Notre Dame Game Preview (3/30/24, 2pm) | Syracusefan.com

Notre Dame Game Preview (3/30/24, 2pm)

Powellfan

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The Syracuse Orange face off against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish this Saturday in a battle of top 3 teams. The Irish have had the Orange's number recently (and that's probably an understatement). I think I saw a stat the Irish have beaten the Orange by a combined 50 goals over their last five games. I'm not exactly sure what it is about this matchup that Syracuse struggles with so much, but here's hoping it gets turned around this weekend.

The Orange have been playing exceptional defense recently, but they will have a steep test as they go against a very good Notre Dame offense. The Kavanagh brothers get the headlines, but they have probably the best top six in the country, from top to bottom. I imagine Riley Figuerias will get marked with Pat Kavanagh, who has 29 points and leads the team in assists. Where Dwan plays should be interesting, as the ND attack is not very big. I imagine he'll get the hard dodging Chris Kavanagh who leads the team in points with 30 (16,14). One has to hope he can man-handle him a bit. That leaves the difficult to stick to Jake Taylor who leads the team in goals with 22. The Orange defense did a great job against the last pure finisher they faced in Dyson Williams, though Taylor has really given the Orange a hard time. Caden Kol seems to have regained his starting spot, so I imagine he'll get this matchup.

The Irish midfield posses more matchup problems. Eric Dobson was a preseason All American, though with the emergence of Jordan Faison, he's drawing a short stick. He hasn't fully taken advantage this year (6,5), but he's a huge threat from outside. I think this is a matchup for Nate LaVine given his size, but this will be a tough draw for the SU shorties. And of course there is Faison, who is lightening quick and has a super quick release. Saam Olexo and Matt Wright will most likely get this matchup. And of course the fun doesn't end, as on top of those two matchup problems, there is Devon McLane, the Brown transfer who leads the unit with 17 points. The one thing that is at least a little bit comforting is that the ND second line doesn't seem to be firing on all cylinders, as none have more than 6 points on the year.

The Orange cannot foul the Irish, who are some how converting an insane 78% of their chances (14-18). I know this isn't sustainable, but it's not a risk worth taking either. The one hole that Notre Dame seemed to have last year became a strength in the tournament, as Will Lynch became a very good FOGO for them. He is winning 62% of his draws this year, so the Orange will have their hands full there. And it's not like he's been boosting his numbers against poor teams, the Irish won the face-off battle against good teams with good FOGOs including Georgetown, Maryland, Michigan and Ohio State. Needless to say Kohn and Mullen will have to have exceptional games on Saturday.

The Orange offense has not quite looked itself the last few games, but it sounds like there may be some injury issues going on, speficially to Spallina and Hiltz. Hopefully both have been given time to rest and are ready for another round of tough matchups. The Irish lose an impactful defender in Chris Fake, and replace him with a super frosh in Shawn Lyght. I assume he will draw Spallina and Chris Conlin will get Hiltz. It should be intersting to see how the Orange attack the Irish. Liam Entemann is perhaps the best goalie in the country (55% on the year), but he was sub 50% against the Orange last year in a game that was decided by face-offs. He's had some very impressive games against SU, but let's not focus on those! Notre Dame does have good short sticks, but I think SU has the midfielders to expose them. Georgetown's key to victory seemed to be slowing the game down to snails pace on offense. I don't see the Orange doing that, but I think they need to be patient on offense and work for good shots. Also, probably goes unsaid but SU needs to watch out for the ride - they haven't had to deal with one for a while but Irish ride like maniacs. Cannot afford to be giving up possessions in the middle of the field.

Anyway, lots of storylines for this one. A win against ND would be huge for the Orange and would certainly earn them #1 votes and all but lock up a spot in the ACC tourney. A loss would not be devastating, but given the recent history it would be huge for the Orange to take one here. Notre Dame has been off for two weeks, so it should be interesting to see if they are rusty at all. SU has played almost twice as many games as Notre Dame, so the balance of wear and tear vs experience should also be interesting to see unfold. As always, go Orange.
 
What do u think about Carter Rice covering Faison and Olexo on Dobson? Only because they way Rice has been playing defense this yr and he has the quick feet to match up. Dobson scares me with a shorty on him. He's so big and powerful. He had a big game agajnst SU last yr. I know teams been putting a pole on Faison which the kid is legit but his speed and athleticism is his biggest asset and Rice might be able to run with him. Rice has been playing outstanding defense this yr and the kid is both fast and athletic too. Idk just a thought only because Dobson I was at the game last yr and saw him live. He is a monster.
 
What do u think about Carter Rice covering Faison and Olexo on Dobson? Only because they way Rice has been playing defense this yr and he has the quick feet to match up. Dobson scares me with a shorty on him. He's so big and powerful. He had a big game agajnst SU last yr. I know teams been putting a pole on Faison which the kid is legit but his speed and athleticism is his biggest asset and Rice might be able to run with him. Rice has been playing outstanding defense this yr and the kid is both fast and athletic too. Idk just a thought only because Dobson I was at the game last yr and saw him live. He is a monster.

I'm in favor of trying that to start at least. Shoot with the way ND has had their way against our defense the past few years, I'm down for mixing it up everything. Taylor has been a killer against us but what about the idea of putting a shorty on him then you can double pole the midfield? Could be risky of course but Taylor has always seemed more like a pure finisher to me.
 
One thing will say you have to body this team. Swinging for sticks isn’t gonna work. Kav are very talented and somehow keep ball in their sticks all time while dudes hacking at it. So gotta play body specially for taylor also. Taylor can not give him an inch of space as that’s all he needs. So whoever hads him needs to be right there at all times. I also kinda think maby dwan on pat and fig on chris. As feel chris isn’t as fast or tricky as pat n feel dwan has little more speed then fig n tiny bit more experience. But either way Defense and mark n faceoffs will have to bring their A game. Offense will have to start game like they have in 2nd half of games n continue that all game. I would love love a win here but to be honest my gut doesn’t feel it so kinda feel a 1goal lost would make me feel little better.
 
Think also has to be game english,stevens rhoa and birt gonna have to very productive early on mainly. As feel (feel most teams feel this way) ND will try force middies to dodge n beat them. Nd seems to focus defense in middle not giving middle up. That isn’t to say can’t be done but feel they purposely try to keep from getting middle looks. At times they pack it in so tight almost forcing ya to shoot outside or draw slide n try to dump pass it. Spallina once again prob gonna need his vision more then his scoring ability. He seem to get away from it a bit but did try it few times vs duke n hobart where he tries to body defender. He can not do that here. Has to dodge hard to spot always keeping his feet going never letting defender to get close or take body if he does prob won’t turn out good. Not sure with mule being solid last few games if will short stick him still but he needs keep it going. But as stated to start feel this will be game stevens, birt , english and rhoa need to take control beat their guys score goals early on forcing the defense to press out little more to open up the middle and our finishers. Kohn and mullen will need to be at least above 40%. Kohn struggled against naso grant don’t think some loses was him n more wings not picking up ball or helping. But also some fogo matchups one just gets better of other even if one has dominated top guys. Kinda how phaup struggled vs guys not great but dominated petey lad all’s the one year. Hopefully kohn can hang or even get to 50%. As said my gut doesn’t feel hopeful of a win but do hope proved wrong but def like to see it least be close game the whole time.
 
Syracuse does pull out a win then i def think they’re a lock for tounry. But don’t like think that way rather then just win their games n be most def known.
 
I know it’s best to win Memorial Day, but so tired of the team getting crushed by ND. So go get the win. Limit turnovers on the clear and hammer home the good looks.
 
Syracuse does pull out a win then i def think they’re a lock for tounry. But don’t like think that way rather then just win their games n be most def known.
Oh they definitely will be a lock for tourney with a win over ND. That would be 3 top 5 wins this season.
 
We are a lot more athletic in the middle of the field than in years past. We are playing more guys, which helps a boatload with fatigue, especially in these later parts of the season. I am hoping that translates to minimal bull crap with clearing and gb play. Then of course we have a serious upgrade at the faceoff x and wing. They owned us at the X last year, which along with our lack of depth was the largest factor in us having fatigue down the stretch. That was the main reason they were able to pull away so aggressivley late in the game. Army, MD, Hop, and Duke are all big strong and fast teams by any standard. Even in the ones we have lost, I would say our problem was not getting out muscled in the middle of the field, or running out of gas. We have to execute in other areas, but those demoralizing runs ND puts on us feel less likely to happen this year, based on what we have seen so far.
 
Last year we were plagued by issues with Team D - FO - and lack of depth at SSDM.

This year Rice has stepped up and the committee behind him has been a surprising strength. FO has obviously been a massive improvement. And Fig, an improved Dwan, and schematic improvements from Coach O have transformed the team defense.

This is obviously a big test, but win or loss I feel great about this team's odds of getting back to memorial day this year. The pieces are all there.

I am extremely fired up for ACC play and the rest of this season. Let's go!
 
The Syracuse Orange face off against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish this Saturday in a battle of top 3 teams. The Irish have had the Orange's number recently (and that's probably an understatement). I think I saw a stat the Irish have beaten the Orange by a combined 50 goals over their last five games. I'm not exactly sure what it is about this matchup that Syracuse struggles with so much, but here's hoping it gets turned around this weekend.

The Orange have been playing exceptional defense recently, but they will have a steep test as they go against a very good Notre Dame offense. The Kavanagh brothers get the headlines, but they have probably the best top six in the country, from top to bottom. I imagine Riley Figuerias will get marked with Pat Kavanagh, who has 29 points and leads the team in assists. Where Dwan plays should be interesting, as the ND attack is not very big. I imagine he'll get the hard dodging Chris Kavanagh who leads the team in points with 30 (16,14). One has to hope he can man-handle him a bit. That leaves the difficult to stick to Jake Taylor who leads the team in goals with 22. The Orange defense did a great job against the last pure finisher they faced in Dyson Williams, though Taylor has really given the Orange a hard time. Caden Kol seems to have regained his starting spot, so I imagine he'll get this matchup.

The Irish midfield posses more matchup problems. Eric Dobson was a preseason All American, though with the emergence of Jordan Faison, he's drawing a short stick. He hasn't fully taken advantage this year (6,5), but he's a huge threat from outside. I think this is a matchup for Nate LaVine given his size, but this will be a tough draw for the SU shorties. And of course there is Faison, who is lightening quick and has a super quick release. Saam Olexo and Matt Wright will most likely get this matchup. And of course the fun doesn't end, as on top of those two matchup problems, there is Devon McLane, the Brown transfer who leads the unit with 17 points. The one thing that is at least a little bit comforting is that the ND second line doesn't seem to be firing on all cylinders, as none have more than 6 points on the year.

The Orange cannot foul the Irish, who are some how converting an insane 78% of their chances (14-18). I know this isn't sustainable, but it's not a risk worth taking either. The one hole that Notre Dame seemed to have last year became a strength in the tournament, as Will Lynch became a very good FOGO for them. He is winning 62% of his draws this year, so the Orange will have their hands full there. And it's not like he's been boosting his numbers against poor teams, the Irish won the face-off battle against good teams with good FOGOs including Georgetown, Maryland, Michigan and Ohio State. Needless to say Kohn and Mullen will have to have exceptional games on Saturday.

The Orange offense has not quite looked itself the last few games, but it sounds like there may be some injury issues going on, speficially to Spallina and Hiltz. Hopefully both have been given time to rest and are ready for another round of tough matchups. The Irish lose an impactful defender in Chris Fake, and replace him with a super frosh in Shawn Lyght. I assume he will draw Spallina and Chris Conlin will get Hiltz. It should be intersting to see how the Orange attack the Irish. Liam Entemann is perhaps the best goalie in the country (55% on the year), but he was sub 50% against the Orange last year in a game that was decided by face-offs. He's had some very impressive games against SU, but let's not focus on those! Notre Dame does have good short sticks, but I think SU has the midfielders to expose them. Georgetown's key to victory seemed to be slowing the game down to snails pace on offense. I don't see the Orange doing that, but I think they need to be patient on offense and work for good shots. Also, probably goes unsaid but SU needs to watch out for the ride - they haven't had to deal with one for a while but Irish ride like maniacs. Cannot afford to be giving up possessions in the middle of the field.

Anyway, lots of storylines for this one. A win against ND would be huge for the Orange and would certainly earn them #1 votes and all but lock up a spot in the ACC tourney. A loss would not be devastating, but given the recent history it would be huge for the Orange to take one here. Notre Dame has been off for two weeks, so it should be interesting to see if they are rusty at all. SU has played almost twice as many games as Notre Dame, so the balance of wear and tear vs experience should also be interesting to see unfold. As always, go Orange.

Feel like I'm beating a dead horse but as always real good stuff.

ND has been a real tough matchup for SU for the last 5 years or so, almost all of the game have not been close and we have struggled big time defensively. Proves again that almost everything in life is cyclical as SU used to dominate the matchup when the two were in the BE together and even the early part of the ACC.

When you look at ND the first thing you have to win on or beat is the ride. ND tortured Maryland in the 10 man and have given multiple other teams fits. SU has been up and down against the ride this year. Some games they played it fairly well and other times (high point) it was a nightmare. That said SU has only seen a true 10 man a few times this year. Vermont tried it a few possessions in the opener but they didn't have the personnel and SU easily beat it and it was quickly abandoned. Colgate was a different story, SU struggled immensely against the 10 man and turned it over an unfathomable 21 times. SU has to be way better against ND or they're gonna get run off the field again if the amount of TO's is anywhere close to that amount. SU has also struggled at times against teams who ride real well outside of a 10 man and sloppy play in general. 18 To's against Utah (noon game played a role), 16 against Hop, and even 15 last week against Hobart who isn't a great defensive team. No team is gonna have 5 turnovers or less at this level but SU has to try and keep it in the low teens tomorrow. I also hope Coach O has really worked on the 10 man this week, because ND is gonna be Fn relentless with it. SU needs some counters and should be prepared to sprinkle in a 10 man of their own if needed tomorrow.

Defensively ND is gonna be a brutal matchup for most teams. You really need to have an upper level close unit, a very good LSM and an elite SSDM. SU has most of those pieces but ND's top 6 is extremely dangerous, probably up their with Cornell for the most dangerous in the country. I disagree slightly with Powell on the matchups (shocking I know). After watching what Dwan did versus O'Neil, I think if your SU you have to put him on Pat K. Dwan showed he can stay with an elite attackmen, though Kavanaugh's game and O'Neils are light years apart in style. That would put Fig on Chris K and then Kohl or Caccamo on Taylor. Taylor has been a massive thorn in our side for years, SU did a better job on him last year finally but Kol has to, again HAS TO, stay home on Taylor. He is like Cormier and Dyson Williams, you let these guys get a clean look its over. Kol did a very good job on Dyson, he will need to repeat it.

Midfield matchups are tough. Everyone debates Faison versus Dobson but McLane actually leads the 1st midfield with 17 pts. Tough spot if your SU, most teams are polling Faison and that's likely where I think SU starts. I know there was some talk about double polling but that's tough against ND. Your gonna need to put Rice on Taylor and while Taylor isn't much of a dodger your still putting him in a tough spot. If I was coach O I would think about going with Olexxo on Faison, Levine on Dobson and then Rice on McLane. If SU wanted to get tricky and throw ND a matchup they probably won't see coming, they could put Hottle on Faison, double pole Dobson and McLane with Olexxo and Koy and put Rice on Taylor. Again tough spot for Rice but if you wanna attack that ND midfield with 2 poles that's probably your best bet. Dobson has a cannon but he's not a great dodger by any stretch, how SU chooses to defend him likely sets up the rest of the matchups on the midfield.

Offensively for SU I have the same concerns I had for Army, Hop and Duke, can SU get enough from the secondary scorers as ND will look to shut the attack down as much as possible. SU offensively hasn't gotten a lot of scrutiny the past few games due to SU winning but it's been a struggle for sure. Injuries appear to have been an issue but 10 goals versus Duke and 13 vs Hobart are less then optimal (Duke game somewhat understandable). I wish SU would mix up the mid lines a little more. Mule continues to play outstanding and may keep ND from double polling as he has been punishing teams when they try that. He's really picked up his scoring when Joey has been shut out. Gonna need him again tomorrow.

ND is probably putting Lyght on Spallina but I wouldn't rule out Conlin drawing him with Hiltz being on a tear they may want Lyght on him. ND's defense is very good and of course Entenmann (who feels like he's been there since 2016) can be a brick wall at times. However, they can be scored on if your not turning the ball over on the 10 man or trying to attack against their best defenders. If your SU this is similar to Army and Maryland, your attacking up top with your mids who are drawing a short and probably inverting at times. Again I am beating a dead horse but Finn has to produce in the six on six. He's been good the last few games with 3, 1, 2 and 2 pts respectively but he's been doing a lot of that damage on the man up. 6 on 6 we need more from him drawing a short stick. ND's main shorties are very good in Ramsey , and then decent in our old friend Parlette and Parker others but SU has to be able to attack there and with Mule drawing the third close pole which is Napolitano I think. SU really has to utilize Birtwistle and Rhoa in this game, two guys who can dodge and shoot and beat matchups, ditto for Leo unless ND polls him. Would love to see SU role out a line of English, Leo and Rhoa or Birtwistle, make ND choose who they're gonna short and try and stop without a long pole.

Mark's been on fire, hard to expect him to do it a 3rd game in a row but with the next two opponents were gonna need him to be as good or close to it. He's been locked in, hopefully it continues. Entenmann is an outstanding goalie we all know it, SU had success last year, they will need to get good looks and change up shot looks and placement. High to low, low to high, bouncers, off stick etc.

Lastly SU really needs Kohn to have a game on Saturday. As good as he has been this year (outstanding most games) in the three games against peer Fogo's he's under 50% in all 3. Lynch has become an AA level fogo, SU needs Kohn to be 50%+ here or they need to give Mullen an extended look. Sounds harsh but that's the reality of the ACC schedule.

This a very tough matchup for SU, a loss here going away wouldn't be overly shocking. Key is SU can't let it carry over. Between ND and Cornell SU needs to be 1 for 2 at worse. Can't afford to go O fer.
 
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The Syracuse Orange face off against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish this Saturday in a battle of top 3 teams. The Irish have had the Orange's number recently (and that's probably an understatement). I think I saw a stat the Irish have beaten the Orange by a combined 50 goals over their last five games. I'm not exactly sure what it is about this matchup that Syracuse struggles with so much, but here's hoping it gets turned around this weekend.

The Orange have been playing exceptional defense recently, but they will have a steep test as they go against a very good Notre Dame offense. The Kavanagh brothers get the headlines, but they have probably the best top six in the country, from top to bottom. I imagine Riley Figuerias will get marked with Pat Kavanagh, who has 29 points and leads the team in assists. Where Dwan plays should be interesting, as the ND attack is not very big. I imagine he'll get the hard dodging Chris Kavanagh who leads the team in points with 30 (16,14). One has to hope he can man-handle him a bit. That leaves the difficult to stick to Jake Taylor who leads the team in goals with 22. The Orange defense did a great job against the last pure finisher they faced in Dyson Williams, though Taylor has really given the Orange a hard time. Caden Kol seems to have regained his starting spot, so I imagine he'll get this matchup.

The Irish midfield posses more matchup problems. Eric Dobson was a preseason All American, though with the emergence of Jordan Faison, he's drawing a short stick. He hasn't fully taken advantage this year (6,5), but he's a huge threat from outside. I think this is a matchup for Nate LaVine given his size, but this will be a tough draw for the SU shorties. And of course there is Faison, who is lightening quick and has a super quick release. Saam Olexo and Matt Wright will most likely get this matchup. And of course the fun doesn't end, as on top of those two matchup problems, there is Devon McLane, the Brown transfer who leads the unit with 17 points. The one thing that is at least a little bit comforting is that the ND second line doesn't seem to be firing on all cylinders, as none have more than 6 points on the year.

The Orange cannot foul the Irish, who are some how converting an insane 78% of their chances (14-18). I know this isn't sustainable, but it's not a risk worth taking either. The one hole that Notre Dame seemed to have last year became a strength in the tournament, as Will Lynch became a very good FOGO for them. He is winning 62% of his draws this year, so the Orange will have their hands full there. And it's not like he's been boosting his numbers against poor teams, the Irish won the face-off battle against good teams with good FOGOs including Georgetown, Maryland, Michigan and Ohio State. Needless to say Kohn and Mullen will have to have exceptional games on Saturday.

The Orange offense has not quite looked itself the last few games, but it sounds like there may be some injury issues going on, speficially to Spallina and Hiltz. Hopefully both have been given time to rest and are ready for another round of tough matchups. The Irish lose an impactful defender in Chris Fake, and replace him with a super frosh in Shawn Lyght. I assume he will draw Spallina and Chris Conlin will get Hiltz. It should be intersting to see how the Orange attack the Irish. Liam Entemann is perhaps the best goalie in the country (55% on the year), but he was sub 50% against the Orange last year in a game that was decided by face-offs. He's had some very impressive games against SU, but let's not focus on those! Notre Dame does have good short sticks, but I think SU has the midfielders to expose them. Georgetown's key to victory seemed to be slowing the game down to snails pace on offense. I don't see the Orange doing that, but I think they need to be patient on offense and work for good shots. Also, probably goes unsaid but SU needs to watch out for the ride - they haven't had to deal with one for a while but Irish ride like maniacs. Cannot afford to be giving up possessions in the middle of the field.

Anyway, lots of storylines for this one. A win against ND would be huge for the Orange and would certainly earn them #1 votes and all but lock up a spot in the ACC tourney. A loss would not be devastating, but given the recent history it would be huge for the Orange to take one here. Notre Dame has been off for two weeks, so it should be interesting to see if they are rusty at all. SU has played almost twice as many games as Notre Dame, so the balance of wear and tear vs experience should also be interesting to see unfold. As always, go Orange.
Powellfan & JeremyCuse,

I wanted to say that I admire your knowledge of the game of Lacrosse and your write ups before and after each game. I wish I knew more about the intricacies of the sport, short stick vs long stick, the general plan of each game against the opponent and the various things that go into each game. The closest player to the balls that go out of bounds behind the goalie gets possession?

Coming into Syracuse I was an All - State Quarterback at a prep school in NJ, the NJ 100 Yard Dash Champion at 9.7 and a first Team All - Conference pitcher, I didn't know Lacrosse existed or I might have wanted to play that instead of football. But I had a great time, was a walk on at SU. Had offers from other schools but SU was the only school that had the major I wanted, Industrial Design and SU was one of the best schools in the country for that. They gave me a scholie, but I had a guidance counselor who couldn't figure out my classes and play football too. Got to know Floyd well we were the fastest on the team. Had to go to summer school because I almost flunked out - was leaving a studio class at 2P.M. to get to practice. Thought summer school was going to be a drag but the ratio of girls to men was 10 - 1, had a really good time and got two A's. Tough to quit sports though. I digress.

I hope we win the game tomorrow. Personally, I can't stand Notre Dame.

I believe they think they are the best at everything, the cat's ass and all that, but know that not to be true. I was watching a football game, I think against us, and one of the announcers said "yes ND is Americas team". I disagreed with that and hoped his mike fell on his foot and broke it.

The only time I watched a game live in which they played was at Yankee stadium against us and we beat their little buns. I love to see them lose.

Back to Lacrosse. I guess the only way to learn more about the game is to look it up, which I did earlier in the season. It seems easy, shoot the ball into the net. Sometimes I don't know why there is a goalie, the ball goes too fast to see, like a puck in hockey. But there are some very good goalies so they're valuable.

To sum up I think Gary Gait has this team finally under his wing. I hope so. I want SU to become the championship team they once were and win11 more NCAA's. Anyway thanks again for your explanations and points of view - really enjoy them. Again, thanks for your write ups I keep reading them in hopes I'll understand the game better. I need to sit down at a game with you and have you explain every nuance of it. About a season's worth -then I'll bet I'll get it. :)
 
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Just a heads up... don't plan on the Noon WLAX game to be over by 2 PM. They never are.

 
I’ll leave the X’s and O’s to people more familiar with the game. IMO, the key for Syracuse to win will be how the start out of the gate.

They have not been great starting games recently despite the winning streak. If they can come out and blitz Notre Dame, put them on their heels, they will be in it until the end
 

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