MLAX : Balanced scoring carries SU in exhibition game wins

first_imgHakeem Lecky cut through the offensive zone, running past the goal before quickly coming to a halt. He fought off two Hofstra defenders and took a hard shot into the top right corner of the net from about seven yards out to give Syracuse its fourth goal of the day.Though Lecky’s arrival to the Orange’s offense is coming one year later than expected, the redshirt freshman showed how much of an asset his speed and athleticism will be to SU’s midfield.‘I was very excited, very excited,’ Lecky said. ‘It was the only real lacrosse I’ve played so far since the summer. … It was just great to play other competition. We’ve been playing each other, and it was great to get back out there and get my feet wet.’The Orange got a balanced offensive effort in its first two scrimmages of the season, beating Hofstra 7-5 in the first game before taking down neighbor Le Moyne 11-5 in the second in the Carrier Dome on Sunday. Fourteen different players scored for Syracuse, with junior midfielder Christian Pagli being the only scorer to notch two goals in one game. Of the 18 total goals on the day for Syracuse, 12 came from the midfield, arguably the team’s biggest enigma heading into the season. After the games, SU head coach John Desko said the team is actually ahead of where it was last season in terms of knowing who the midfielders will be and what lines they will play on.Syracuse’s offensive starters played most of the Orange’s first game against the Pride, continuing the strong communication and chemistry they’ve been building through three weeks of practice. Still, attack Derek Maltz, who likely will be joining Tim Desko and Tommy Palasek as starters, said the offense’s chemistry is a work in progress.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text‘Continuity on offense is definitely going to come over time,’ Maltz said. ‘…We got a lot to work on this week in practice. On the offensive side, meshing together is going to come over time.’In a season in which four offensive positions on the field are being filled by new starters, Syracuse got solid contributions from two scorers who never saw playing time last year in Lecky and fellow midfielder Henry Schoonmaker. Both are expected to become major factors in SU’s offense, with Lecky playing on the first midfield line and Schoonamker on the second.On the first day of spring practices, Desko said he wanted to essentially build the second midfield line around Lecky last season, and perhaps even move him up to the first line every so often to further his experience. A wrist injury before the start of the season, though, put those plans to rest and delayed the start to his Syracuse career.When Lecky first took the field against Hofstra, Desko said he could tell he was a bit hyped up and ‘pulled the trigger’ a couple of times, taking some ill-advised shots from the outside. But once he started to settle in, Lecky started to show what the Orange has been anticipating.‘The more he plays, the more comfortable he’s going to get in the offense in game situations and the better decisions he’ll make,’ Desko said. ‘I thought he showed at times that he’s hard to cover.’Schoonmaker also redshirted last season, but like Lecky, he is taking on a larger role for 2012. The midfielder impressed his coaches in the alumni scrimmage back in October, scoring two goals in the exhibition.With so many midfielders seeing playing time Sunday, including starters and newcomers who will be relegated to reserve roles, Schoonmaker said he was glad he made the most of his opportunity.‘We have a lot of depth at middie,’ Schoonmaker said. ‘There were a lot of guys getting a lot of reps. I think they were trying out a lot of guys. I think we were, but it took a little time because we’ve been going against each other for so long.’In the first exhibitions of the season, the Orange put together an offensive performance that it would gladly take at any point during the regular season, especially from its budding midfielders.And for Lecky, it was only the beginning of a season he hopes will pan out as well as he and his coaches expect.‘It was a good feeling to get one put in the back of the net,’ Lecky said. ‘But hopefully, there’ll be a lot more to come.’[email protected] Published on February 5, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Chris: [email protected] | @chris_iseman Commentscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img