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WLAX : Syracuse falls to Cavaliers in Carrier Dome

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first_imgUPDATED: March 3, 2011, 1:28 a.m.In the original version of this article, the statistic on scores allowed in program history was incorrect. The program record is from 2000, when Syracuse allowed 24 goals against Maryland. The Daily Orange regrets this error. Speed kills. Especially if one team has trouble getting back on defense.After figuring out how to exploit a hole in Syracuse’s transition defense, the Cavaliers were off to the races in Syracuse’s 21-11 loss to Virginia on Sunday inside the Carrier Dome.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text‘They just ran by us one-on-one a couple times in the transition,’ SU head coach Gary Gait said. ‘That’s just them taking it to us and getting the job done.’Virginia’s transition offense and Syracuse’s lack of transition defense combined for a Cavalier rout Sunday in front of a crowd of 767 in the Dome. Of Syracuse’s 11 goals against Virginia, six were answered by Cavalier scores within the next 90 seconds.Syracuse dropped back an extra defender on draw plays in an effort to combat transition scores, but Virginia’s foot speed eventually proved to be too much as the Cavaliers were able to re-establish possession throughout the game.SU now falls to 1-2 on the season. The 21 scores allowed is the most a Syracuse team has relinquished since 2000.‘They had good possession, but overall our defense wasn’t communicating,’ SU defender Lindsay Rogers said.Syracuse dug itself a first-half hole after it was called for seven eight-meter penalties. Virginia converted four of them. After the Orange fell behind again early in the second, the Cavaliers made it difficult to regain possession. As a result, SU was responsible for each of the five yellow cards awarded and commit 18 second-half fouls to Virginia’s two.‘We have to work on team D,’ Rogers said. ‘And other than that, we just have to hit our slides and make sure we’re coming in with the right technique.’Syracuse was caught in a three-minute stretch — ending at the 10-minute mark in the first half — that featured several looks on net without putting one in. The Orange was able to pull to within five on a Katie Webster goal at the end of the half.‘I think I took it to the goal more and just had more confidence,’ Webster said.The Orange scored again to open the second half to cut the score to 10-6, but Virginia made sure SU’s comeback stopped there. Eighty-one seconds later, the Cavaliers’ Julie Gardner scored. Sixty-one seconds after that, Virginia struck again, this time with a goal from Ainsley Baker.Though Syracuse remained aggressive on the offensive end, its inadequate transition defense kept its own offense at bay. The Cavaliers controlled a number of draws, forced five first-half turnovers and played Syracuse into early offensive mistakes. That allowed Virginia to stay patient with the ball, create methodical challenges and strike often on the Syracuse defense.Repeated challenges guided Gait’s decision to switch goaltenders halfway through the game, from usual starter Liz Hogan to freshman backup Alyssa Costantino.‘She was having a tough day,’ Gait said of Hogan. ‘When you’re having a tough day, you’re looking for something to change momentum a little bit.’Costantino entered the game in the final two minutes of the first half and made a couple of impressive saves to keep the scoring margin at five. Hogan relinquished 15 goals in 37 minutes of play, and Costantino allowed six in 23. Hogan recorded seven saves compared to Costantino’s three.Poor transition defense, at least in part, resulted in the team’s senior goaltender being relegated to the sidelines and one of the most disappointing losses in recent memory.‘We didn’t give her a lot of help,’ Gait said of Hogan. ‘It wasn’t a matter of benching her. It was just an opportunity to get a younger player a little bit of experience.’The Orange will have plenty of time to straighten out any defensive miscues. Syracuse has two weeks off before facing Maryland on March 12.‘But you have to have the ball to score,’ Gait said. ‘And a lot of times, if you look at possession, we didn’t have the ball that much.’[email protected] Published on February 27, 2011 at 12:00 pm Commentscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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