This year’s Orange, led by its senior class, is more team-oriented than most. There’s no player that can score six or seven points on a consistent basis and, outside of Brian Megill, there’s no defender that can completely shut down an opposing offense on his own.“I think this team, more than even a lot of Syracuse teams, is we have to rely on the team,” SU head coach John Desko said. “It’s got to be team defense, it’s got to be team offense.”It may not matter on Saturday at 1 p.m. in the Carrier Dome against a Rutgers (2-10, 0-4 Big East) team that No. 7 Syracuse should overpower. But it shouldn’t have mattered on March 23 when SU fell to one-win Villanova. Then, just like the Orange (8-2, 2-1 Big East) will on Saturday, SU played its third game in a week.So when Syracuse hosts the Scarlet Knights it will look to use its by-committee approach to conquer Senior Day emotions and raw fatigue.For one of the last times in a regular season game, Megill will run onto Ernie Davis Legends Field before the same coaches, teammates and teammates’ parents he’s seen at most every game in the past four years. He’ll have mixed emotions looking back on what he called the best four years of his life, he said, but emotionally, he and his teammates can simply flip a switch.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“When you’re in pregame it’s all about Rutgers. When you’re walking on the field with your parents it’s all about that time,” the SU defender said. “As soon as it’s over you let it go. It’s right in the past, and I think all the guys on the team know they all got to have that same mentality.”Desko said this group of seniors has fulfilled its potential. They, and the team they lead, make impossible matchups for opposition, especially on offense.The Orange is No. 3 in the country in assists per game, through games played last weekend. No Syracuse player has scored five goals in a single game this season. And while a member of the Orange has hit four goals on three different occasions, each time it’s been a different player – first Derek Maltz, then Henry Schoonmaker and finally Luke Cometti on Wednesday.Even when Scott Loy hobbled out of the Cornell game on Wednesday with about six minutes left in the second quarter, Syracuse had a replacement. It firmed up Schoonmaker’s place in the first attacking midfield rotation, and the midfielder went on to score SU’s go-ahead goal with 6:15 left in the game.“It’s just the way we’ve been playing, it makes you hard to cover too,” Desko said. “It’s one thing to focus on one guy and double-team that guy or shut him off or throw a zone against him. But if you look at our scoring, you got to cover everybody.”Rutgers will likely struggle to contain Syracuse’s cavalry of goal scorers, but with SU playing its third game in a week, Desko is worried about getting them the ball. It’s the same kind of schedule that led to a crushing road loss to Villanova.The Orange offense was ruthlessly efficient that night, scoring on nearly half of its shots. But SU lost 22-of-24 faceoffs and hardly had the ball. When Chris Daddio, Brendan Conroy or Megill did manage to win the initial draw from the Wildcats’ Thomas Croonquist, the Orange’s wings were routinely beaten to the ball, giving possession back to Villanova.It’s why Desko has been quick to put the speedy Schoonmaker on the left faceoff wing since then. But Schoonmaker’s double-shifted in the last two games and Rutgers’ faceoff specialist Joseph Nardella beat Croonquist on 13-of-18 draws when the Scarlet Knights and Wildcats met earlier this season.“What makes it scary is Rutgers’ faceoff guy dominated the Villanova guy,” Desko said. “So that’s not a good statistic for us because Villanova I think basically won the game because of number of possessions that they had.”Crucially, though, SU remembers.Desko, Megill and JoJo Marasco stood at a frigid midfield rattling off the remaining home games while Daddio took questions about Villanova’s domination at the faceoff X.“We just got a lot of work, we’re coming back to where we were last year with this game in faceoffs,” Daddio said after the loss.Working through the remaining Dome schedule, the two seniors and Desko fast-forwarded to Saturday and realized aloud, “Senior Day.”On the bus ride back to Syracuse after the loss to Villanova, there was no talking, Megill said. Like Saturday’s Rutgers game, it was one the Orange should’ve won.“I think you got to bring it up,” Megill said. “You got to tell the guys, you can’t have another trap game like that. You saw what happened, you know how it felt.” Comments Published on April 12, 2013 at 10:12 pm Contact Jacob: [email protected] | @Jacob_Klinger_ Facebook Twitter Google+
Troubled Hearts of Oak midfielder Laryea Kingston will issue an apology to the club as he seeks to make a return after several bust-ups, the club’s official newspaper has claimed.The 32-year-old made a formal request to the club for his contract to be terminated last month due to disagreements with the hierarchy of the Accra giants.Kingston has endured a difficult time since making the switch to join his boyhood club last year with many off-the-field incidents characterizing his stay.The former Heart of Midlothian player was slapped with a one-month ban for his violent conduct against the club’s accountant, Hackman Aidoo.The midfielder went bonkers when the official handed him a letter containing management’s decision to withhold his salary for truancy.Kingston went berserk with insults aimed at the accountant before dishing out some ‘dirty’ slaps to the club official for delivering the letter to him. His latest behaviour was the final straw that broke the camel’s back resulting in the club ostracizing him.The former Ghana international clashed with Hearts’ former coach CK Akunnor earlier this season before he was slapped with his first indefinite suspension of the season.The club’s official newspaper Hearts News, claimed on Friday, that Kingston has shown remorse and is ready to apologize to the club’s hierarchy and their teeming supporters so as to allow him stage a comeback into the team.It is however unclear if he will fit into the plans of coach David Duncan who is on a rebuilding mission at the club.The Phobians have been impressive in the second half of the season where they have gone unbeaten in five matches.