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3-15-14 Preview Syracuse vs Johns Hopkins

Syracuse needs a win desperately, and is a cornered animal.  With a win, Hopkins perfect season rolls on.

Hopkins is a perfect 5-0 with a win over ranked Princeton.

The Blue Jays are consistent scoring 15 goals 3 of 5 games (and 14 one more).  So is there defense letting in 8 or 9 4 of 5 games. Hopkins offense can score, their defense is solid.  Two key standouts for Hopkins are FO specialist Drew Kennedy winning 65%, and goalie Eric Schneider posting a save% of 62.2% and goals against 7.3.

Syracuse is 3-2 with an OT win over ranked Albany, and losses to ranked Virginia, and Maryland
The Orange woes continue in the middle of the field.  On offense, there is no question, they score when they get the ball.  On defense, they spend too much time on that side of the field and the strain usually takes its toll mentally and physically, but at least in the St. Johns game, the defensive unit showed signs of starting to play better team defense.  In net Lamolinara has been improving every game to the point he should clearly get the start and keep it (no more platooning unless he is getting shelled).
Where the Orange gets crushed is in the middle of the field.  If you read last weeks post, you’ll know the issues with Face-offs.  It continued against St. Johns (of all teams),  winning only 10 of 25 with 6 FO violations (Daddio was still sub-500 winning 10 of 21).

For a Syracuse win, the Syracuse defense must build on improvements in the St. Johns game.  With everything Hopkins does right, they do have trouble holding onto the ball when being pressured.  Of 77 Turnovers, 45 were caused by opponents.  Syracuse D will need to play a little more aggressive and get after the Jays.  At face offs, if the D can hold Hopkins, Daddio needs to win at least 45% of his draws to keep it at least close.  If he loses more than that, no matter what Syracuse does, they will be at the mercy of the Jays.

For a Hopkins win, they need to win the draws, and then play a deliberate offense eating up time of possession.  That’s it.  Their defense won’t be able to smother the many offensive threats Syracuse has, they just need to suck up the Ground Balls and keep SU on the perimeter eating up the clock.

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