MLAX : Syracuse looking to find identity in season’s 1st scrimmages

first_img Published on February 1, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Ryne: rjgery@syr.edu Comments When Syracuse takes the field in the Carrier Dome on Sunday, it will be searching for an identity. After losing seven starters and All-Americans from last season’s roster, the Orange enters the season as an unknown in college lacrosse for the first time in years.With the first scrimmage of the season this weekend, Tommy Palasek hopes to see the team begin establishing its identity.‘I think we’ve been doing a pretty good job figuring it out,’ Palasek said. ‘But as far as everyone else is concerned, I mean really no one’s seen us play since Maryland, so we have a whole new team for the most part. I think that we’re getting there.’Syracuse will be back in action for the first time since falling to Maryland in the NCAA tournament quarterfinals last May, taking on Le Moyne and Hofstra in a pair of scrimmages at the Carrier Dome on Sunday. The exhibition matchups will serve as a chance for the Orange to evaluate its progress two weeks before its season opener against Albany. With seven holes to fill going into the season, the tune-ups will also be a crucial to solidifying the starting lineup.Head coach John Desko said he is close to determining the starters and lineups on the field after nearly three weeks of practice.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textRight now, the head coach said goaltender Matt Lerman will start in net. On close defense — where the team must replace two starters — Desko listed four candidates to join veteran Brian Megill, who is currently battling injuries. And in the midfield, 10 different players are in the mix to see significant playing time. JoJo Marasco, Hakeem Lecky and Bobby Eilers appear to be set as the starters thus far.Though Desko has an idea of his plans heading into the season, there is still some uncertainty surrounding the final roster. And Sunday will allow him to mix and match players on different lines to see how different combinations respond in game situations.‘We see some different things happen in game situations and how different players react. Some rise to the occasion, some take a step back,’ Desko said. ‘And we see how well those have learned the offenses and defenses when they get in a game situation, so that tells us a lot in these types of scrimmages.’With 10 players fighting for time at midfield, Desko said he actually feels more comfortable with the line as a whole than he did heading into last season. Though they don’t have the same experience as last season’s group, which included three All-Americans, Desko said the intense competition has them clicking and learning the offense.The constant battling every day has started to form the identity the Orange is searching for.Bobby Eilers remembers a grueling team workout before leaving for Winter Break. At 6 a.m., every player did six-minute squat holds, grimacing in pain while pushing each other to finish the exercise that left their legs shaking.‘The whole team did it and everyone lasted six minutes, and that’s just what we’re kind of like this year,’ Eilers said. ‘We’re all just sticking together and doing things together, and it’s paying off. We’re meshing very well out there.’Eilers said he hopes that togetherness translates to success on the field for the Orange, specifically in the midfield.The defense — which ranked third in the nation in scoring defense and set a school record for man-down efficiency last season — has been Syracuse’s identity in recent years while the offense has struggled. But the senior wants to see the offense pick up its production this year and return to SU’s old ways when the Orange seemed to go on a scoring outburst every game.Palasek feels the Orange has the ability to achieve that. After a few weeks of practice, the attack characterizes Syracuse as an unselfish group that is always looking for the next pass and has the athleticism to get up and down the field.And though SU won’t know its identity until the regular season begins, Palasek is confident this group will continue the program’s success the same way it always has.‘We’re just trying to stick with the Syracuse way,’ Palasek said. ‘And that’s always been the Syracuse way and play unselfish, and we’re just trying to keep that identity.’rjgery@syr.educenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Stressed? May’s mental health month

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2“This leaves little time for recreational activities, which has led to increases in obesity and related conditions like hypertension and diabetes,” she said. “And of course, the stress of a commute or difficult job can also lead to psychiatric conditions such as depression.” The NMHA offers several tips for dealing with chronic job stress, including: Eating right and exercising Setting realistic goals Taking one task at a time LANCASTER – If you’re constantly fatigued, experience frequent headaches and backaches, suffer from lack of sleep and feel agitated, you could be dealing with chronic stress – and if you work full time in a demanding or faraway job, the job itself could be the source. During May, the National Mental Health Association and the mental health unit at Antelope Valley Hospital are encouraging local residents to recognize and manage job-related stress. According to the NMHA, chronic job-related stress is rampant. In addition, study after study has confirmed that high stress levels due to adverse workplace conditions or traveling far to work are affecting our well-being. The problem is especially prevalent in the Antelope Valley. “Job stress certainly contributes to adverse health here in our community,” said Vikki Haley, the hospital’s director of mental health services. “We have become a bedroom community where people travel as much as 150 miles to get to their jobs and back, placing them on the freeway two to four hours a day.” Taking short breaks during the day Taking time to relax or meditate Avoiding perfectionism Learning to say “no” to unreasonable workloads Managing your anger Talking about stressful situations with a loved one Haley points out that there are several resources in the community to help people learn to better cope with chronic stress, including outpatient mental health clinics, private therapists and Los Angeles County’s mental health clinic. In addition, many larger employers offer an employee assistance program for stress and other mental health-related issues. For a referral to any of these resources, call the AVH mental health unit at (661) 949-5250. For additional tips for stress management, visit the NMHA Web site at www.nmha.org.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more