Syracuse’s young, balanced offense breaks out despite losing 3 starters from last year

September 16, 2020 | |Post a Comment

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on February 14, 2018 at 10:13 pm Contact Charlie: csdistur@syr.edu | @charliedisturco Two days before Syracuse hosted Binghamton in its season opener, a crowd of reporters surrounded head coach John Desko, asking him about the upcoming game and how his offense — which struggled in the previous scrimmages and is starting just one player to play more than two years in SU’s system — had progressed.Against Vermont on Jan. 21, Syracuse’s offense “started off pretty rough,” junior Nate Solomon said. Two weeks later, against Yale, SU had five goals in three quarters before shuffling younger players into the rotation. The offense has been “hesitant,” Desko said.Desko proceeded to tell the reporters that before Binghamton, the team reviewed ways to “be more efficient with the ball.” But then, on Saturday, something clicked. A young, balanced Syracuse attack made up for the loss of over half its point production from a year ago.“Almost a little surprised with how well we played, especially early in the game,” Desko said after the game. “… Now we gotta buckle up for next week.”No. 4 Albany returns to the Carrier Dome on Saturday, eyeing revenge after then-senior Nick Mariano lifted the Orange to victory with two seconds left last season. The Great Danes are more experienced, too, returning three of their top four scorers and bringing in freshman phenom and No. 1 overall recruit Tehoka Nanticoke. To compete with Albany’s strong attack, No. 7 Syracuse’s (1-0) youth must step up like it did Saturday.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textIn its season opener, the Orange jumped out to a 13-0 lead and dominated the Bearcats, 21-4, in a game where 12 SU players scored. Though senior Brendan Bomberry led the way with five goals, new faces appeared and stepped up to compensate for the loss of All-Americans Nick Mariano and Sergio Salcido and “quarterback” Jordan Evans.Redshirt sophomore attack Stephen Rehfuss led the way for SU’s offense, adding a hat trick and two assists in his first-ever start. He worked his way into the rotation last year but never moved ahead of Bomberry, Solomon and Evans.Rehfuss facilitated the offense from the X, mixing dodges with speed to create opportunities. On one play, after a missed shot from Bomberry, Rehfuss scooped the ball from out of bounds and darted toward the net from behind. He found Bomberry in front of the crease unguarded. On another, he dodged past a defender and turned the corner from behind the cage, using one hand to dump the ball behind Binghamton goalie Robert Martin.Anna Henderson| Digital Design EditorAnother new face in Syracuse’s starting lineup, freshman Tucker Dordevic, made his first start in his first collegiate game. Fewer than six minutes into the game, he found himself wide open 10 yards out. A sidearm shot flew by Martin into the top left corner.Two other freshmen added goals, including second-line midfielder Brendan Curry. He held possession before cutting upfield. Using his speed, he created enough space to turn and fire mid-run.“He’s probably the fastest kid I’ve ever seen in my life,” Solomon said. “…It all comes natural to him.”Then it was Lucas Quinn, who pocketed a pair of goals late. On one goal, he made his defender fall before firing top shelf. Syracuse’s former top-ranked recruit hadn’t played much in the scrimmages, but when called on Saturday, he stepped up.Losing three experienced starters on offense is a loss most teams would struggle with. Add in the fact that Syracuse had no fall season and returned one offensive starter who’s played under Desko for two years, and a slow start was expected.But Syracuse came out with its usual run-and-gun offense and didn’t miss a beat in its opener. And to beat a top-five team on Saturday, slowing down isn’t an option.“I think a lot of people are looking down on us this year,” Solomon said Feb. 8, before the season opener. “But we want to prove to everyone that we’re the real deal.” Commentslast_img



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