Syracuse looks to jump out to early lead against Army to avoid losing streak

first_imgSeason-opening wins have become an expectation for Syracuse.The Orange had won its last 16 openers heading into Sunday’s contest against Albany, including a 12-7 victory over the Great Danes last season.But this year, SU failed to meet that expectation. Albany stunned Syracuse 16-15 in double overtime, putting the Orange into unfamiliar territory. No. 18 Syracuse (0-1) will look to get off to a quicker start against Army (2-1) this Sunday at 4 p.m. in the Carrier Dome and pick up its first win of the season.Despite a scintillating second-half surge led by Chris Daddio, Dylan Donahue and JoJo Marasco, SU came up a bit short against Albany.“We got off to a slow start,” Daddio said. “When we started coming back in the game, we got all excited and everyone was getting riled up. It was more upsetting than anything because we were back in the game.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSyracuse was down 13-9 with three minutes to go in the third quarter. A comeback was far from imminent. Then, everything started to click. The Orange outscored the Great Danes 6-2 the rest of the way in regulation.“It was one of the most exciting things I’ve ever been a part of,” Daddio said. “It was crazy. Just being down four or five goals and then coming back … it was just fun to be a part of.”But then Syracuse regressed to its level of play from earlier in the game. Missed shots and turnovers haunted the Orange. Marasco and Daddio dictated the tempo in both overtime periods, but SU couldn’t capitalize.In the first overtime, Syracuse attempted five shots while Albany didn’t take any, but SU couldn’t convert and climb out of the deep hole it dug itself earlier in the contest.Daddio played his part. The junior controlled 20-of-33 faceoffs, including one at the start of overtime. A season ago, Syracuse often failed to earn possession, which put them at an immediate disadvantage.Sunday, though, facing off wasn’t an issue at all. Instead, it was one of the few bright spots for a team that looked sluggish and slow to react.In overtime, Daddio won the faceoff and put his team in position to notch the game-winner, and steal a game it had no right to win.“The first thing I said to the guys in the huddle was, ‘Hey, I’ve been getting you guys the ball, and I’m going to get it to you one more time. Just make sure you put it in the net,’” Daddio said.But his teammates couldn’t capitalize. After coming up short against a team it’s grown accustomed to beating, the Orange was nearly silent in the locker room, Daddio said. Players sat with their heads down, going through the motions and not wanting to acknowledge what just hit them.“We had a lot of chances,” redshirt freshman Donahue said. “I think it was five shots, or something like that. You just thought one of them was going in. We didn’t question what we were doing, we just thought one would go in.”With No. 6 Virginia on the horizon, SU’s matchup against Army this weekend is even more important. Syracuse cannot afford to get off to such a slow start.Donahue said the team’s approach will not change heading into the Army game, despite the opening loss. The players have looked at film with the goal of sharpening their individual games. While the loss served as a buzzkill to a team with high preseason expectations, Donahue said the best thing to do at this point is to put that loss behind them and move on to the Black Knights.“We were all pretty bummed about it. It was a tough loss,” Donahue said. “I thought we played OK. We’re just going to keep getting better and we’ve got to improve upon what we’re doing.”SU head coach John Desko knows his team will need to get off to a hotter start and finish more crisply against a well-coached, polished Army squad. Losing the first game can happen, but 0-2 is simply unheard of.“We put ourselves in the hole, which we didn’t want to be,” Desko said, “but we fought back a couple times, tied it up and had plenty of opportunities to win the game.” Comments Published on February 21, 2013 at 2:00 am Contact Trevor: [email protected] | @TrevorHass Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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