Evan Molloy stymies Colgate offense in Syracuse men’s lacrosse’s 18-3 win

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on May 7, 2016 at 5:37 pm Contact Connor: [email protected] | @connorgrossman Evan Molloy has seen Syracuse’s defense start to click, and it’s “beautiful” from his view. The defensive midfielders. The long poles. The close defenders. Molloy rattled off a laundry list of outstanding remarks about a unit that put Syracuse on the fringe of NCAA tournament contention for two months.The junior goalkeeper’s only notable omission was himself. Since entering a blowout loss to Notre Dame with 11 minutes left and allowing three goals to whizz past him in that timeframe, he’s been the best thing to happen to the Orange defense.“It’s better than what I expected,” head coach John Desko of Molloy’s play. “… I made the decision to go with (Molloy) and I’m glad I did. It’s worked out really well. He’s playing well and playing better.”He was rock solid again from the crease, allowing one goal in two and a half quarters before Warren Hill relieved him in No. 5 Syracuse’s (11-4, 2-2 Atlantic Coast) 18-3 explosion against Colgate (4-10, 2-6 Patriot) on Saturday afternoon in the Carrier Dome. Molloy’s teammates and coaches have lauded the first-time starter for his communication and athleticism outside the crease.The skill set was on full display against the Raiders, as Molloy scooped up a loose ball on Colgate’s first possession of the game after defender Nick Mellen had it knocked out of his stick in a brief moment of panic. The 6-foot-1 goalie emerged from his safe zone and deftly slung a pass to Brandon Mullins, rescuing the possession.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textA savior role is the one that’s best fit Molloy. He’s revived plenty of possessions, but the ultimate topper for SU is the amount of opposing possessions that haven’t reached the back of the net. He hasn’t allowed a goal in one third of his quarters (8-of-24) since becoming a starter.“I think that I’ve become more patient,” Molloy said. “I think I kind of more attacked the ball when I first got here. I think I kind of took a step back and let the game come to me more.”He’s welcomed it with open arms, and added a new dimension to Syracuse’s defense. Molloy’s willingness to vacate the crease has lent itself seamlessly to clearing situations, which he’s now prominently a part of.Raiders head coach Mike Murphy knew what his team was up against with Molloy, and the problems he’d cause them on the ride. To counter, Murphy wanted his players to get in Molloy’s face, forcing an errant pass or turnover. But it didn’t stop Molloy from either dishing off to a defender, or even launching a 20-plus yard pass up field to create transition offense with Tom Grimm.Murphy wanted his team to work Molloy side-to-side, preventing the home run pass. But the Syracuse goalkeeper kept swinging. And in the few swings the Raiders put on goal, Molloy performed well as a catcher.“He seems to be seeing the ball really well down the stretch,” Murphy said, “which is always great when you’re moving into tournament play.“You’re going to need your goalie to be the guy that erases mistakes.”That’s all he’s done since entering the UND game on April 2 that was lost many minutes before he stepped in the crease. Since then, his team has one loss and is bound for the NCAA tournament with a conference championship under it’s belt.Molloy’s fortified the Syracuse’s greatest weakness, and in its eyes, it’s a beautiful thing. Commentslast_img

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