Scouting report

May 28, 2001

Johns Hopkins coach Dave Pietramala scouted today's NCAA Division I championship game between Syracuse and Princeton for The Sun. His Blue Jays opened the season with an 8-4 loss at Princeton, and three weeks later handed Syracuse its first loss, 11-10 at the Carrier Dome.

No. 1 Syracuse (13-2) vs. No. 2 Princeton (13-1)

Pietramala's analysis

Syracuse offense vs. Princeton defense: This is strength vs. strength, and the team that imposes its will at this end will have a huge advantage. Tempo is the name of the game for Syracuse, which is very effective in the half-field but at its best when it can create transition goals. It's crucial for Princeton to force Syracuse into a half-field set.

Look for Princeton to defend Michael Powell (28 goals, 28 assists) and Josh Coffman (33, 17) with quick slides and double teams. Damien Davis and Brandon Mollett will match up with Powell and Coffman or Liam Banks, but the determining matchup could be Scott Farrell on Michael Springer, who scored six goals against Notre Dame.

Princeton offense vs. Syracuse defense: For all of the attention at the other end, the group that dominates here will win. Princeton attacks with standouts such as Ryan Boyle (16, 34), Sean Hartofolis (33, 5), B. J. Prager (32, 4) and Matt Striebel (17, 17). Syracuse has two big names in John Glatzel and goalie Rob Mulligan (7.63 goals allowed), but unheralded players such as Sol Bliss and midfielders Jay Abendroth and Dan Stessen will be key.

Look for Princeton's ball-control offense to exploit the Syracuse short sticks, especially the offensive middies, and lesser-known players may give the Tigers a spark. Princeton needs big games from Boyle and Hartofolis; whoever is covered by Glatzel needs to step up and contribute.

Key matchup: Can Princeton win faceoffs? That was a key against Towson, and it will be again today. Princeton must find a way to gain possessions against Chris Cercy, who not only wins faceoffs, but also creates offense off the draw. Princeton must have great wing play, especially from Mollett.

What Syracuse has to do to win: The Orangemen must dominate the faceoffs, create in transition, generate 40 to 50 shots and get at least a dozen saves from Mulligan. Glatzel must shut down Boyle or Hartofolis; Springer must take it to Farrell and Syracuse needs a huge day from its short-stick defenders.

What Princeton has to do to win: Princeton must score at least 13 goals, and Trevor Tierney (5.46 goals-allowed average) has to play well. Princeton needs to limit Syracuse's transition opportunities and create at least three goals of its own on the run. The Tigers must win 50 percent of the faceoffs and get three or four goals from the unknowns.

Team comparison:

.............................Syracuse ...................Princeton

Goals scored ............... 13.7 ........................12.3

Goals allowed .................7.9 ........................ 5.6

Shooting %................. .305 ....................... .312

Opp. shooting % ........... .251 ...................... .191

Faceoff % ................. .697 ...................... .486

Ground balls .............. +18.7 ...................... +6.9

Clearing % ................. .808 ...................... .801

Opp. clearing % ........... .746 ...................... .795

Extra-man offense ........ .338 ...................... .367

Man-down defense ......... .232 ..................... .178

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