February 14, 2011

NCAA Preview: No. 5 Syracuse

by Justin Feil | Special to Lacrosse Magazine Online

The February issue of Lacrosse Magazine features an extensive NCAA lacrosse preview, from Division I through Division III, plus in-depth features on the top-ranked Syracuse men and the snake-bitten Cal women. Lacrosse Magazine Online (laxmagazine.com) examines the key players, strengths, weaknesses, best- and worst-case scenarios, sleepers, what's new, what's not and rival coaches' takes on each of the top 10-ranked teams in Division I men's and women's lacrosse.

MEN: 10 COR | 9 HOF | 8 DUKE | 7 UND | 6 PTON | 5 MD | 4 SB | 3 UNC | 2 UVA | 1 CUSE
WOMEN: 10 UND | 9 JMU | 8 PENN | 7 UVA | 6 GTOWN | 5 CUSE | 4 DUKE | 3 UNC | 2 NW | 1 MD

NO. 5 SYRACUSE


Syracuse boasts the nation's top goalie in Liz Hogan. She and former Big East Defensive Player of the Year Lindsay Rogers (missed most of 2010 with torn ACL) will lead a young Orange defense.


Head Coach: Gary Gait
Conference: Big East
2010 Records: 15-7, 6-2
2011 Opener: Thursday, Feb. 17 vs. Colgate | Schedule

KEY PLAYERS

G Liz Hogan (Sr.)
The four-year starter was 2010 IWLCA Goalkeeper of the Year (211 saves, .525 save percentage). Said Gait: “It’s nice to have that leadership and someone who controls the ball well.”

D Lindsay Rogers (Sr.)
The 2008 Big East Defensive Player of the Year tore her ACL in the fifth game last year. “It was a huge loss,” Gait said. The Orange need her to lead their young defense.

A Michelle Tumolo (So.)
Set the Syracuse freshman record in goals (37) and assists (37). She’s so good that the Orange aren’t sweating the loss of two of the three top scorers in program history.

STRENGTHS

• More athletic and deeper than ever
• Balanced attack is tough to stop

WEAKNESSES

• Will rely on lots of youth
• Graduated top two players on draw control

BEST CASE

Syracuse’s youth is as good as advertised and gels with the experienced core in time for a third run to the final four in four years.

WORST CASE

 

The Orange’s tougher schedule hurts its confidence, team chemistry suffers and it takes a step back.

SLEEPER

 M Sarah Holden (Jr.)

Holden was a role player that took some draws last year. Said Gait: "She's playing both ends of the field, scoring goals and able to play some good D. It gives us some added dimension."

RIVAL COACH'S TAKE

"Liz Hogan in cage is always the 'X' factor."
"They're big and fast, and very strong in goal. Liz Hogan is a difference-maker."

WHAT'S NEW?

Freshman attacker Alyssa Murray set the New York career assists record at West Babylon before tearing her ACL. She missed the fall too, but is back.

WHAT'S NOT?

Offense. During Gait's first three seasons, the Orange has been ranked first, fifth and third nationally in scoring.

7-7

Syracuse's record against ranked opponents in 2010.


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