Daddio, aggressive Syracuse wings earn Orange critical possessions at faceoff X

first_imgVILLANOVA, Pa. – Syracuse’s faceoff specialists didn’t have to dominate. They just had to compete.The Orange (13-3) battled to a respectable 11 of 26 on faceoffs, giving its well-oiled offense plenty of opportunities to dismantle Villanova’s (7-8) defense in SU’s 13-9 win in the Big East championship Saturday. An improved performance from Chris Daddio combined with unforgiving play from Syracuse’s wings provided a stark contrast from SU’s last visit against Villanova.After leaving Villanova Stadium on March 23 stunned by an 11-10 upset and Thomas Croonquist’s 22-of-24 performance at the faceoff X, Syracuse entered Saturday’s matchup knowing a repeat performance against an improved VU team would likely spell defeat.On Friday, captain Brian Megill said SU’s wings would have to play the game of their lives. In Saturday’s victory, he said they delivered just that.“They hustled for every ground ball, they weren’t letting ‘Nova pick it up easily,” Megill said. “We lost some faceoffs, we lost some GBs, but I thought we came up with the critical ones.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textCroonquist actually won five of the first six draws, prompting SU to send out Cal Paduda in place of Chris Daddio to start the second quarter. Paduda dragged Croonquist into an eight-second struggle for the ball that the Villanova specialist ultimately won, but he and Daddio had both already sent a clear message – the Wildcats would not run wild on SU again.Daddio re-entered for the next faceoff a minute later. He popped the ball back to Henry Schoonmaker, who dodged past Jack Rice and Jimmy Wyatt to set up a quick shot for Luke Cometti. Syracuse would have just as many chances off the draw as the Wildcats.Syracuse wings Schoonmaker, Matt Harris and Matt Pratt combined for nine ground balls, capably tangling with VU’s usually dominant John LoCascio, who took six of his own.Once Daddio came back in the game, SU won 10 of the remaining 19 faceoffs, cracking the 50-percent target it set Friday.“I mean, he’s good,” Croonquist said of Daddio. “… faceoffs are whoever gets hot and whoever’s not hot. And they did a good job on the ground balls today. Quite honestly I just didn’t play well enough to take over.” Comments Related Stories ONE MORE TIME: Behind pivotal 3-goal 3rd quarter, Syracuse beats Villanova 13-9 to win 2nd-straight Big East tournament championshipWith Marasco shut down, Rice tallies 5 points to lead Syracuse past VillanovaSyracuse defense limits Villanova’s top scorers, allows Orange to expand lead late Published on May 4, 2013 at 5:58 pm Contact Jacob: [email protected] | @Jacob_Klinger_center_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img