the Denver game. Thing is they are a very solid team but not dominant. They can beat top teams but they can be beat by good teams too. This game is huge that they are ranked number 2 right now for SU. They have to win this game. Win the face off and GB battle and I feel like Will Mark is due for a big time game. He's gonna show up big. This is also the game the veteran transfers need to step up and show the young guns how to close out a close game. English, Stevens and Mulé need to step up. Hiltz is a vet now he needs to step up. If they all step up it will also take pressure off Joey and he can have a solid game. I feel like if they pull this game out it will build confidence, get the monkey off their back and they will start winning some of these big time games. This game is a huge turning point for the season. They win and it's gonna be a great season. They lose and the pressure will really build and it's gonna mentally drain the team. They gotta pull this game out.
 
Ultimately I think we are as evenly matched as possible here. IMO... Their offense has less talent than ours, top to bottom, but their defense has more talent than ours, top to bottom.

IMO, specialists will decide this game.

Talent wise, in my opinion, Mark is better than Ierlan. Ierlan's X-factor is his ability to spark transition in the clear, but, while he has gotten hot at times, I think there's a reason Mark is listed by some as a PLL prospect and Ierlan is not. Need Mark to have a game and win the goalie battle decisively.

Would love to see our FOGOs take over as well. UVA starter was hurt which led to Hopkins doing well last weekend. Hopkins FOGOs have been good but not spectacular.

In a game with offenses and defenses that will likely cancel each other out, and no tremendous x-factors from either team in full field situations (neither team rides particularly hard or clears particularly poorly) I really do think the Goalies and FOGOs will decide it.

Looking forward to what should be a spectacular lacrosse game!
 
Ultimately I think we are as evenly matched as possible here. IMO... Their offense has less talent than ours, top to bottom, but their defense has more talent than ours, top to bottom.

IMO, specialists will decide this game.

Talent wise, in my opinion, Mark is better than Ierlan. Ierlan's X-factor is his ability to spark transition in the clear, but, while he has gotten hot at times, I think there's a reason Mark is listed by some as a PLL prospect and Ierlan is not. Need Mark to have a game and win the goalie battle decisively.

Would love to see our FOGOs take over as well. UVA starter was hurt which led to Hopkins doing well last weekend. Hopkins FOGOs have been good but not spectacular.

In a game with offenses and defenses that will likely cancel each other out, and no tremendous x-factors from either team in full field situations (neither team rides particularly hard or clears particularly poorly) I really do think the Goalies and FOGOs will decide it.

Looking forward to what should be a spectacular lacrosse game!
Yep I agree face offs, GBs and goalie play will win this game. I really do think Will Mark is gonna have a big game. Wings gotta come up big and get more possessions for the offense to score. Will makes big saves and SU wins the possession battle then SU will win.
 
I do not say this to damping the mood or for sympathy. But a syracuse win this weekend would sure boost wife and I Morral as we have had a bad week. Just found out couple days ago my wife’s mother has pancreatic cancer for anyone that knows it’s extremely painful , fast and fatal. On top of losing her mind and us trying to get info we need to take over her responsibilities with no help from mother in laws siblings with anything even paying her bills. We really could use a boost. Both huge cuse fans and would really brighten our day to pull out a win. Let’s go orange step it up close out these close games and let’s roll.
 
I do not say this to damping the mood or for sympathy. But a syracuse win this weekend would sure boost wife and I Morral as we have had a bad week. Just found out couple days ago my wife’s mother has pancreatic cancer for anyone that knows it’s extremely painful , fast and fatal. On top of losing her mind and us trying to get info we need to take over her responsibilities with no help from mother in laws siblings with anything even paying her bills. We really could use a boost. Both huge cuse fans and would really brighten our day to pull out a win. Let’s go orange step it up close out these close games and let’s roll.
Got it. Wishing your mother-in-law and your family all the best. Prayers. Hope the Orange can bring you and your wife a smile Saturday night.
 
I do not say this to damping the mood or for sympathy. But a syracuse win this weekend would sure boost wife and I Morral as we have had a bad week. Just found out couple days ago my wife’s mother has pancreatic cancer for anyone that knows it’s extremely painful , fast and fatal. On top of losing her mind and us trying to get info we need to take over her responsibilities with no help from mother in laws siblings with anything even paying her bills. We really could use a boost. Both huge cuse fans and would really brighten our day to pull out a win. Let’s go orange step it up close out these close games and let’s roll.
Sorry to hear that I know pancreatic cancer is bad but just to keep some faith my aunt had it 3 yrs ago and we all expected the worst as all u hear about with pancreatic cancer is the worst but she did end up beating it and is cancer free 3 yrs later. So keep the faith and I hope the best for her. Figured hearing a positive story of someone beating that awful cancer would be good for u to hear. An SU win would definitely lighten up the mood for u. Why can't this be the big game they win vs number 2? Could have beat them last yr in a close battle now this yr the team is better, more experienced and has a legit actually two legit FOGOs to go to battle with. Like I said a few times face offs, GBs and goalie play will win this game. Stevens on the wing getting SU more possessions will be HUGE.
 
Watched this segment this evening on the local NBC affiliate here in Charlotte. WCNC's Sports Director, Nick Carboni, is an SU grad. He has served as WCNC's Sports Director since 2016.

Anyways, this is a nice piece and some great PR for "two of the best rivalries and blue bloods in the sport."

I'll be at the game on Saturday. Quite a bit of rain expected early in the day, but by game time the rain should be long gone according to the recent forecast.

 
I do not say this to damping the mood or for sympathy. But a syracuse win this weekend would sure boost wife and I Morral as we have had a bad week. Just found out couple days ago my wife’s mother has pancreatic cancer for anyone that knows it’s extremely painful , fast and fatal. On top of losing her mind and us trying to get info we need to take over her responsibilities with no help from mother in laws siblings with anything even paying her bills. We really could use a boost. Both huge cuse fans and would really brighten our day to pull out a win. Let’s go orange step it up close out these close games and let’s roll.
You might investigate Fenbendazole, an antihelminthic whose off label usage refers to several cancer related mechanisms involving glucose metabolism, microtubule modulation, and activation of the P53 gene.


 
Didn't end up doing a full O preview of the game but I think the same concerns for Maryland and Army remain the same here. Hopkins has a very good close D especially after moving Kilrain to close. I assume they will try and shut down the attack unit and take their chances at the midfield. Scott Smith is a very godo defender but he's a tier below Zap, Joey should be able to put up 2-4 pts. I worry about Hiltz and Mule, whoever draws Szuluk will need to produce. I would assume that will be Hiltz ( I could be wrong). He really needs to be on his game and if he struggles I really hope Gait/March make a move ditto for Mule if its clear he can't beat his man.

Hop has probably the deepest SSDM unit they have ever had, they easily run 4-5 guys pretty much interchangeably ie Jaronski Raposo Aviles and a few others. That said they don't really have a lock down SSDM guy and while talented are probably weaker then both Maryland and Army at the position (Maryland when healthy) and SU will need to take here relentlessly. I know Army double polled but I don't see Hop doing it, I would be very surprised.

Hop unlike the Petro years plays a much more aggressive and physical style. This has hleped them put up really good numbers but they also commit a ton of penalties. SU man up unit will need to be at least 50% tomorrow. Another 1-5 or worse performance isn't gonna get it done.

One thing that has to improve is SU's overall performance in this game. Credit to the hopkins thread over at fanlax but the stats in the wins vs the losses is very telling.
In SU's wins their shooting percentage is above 35% - faceoffs are above 60%, ground balls are 43 a game, lowest Save % by Mark was 52% and team is scoring about 18 goals a game.

Against Maryland and Army - shot percentage fell to 25% - face-offs were below 50%, ground balls were an average of 29, Save percentage was 41 and 44% - goals average 12.5 a game. Tick those up each a few % points this team is probably undefeated.

I already mentioned the man up struggles but the Hop thread also pointed out that SU is 4th in the ACC in clearing and 50th in the country in opposing clearing %, both need to be better not only in this game but overall. SU has never been a big "ride" team historically but with so many teams going to 10 man and other intricate ride packages they need to implement something.

I could go into a whole laundry list of other things to watch for and players and scenario but really it comes down to the fact that SU needs to win this game, full stop. Yes they probably should have won both the Maryland and Army games but the reality is they didn't. As Powell pointed out astutely its getting late early for this years team and a loss her would be another major miss on getting a tournament resume together not to mention the recruiting struggles in last years class that will likely crop up again if this team doesn't make the tourney.

Bottom line SU needs to find away to get a win Saturday. Faceoffs will be absolutely critical but it's also time for Mark, Hiltz, Mule and maybe most importantly Thomson to step up.
 

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