Johns Hopkins prepares for rematch with Syracuse in NCAA tournament quarterfinals

first_imgDave Pietramala readily admits that not much can surprise Syracuse. The Orange has seen every type of offense and different sets on defense. Of the seven other seeded teams in the NCAA tournament, Syracuse played five and collected five wins in seven games.The Orange has even seen Johns Hopkins this season, the program where Pietramala is the head coach, and SU collected a 13-10 home win on March 14.“I think they’ve seen it all,” Pietramala said. ”At least in the film I’ve watched. They’ve seen it all, they’ve seen it all in recent weeks. Quite frankly I think what we have to do, is we have to worry about the team in black and blue and we have to understand our opponent.”Understanding No. 2-seeded Syracuse’s (13-2, 2-2 Atlantic Coast) strengths and weaknesses is only one aspect of a very idealistic formula that Pietramala delved into on Wednesday as the way for unseeded Johns Hopkins (10-6, 4-1 Big Ten) to get a win in the teams’ NCAA tournament quarterfinals matchup on Sunday at noon in Annapolis, Maryland. He touched on limiting the Orange in transition, improving on the Blue Jays’ 41 percent showing at the faceoff X last time around, recording at least 10 saves in the net and generating a high volume offense.“To think we’re going to hold this group to seven goals and win an 8-7 game,” Pietramala said. “I think we would set ourselves up for failure.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textHe noted that Syracuse has continued to progress as an even more dangerous team with players like Nicky Galasso and Hakeem Lecky joining stars like Kevin Rice and Dylan Donahue as prolific scorers.Having Randy Staats in a full-time role as opposed to sharing one with Derek Maltz as he did at the beginning of last season has made SU more complete, Pietramala said.Defensively, he said, you have to pick your poison.“We have a very talented offense as well,” JHU goalkeeper Eric Schneider said. “And going against those guys in practice prepares you.”Johns Hopkins freshman midfielder Joel Tinney said Syracuse has defenders that can play equally as well in front of and behind the goal.He said the Blue Jays will try and play fast and Pietramala added it will be impossible to get into an offensive rhythm if the Orange is dominating at the X as it did last time.“(It’s about) not letting the moment get to us,” Tinney said. “Come Sunday it’s going to be a matter of execution for them on defense and us on offense.”The last time the two teams met, the Blue Jays jumped out to a 5-1 lead, but Syracuse used a 7-0 run — including five goals in a four-minute span — to completely turn the game on its head. JHU kept fighting back, but seven more faceoffs, 16 more ground balls and a string of three late goals in the fourth quarter put the game out of the Blue Jays’ reach.“They’re a great team and they can really sling the ball,” Schneider said. “… In the blink of an eye the ball is in the back of the net. I just think we just have to really focus on our preparation this week and look back at that game and seeing the mistakes that we made.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on May 13, 2015 at 12:36 pm Contact Sam: [email protected] | @SamBlum3last_img

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