Polls for Apr 8: Media #7 / Coaches #9 / USALAX #12 | Syracusefan.com

Polls for Apr 8: Media #7 / Coaches #9 / USALAX #12

OrangeXtreme

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Notre Dame solidified its case as No. 1 and Virginia held steady as No. 2 in the Week 9 Men’s DI Media Poll.

Johns Hopkins is one of the big winners in this week’s poll, moving up to No. 3 from No. 7 after beating Penn State in overtime. The Nittany Lions fell to No. 11.

Duke and Maryland make up the rest of the Top 5, while Georgetown is inching up; the Hoyas have been consistently voted around 9-10 and have steadily been racking up wins since opening the season with two losses.

Syracuse dropped to No. 7, clustered with the Big Red — who beat them in OT — Yale then Denver.

Army dropped down to 12 after losing a Patriot League game to Colgate. The Raiders are back in the Top 20 at 17 following the win. Michigan fell out of the Top 20.

Check out the full Men's DI Media Poll here.

RankTeamPointsPrev
1 Notre Dame (7 - 1)518 (24)1
2 Virginia (10 - 1)496 (2)2
3 Johns Hopkins (8 - 3)4327
4 Duke (10 - 3)4253
5 Maryland (7 - 3)4086
6 Georgetown (8 - 2)3719
7 Syracuse (9 - 4)3624
8 Cornell (7 - 3)32613
 

USA LACROSSE DIVISION I MEN’S TOP 20​

1. Notre Dame, 7-1 (Prev: 1)
2. Virginia, 10-1 (Prev: 2)
3. Johns Hopkins, 8-3 (Prev: 6)
4. Duke, 10-3 (Prev: 4)
5. Georgetown, 8-2 (Prev: 7)
6. Maryland, 7-3 (Prev: 8)
7. Penn State, 7-3 (Prev: 5)
8. Yale, 7-2 (Prev: 10)
9. Denver, 8-2 (Prev: 11)
10. Cornell, 7-3 (Prev: 13)
11. Army, 8-2 (Prev: 3)
12. Syracuse, 9-4 (Prev: 9)
13. Penn, 7-4 (Prev: 12)
14. Princeton, 7-3 (Prev: 14)
15. Boston U, 7-3 (Prev: 16)
16. Colgate, 7-4, (Prev: NR)
17. Richmond, 7-4 (Prev: 17)
18. Harvard, 7-3 (Prev: 18)
19. Towson, 8-3 (Prev: 19)
20. Rutgers, 7-4 (Prev: NR)

Also considered (alphabetical order): Delaware (6-3), High Point (7-5), Michigan (6-5), Navy (7-4), North Carolina (6-5), Ohio State (6-6), Saint Joseph’s (7-3)

 
GKpM8HDXgAEHpdH



10) Syracuse​

SU led 7-0 in the I-81 rivalry. With a sizable cushion and firmly in charge, Syracuse offensive coordinator Pat March was ejected and given a three-minute non-releasable penalty. I’ve never seen a coach or assistant thrown out. Let’s hope he had ESPN+. The loss of composure allowed the Big Red to stop the bleeding and halt the one-sided momentum.

I wouldn’t call this the “game of the year”, because the level of play on defense wasn’t stellar and the officiating was sub-par. You can’t deny however, that this game was highly entertaining, controversial, unpredictable, zany and filled with plot twists and turns. It was nuts. If you watched, as I did on ESPN+, you may have struggled to fall asleep afterwards. If you’re an SU fan, you may still be experiencing nightmares.

The 18-17 double overtime loss, throws a spotlight on Syracuse maturity level, lack of poise, lack of discipline and poor game management issues. How do you blow leads of 7-0, 13-6 and 16-10?

The junk yard dogs man down unit, not a bad group at stopping EMO attempts, has showed clearing deficiencies and lends itself to opponents match-up superiority after the penalty time expires. Both the Maryland and Cornell OT losses showed how this unit is negatively impacting the bottom line.

#HHH held Duke to four goals and let up 18 against Cornell. They are Top 10 in defensive efficiency and dramatically improved from 2023.

Otto has three overtime losses to Maryland, Army and Cornell. They’ve got two remaining games in the month of April – North Carolina and Virginia. The time off, to refocus on fundamentals, isn’t the worst thing in the world.

Syracuse travels to UNC for a game they really need.
 
I've seen no evidence, at least yet,, that the USA Lacrosse list is a poll. It may just be the opinion of Patrick Stevens. No different than Quint's list is just his.
 
GKpM8HDXgAEHpdH



10) Syracuse​

SU led 7-0 in the I-81 rivalry. With a sizable cushion and firmly in charge, Syracuse offensive coordinator Pat March was ejected and given a three-minute non-releasable penalty. I’ve never seen a coach or assistant thrown out. Let’s hope he had ESPN+. The loss of composure allowed the Big Red to stop the bleeding and halt the one-sided momentum.

I wouldn’t call this the “game of the year”, because the level of play on defense wasn’t stellar and the officiating was sub-par. You can’t deny however, that this game was highly entertaining, controversial, unpredictable, zany and filled with plot twists and turns. It was nuts. If you watched, as I did on ESPN+, you may have struggled to fall asleep afterwards. If you’re an SU fan, you may still be experiencing nightmares.

The 18-17 double overtime loss, throws a spotlight on Syracuse maturity level, lack of poise, lack of discipline and poor game management issues. How do you blow leads of 7-0, 13-6 and 16-10?

The junk yard dogs man down unit, not a bad group at stopping EMO attempts, has showed clearing deficiencies and lends itself to opponents match-up superiority after the penalty time expires. Both the Maryland and Cornell OT losses showed how this unit is negatively impacting the bottom line.

#HHH held Duke to four goals and let up 18 against Cornell. They are Top 10 in defensive efficiency and dramatically improved from 2023.

Otto has three overtime losses to Maryland, Army and Cornell. They’ve got two remaining games in the month of April – North Carolina and Virginia. The time off, to refocus on fundamentals, isn’t the worst thing in the world.

Syracuse travels to UNC for a game they really need.

Once again Quint is spot on. Especially regarding the issues of maturity, poise, lack of discipline and poor game management. Also as noted previously the man down unit has to be scrapped
 
Once again Quint is spot on. Especially regarding the issues of maturity, poise, lack of discipline and poor game management. Also as noted previously the man down unit has to be scrapped

Great idea in theory, but two huge flaws:

1. The Dawgs are used to playing zone. When we're at full strength they have to switch to man, and we don't have our best guys out there.

2. They (Titus) can't clear worth a damn.
 
Great idea in theory, but two huge flaws:

1. The Dawgs are used to playing zone. When we're at full strength they have to switch to man, and we don't have our best guys out there.

2. They (Titus) can't clear worth a damn.
Not sure why they don’t stay in a zone when they kill the penalty but the main issue is the clearing. We need the SS to be able to handle and Titus has shown that he isn’t capable.
 
Great idea in theory, but two huge flaws:

1. The Dawgs are used to playing zone. When we're at full strength they have to switch to man, and we don't have our best guys out there.

2. They (Titus) can't clear worth a damn.

100%, this is why the unit (while doing fairly well man down) has to be modified to include more starters. As you noted once the penalty runs out things get real tricky real quick as you now have your 4th and 5th and even 6th pole on a teams starting attack and unfortunately clearing with this group has been worse then the starters. I know SU teams even under Desko were slow to recognize when change was needed but boy this is a no brainer.
 
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100%, this is why the unit (while doing fairly well man down) has to be modified to include more starters. As you noted once the penalty runs out things get real tricky real quick as you know have your 4th and 5th and even 6th pole on a teams starting attack and unfortunately clearing with this group has been worse then then starters. I know SU teams even under Desko were slow to recognize when change was needed but boy this is a no brainer.

The clearing has been a problem. I am not sure that's a function of the unit though. Rice has really been our only SSDM who's shown the ability to "punt return." Coming down the stretch, maybe he gets added, but he's going to burn out from playing all the time.

As for giving up a few goals in six-on-six, someone would really have to look at the unit's overall efficiency. If they are 60% at man up kill, then give up a few goals, that's not really any different than being 50% at man up kill. Obviously I am just throwing numbers out there but if the starters are at 50% penalty kill, and they arent being rested, there's really no difference.
 
Penalty kill unit I still support and it is hard to put a price on what it does for reducing fatigue down the stretch of both individual games and the whole season. Imagine how much more tired Dwan Figueras and co would be if they had to play through that entire stretch of a 3 minute man down and then go right back in to 6 on 6? Instead they get a nice rest and come back in refreshed. On top of that the percentage they have on actually killing penalties is solid.


Agree with DMV that the only thing I don’t understand is them not playing 6 person zone when it gets back to even strength. Their clearing issues are a little overblown by quint as well. We are talking about a couple failed clears essentially, one where freaking Pat Kav had the most obvious trip of all time on Titus that goes uncalled. Giving Titus crap over that is silly. Entirely on the refs. Clearing man down is also no cake walk as it is, no matter who you have in. Disagree with needing to scrap it. I like the move from Odierna
 
Penalty kill unit I still support and it is hard to put a price on what it does for reducing fatigue down the stretch of both individual games and the whole season. Imagine how much more tired Dwan Figueras and co would be if they had to play through that entire stretch of a 3 minute man down and then go right back in to 6 on 6? Instead they get a nice rest and come back in refreshed. On top of that the percentage they have on actually killing penalties is solid.


Agree with DMV that the only thing I don’t understand is them not playing 6 person zone when it gets back to even strength. Their clearing issues are a little overblown by quint as well. We are talking about a couple failed clears essentially, one where freaking Pat Kav had the most obvious trip of all time on Titus that goes uncalled. Giving Titus crap over that is silly. Entirely on the refs. Clearing man down is also no cake walk as it is, no matter who you have in. Disagree with needing to scrap it. I like the move from Odierna

Titus turnover issues go beyond the Kavanaugh play, he had one against Hobart and Cornell as well. Regarding the issue of fatigue I have to disagree, I don't see that being a major issue for any other top 20 program, they all seem to survive without a total hockey line change.

I also have to note that your premise on the rest for the starters is a bit flawed. Yes they get the rest form the multiple man up but they don't get to jump right back in when it goes 6 on 6 as most of the time the man down unit is still out there as there's no ability to sub out 5 guys. Happened against Cornell at least once if not twice where the unit killed off the penalty but then got exposed in 6 on 6 when our 5th pole is trying to cover Kirst one on one and Cornell got an easy goal.

If Odierna wants to put 1 or 2 guys out there who can be man down specialists that's fine but a wholesale change is creating additional problems that others teams are clearly exposing.
 
The clearing has been a problem. I am not sure that's a function of the unit though. Rice has really been our only SSDM who's shown the ability to "punt return." Coming down the stretch, maybe he gets added, but he's going to burn out from playing all the time.

As for giving up a few goals in six-on-six, someone would really have to look at the unit's overall efficiency. If they are 60% at man up kill, then give up a few goals, that's not really any different than being 50% at man up kill. Obviously I am just throwing numbers out there but if the starters are at 50% penalty kill, and they arent being rested, there's really no difference.

Clearing has been a major issue against teams who ride hard or jump into the 10 man, so yes it's certainly an overall issue certainly more than just the specialized man down unit. With SU usually at least 50% at the X most games I think the whole rest/fatigue concern is a bit overblown. Playing 3 games in 8 days clearly can wear a team down but its 10 days before UNC and a full week before UVA, I don't think fatigue for Rice or Fig or Dwan is really gonna be a major concern. If Odierna wants to play a couple of specialists on the man down unit that's fine but we still need to have at least one of Dwan or Fig out there and Rice.
 
Clearing has been a major issue against teams who ride hard or jump into the 10 man, so yes it's certainly an overall issue certainly more than just the specialized man down unit. With SU usually at least 50% at the X most games I think the whole rest/fatigue concern is a bit overblown. Playing 3 games in 8 days clearly can wear a team down but its 10 days before UNC and a full week before UVA, I don't think fatigue for Rice or Fig or Dwan is really gonna be a major concern. If Odierna wants to play a couple of specialists on the man down unit that's fine but we still need to have at least one of Dwan or Fig out there and Rice.

This should probably go into some "Strategic Blunder" thread since this is good dialogue unrelated to rankings, but Syracuse is:
  • Toward the middle in man down defense by kill %;
  • Toward the bottom in amount of man ups opponents have had;
  • 6 opponents are in the top 20 in man up offense;
    • Notre Dame, Delaware, Colgate, and Army are all on the Top 10 in man up offense.
In other words, that unit is doing a decent job overall.

I can't speak to Fig or Dwan being tired, but generally having some down time is good for physical and mental well-being.

Also, scapegoating Titus is odd since we know we're playing Rice and a bunch of other guys (many of who have had good moments/games) and it was thought to be our weakest position coming into the year.

Last, we simply don't know whether these are our best man down players or not (DMVCuseLax may know). Beck was out there last year. Frat was a starter for a spell a few years ago. Sageder got a lot of run last year and this is a way to keep him engaged. Drago and Titus are vets. I think we can assume they are not our best 6 v 6 guys.

The entire conversation is academic because i dont see Gait or Odierna scapping it.

It also may have some off field benefits for team chemistry and ecruiting because your getting five more guys on the field who wouldnt otherwise get much run.
 
This should probably go into some "Strategic Blunder" thread since this is good dialogue unrelated to rankings, but Syracuse is:
  • Toward the middle in man down defense by kill %;
  • Toward the bottom in amount of man ups opponents have had;
  • 6 opponents are in the top 20 in man up offense;
    • Notre Dame, Delaware, Colgate, and Army are all on the Top 10 in man up offense.
In other words, that unit is doing a decent job overall.

I can't speak to Fig or Dwan being tired, but generally having some down time is good for physical and mental well-being.

Also, scapegoating Titus is odd since we know we're playing Rice and a bunch of other guys (many of who have had good moments/games) and it was thought to be our weakest position coming into the year.

Last, we simply don't know whether these are our best man down players or not (DMVCuseLax may know). Beck was out there last year. Frat was a starter for a spell a few years ago. Sageder got a lot of run last year and this is a way to keep him engaged. Drago and Titus are vets. I think we can assume they are not our best 6 v 6 guys.

The entire conversation is academic because i dont see Gait or Odierna scapping it.

It also may have some off field benefits for team chemistry and ecruiting because your getting five more guys on the field who wouldnt otherwise get much run.

Some good points but I disagree on a couple.

I don't consider the comments on Titus scapegoating at all. He's turned it over three straight games trying to clear after a stopped man down, 2 out of the three I believe led to goals for the opponent. That can't happen at this level.

Again I don't have an issue playing 2 or 3 guys as specialists for the man down unit but all 5 is a stretch at the D2-D3 level much less the elite of D1. There's a reason no one else does it, the main reason your best defenders are all on the bench.

I do agree that its unlikely to change because this staff seems slow to make any changes beyond swapping Caccamo and Kol every other game but not sure that's a great sign.

The recruiting and off the field aspects are nice thoughts but nothing helps both more then winning and we need to do more of that.
 
Some good points but I disagree on a couple.

I don't consider the comments on Titus scapegoating at all. He's turned it over three straight games trying to clear after a stopped man down, 2 out of the three I believe led to goals for the opponent. That can't happen at this level.
I wish there were some guys who were around Titus to over him an outlet or help. Trying to hero the clear is unfortunate. Kavanaugh play was certainly a trip but he was trying to run past a few players just can't happen at this level as JeremyCuse stated. There has to be another option in that situation.
 

7. Syracuse

The Orange have now lost two in a row by a combined three goals, and their four total losses have come by just a five-goal margin.

Head coach Gary Gait’s group will hope a battle against North Carolina could get them back on track, but they can’t repeat last year’s defeat to the Heels in the Dome. UNC put up 19 goals thanks to a huge game from Logan McGovern running things with eight points (4G, 4A) and hat tricks from Lance Tillman and Antonio DeMarco. Now add Owen Duffy to that mix and you’ve got some headaches to plan for defensively for assistant John Odierna.

Even with Virginia and the ACC Tournament on the horizon, Syracuse cannot overlook the Tar Heels like they did in that February game.
 

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