Syracuse defense holds Canisius to 1 goal in first half, sends message after Villanova struggles

first_img Published on March 29, 2013 at 11:56 pm Contact David: [email protected] | @DBWilson2 Related Stories CLOCKWORK ORANGE: Syracuse makes quick work of Canisius, 17-5 with 2nd-quarter offensive explosionRice’s 3-goal, 3-assist performance paces Syracuse’s offense in rout of Canisius Brian Megill wasn’t happy with his defense’s performance against Villanova. Syracuse was often backed up without possession because of a lack of faceoff wins and a surplus of giveaways, but the 11 goals allowed were still too many.He and his defense wanted to avenge last week’s defeat at the hands of a lesser opponent with a statement against Canisius.On Friday, the defense delivered.“I don’t think we did a good job pressuring against Villanova and we weren’t really dictating at all,” the SU defender said. “I think today as a defensive group we wanted to work on our individual defense and our one-on-ones and I think we did a great job staying on their hands, forcing bad passes, forcing them to rush things and causing turnovers left and right.”The No. 9 Orange forced the Golden Griffins into 22 turnovers and held them to just five goals in a 17-5 blowout victory. In a game that was decided by halftime, Syracuse forced 13 turnovers over the first two quarters and held Canisius scoreless for nearly half an hour of game time spanning from early in the first quarter to early in the third.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWhile the offense was busy scoring on nearly every possession, it was the defense that assured the blowout. The Griffins got off just five shots, two on goal, in the first quarter and one overall in the second, partly due to the offense’s control of the game, but largely thanks to the stalwart play of Megill and the defense.“We held them to one goal for quite a while and I thought we did what the game plan was,” SU head coach John Desko said, “dial in a little bit and not let them get comfortable in their offensive situations, play good individual ‘D.’”The Orange had two primary players to focus in on Friday: Tim Edwards and Vince Gravino. The duo has been part of a group of underclassmen that has accounted for 83 percent of Canisius’ points. Stop those two, and the Griffins would struggle.The film Megill watched, the preparation he did, it primarily came down to figuring out a way to stop the dynamic forwards.Desko wouldn’t say whether he was more impressed with the offense or defense — both units were too good — but the defense performed as well as possible, holding Edwards and Gravino to just two goals and pitching a near-shutout until the game was firmly in hand.“We’ve been preparing for them all week,” Megill said, “we watched a ton of film, and we almost knew what they were going to do coming in and I think we did a great job communicating.” Commentscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img