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lacrosse preview 2011

After last year’s shocking end, Syracuse’s core group of seniors looks for redemption with 3rd title in 4 years

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Inside Tom Palasek’s decision to transfer from one storied program to another

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Stephen Keogh leads the SU offense with an aggressive scorer’s mentality

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John Galloway attempts to put it all together in his last year as SU’s starting goaltender

Tee Ladouceur takes over the reigns of the SU women’s offense


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ashli truchon | staff photographer

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Last stand

In his senior season, Syracuse goaltender John Galloway tries to couple strong individual play with a third national championship after a disappointing end to 2010. By Michael Cohen

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Perfect score

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Lockdown

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Stephen Keogh looks to channel his fiery competitive nature into big-time production on the field as he takes over the lead role in the SU attack. By Chris Iseman

Over the past few seasons, Syracuse’s reputation as an offensive juggernaut has shifted to one of a defensive stalwart. And this year’s unit is as good as any in the country. By Zach Brown

Relocation benefits

After burning the Orange last season, attack Tom Palasek transferred from Johns Hopkins to Syracuse and hopes to earn playing time for the preseason No. 1 team in the country. By Brett LoGiurato

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Next in line

Billy Ward, Jake Bratek, Matt Harris and Ben Levy are four members of a Syracuse freshman class of 19 that is ranked second nationally. By The Daily Orange Sports staff

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A leg up

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For the record

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Lion’s den

Tee Ladouceur looks to fill the big shoes left by the graduation of Syracuse’s leading goal-scorer a year ago, Christina Dove. But she also has to worry about keeping her surgically-repaired knee healthy. By Rachel Marcus

Georgetown sophomore attack Travis Comeau looks to do even bigger things after breaking the school’s freshman goal-scoring record a year ago. By Allison Guggenheimer

After turning Cornell lacrosse into a national power over the past 10 seasons, Jeff Tambroni has taken his talents to a Penn State program in need of a facelift. By Mark Cooper

Special thanks to Sue Edson, Mike Morrison, Susie Mehringer and SU Athletic Communications cover photo by bridget streeter | staff photographer

t h e i n de pe n de n t s t u de n t n e w spa pe r of syr acuse, new york

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Kathleen Ronayne

editor in chief

managing editor

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With his legacy on the line, John Galloway tries to put statistics and winning together in his final season

bridget streeter | staff photographer

By Michael Cohen

S

yracuse’s brick wall slowly crumbled. The team’s last line of defense — one that had been virtually impenetrable all season — couldn’t keep its stoic façade intact any longer.

Hours after the Syracuse men’s lacrosse team was stunned by Army in the first round of the 2010 NCAA tournament — hours after he allowed the game-winning goal on a save he’s made hundreds of times — John Galloway finally broke down. “I remember seeing him a few hours after the game,” said SU senior midfielder Jovan Miller, who is entering his fourth season playing alongside Galloway. “And he was all torn up inside. You could definitely tell. His facial expressions did not look like he was OK.” Even in the presence of his mother, Galloway’s face told the story. Hallowed and noticeably shaken, the junior goaltender couldn’t come to grips with what had just happened. The second-seeded Orange, whose record was a near-perfect 13-1 heading into the game, was knocked out of the postseason despite being heavy favorites at home against the Black Knights. So when

Devin Lynch’s shot beat Galloway in the second overtime, it was one of the biggest upsets in recent Division I lacrosse history. “That shot might go in half the time,” Galloway said. “But it’s also a point in the game where you hope you can make a big save and keep your team in it.” And that is exactly what Galloway couldn’t do. Despite being arguably the country’s most dominant goaltender all season long — eventually being rewarded with the Ensign C. Markland Kelly Jr. Award given to the nation’s best — he couldn’t make the big save when it mattered most. Cue the frustration. “Last year at the end of the year, he was really stopping everything,” said Al Cavalieri, a former SU goaltender who backed up Galloway for three seasons. “He didn’t have to improve because everything was getting stopped.” Galloway returns with a chance to “fix” what happened last year — using that goal by Lynch as motivation. This year, Galloway tries to put everything together. As a freshman and sophomore, he won two national championships but doesn’t hesitate to admit he felt like an inexperienced liability at times. And last year — which was statistically the best of his career — one mistake cut short what could have been a remarkable season.

see galloway page 16

vitals

asst. sports editor

John Galloway Height: 6-0 Weight: 188 Year: Senior Position: Goaltender Hometown: Syracuse, N.Y.

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Stephen Keogh’s next fight will be shouldering the load of an SU attack that lost 2 key players

vitals

bridget streeter | staff photographer

Stephen Keogh Height: 5-10 Weight: 188 Year: Senior Position: Attack Hometown: Toronto

By Chris Iseman asst. copy editor

tephen Keogh has never shied away from a fight. Growing up with two older brothers, he had to learn to defend himself at an early age if he wanted a chance at a fair match. When he followed the usual path of most Canadian kids into sports by beginning his hockey career, his penchant for fighting only increased. And it gave him another place to put his toughness at the forefront. Some things haven’t changed. But one thing has. The toughness remains the same, but the playing surface is different. “Playing hockey, I wasn’t the most skilled player. But I liked to get into it, the gritty, the grinder,” Keogh said. “In

lacrosse, fights happen. I’m not scared to get into it.” On the field, Keogh is a player who’s been taking hard hits since his hockey days. No matter how rough or how physical. Keogh runs at them, never away. He’s fought his way to being one of Syracuse’s leading scorers on attack and now, as a senior, is stepping up to take over as a leader on offense with attack Chris Daniello and Cody Jamieson departed. Before Keogh arrived at Syracuse, his future teammates saw him fighting on a YouTube clip. Daniello remembers watching the clip to see the scrappy player he’d soon be sharing a locker room with. It was then Daniello got his first impression of Keogh.

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As it turns out, his first impression ended up being the lasting one. “He’s definitely a very tough player,” Daniello said. “You could definitely tell he was one of the Canadian indoor players who was really gritty.” For Jamieson, there was nothing new about Keogh’s ability to fight on the field. Jamieson was used to it, having played against Keogh during their childhood years in Toronto. The same hardnosed box lacrosse player in Canada wasn’t any different from the field lacrosse player in the United States. Intense. Fearless. Never avoids a fight. “He was pretty much the same as he is now. Always his intensity, he’s a tough kid,” Jamieson said. “In box lacrosse, he was always roughing it up. In field lacrosse, he doesn’t back down from anybody. He won’t back out of a hit, and he’ll run full tilt at you.”

Brewster’s ‘lax junkie’ Bill Lee witnessed the transformation of a quiet, unaggressive student into a relentless competitor on the lacrosse field. As Keogh’s head coach at Brewster Academy in New Hampshire, Lee also witnessed two of the most successful seasons of any Brewster lacrosse player. Keogh led Brewster to 28 wins and two Northern New England Lacrosse League titles while he was there. In 2006, he notched 113 points with 73 goals, setting Brewster’s singleseason scoring record. He left as the school’s all-time leading scorer with 124 goals. Through it all, he never changed on the field. Always the same type of player. “You talk to Stephen, you see him off the lacrosse field, he’s a pretty gentle soul,” Lee said. “Get him on the field, and he’s just a fierce competitor and physical and strong.” It’s a part of what made Lee want to bring Keogh to Brewster. Lee took a trip to Toronto to see Keogh’s friend, Tyler Collins, play. But during the entire game, Keogh stood next to Lee, lacrosse stick in hand, talking about the game. Lee wanted to see this “lax junkie” play. And when Lee watched Keogh play for the Toronto Beaches in a summer league game, he immediately saw what everyone else continues to see. “He was just tough. He was a very good fighter,” Lee said. “I was able to see a couple of his skirmishes up there and knew that he was a pretty tough kid.” Once Keogh arrived at Brewster, everyone else came to know it, too. What they also came to know was that in any situation, especially when a game was on the line or when Brewster needed a win, Keogh always wanted the ball in his stick. He was always ready to step up and lead everyone else on the field. When Brewster played Phillips Academy, a team it had never beaten, Keogh never had to tell his coach he wanted the ball. Down by a couple of goals, Brewster needed someone to take over. If anyone was going to get the Bobcats back into the game, it was Keogh. “He kind of took control of the game at a critical time,” Lee said. “He didn’t tell me, but I could just tell from his actions, he wanted the ball. He wanted to be that guy to help bring us back.” Keogh did exactly that. Led by Keogh, Brewster beat Phillips. “At that time, I wanted the ball in my stick, I wanted to be the go-to guy,” Keogh said. “When it comes down to games like that, I kind of want the ball in my stick to try and make the last play, get

the winning goal.” The tough “lax junkie” Lee met in Toronto had come through for Brewster at exactly the right time.

An unquestioned leader Like his ability to fight, his ability to score goals at an unmatched rate hasn’t changed. From box lacrosse to Brewster to the field at Syracuse, he’s always been a leading scorer. Last season, he led the Orange with 31 goals and tied for first in the Big East with goals per game at 2.07. He makes it almost impossible for anyone to try to stop him. “Somehow, he always finds a way to get open,” Daniello said. “The defense doesn’t like covering him.” With Daniello and Jamieson gone, Keogh is now the leader on offense. It’s a role neither Daniello nor Jamieson had to speak with him about. Instead, he’ll only do what he’s always done, and that’s lead by the way he plays on the field. In a way, Keogh has already helped lead the Orange for a couple of years. Jamieson said he’s always mentored the younger players, showing them the things he looks for to score. The only difference is he’ll now have the senior title attached to his name. When it comes down to it, Keogh will almost be an on-field coach. “We need him to be a leader,” SU head coach John Desko said.

“Somehow, he always finds a way to get open. The defense doesn’t like covering him.” Chris Daniello Former SU attack

“A little bit of a coach, tell the younger guys where to go and when to be there. We always look to him because he shoots the ball so well.” There’s no concern Keogh won’t live up to his numbers from the past three years now that Daniello and Jamieson are gone. Desko said Keogh might even get more opportunities because Daniello and Jamieson weren’t always able to provide assists. That’s something Tim Desko and JoJo Marasco, who are better at creating scoring opportunities, will be able to do more often. “I’m going to try and stick to the way I play,” Keogh said. “I don’t want to go too out of my shell because sometimes that causes turnovers. … I just want to stick to my game plan and see how it goes.” It’ll also allow Keogh to continue to play the way he always has, without having to change anything to make up for the losses. For Keogh, he’ll be trying to lead Syracuse back to a championship. With the way 2010 ended, a first-round NCAA tournament loss to Army at the Carrier Dome, he’s a little hungrier and a little more motivated. And he’s ready to fight all the way to his third championship. “I’m ready to take on the challenge,” Keogh said. “It’s my senior season. I want to go out with a bang.” cjiseman@syr.edu

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Syracuse lacrosse has always been known for it’s offense. These 4 defensive stalwarts are changing that By Zach Brown staff writer

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elan Rogers hopes he doesn’t have to offense,” Desko said at SU’s media day Jan. 13. “But I think our strength really the last couple years has been with our defense.” coach a single game this year. In fact, the Syracuse defensive coordinator The star and the cover guy SU’s long-stick midfielder White was awestruck the first time he saw doesn’t even want to. Lade play. All he could think was, “Wow. Wow, we need this kid.” “If I don’t have to coach, we’re probably a much better off team,” he said. “That means our guys are coaching themselves and having fun, and they’re doing what they should be doing.” Last year, the defense executed Rogers’ schemes flawlessly, holding opponents to 7.4 goals per game, the lowest mark in the country. That meant very little in-game work for Rogers while his defense controlled games. And this year, he expects nothing less. That Orange unit only lost one starting defender from a year ago, and a likely replacement has already been found. Senior Tom Guadagnolo, who was named a captain at the start of the season, looks to fill that role. Also returning for the Orange are fellow seniors John Lade and Joel White, stalwarts in the Syracuse lineup since they joined the team. The final piece of the defense is sophomore Brian Megill, who became the first freshman defender to start every game of his rookie

“We have a good balance of a guy that’s going to hit, guy that’s going to cover, guy that’s going to try to pick off passes.” Joel White

SU midfielder

year since head coach John Desko took over the team. Each defender brings his individual strengths and personalities to the group both on and off the field. And together, they make up one of the most feared units in the country. In Desko’s mind, the Orange has held the reputation of an attacking, high-scoring team for much of the program’s history. But this unit has helped bring defense back into the picture. The head coach said the backline was the strength of this team entering the season. And if this group continues along the pace it set last year, opponents will have more to worry about than SU’s high-powered attack. “I think that for years, a lot of people — because of our high-scoring offense and the style of ball that we play — associate Syracuse with

The two first crossed paths playing together on the U.S. under-19 team. White was fresh off a national championship victory in his first year at Syracuse. Lade just finished his freshman year at Villanova and planned to transfer to a more prominent lacrosse school. That’s where White stepped in. SU had lost two senior defenders, and he thought Lade could be the solution. White called Desko, telling his coach he found someone to play defense. The coaching staff wasn’t sure about Lade’s 5-foot-10 stature at first, but White assured them he would make up for it with the way he played. Before the summer was over, the coaches made an offer to Lade, and he jumped at the opportunity. “They’re the greatest program ever,” Lade said. “You can’t ask for anything better than to play for Syracuse lacrosse in your career.” Since then, the defender has started all 30 games he’s played for the Orange. His job is to shut down the opponent’s best dodging attack. And his teammates say there’s no one better at it. “Lade’s probably the best cover guy in the country,” senior goalie John Galloway said. “I think there’s not one guy that could take him one-on-one confidently. Nine times out of 10, John’s going to stop anybody in the country.” But he’s not the only Syracuse defender known for his cover skills. His recruiter, White, takes on the job of stopping the opponent’s best midfielder, and his talents have earned him countless awards through his time at SU. He was a first-team All-American last year and became the first defensive specialist to win the Lt. Donald C. MacLaughlin Jr. Award as the nation’s best midfielder. He is known to yell out whatever pops into his head throughout a game, not only to throw off the other team’s offense but also to keep his unit loose. Still, his teammates say it’s his talent and work ethic that set him above the rest. “Joel’s the workhorse of the team,” Guadagnolo said. “He’s 100 miles an hour, and that’s his only speed.”

The youngster and the player-coach After the 2009 season, the graduation of Sid Smith left a giant hole in the Syracuse backline. A heated position battle ensued for the starting job. Guadagnolo and then-freshman Megill were among the top contenders. But before the season even began, Guadagnolo got sick with appendicitis. Megill took advantage of the opportunity. He earned

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a starting role by the end of the preseason and never relinquished it. “He’s a big guy,” White said. “He’s not afraid to hit anybody. He’s going to come across the crease and let you know that he’s there.” Megill’s 6-foot-2, 232-pound frame gives the sophomore the size to be the Orange’s physical presence. He said he played defense in every sport in high school, and it’s the contact that drew him to that side of the ball in the first place. “Hitting people,” Megill said of the appeal of his position. “I get to slash them, take the ball away.” As Megill thrived in the starting lineup last year, Guadagnolo was relegated to coming off the bench, mostly in man-down situations. This year, the graduation of Matt Tierney created another hole in the Syracuse backline. Desko has not declared Guadagnolo the starter at this point, but most of his Orange teammates think he will take the spot.

“He’s probably the hungriest of all,” Rogers said of Guadagnolo. “He’s been so close. … Put yourself in that situation. That’s going to motivate the hell out of me. I’m not going to let anyone beat me out. This is my last year.” That drive, added with what his teammates say are the best stick skills on the team, has given him an edge over his competition. But Rogers sees another advantage. Guadagnolo knows the system inside and out. Rogers likened him to having another coach on the field. “He may not be as big, he may not be as fast, but he knows the advantage he can get by being smarter and by being a coach,” Rogers said. “And you need players on the field that coach when they’re out there.”

Sum of the parts The SU defense is as close off the field as it is on it. They play video games together, grab food when they have time and lead the typical college life by one another’s sides. White and Guadagnolo, the team’s co-

captains, are the loudest of the group, while Lade and Megill are more soft-spoken. On the field, each of their individual skills provides some necessity for the unit as a whole. “We have a good balance of a guy that’s going to hit, guy that’s going to cover, guy that’s going to try to pick off passes,” White said. “It works out very well.” Rogers likes the fact that he has one of the most experienced groups in the country at his disposal. After all, it should lead to less work for him in games. Three seniors, plus a sophomore who started every game a year ago, comprise a formidable Orange backline. And Rogers sees the connection those four have made with one another, something he said makes a difference on the field. “As a coach, you embrace it,” Rogers said. “It’s like a family at home. … You develop these bonds and relationships that go a lot further, and you’re willing to fight and scratch and kick a lot harder when you’re a really close-knit group of guys.” zjbrown@syr.edu


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Tom Palasek didn’t fit in at Johns Hopkins, so he made the move to Syracuse. He’s already finding his niche with the Orange


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By Brett LoGiurato sports editor

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ave Pietramala knew something was off. Days after the most disappointing Johns Hopkins season in recent memory, the head coach Pietramala walked into his dark office in the morning. He strolled into the room. And to his surprise, he found Tom Palasek waiting there. Alone. “When a guy’s sitting, waiting for you at your office,” Pietramala said, “you know something’s up.” Palasek told his head coach, quite simply, he wanted out. Hopkins wasn’t the right fit anymore, for a variety of reasons. Because he didn’t fit Hopkins academically anymore. Because he felt he didn’t completely fit Pietramala’s system. And he wanted a chance to leave his mark on what he feels is the signature NCAA lacrosse program in the country. So began Palasek’s rare journey from one storied program to another. Pietramala and Hopkins granted him his release, and Palasek transferred to Syracuse. He’s one part of SU’s stacked attack group, along with senior Stephen Keogh, junior Tim Desko, sophomore JoJo Marasco and highly touted freshman Billy Ward. Even after missing the team’s fall camp, SU head coach John Desko and his new teammates see him ready to contribute on offense. And after a long path that led him to Syracuse, Palasek feels ready, too. “At first, you feel the pressure,” Palasek said. “Only because in a place like this and Hopkins, there are always people watching you. “But I like the pressure. I like to be able to have that pressure so that I can live up to it.” Palasek living up to anything, though, was a question. He said he knew he wanted to transfer before Johns Hopkins’ season was over. He moved swiftly after the Blue Jays suffered through their worst season since 1990. It ended with a disappointing 18-5 loss to Duke in the first round of the NCAA tournament. When Hopkins’ season ended and Palasek decided to transfer, the rumors began. He heard it all. When his brother decided to transfer as well — he ended up at Massachusetts — there were rumors of a fallout between Palasek and Pietramala. Both have denied those rumors. Pietramala said he wished he played Palasek more as a Blue Jay to unleash the potential of his young attack, but Palasek never complained about playing time. Palasek said too many people were caught up in assumptions. “He’s got a different style of coaching than Coach Desko,” Palasek said of Pietramala. “More outgoing and in-your-face type of guy. A lot of people assume that bothered me and that was the reason I left. Because he was too hard on me. “I’ve had coaches my whole life, in all sports. They’ve been hard, in-your-face type of guys. I don’t mind that at all. I never had that problem.” Desko and Syracuse had reached out to Palasek during his original recruitment process out of Rocky Point (N.Y.) High School. Palasek’s father, Tom, attended SU and played two years of junior varsity lacrosse. Palasek thought the Syracuse package — the history, the better school academically for his concentration in teaching and the lacrosse — was a perfect fit. And Desko was happy to oblige the second time around. “Tom has some good ability,” Desko said. “He’s a good dodger. He

sees the field well. He can help us get some depth there, and I’m sure he can get some minutes there, too.” Minutes weren’t always a sure thing for Palasek, either. He came into Syracuse in late December at a disadvantage. He was a freshman again. And he missed the fall camp Desko used to help his freshman class of 19 learn the ropes. At media day, Desko said he would consider using a redshirt season for Palasek. “Just get an opportunity,” Palasek said at SU’s media day on Jan. 13. “I would never come in and expect to just play at such a great place like this, with such history and great talent already. But I’m looking forward to getting the second opportunity to play for a great program.” But not even two weeks later, Desko all but ended any talks of redshirting Palasek. And the following week, he confirmed Palasek would play this season. Desko’s decision came so easily, teammates say, because of the different dynamic Palasek brings to the Orange’s offense. SU starting goaltender John Galloway saw that dynamic when Palasek had his best game of last season — March 20 against Syracuse. Palasek kept the Blue Jays afloat in an eventual 10-7 Orange victory. With Hopkins down 8-2, he assisted on a goal to Zach Palmer. And he scored two more to bring his team within three each time. “I don’t think we scouted Tommy as well as we should have,” Galloway said. “I think he was an unsung hero for that team. You didn’t see

“Tom has some good ability. He’s a good dodger. He sees the field well. He can help us get some depth there, and I’m sure he can get some minutes there, too.” John Desko SU head coach

him too much before the game on film, and all of a sudden he comes out of the box. … He beat two of our best defenders in Jovan (Miller) and (Tim) Harder last year.” Now Galloway said he’s glad to have Palasek on his side. Palasek likely won’t start — that will be left to the returning trio of Keogh, Marasco and Desko. But he will bring his array of experiences to a key reserve role. The speed and the quick trigger around the net Galloway talked about. A strong lacrosse background from Pietramala and Johns Hopkins. And the mastery — already — of a playbook Tim Desko said took him an entire redshirt season to learn. Far from the dark office in which he started the new path, Palasek will stand under the bright lights of the Carrier Dome on Sunday to begin the next step in his unique journey. “This program is a great program,” Palasek said. “I’m lucky to have the opportunity to play for both. Not many people can say they’ve played for Hopkins and Syracuse lacrosse.” bplogiur@ syr.edu

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“It’s one of our larger classes,� Desko said when the class was

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— Chris Iseman, asst. copy editor

Inside Lacrosse rated Harris 11th among defenders and 38th overall in the 2010 class. Harris was also a 2010 U.S. Lacrosse All-American and a first-team all-state selection. During his high school career, he scored 21 goals, had 34 assists and picked up more than 300 ground balls. “I just want to show them that I can understand things, learn the system and be a good teammate,� Harris said. “You have to gel with the older guys if you plan on getting playing time, so just show them you can learn the system.� Harris said he had been picking up the system well and didn’t have many problems adjusting to the collegiate level of play. A lot of those issues were worked out during fall ball, giving Harris the chance to come into the spring without that distraction. Syracuse head coach John Desko apparently saw how quickly Harris had made the adjustment and picked up the defensive system. Back on Jan. 13 at the team’s media day, Desko included Harris in the category of players competing for the third spot on the starting defense. While it’s unlikely Harris will be named the starter — with that spot likely going to Tom Guadagnolo — he’ll probably still see some playing time as a true freshman.

STEVENSON SCHOOL (BUFFALO GROVE, ILL.)

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â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Zach Brown, staff writer

Inside Lacrosse ranked Bratek as the seventh-best midfielder and the 19th overall prospect in his class heading into his first year with the Orange. The Syracuse native led Jamesville-DeWitt High to four Section III championships and two state championships through his high school career. With a wiry 6-foot, 163-pound frame, the Syracuse coaches have been impressed with his speed and quickness. Bratek developed into more of a scorer than a playmaker in his time at Jamesville-DeWitt. He scored 178 goals in his four years there while dishing out just 52 assists. Those 230 points rank him as the highest-scoring midfielder in school history. In his senior year alone, he tallied 60 goals before sitting out with a broken collarbone. Head coach John Desko said the veteran midfielders had a clear edge over the freshmen due to their experience with the system and with college lacrosse in general. Still, the coach added that if any of the first-year players can pick up the teamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sets quickly, they have the talent to see some playing time.

JAMESVILLE-DEWITT HIGH SCHOOL (DEWITT, N.Y.)

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Hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a closer look at four of the freshmen in the class:

ers. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s balanced at all positions and adds a lot of depth to our lineup.â&#x20AC;?

announced in September. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We like the group. There are a lot of good play-

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is made up of 19 freshmen, some of whom Desko expects to play a key role in their first season with the Orange.

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class in the nation, according to Inside Lacrosse. The class

forcement this season with the second-ranked recruiting

yracuse head coach John Desko brought in plenty of rein-

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"

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Michael Cohen, asst. sports editor

John Galloway said heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d never seen anything like it. The work ethic of this 5-foot-7, 167-pound freshman took the team by storm. Billy Ward made an impression on arguably the nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best goaltender without ever playing a game. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Billy Ward is the hardest working kid on our team,â&#x20AC;? Galloway said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;No question about it.â&#x20AC;? In a class of 19 freshmen, Ward has already separated himself. His canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t-stop, wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t-stop attitude has proved infectious in the early part of the 2011 season. On a team with multiple All-Americans, Wardâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s determination supersedes them all. â&#x20AC;&#x153;He is 120 percent, 100 percent of the time.â&#x20AC;? Galloway said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;At practice, in the weight room, in the conditioning â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve never seen anything like it.â&#x20AC;? Ward is the highest-rated player in John Deskoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Class of 2010, checking in at the No. 14 overall spot and the fourth-best attack in the country. While at C.W. Baker High School, he earned All-American recognition following a senior season in which he scored 44 goals and tallied 41 assists. Being the go-to guy in high school makes Ward composed and under control on the field. â&#x20AC;&#x153;He makes the right decision with the ball,â&#x20AC;? SU midfielder Jovan Miller said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;And I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a liability. So I definitely see him as someone who is going to participate.â&#x20AC;? But even if he doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get to participate on the field right away, Ward has already contributed to the team in another way. At a young age, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s demonstrating an understanding of how hard you have to work to one day be the best. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just a guy that you watch on the field, and it kind of motivates you to go a little harder,â&#x20AC;? Galloway said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Especially for those freshmen, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s really showcasing what you have to do to be a Syracuse lacrosse player. And people are starting to follow his lead.â&#x20AC;?

C.W. BAKER (BALDWINSVILLE, N.Y.)

0CC02:

1X[[hFPaS

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Brett LoGiurato, sports editor

Ben Levy became a goaltender by accident. As a seventh grader, he missed practice near the start of the lacrosse season. The next day, with his team without a goalie, Levyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s coach asked who wanted to step in net. No one volunteered. So because Levy missed practice, Coach put him in goal. â&#x20AC;&#x153;And the rest,â&#x20AC;? Levy said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;is history.â&#x20AC;? Now Levy comes in as a freshman goaltender on Syracuse behind a current program legend in John Galloway. He is part of the Orangeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s second-ranked 2010 recruiting class. He is one of four goalies on the team, along with Galloway, junior Paul Dubas and redshirt freshman Matthew Lerman. And Levy comes in expecting to carry Gallowayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s torch. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a new thing being around the history of this program,â&#x20AC;? Levy said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Johnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s definitely a good guy to step in behind my freshman year. You start to know what the tradition here is all about.â&#x20AC;? Levy said he started playing lacrosse in fifth grade. Back then, he played attack. After picking up the goalie position in seventh grade, he said he went to a few summer camps to hone his skills. And last year, he led St. Stephenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s & St. Agnes to a 19-5 record. He was the 12th-ranked goalie in the Class of 2010. And though he likely wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get much playing time this season behind Galloway, Levy is already looking toward the future. Said Levy: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s definitely a fun experience.â&#x20AC;?

ST. STEPHENâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S & ST. AGNES SCHOOL (ALEXANDRIA, VA.)

6>0;C4=34A

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bridget streeter | staff photographer JAKE BRATEK, BILLY WARD, BEN LEVY AND MATT HARRIS (FROM LEFT TO RIGHT) are four of the 19 freshmen Syracuse head coach John Desko has brought in as part of his second-ranked 2011 recruiting class, according to Inside Lacrosse. The midfielder Bratek and the attack Ward should earn some immediate playing time, as they have both impressed Desko in the Orangeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s early-season practices and scrimmages.

With the No. 2 recruiting class in the country, John Desko brought in a group of freshmen that look to contribute immediately

 t h e d a i l y o r a n g e l a c r o s s e p r e v i e w | 2 0 1 1


12 t h e d a i l y o r a n g e l a c r o s s e p r e v i e w | 2 0 1 1

C

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2011 WOMEN’S LACROSSE SCHEDULE DATE

OPPONENT

TIME

LOCATION

Feb. 17

Colgate

5 p.m.

Carrier Dome

Feb. 20

@Stanford

4 p.m.

Palo Alto, Calif.

Feb. 27

Virginia

1 p.m.

Carrier Dome

March 12

@Maryland

Noon

College Park, Md.

March 15

@Towson

4 p.m.

Towson, Md.

March 19

@Florida

1 p.m.

Gainesville, Fla.

March 23

@Northwestern

7 p.m.

Evanston, Ill.

March 26

@Rutgers

1 p.m.

Piscataway, N.J.

April 4

@Dartmouth

3 p.m.

Lebanon, N.H.

April 8

Connecticut

4 p.m.

Carrier Dome

April 10

Notre Dame

1 p.m.

Carrier Dome

April 16

@Georgetown

Noon

Washington, D.C.

April 21

Louisville

5 p.m.

Carrier Dome

April 23

Cincinnati

1 p.m.

Carrier Dome

April 26

Cornell

7 p.m.

Carrier Dome

April 29

@Loyola

7 p.m.

Baltimore

May 1

@Villanova

Noon

Villanova, Pa.


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t he da ily or a nge l acrosse pr ev iew | 2 011

13

Like Katie Rowan and Christina Dove before her, this is Tee Ladouceur’s turn to run the Syracuse offense

kirsten celo | photo editor

By Rachel Marcus asst. copy editor

L

ast season, Tee Ladouceur scored 43 goals and had 48 assists. Her assist mark was first on the Syracuse women’s lacrosse team. The 43 goals were third on Syracuse, behind only Christina Dove. And Ladouceur, a senior SU attack, did it all on one good knee. She said she tore her meniscus and had microfractures and bone chips in her knee and femur. “It was frustrating sometimes,” Ladouceur said, “but in games I think the adrenaline kind of kicked in enough to help me be able to play at my best.” Now Dove is gone. And in the cycle of recent great SU attack, Ladouceur is expected to be next. With Dove — who took over for 2009 leading scorer

Katie Rowan — departed, there is a void in the lineup. One fellow attack Michelle Tumolo believes Ladouceur can fill. Even with her gimpy knees. “She’s coming off a (knee) injury, as everyone

“She’s a great threat, and the other teams are definitely going to have to look out for her.” Michelle Tumolo

SU attack

knows, and she’s just hyped to get back on the field,” Tumolo said. “She just has a great mentality and

see ladouceur page 18


14 t h e d a i l y o r a n g e l a c r o s s e p r e v i e w | 2 0 1 1

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Travis Comeau’s breakout rookie season created high hopes for his sophomore campaign at Georgetown By Allison Guggenheimer staff writer

T

ravis Comeau has a simple objective when on a lacrosse field: get the ball near the crease and find some way to score. For the sophomore Georgetown attack, that objective started with his roots in the Canadian province of Alberta. It was an objective honed by his high school coach, former Hoya star Brodie Merrill. “He comes from a box lacrosse background, and he’s got great ability to finish,” Merrill said. “He’s got kind of an innate toughness to him as well, and I think that comes from growing up here in Canada and playing hockey and lacrosse.” Comeau’s ability to finish was on display often in his freshman season at Georgetown. The scrappy 5-foot-8 Comeau found some way to score more than any freshman under legendary Hoya head coach Dave Urick. He scored 25 goals last year, overturning a 19-year freshman record held by Joe Callahan. This season, Comeau will have to step up even beyond that freshman production. The Hoyas’ 9-5 record last season proved disappointing for the team as it was denied entry to the NCAA tournament. In the second season of the Big East lacrosse conference, Georgetown will look to be a threat to the obvious target: Syracuse. And after graduating 10 seniors, the team will be relying heavily on Comeau and the sophomore class to take the next step. Some gaps in the midfield will require some of the attacks to move back. Their goal will be to get the ball to Comeau, who will look to find the back of the net.

“Someone’s got to get him the ball, though. That’s a given.” Dave Urick

Georgetown head coach

“There’s some experience in now what is the sophomore class,” Urick said. That class starts with Comeau. In 1991, Callahan scored 23 goals in his freshman year at Georgetown. Since then, that number was enough. For 19 years, Callahan held the record for most goals by a freshman under Urick. But then came Comeau. Callahan jokingly said Comeau breaking his record “crushed” him. In reality, Callahan, who still lives in Washington, D.C., was unaware his record had been broken until late January. “It was a good 19-year run or whatever it was,” Callahan said. “But it’s exciting to see it broken and see the team get more recognition.” Callahan still attends as many games as possible, though

courtesy of georgetown sports information travis comeau scored 25 goals last season a 19-year freshman scoring record in his first year with GU. With 10 seniors departed, Hoyas head coach Dave Urick is looking for even more this year from Comeau. he’s assumed the role of fan as opposed to his former glory as Georgetown legend. Although he did not notice Comeau breaking his record, the alumnus did notice the freshman’s standout season. As did the rest of the lacrosse world. Merrill noticed all the way up in Canada. This year, Merrill said, Comeau will have to deal with the effects of that attention. “The expectations will be a little bit higher,” Merrill said. “I know opposing coaches will know much more about him and key in on him a little bit more, but I know Travis will work hard to adjust and stay on his game.” Comeau’s toughness has helped him overcome his size. At 5-foot-8 and 153 pounds, he is one of the smallest members of his team. Urick said the “little bugger” makes up for his size with his drive toward the goal. Aside from talent around the net, Comeau had another advantage in breaking the freshman scoring record: sufficient playing time. Traditionally, Urick said he prefers to let his freshmen mature a bit before letting them see as much time as the older players, but last year the rookies got significant time on the field. These special circumstances were due to a senior class that wasn’t as strong as originally predicted. Last season, such an inexperienced team was a disadvantage. But this year, a season already under its belt could give Comeau and the sophomore class a leg up. “One of the things that we can look to with a little bit of optimism is we had a number of kids last year that were freshmen that played a fair amount of lacrosse for us,” Urick said. The Hoyas’ preseason starts a week earlier than regularseason play. The team will travel to face Jacksonville for

an exhibition Feb. 20 to promote the growth of lacrosse in Florida. As the early start to the season draws near, Urick is still sorting out his starting lineup. He expects senior goalie Jack Davis to spend most of the time in the net, despite the keeper’s injury-plagued 2010 season. With some question marks sprinkled throughout the rest of his lineup, Urick is relieved to have a veteran goalie secured for the season. “It all starts in the cage,” he said. And even with the strong sophomore class, he is looking to some of his older players to help lead the team and possibly make adjustments to fill gaps. Players like senior Ryan Shuler, who has played attack in past seasons, will be forced to move back to the midfield and create a link to get the ball into the final third. The attacks, however, are more secure. Comeau will play a large role up top, where he will be joined by sophomore Zach Guy. Merrill said the two proved last season that they are a good duo to have in front. “Travis and Zach Guy have some good chemistry there,” Merrill said. That just leaves the midfield. Comeau, along with Guy and the other attacks, is a surefire scoring threat. Comeau brings that Canadian scoring mentality and the experience of a strong freshman season. Yet Urick will have to sure up his midfield to get the ball into scoring territory. Urick said this gap in the middle is the only thing standing between Comeau and another standout season. “Someone’s got to get him the ball, though,” Urick said. “That’s a given.” alguggen@syr.edu


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t he da ily or a nge l acrosse pr ev iew | 2 011

1

Syracuse

2

3

15

4

Notre Dame

Georgetown

Villanova

Last year: 13-2 (6-0 Big East) Preseason Rank: No. 1

Last year: 10-7 (2-4), National runner-up Preseason rank: No. 7

Last year: 9-5 (5-1) Preseason rank: No. 18

Last year: 10-5 (4-2) Preseason rank: NR

Syracuse is the clear favorite in the first season of the Big East that actually counts. The Orange is loaded from top to bottom. It returns starters on offense (Stephen Keogh), in the midfield (Jeremy Thompson, Joel White), on defense (John Lade, Brian Megill) and in goal (John Galloway). The core nucleus is still there for the Orange to not only make a run at the Big East title, but also at another national championship. All the pieces are in place for SU to make another perfect run throughout its Big East schedule.

The Fighting Irish enter this season looking to build upon a strong finish from 2010. After stumbling to a 7-6 regular-season record, Notre Dame snuck into the NCAA tournament and used a suffocating defense to maneuver its way to the championship game, where it lost a heartbreaker to Duke in overtime. An experienced midfield will be the Irish’s biggest strength this year. Leading scorer and Big East Preseason Attack Player of the Year Zach Brenneman headlines the unit in his final year with Notre Dame. The biggest question for the Irish may be how sophomore goalkeeper John Kemp fills in for the graduated Scott Rodgers in the cage.

Georgetown missed the NCAA tournament last season despite beating three teams during the year that were selected to the fi eld. The Hoyas will now look to end a three-year drought this season. They lose some key pieces from a year ago with the departures of leading scorer Craig Dowd and 2010 Co-Big East Defensive Player of the Year Chris Nixon. Sophomore Travis Comeau returns from a standout freshman season to anchor the Georgetown offense with Rickey Mirabito. Senior Jack Davis and junior C.T. Fisher both saw time at goalie last year and could stage the biggest position battle in Hoya camp.

After making history in 2009 with their first tournament birth, the Wildcats were not selected to the field last year. Defense will be Villanova’s strength this year, as three seniors — including Co-Big East Defensive Player of the Year Brian Karalunas — return to the starting lineup at close defense. Behind that unit, sophomore Billy Hurley returns to goal after starting 10 contests in his first year. Offensively, sophomore Jack Rice returns to attack after finishing his freshman year as the team’s second leading scorer. The midfield will be Villanova’s biggest question as the Wildcats’ top two offensive midfielders graduated last year.

5

St. John’s

Rutgers

Last year: 5-9 (2-4) Preseason rank: NR The Red Storm had difficulty pulling out close games last year, losing three games by just two goals apiece. Senior co-captains Dan Cremens and Mike Sherry return to the starting lineup and will lead the defensive unit. St. John’s loses two of its top midfielders from a year ago but returns leading scorer Harry Kutner and fellow junior Charlie Holenstein. The team will have plenty of opportunities to impress the selection committee with eight games against teams ranked in the Inside Lacrosse 2011 preseason rankings.

6

7

Providence

Final Prediction

Last year: 6-8 (2-4) Preseason rank: NR

Last year: 0-14 (0-6) Preseason rank: NR

Like St. John’s, the Scarlet Knights also struggled to pull out a few close games in 2010. Three of their losses came by a combined four goals. RU loses a lot of its offensive production from a year ago with only two of their top six scorers back in 2011. Senior midfielder Kory Kelly and junior attack Kevin Hover will have to have big years, as the Scarlet Knights will rely on that duo for much of its scoring. Defense should be a team strength with all three starters returning to man the backline. Behind them, sophomore Rudy Butler will take over goaltending duties after seeing action in the last half of 2010.

The Friars’ inaugural Big East season was a struggle, to say the least. Head coach Chris Burdick resorted to stalling in multiple games just to keep the score from getting out of hand. Still, Providence was outscored 160-68 throughout the year. Fortunately for the Friars, their top two scorers from a year ago both return for 2011. Still, they were outmatched in every game they played last year, and things do not appear to be looking up for the program.

Syracuse enters the year as the Big East favorite, and there’s no reason it shouldn’t win the conference again. With a defense and midfield that’s almost completely intact from last year, the Orange may again sweep its conference foes. Georgetown, Notre Dame and Villanova all have a shot at that second slot. The Hoyas have a chip on their shoulders after being bypassed by the selection committee despite beating Notre Dame earlier in the season. That could be the decisive factor that separates them from the rest of the conference. Rutgers and St. John’s could sneak up but are still likely a few years away from competing for the conference crown.

— Compiled by Zach Brown, staff writer, zjbrown@syr.edu


16 t h e d a i l y o r a n g e l a c r o s s e p r e v i e w | 2 0 1 1

galloway from page 3

Now a three-year veteran, Galloway is left with one last chance for a complete season that maintains outstanding goaltending and ends with a national title. Hundreds of miles away from Galloway in South Bend, Ind., Notre Dame goaltender Scott Rodgers could sympathize. Later in that same NCAA tournament, Rodgers and the Fighting Irish lost in the national title game when Duke’s C.J. Costabile took the overtime faceoff straight down the field for the winning goal. “With the way the season ended for them,” Rodgers said, “I’m sure he wanted to come out this year and — it’s easy for some guys to have two rings and be happy with that, but I think he’s got the motivation to be a great goalie and, on top of that, be a great leader for that team.”

‘To the wolves’ Four scrimmages and 21 games after his collegiate debut, Galloway finally felt it. After 390 calendar days, the initial hint of confidence had been hatched. Following a 13-12 loss to Virginia on Feb. 27, 2009 — a game in which he had 13 saves and held the Cavaliers scoreless for the final 7:32 — Galloway was excited. “It was the first time I felt confident against a good Division I team,” he said after the game. “And I’m excited to have that feeling.” Though he had already won a national championship as a freshman and would win his second at the end of that 2009 season, Galloway was arguably the weak spot on a dominating Syracuse team. He became the first true freshman goaltender to start for the Orange since 1982, and since then the pressure of leading the winningest

sports@ da ilyor a nge.com

college lacrosse program in Division I history has rested squarely on his shoulders. And for Galloway, development has come slowly. True enough, he won national titles in his first two seasons, but those titles were more a product of the offensive juggernaut that was the SU attack and less the result of stellar goaltending. “He didn’t have to be a brick wall for that team to necessarily win,” Inside Lacrosse staff writer Zach Babo said. “The offense was going to be able to generate enough goals to always keep his team in it and most times to be able to win.” That offense scored 15 or more goals 11 times during those two seasons. It scored enough goals to win games against Johns Hopkins when Galloway let in 13 and against Virginia when he let in 11. Even his head coach John Desko said the team threw the freshman “to the wolves” with the hope that he would continue to improve as the years progressed. “I think we did a great job — my defense — giving me time to develop into the goalie that I am,” Galloway said. While he was along for the ride — a ride that would end with two rings — he made incredible strides as a goaltender. When the team needed him to buckle down, he was able to. In the 2008 national semifinals against Virginia, Galloway only let in two fourth-quarter goals as his team came back to win in overtime. As a sophomore, he had a game with 19 saves against Georgetown and held Hobart to four goals. But most importantly, he won two titles. “I watched John as a freshman come in and take on a big role as a Syracuse leader in the net,” said Lynch, who scored Army’s winning goal against Syracuse. “It was really amazing to see him take them to those two championships.” Babo related Galloway’s play to that of an NFL quarterback. In his first two seasons, Galloway

wasn’t the one putting up flashy numbers or double-digit saves on a regular basis. But he was getting wins. “You’d love to have the guy that’s throwing for 5,000 yards, and you’d love to have the goalie that’s posting absurd save percentages,” Babo said. “But at the end of the day, you want the quarterback or you want the goalie that is winning you ball games, that’s getting you to the playoffs, that’s advancing your team.”

Nitpicking Inside the New York City apartment on 33rd and First, Galloway fired off text messages to teammate Joel White. Though it was the middle of the summer, his mind remained on lacrosse. After a long day of work at his internship with the YES Network, he would pop in a tape and study film. “He’d text me, and I’d always know when he was watching film,” White said. “He’d never admit it to me that he was watching film because he didn’t want to be embarrassed that he’s in NYC and still thinking lax. “But he’d text me stuff you would never be thinking about unless you were watching the tape right then.” And he was. With his internship keeping him off the lacrosse field for most of the summer, Galloway did all he could to stay up on the game. He spent the summer with Cavalieri and picked apart his game. He watched tape of last season — with the exception of the Army game, which he refuses to watch — as well as tape of classic Syracuse lacrosse games. SU assistant coach Kevin Donahue said he came back with a list of areas he wanted to improve in his game. “He’s actually gotten to the point now where he actually tells me a little bit what he wants to

do as a schedule,” Donahue said. “Because he knows exactly what he wants to become and what it should look like.” What it should look like is an even better statistical season than last year and a national championship. If all goes according to plan, that is. Miller is the first one to say a third national championship for this senior class would be the most meaningful. For the first two, Galloway included, they were followers. A title in 2011, though, would be theirs. And by picking apart every inch of his game — despite putting up some of the best numbers in the country last season — Galloway is on his way to getting that title. “It’s not focusing on the big picture sometimes,” Miller said. “It’s nitpicking. The people who can nitpick their game, I think it’s going to make them that much greater.” With his senior season set to get underway Sunday against Denver, Galloway continues to nitpick. He continues to go to practice early and take hundreds of extra shots from Miller and Josh Amidon. It’s this work ethic, Desko says, that makes him stand out. His coach says he’s the first to practice and the last to leave and that he probably takes “too many shots.” But in the end, it could be worth it. If Galloway can avoid another momentary lapse like he had against Army, the talent is there to put it all together. He’s worked to become the goaltender SU can rely on. Now they need to rely on him to bring home a title. “He’s worked as hard this year, if not harder than he ever has in the past,” Desko said. “Anybody that could have three national championships and be a four-year starter would be a tremendous feat.” mjcohe02@syr.edu


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t he da ily or a nge l acrosse pr ev iew | 2 011

17

Jeff Tambroni built Cornell into a national power. He left it all behind to take over a Penn State team in need of an identity By Mark Cooper asst. sports editor

J

eff Tambroni laid out his message as clear as he possibly could. Binders were passed out to every Penn State player, 20 pages full of everything from academic and athletic expectations to how to maintain social well-being.

courtesy of dave burbank | cornell athletic communications jeff tambroni ended a 10-year stint as head coach of Cornell to move to the same position at Penn State this year. The Nittany Lions have made appearances in just two of the past 33 NCAA tournaments.

Righting the ship Jeff Tambroni takes over at Penn State after 10 successful seasons as Cornell’s head coach. He inherits a Nittany Lions team that has struggled to have a presence on the national stage. Here are how Tambroni’s 10 seasons at Cornell match up with Penn State’s last 10 seasons under former head coach Glenn Thiel.

Cornell under Tambroni Year

2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Total

Record (Ivy League)

7-6 (4-2) 11-4 (4-2) 9-4 (5-1) 9-5 (5-1) 11-3 (6-0) 11-3 (5-1) 15-1 (6-0) 11-4 (5-1) 13-4 (5-1) 12-5 (4-2) 109-40 (49-11)

Postseason result

No postseason NCAA quarterfinals No postseason NCAA quarterfinals NCAA quarterfinals NCAA first round NCAA final four NCAA first round NCAA runner-up NCAA final four 7 NCAA tournament appearances, 3 final four appearances

Penn State in last 10 years Year

2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Total

Record (ECAC/CAA)

7-6 (2-4 ECAC) 8-5 (1-4) 7-7 (3-2) 6-7 (0-3) 9-6 (5-1) 8-5 (5-2) 5-8 (3-4) 7-7 (2-5) 9-5 (4-3) 2-11 (1-4 CAA) 68-67 (26-32)

Postseason result

No postseason No postseason NCAA first round No postseason NCAA first round No postseason No postseason No postseason No postseason No postseason 2 NCAA tournament appearances

A blueprint for success. Taking over a losing program, Tambroni knew he had to turn the previous coaching regime’s culture on its head. And it began with his first meeting with the Nittany Lions. “One of the things that we heard coming in here was that the culture just really needed to be shaken up, needed to be changed in a lot of ways,” said Tambroni, who took over as PSU head coach this offseason after 10 years as head coach at Cornell. “We were meticulous in that message and very thankful that in the beginning we were able to map it out. “We needed to give these kids an idea of why we were there and what we were trying to accomplish to see who was on board.” Tambroni shocked the lacrosse world on June 17 when he left his head coaching position at Cornell to take over a Penn State team coming off a 2-11 season. The Nittany Lions were coached by Glenn Thiel for the last 33 seasons, but they made only two NCAA tournaments and never won a tournament game. Tambroni went 109-40 in 10 years at Cornell and took the Big Red to the NCAA championship game in 2009, where it lost to Syracuse. So when Tambroni took a less-than-prestigious Penn State job, it was a big surprise. Especially to the current Cornell head coach and former assistant under Tambroni, Ben DeLuca. Tambroni and DeLuca were at a lacrosse camp in Minnesota when Tambroni got a chance to talk to his former assistant about his decision. “I thought he might be kidding around with me or pulling my leg at first,” DeLuca said. “But once I had a chance to speak with him about the different factors he considered that went into his decision, it made a little more sense to me.” Tambroni actually turned down Penn State when the job was first offered to him this summer. After about three days of discussions with administrators from both athletic programs, he chose to stick with Cornell. He said he wasn’t in a place where he could see the potential to change the culture and program in State College, Pa., at that time. But a few days later, he heard from the Penn State athletic department again and decided to give it second thought. Then came the decision. Stick with a program he led to the NCAA final four in three of the past four seasons, or take over a program with minimal success and no tradition? He chose the latter. “I just felt at this stage in my career, what a great opportunity to take a step back and see if you can help guide, help build a program,” Tambroni said. “Alongside your assistant coaches and a group of guys in an

athletic department that stands for a lot of the same things Cornell did.” The new head coach quickly got to work assembling a coaching staff that would be with him every step of the way. He hired two young assistant coaches, Chris Doctor and Peter Toner. Doctor was an assistant at Lafayette, where he guided a proficient offense that led the nation in goals per game in 2009. Toner was previously the defensive and recruiting coordinator at Bryant. Both assistants are young, eager coaches who believe in Tambroni’s message about changing the culture. And that’s necessary to turn around a program that has been stagnant for the better part of 33 years. Toner and Doctor both remember that first meeting Tambroni had with his players. Players’ eyes grew wide as their new coach spoke. Some nodded as Tambroni laid out his plan for turning Penn State into a respectable lacrosse program. And it affected Doctor just as much. “He was just excited and emotional,” Doctor said. “That was the first time I was around him in that setting where he’s kind of raising his voice a little bit. “It gave me a little chill, I’m not going to lie. It amped me up to coach.” It’s just as important to receive those feelings from his players. He tells his players they don’t always need to agree with him, Tambroni said, and he doesn’t have to agree with them. But when they step out of the locker room together, they need to be on the same page. Getting the understanding and confidence from his players has been especially difficult in this first year. Recruiting season for 2011 was long over when he took the job, so all of the current Nittany Lions were recruited by Thiel. And not all players have adjusted to the new regime. Some — Tambroni said a couple seniors — decided it wasn’t for them right away. He said others have been weeded out over the past couple of months. Overall, a “handful” of players have left the program. “I said to our guys our time frame needs to be today,” Tambroni said. “They need to think long and hard the moment their feet hit the ground in the morning about what they’re about to undertake during the day. … There were some non-negotiable things we talked about, and a couple guys decided they didn’t want to do it.” The Nittany Lions lost their first exhibition game of the season, 7-4, to Johns Hopkins on Feb. 5. Tambroni looked at the positives, though. It was the first time he saw his team play with a high level of energy for 60 minutes straight. Winning will be a process. Tambroni said winning isn’t the main focus for 2011. But it will still be a focus. Tambroni expects to compete and to make the NCAA tournament down the line. But for now, the most important thing is making a losing culture believe it can win. “As far as doing our job, I don’t think that’s a three-, a five-, a 10-year job you have to wait for,” Tambroni said. “I think we can do it today. … Our expectations are more based day to day, making these guys feel part of something special. “And if winning follows, which I think is kind of the next progression of building from within, I think that will happen.” mcooperj@syr.edu


18 t h e d a i l y o r a n g e l a c r o s s e p r e v i e w | 2 0 1 1

f rom page 13

game sense, and she’s awesome at scoring goals. So I feel like she’s going to be No. 1 in the nation in scoring and assists.” Ladouceur feels the increased expectations. After last season’s NCAA tournament semifinal loss, the Orange is eager for more. And Ladouceur is the player who has to start it all. Head coach Gary Gait knows Ladouceur has the ability to improve from last season, when she was first in the nation in assists. Especially if her knee holds up. “We’re expecting her to do what she did last year,” Gait said. “And that was being an allaround offensive player and scoring when she gets the opportunity. So we’re expecting her to continue to do that, step up her leadership role a

“This year I’m going to have to have an even bigger role, so it’s sort of a good feeling. But I’m a little nervous at the same time and excited. I’m a senior, I’m ready to make things happen and hopefully get a national championship out of it.”

Tee Ladouceur SU attack

little bit, kind of take charge on the offense, get some of our younger players involved and get them contributing.” But if the senior is to make any waves this season, that troubled knee may be the key. Ladouceur had surgery over the summer on it after playing last season in pain. Yet it still is not 100 percent. “She played last year,” Tumolo said. “Hurt her the whole time. She played through it, went to the doctor’s, and they said she had, like, all these fractures in her knee. Everything basically in her knee. She basically needs a knee replacement. “That’s what she told me. She’s like, ‘I basically need a knee replacement at the age of 21.’ But she’s still playing through it. It’s her last year. Never complains.” Yet despite the knee injury, despite the brace and despite missing significant playing time in fall ball, Ladouceur is still expected to be the leader of the SU attack after her increased offensive role last season. And despite her numbers, she remains humble. She knows who has come before her. Ladouceur will look to become the third player in three years to lead the Orange attack. “Those are two very, very great players,” Ladouceur said of Dove and Rowan. “Two of the best players I’ve ever played with.” And though Ladouceur will be relied upon for much of the scoring output, not every expectation is on her and her knee. Tumolo is coming off of a record season herself. Last year she had the highest single-season totals in points and assists for a freshman in program history. Fellow attack Alyssa Murray, a freshman, is also expected to help out on the offensive end. And then there’s goalkeeper Liz Hogan, who was just chosen as the Big East Women’s Lacrosse Preseason Defensive Player of the

Attack of the clones Tee Ladouceur enters her senior season as the unquestioned leader of the Syracuse attack. She’ll be next in a line of great SU attack after Katie Rowan and Christina Dove the past two seasons. Here’s how her numbers stack up with that duo:

Goals

Rowan 2009 54 Dove 2010 69 Ladouceur 2010 43

Assists

58 28 48

Points

112 97 91

Year. The Orange is ranked No. 5 in Inside Lacrosse’s preseason poll. “I think you’re going to see more of a spreadout offense,” Gait said. “Multiple scorers, as opposed to having Katie Rowan or Christina Dove — one or two players — to deal with pretty much all the scoring. So it will be a different look this year.” But Ladouceur is still the senior. She’s still the leader. She knows that in addition to stepping up her game, she must also display a leadership role for a team with eight freshmen and 11 sophomores. Tumolo said the way Ladouceur works with her teammates is what makes her valuable to the Orange. “Me and her work really well together, so that’s a plus,” Tumolo said. “She just sees everyone on the field. It’s not just me and her. She sees every single person. “That’s why she’s one of the best assisters in the nation. She’s just great. She’s great to have on the field, and she’s a positive energy.” Yet it wasn’t so long ago that Ladouceur was channeling that positive energy for a different

team. She came to Syracuse as a sophomore transfer following a freshman season at Albany in which she scored 32 goals in only 11 games. In her first season at Syracuse, Rowan was SU’s leader at attack. Then last year, it was Dove. Now Ladouceur is that senior. She is likely to claim the perch on SU’s legacy of outstanding attack. And she knows it. “This year I’m going to have to have an even bigger role, so it’s sort of a good feeling,” Ladouceur said. “But I’m a little nervous at the same time and excited. I’m a senior, I’m ready to make things happen and hopefully get a national championship out of it.” Gait and Tumolo continually praise Ladouceur’s hard work and commitment to the team despite her injury. They mention her willingness to continue to play hard. Her ability to make plays happen on the field. Tumolo knows Ladouceur and the team have big shoes to fill. Someone must step up. And Tumolo thinks Ladouceur has the ability to be that person. “I think Tee looks awesome coming off a couple injuries,” Tumolo said. “I said it to her as soon as we were practicing for the first time together again. It’s just great to have her back on the field. “She’s a great threat, and the other teams are definitely going to have to look out for her.” rnmarcus@syr.edu

vitals

ladouceur

sports@ da ilyor a nge.com

Tee Ladouceur Height: 5-4 Year: Senior Position: Attack Hometown: Slingerlands, N.Y.


SPORTS@ DA ILYOR A NGE.COM

t he da ily or a nge l acrosse pr ev iew | 2 011

Zach Brown Overall record: 13-2 Big East record: 6-0,

Michael Cohen Overall record: 13-2 Big East record: 6-0,

Chris Iseman Overall record: 14-1 Big East record: 6-0,

NCAA tournament:

National champions

NCAA tournament:

Final four

NCAA tournament:

Syracuse is coming off one of the most disappointing ends to a season in program history with its first-round loss to Army last year. If that’s not enough motivation for the Orange, then nothing is. This is the final year for many of the team’s key players. With at least seven seniors in the starting lineup, SU will have plenty of experience to lead some of the young talent. Watch for sophomore JoJo Marasco to have a breakout season in his first year wearing the vaunted No. 22. With the loss to the Black Knights still fresh in their minds, the Orange’s players shouldn’t take anyone lightly this year. That loss could be what turns this into a championship season.

For many years, Syracuse lacrosse was all about the offense. Head coach John Desko and his players will tell you that. But lately, the focus has shifted to the defense, and the Orange has developed one of the best defensive units in the country. Players like John Galloway, John Lade and Joel White have given this team a new identity. And though the defense should be solid every game, the offense won’t be on the same level early on. That’s why SU stumbles twice along the way to Princeton and Duke. By season’s end, though, it has the talent to be a final four team.

Syracuse has plenty of returning players this season, so there’s no reason to think the Orange can’t match the win total of last year or even improve it. There’s experience at every position, and the holes left from last season will be filled with players ready to step up and take over. Plus, Syracuse has a group of 19 freshmen who are all talented and will be ready when called upon. But what will bring success for the Orange are the players’ experience and a group of seniors who are more motivated than ever after the way last season ended.

first place

first place

first place

National champions

blog.dailyorange.com/sports

19


Menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lacrosse schedule 2011 Date

Opponent

Time

Location

Feb. 20

Denver

1 p.m.

Carrier Dome

Feb. 27

Army

4 p.m.

Carrier Dome

March 4

Virginia

6 p.m.

Carrier Dome

March 12

Georgetown*

11 a.m.

Baltimore

March 15

Albany

7 p.m.

Carrier Dome

March 19

Johns Hopkins

6 p.m.

Carrier Dome

March 26

@Villanova

7 p.m.

Villanova, Pa.

April 3

Duke**

6:30 p.m.

East Rutherford, N.J.

April 9

@Princeton

4 p.m.

Princeton, N.J.

April 12

Cornell

7 p.m.

Carrier Dome

April 16

Providence***

4 p.m.

Foxboro, Mass.

April 19

Hobart

7 p.m.

Carrier Dome

April 23

Rutgers****

5:30 p.m.

East Hartford, Conn.

April 30

Notre Dame

7 p.m.

Carrier Dome

May 7

St. Johnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

1 p.m.

Carrier Dome

* Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic ** Konica Minolta Big City Classic *** New England Lacrosse Classic **** ESPNU Warrior Classic

ashli truchon | staff photographer

LAXGUIDE2011  

LAXGUIDE2011

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