MLAX : After quick start, SU offense struggles to find rhythm in rest of victory over Army

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments Published on February 27, 2011 at 12:00 pmcenter_img Syracuse took possession with about 50 seconds left in the third quarter and held for what it hoped would be the last shot.As the clock ticked down to 20 seconds, senior midfielder Jovan Miller started his run near midfield.Once the help came from an Army defender to cut Miller off, he dished the ball to junior attack Tim Desko behind the net. Desko worked his way out front with the clock dipping below 10 seconds. Army sent a double team at him, eventually popping the ball free.SU senior attack Stephen Keogh scooped up the loose ball on the right side with three seconds left. He sent a desperation pass behind his back to the front of the crease. But the buzzer sounded as the pass fell harmlessly to the Carrier Dome turf.And that failed possession epitomized the Orange’s offense for much of its 11-9 win over the Black Knights on Sunday in the Dome. After scoring seven goals in less than 12 minutes to open the game, SU mustered four scores the rest of the contest. It endured a scoreless stretch that lasted just less than 27 minutes. The Orange tallied four shots on goal after halftime.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text‘I think we came out in the second half impatient,’ head coach John Desko said. ‘I thought that we wanted to make something happen right away and maybe relaxed a little too much looking at the scoreboard.’The offense’s struggles started in the second quarter when Army switched to a zone defense. That helped the Black Knights slow the pace of the game more to their style of play, as the Orange couldn’t find the back of the net with its shots.After scoring seven goals on nine shots in the first quarter, SU tallied two on 16 shots in the second. Only half of those attempts were on target, and by then John Desko felt Army goaltender Tom Palesky started seeing the ball better.The Orange still managed to take a 9-3 lead into halftime. But it started falling apart right out of the break.‘We became less patient,’ sophomore attack JoJo Marasco said. ‘Once we would get the ball, we’d try to go to the goal right away. We’d get it around maybe once, and we thought we had a couple opportunities. We need to take high percentage shots, and we weren’t taking them.’Syracuse’s first possession of the third quarter ended with an offside violation. Its second ended with an Army goal.Keogh started the possession with a shot from the middle that Palesky deflected out of bounds. SU kept the ball, and the Orange then worked the ball around for nearly two minutes.Senior midfielder Josh Amidon finally got a look from the middle of the zone. But as he wound up for a shot, the ball popped out of his stick into the air. Black Knights midfielder Brandon Butler scooped it up and took off the other way. He sped down the right side and bounced a shot past Syracuse goalie John Galloway to put the score at 9-4.Fortunately for SU, that was the only goal Army scored in the third. But as the Orange offense continued to sputter, its defense finally started to give way, allowing the Black Knights to storm back.‘It’s really frustrating for them to get back in the game like that,’ Tim Desko said. ‘And how well we played in the first half, we couldn’t keep that up.’As Army’s offense began to click, Syracuse still couldn’t find any rhythm. After the Black Knights pulled within four, Desko was stripped coming out from behind the goal. Army scooped up the loose ball and turned it into a goal a minute later.The Orange again took possession with the score at 9-6. But Palesky made a kick save on a Marasco shot, and Army converted again with a goal about 30 seconds later.SU did manage to end the scoring drought with two late goals and hold off the Black Knights’ comeback attempt. But it was the offense’s disappearance that allowed Army to claw its way back in the first place.‘It was frustrating, but we’d like to be more patient on offense in the second half,’ Tim Desko said. ‘We weren’t doing that.’zjbrown@syr.edulast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *