MLAX : Syracuse uses invert offense to counter opposing defensive schemes

first_img Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on April 30, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Chris: [email protected] | @chris_isemancenter_img Syracuse’s most effective option right now against opposing defenses isn’t to beat them but to give them headaches. Stump them, and force them to make fast decisions.Searching for a way to jumpstart his offense, SU head coach John Desko began employing an inverted offensive scheme, something that has always been in the playbook but has become an effective option to counter an inconsistent attack. It puts a fourth attack on the field instead of a midfielder to play behind the cage. Defenses then have to figure out whether they should keep a close defender or long-stick or short-stick midfielder on him. They also have to determine whether to fall into a zone and force outside shots or continue to play man-to-man.In between the time they make that decision, the No. 18 Orange’s (7-7, 3-3 Big East) shooters look to benefit. It’s a strategy that’s worked this season since Desko started using it regularly.‘The defense, it keeps them on their toes,’ Maltz said. ‘It’s tough. That’s one thing that’s definitely working for us. It’s messing up opposing defenses a little bit and we’re going to try to keep taking advantage of it.’Syracuse’s offense still looks unbalanced too often. The Orange failed to score for close to 40 minutes at Notre Dame on Saturday, putting itself in a hole too deep to climb out of and eventually falling 8-6. While Syracuse occasionally breaks through defenses with ease – evidenced by its 19-6 blowout over Rutgers – it still struggles to carry that efficiency from game to game and certainly for long stretches.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWhen SU lost to Georgetown on April 21, it entered the game coming off a two-game winning streak in which it scored a total of 32 goals. The Orange hasn’t scored in double digits since defeating Hobart 13-12 on April 17. Tommy Palasek, who leads the team with 19 goals, said the offense has generated chances, but it’s struggled to capitalize at times.‘We have the right schemes. We have the right players. Coach has given us the right scouting reports on them,’ Palasek said. ‘So, I think we’ve just got to go into the game and execute and play at a higher level on offense and do the right things.’That includes throwing in the inverted offense when needed, and typically, it has worked. Either Kevin Rice, Collin Donahue or Billy Ward has become the fourth attack to take the spot behind the goal. Maltz said when the offense is working properly, the attack playing at the back of the offensive box will beat the defender 95 percent of the time.Syracuse is limping into the most critical time of its season. The Orange’s poor first-half showing against the Fighting Irish turned to a strong second half, but by then, it was too late. Now it faces a Villanova team that is stocked with quality shooters who make up an aggressive offense.Before going to Notre Dame, Desko said it was time for his offense to play a full 60-minute game and take advantage of the holes the defense leaves.‘We’re going to have to make the most of our opportunities,’ Desko said. ‘If we can get transition opportunities, we’ve got to take them, and we’ve got to take good shots.’If there’s any consolation when the offense starts faltering, Desko can at least call on a fourth attack to add some pressure to the opposing defense and to put a fire under the offense.It might not be ideal for the Orange to still be searching for answers to score consistently at the conclusion of the regular season, but it’s heading to Villanova for the Big East tournament as an enigma.In a way, though, that’s what SU wants. If defenses can’t decide on how to stop the Orange’s scorers, the team will be able to exploit the defense for scoring opportunities.At least, that’s what Syracuse is hoping.Said Maltz: ‘We’re just trying to change a couple things up, and it’s really working for us.’[email protected]last_img read more

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Irish rugby squad prepare for Welsh clash

first_imgAnd Munster are also in action this evening as they host London Irish at Irish Independent Park from 7pm. After the work-out, the Irish coaching staff will go on the road to scout the players in action for the provinces in tonight’s pre-season friendlies.The likes of Michael Bent and Gordon D’Arcy will be hoping to impress for Leinster against Moseley in Donnybrook at 7.30.Andre Trimble and Tommy Bowe start on the wings for Ulster’s trip to Edinburgh at 6.30.last_img

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