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Gait Issues Extreme Makeover, Orange Edition
by Nelson Coffin | Special to Lacrosse Magazine Online
Gary Gait says attacker Halley Quillinan is ready for a prime-time role.
Saying his team was too “one-dimensional last year,”
Syracuse coach Gary Gait is going into full makeover mode at both
ends of the field.
After losing prolific scorer Katie Rowan, who produced 112 points in 2009, to graduation, the Orange has to figure out another way to get the job done.
Gait feels that senior midfielder Christina Dove and senior attacker Halley Quillinan are ready for prime-time roles. Junior middie Tee Ladouceur also will be looked to for more output on a unit that could boast more scoring options.
“We’ve always been a team that attacks from the top,” said Gait. “We’re going to have a completely new look this year.”
Dove will be asked to play behind on certain sets, despite being a skilled dodger. Quillinan, on the other hand, will be expected to carry the ball more than she has in the past. Ladouceur is being groomed to take on more leadership responsibilities.
Lefty blue-chip freshman attacker Michelle Tumolo will bring more structure to the battle with her precision feeding skills.
Even though the defense boasts goalie Liz Hogan, many of the parts around her — and freshly minted defensive coordinator Regy Thorpe — are new.
Senior Lindsay Rogers, the 2008 Big East Defensive Player of the Year, anchors a low defense featuring classmate Sarah Sedgwick and sophomore Janelle Stegeland.
Considering Sedgwick was a defensive wing and Stegeland did not start last year, Thorpe may have some serious coaching to get the defense up to snuff.
“We wanted a little more athleticism back there,” Gait said about dropping Sedgwick to the backline.
The Orange opens Friday when it hosts Colgate at the Carrier Dome. With six of its first eight games at home — and another at a neutral site — ‘Cuse has an opportunity to begin the season on an upswing, although matching last year’s 14-5 mark could be a tall order for a retooling team.
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