Orange looks to build off first loss in program’s first ever Big East game against Georgetown

first_imgForJoel White, the answer was simple.  After a tough one-goal loss to Virginia Sunday, Syracuse learned several lessons.  But one in particular stuck out.‘After Virginia, we learned we are not unbeatable,’ said White, a junior co-captain.Though the Orange suffered its first loss of the season, White hopes the other, more encouraging lessons will be on full display when No. 2 Syracuse (2-1) hosts No. 11 Georgetown (2-1) in its Big East season opener at the Carrier Dome Saturday at 2 p.m.White said SU learned about its heart and character.  After trailing 10-6 with fewer than 14 minutes to play, the Orange stormed back before falling 11-10 to the Cavaliers.  The team also learned it could benefit by focusing more on itself.‘I think we were too worried about Virginia,’ White said.  ‘We need to start thinking about us a little more and what we need to do better to beat Georgetown.’AdvertisementThis is placeholder textIn order for that to happen, the Orange will have to get back to its winning ways in the faceoff X.  Instead of putting pressure on its defense and goaltender, Syracuse hopes for more consistency on the offensive end.  SU head coach John Desko said he will continue to test out different combinations, especially in the midfield, in hopes of finding more reliable scoring.  But Desko was happy his team learned these lessons before facing the Hoyas.‘Actually, playing Virginia was very good preparation for playing Georgetown,’ Desko said.  ‘They are teams with similar styles.  (Georgetown) likes to push the ball offensively and play aggressive defense like UVa.’Though the Orange ended up with a slight 13-12 advantage in the faceoff X Sunday, SU struggled in the first half.  Virginia won 10-of-15 first half faceoffs, leading to more offensive possessions.  The Cavs outshot the Orange 27-15 in that first half and exploded for six second-quarter goals.   Through its first two wins, the X was a place of domination for Syracuse. This is something Desko said must resurface.‘To give UVa the ball back so many times after goals, you are going to build yourself a mountain that you have to climb,’ Desko said.  ‘We adjusted well in the second half and need to win faceoffs on (Saturday).’SU goalie John Galloway was forced to use every part of his body Sunday en route to an 18-save performance.  Virginia fired shot after shot and Galloway dropped to his knees time and time again.  His calves, feet and stick got an impromptu work out.  The pressure he felt can be alleviated by a stronger offensive performance by the Orange.And that is something junior attack Stephen Keogh is very aware of.‘John played an outstanding game. The defense kept us in it,’ Keogh said. ‘I played poorly and really need to pick up the slack against Georgetown.  I only had two shots and I need to work harder on getting open and putting it in the back of the net.’For Keogh, Saturday’s game against the Hoyas cannot come soon enough.‘I cannot wait to step on the field,’ Keogh said. ‘We need to prove a lot to the lacrosse world because people are doubting us after that loss to Virginia.’The areas of improvement are foremost on Syracuse’s mind.  And that is even above the fact that the Georgetown game marks the first Big East conference game in program history. Desko said that isn’t all that important.‘I am always thinking about the playoffs,’ Desko said. ‘But not getting that automatic qualifier from it, to me, has taken a bit of the importance out of the conference.’So, instead of worrying about the conference, White is focused on building off of that loss to Virginia. It’s the first step in getting back to the top.Said White: ‘We played awful all game and to actually come back in the fourth shows a ton about this team’s character. The loss was just a bump in the road that we are going to smooth out against Georgetown.’ Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments [email protected] Published on March 10, 2010 at 12:00 pmlast_img

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