SAME OLD STORY: Syracuse continues to struggle at faceoff X as Duke blows out Orange in national championship rematch

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on March 23, 2014 at 2:55 pm Contact Josh: [email protected] DURHAM, N.C. — Inside the Schwartz-Butters Athletic Center on the Duke University campus is a mural dedicated to the 2013 Blue Devils’ National Championship-winning men’s lacrosse team. Directly adjacent to the Wingate Memorial Trophy and above the team’s roster is a picture that sums up the entire national title game.A Blue Devils player is huddled over a Syracuse player, winning a battle at the faceoff X.In May, the Blue Devils overcame a 6-1 deficit with a 12-1 run to capture the title, thanks in part to winning 7-of-8 faceoffs in the second quarter and all seven faceoffs in the third. After the game, Syracuse head coach John Desko told Duke coach John Danowski to buy faceoff specialist Brendan Fowler “a big steak.”On Sunday — in a rematch of last year’s championship bout — Fowler won a convincing 24-of-31 draws, and Duke (8-2, 2-1 Atlantic Coast) defeated Syracuse (4-3, 0-3 ACC) 21-7 in front of 3,215 at Duke’s Koskinen Stadium. Blue Devils attack Deemer Class recorded 10 points (6 goals, 4 assists), while Myles Jones and Jordan Wolf both added five goals.“Obviously, we’re rooting for our defense and faceoff units, but it’s never pinned on one group of guys or one individual,” Syracuse attack Kevin Rice said. “It was a collective team loss.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textIncumbent faceoff specialist Chris Daddio was replaced in the starting lineup by Joe DeMarco. The freshman from Massapequa, N.Y., won three of the first five faceoffs of the game, but only won three of the 11 he took in total. With a steady rain falling and the center of the field mostly turned to mud, DeMarco said he struggled getting traction and digging into the ground.It was a nightmare from the start for the Orange, as rain began falling during the national anthem. Although Syracuse jumped out to an early 2-1 lead with goals from Derek DeJoe and Nicky Galasso, Duke responded with seven straight goals to end the quarter.Josh Dionne gave the Blue Devils a 3-2 lead when he intercepted a clearing attempt and placed a shot into a wide-open net. Wolf scored his first of the afternoon 14 seconds later after diving low and shooting underneath SU defender Brandon Mullins.Dionne and Wolf’s goals were the second and third of a 10-0 Duke run. From the 9:41 mark of the first quarter to 12:18 of the second quarter, Jones and Class each scored three goals, as the Blue Devils raced to an 11-2 lead.For most of the afternoon, it was Duke’s outside shooting that stifled the Orange.“We jumped into a zone defense and thought that would slow them down. But everything was just going their way offensively in the first half,” Desko said.It wasn’t until the 7:16 mark of the second quarter that Syracuse ended the 10-0 run.Randy Staats ran toward the cage from the right side and threw in a nifty backhander by Duke goalkeeper Luke Aaron to cut the deficit to 11-3. With 49 seconds left in the half, Staats found a cutting Billy Ward who beat Aaron to make it 12-4.But just 25 seconds later, Christian Walsh — who finished with six assists — found Class to give the Blue Devils a convincing 13-4 halftime lead.“They have tremendous offensive players,” Syracuse goalkeeper Bobby Wardwell said. “I think they took something like 57 shots, so, if you take that many shots in a game, you’re going to score.”Just as it did in the first and second quarters, the Orange scored two goals in the third. Kevin Rice scored at 8:23 to cut a Blue Devils’ lead to 14-5, and Staats scored another highlight-reel goal to make it 16-6.But it was all part of an effort that was nowhere near enough.One week after winning just 4-of-25 faceoffs against Johns Hopkins, the Orange claimed just 7-of-31 against Fowler as he burned SU once again.“The answer is definitely out there,” DeMarco said. “We’re definitely getting closer.” Commentslast_img read more