Syracuse has a face-off issue. The FO problem has been around for a number of years. The last time they went over 50% was in 2010. There are a few reasons why this year is different.
The over saturation of offense. Syracuse has guys that can shoot. Syracue has more shooters than they know what to do with. The team is shooting 38% on only 36 shots per game. How many short stick defensive middies does Syracuse run? What FOGOs have been recruited since Daddio 4 years ago? The system of goalie by committee is doing acceptable, but why no standouts recruited? Rather than go after all the top offensive talent, SU needs to take a look at recruiting top talent in other roles.
Lack of defensive effort. Late slides, mis-communication are both mental mistakes, and the disparity in ground balls (-11/game) is a heart/hustle thing. Then you compound the problem making it worse because you are playing so much defense (facing 47 shots per game) you get tired. You start making more mistakes in addition to losing a step or two.
The lack of aggressiveness could also be caused by the fatigue factor. In 2013, the defense caused 7 turnovers per game. Against Virginia 2…against MD 4.
Chris Daddio. In 4 seasons, he has 4 shots, 0 goals, 2 caused turnovers, 18 turnovers, and 47.4% winning record on face-offs. Clearly it is not working. Even he is getting frustrated, ““When I was winning them, we weren’t getting the groundballs, and there were times when I wasn’t winning them at all. It’s all three of us. I’m not just saying it’s them. It’s me. It’s all of us. We all have to figure it out. I have to get it started, though, and I just need their help a little bit.”
In defense of the wing play, it may have been partly due to the level of gas in the tank, having to play defense most of the game, and it may just be frustration. As a FOGO, your job is to communicate and work with your wings to get the wins. You talk during practice, on the side-line, on the way onto the field where you are going to try to put the ball, what you want your wings to do. As a FOGO you really have nothing else to practice. As a FOGO, you should check the number of times you throw the ball away, lose a FO without even contesting it, and get FO violations, before you say you need more help on the wings.
How to fix the problem? Sit Daddio against St. Johns. Shake up the chemistry. Maybe it will ignite something in Daddio that can get him back to over 80% he won in High School (Never above 50% in a year in NCAA).
Maybe SU will find another FO specialist if given enough reps.
Maybe SU will decide to go to a FO by committee giving a couple of guys equal time like they do in goal.
Maybe throw a pole on FO. They may not win clean, but at least they can beat the snot out of the opponent’s arms and or tie them up enough to get a better chance for the wings. Maybe it will rejuvenate the wing play that at least they are trying something new.
In order for SU to start improving, they need to try something new. Insanity…repeating the same actions expecting different results.