X-ED OUT: Maryland doubles up Syracuse thanks to dominance at faceoff X

first_img Published on February 22, 2014 at 5:51 pm Contact Josh: jmhyber@syr.edu For Syracuse, it was a nightmarish flashback to one of the most heartbreaking losses in program history.On Saturday in the Carrier Dome, the same plague that troubled the Orange against Duke in last year’s national championship game resurfaced once again. No. 2 Syracuse (2-1, 0-1 Atlantic Coast) lost 19-of-27 draws against No. 5 Maryland (3-0, 1-0), and fell to the Terrapins 16-8 in front of 5,283 in its first-ever ACC contest.“It’s been a concern for us in the past,” Syracuse head coach John Desko said. “But I think Chris (Daddio) has come a long way. We’ve changed some technique there. I think a couple of times we jumped and we shouldn’t have, because that put us in man-down situations.”Syracuse’s problems at the X have been heavily discussed, dissected and analyzed since the loss to Duke last May. But despite bringing in a new faceoff specialist — Mike Iacono — and spending more time practicing draws than ever before, SU once again struggled to take control of the ball.The Orange had no answer for Maryland faceoff specialist Charlie Raffa. The junior scooped up loose ball after loose ball. He beat Daddio. He beat Iacono. He beat Daddio again before beating Austin Wentworth.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAfter keeping Syracuse in the game in the first quarter, Daddio was outplayed in the second. Syracuse went from being up 4-2 to trailing 10-4, due in large part to its inability to gain possession at the X.“Right before that run, I gave a little high-five to Charlie and I saw something in his eyes,” Maryland goalkeeper Niko Amato said. “And boom. He went down and won a faceoff and scored and made continuous plays after that.”Raffa won 9-of-13 faceoffs in the second quarter. With SU trailing 5-4, Daddio was flagged for an illegal procedure. On the man-up advantage, Terrapins attack Connor Cannizzaro threw a bouncer past Tom Grimm and SU goalie Dominic Lamolinara and into the net.“He’s a great faceoff guy,” Daddio said of Raffa. “He got a good start. We were going back and forth for the first couple and then he started getting away a little bit and I got caught in a game of catch-up. That’s the last thing you want to do against a kid who’s better than decent.”On the ensuing faceoff, Iacono took his first draw of the match and was whistled for a procedural penalty. UMD’s Joe LoCascio found Jay Carlson, who put a shot by Lamolinara from five yards out.On the next draw, Raffa won it cleanly and went straight through the SU defense, beating Lamolinara with a shot from 10 yards out. SU defender Bobby Tait stood still in disbelief.Iacono won the next draw, which was met with a sarcastic cheer from the home crowd.On Maryland’s next possession, Matt Rambo came around a screen and fired a shot past Lamolinara. Bobby Wardwell came in for Lamolinara after the Maryland native yielded nine goals to his former team.But for Raffa, it didn’t matter who was in net. On the next draw, he beat Iacono down the field and took it through the defense himself. Raffa put a shot by Wardwell for his second goal of the game.“Charlie got into a pretty good groove,” Maryland head coach John Tillman said. “Anytime you get possessions it just allows you to get into a rhythm offensively and it can, at times, make the other team a little more uncomfortable.”Trailing 14-5, the Orange sent Wentworth to the X. The result didn’t change. Raffa won another draw and Maryland scored another goal.“I knew that that would be a big part of the game,” Raffa said. “We worked on it all week so I thought that really helped out.”But it wasn’t just faceoffs. Maryland beat Syracuse in every facet of the game. Maryland had 36 groundballs to Syracuse’s 17. Fifty-five shots to Syracuse’s 32.Despite blowing out Siena in its season opener, Syracuse only held a 15-13 edge at the X. SU was able to dominate the X against Albany on Sunday, but that was against a trio of inexperienced faceoff specialists. With the Orange facing six of the top teams in the country this year, it’ll have to find an answer at the X soon.“I think the best thing about today is that we can’t play any worse all-around. It’s never one guy or one position,” said attack Kevin Rice. “If one guy is having a down day then the rest of the team has to step up. I just think as a team, collectively, we need to step it up.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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