MLAX : Q&A with Inside Lacrosse staff writer Zach Babo

first_img Published on May 18, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Michael: [email protected] | @Michael_Cohen13 [email protected] Facebook Twitter Google+ Zach Babo got a behind-the-scenes look at the Syracuse lacrosse team when head coach John Desko allowed Inside Lacrosse to watch the Orange practice the day before defeating Duke 13-11 in the Konica Minolta Big City Classic. Babo, a staff writer for Inside Lacrosse, witnessed the SU offense’s coming-out party, so to speak, as it jumped out to an 8-1 lead over the Blue Devils. The 13 total goals for Syracuse marked the team’s highest total against a Top 10 team this season.The Daily Orange caught up with Babo to discuss his thoughts on SU’s NCAA quarterfinal matchup against unseeded Maryland. Babo offers insight on the matchup of Maryland’s attack against the Syracuse defense, the experience each team brings, and the importance of John Galloway to SU’s success come Sunday.The Daily Orange: Prior to a scrimmage back in February, John Galloway said the Maryland attack unit was going to be one of the best attack units that Syracuse would face all year. Do you see that unit posing problems for the Syracuse defense three months later in May?Zach Babo: I definitely do because I think in a lot of ways the (Maryland) attack unit matches up very well against Syracuse’s close defense. What my guess is going to be is that the biggest matchup will be John Lade on Ryan Young. To me that seems to be the best matchup. Young is the fastest guy on that attack. Lade is the best foot-for-foot cover guy in the country, when he’s on.… (Brian) Megill comes off to me as kind of your big, muscle defenseman. So I see him probably getting the matchup against (Grant) Catalino. Those are both big, physical guys, let them kind of beat up on each other for a game. And then I imagine that (Tom) Guadagnolo will wind up taking on Owen Blye.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAnd those are matchups that it’s really hard to say who is going to have the edge in those.What do you see as being one of the biggest keys to the game?Z.B.: I think this is going to be the theme of that game the Syracuse seniors versus the Maryland seniors. And I don’t know what you can say is kind of a better senior edge to have.The edge that Syracuse carries of a senior class that wants to win three championships, that knows how to play in big games, that’s been there before, that demands success after still stinging from the early bounce-out last year. Compared to a Maryland senior class that has received a decent amount of hype since they were freshmen, they’ve been playing together for four years, but they’ve never been able to get past the quarterfinals. How they play in that game on Sunday is going to largely determine their legacy. You’re going to remember that Maryland senior class in a whole different way if they can bump off Syracuse and advance to the final four than if they had one more good season that ends in the quarterfinals again.In a game where these teams match up very evenly, does the experience of SU goaltender John Galloway and his ability to be a quarterback for his defense make a difference in how this game may play out?Z.B.: I think it could. … I think that if there is one place that you like to be a little older, particularly in the postseason, it does tend to be in goal. I think that Galloway, having been there before, really knowing how to talk to his defense, how to get them to move, how to recognize certain things on the field in the course of the game I think that could definitely be a factor that swings Syracuse’s way.The flip side of that, that might swing away from Syracuse is the kind of wildcard you get with a young kid like Niko Amato in goal for Maryland. It’s that sometimes young kids don’t know they should be nervous, don’t know they should be playing tight. And Niko Amato has shown at different times this year that he can stand on his head and just frustrate teams and make saves that you don’t expect him to make. Commentslast_img read more