WLAX : Block twins dominate draw controls to pace Orange’s transition offense

first_imgGary Gait said the stellar performance of Becca and Linley Block is consistently overlooked.In Saturday’s 22-goal performance against No. 11 Georgetown, they tallied only three points, but their contributions – some of which didn’t show up in the scoring column – undoubtedly helped propel SU to victory.‘They create transition and they make us a very fast, athletic team,’ SU head coach Gary Gait said. ‘When the ball can come out of the defensive end that quick it (does) not just gives us a clear, but transitions into a fast break.’The Blocks led consecutive counterattacks to give No. 2 Syracuse (10-2, 4-0 Big East) an early five-goal lead, and from there the Orange cruised to a 22-11 victory over the Hoyas (8-5, 4-2 Big East) on Saturday. In addition to the goal and two assists they combined for, Becca and Linley Block added three and two draw controls, respectively, and applied constant pressure on the GU attacks.Linley Block fought through a slew of players to earn a draw control 10 minutes into the game. After getting fouled by Hoyas attack Rosie Corcoran, Linley Block took the restart and sprinted down the heart of the field.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textHoyas defenders could do nothing but turn and watch in the midfield, and the last line defense collapsed on her 10 yards from the net. Entering the shooting arc, Linley Block found Alyssa Murray cutting in from the right for an easy goal.Ten seconds later, SU struck again. This time, it was Becca Block’s turn.Becca Block picked up the ensuing draw just over midfield. Looking up from the right side of the field, she saw freshman attack Devon Collins cutting diagonally toward net from the left side.She lofted the pass over the helpless Georgetown defense, and Collins beat GU goaltender Barb Black to open SU’s lead to 7-2. The Hoyas never got closer than four goals from that point on.‘We just know our roles on the team and that’s to push the ball in transition,’ Becca Block said. ‘So we’re just looking for opportunities to do that.’That certainly shows in the stats. Becca Block is third on the team with 23 draw controls – trailing only Kailah Kempney and Kirkland Locey, who have split duties on faceoffs this season. Linley Block is seventh with 11.‘When the ball is there, we go after it and get it,’ Linley Block said.That intensity carries over to the defensive side of the field.Georgetown came into the game averaging 19.8 goals in their last four games, but the Orange held it to just 11. In the first 9:50, the Hoyas found the back of the net only once as SU ran out to a 5-1 lead.Though Georgetown finished with 30 shots – a number that seems relatively impressive given SU’s defensive prowess – most were contested. Allowing pressured shots is actually part of the Orange’s defensive philosophy, Gait said.‘They’re scoring when we get beat cleanly and don’t have a stick on the body or we’re not putting pressure on the shot,’ Gait said. ‘That’s when they’re going to get scoring opportunities, but when we execute, stay with our player, match with them and let them take shots when we’re pressuring them, we make the saves and that sparks us in transition.’That approach plays right into the Blocks’ strengths. Press and run.It certainly worked against the Hoyas, and it has helped the Orange to a nine-game winning streak.The Blocks factored heavily into SU’s victory over the Hoyas. And for Syracuse to contend for a national championship, it will need them to maintain that level of play.‘Linley and Becca, along with the other defense, have really been consistent this year, and they’ve done a great job,’ Gait said, ‘but they don’t get as much credit for what they do for our offense, and I think that’s really where they come into play.’[email protected] Published on April 15, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Stephen: [email protected] | @Stephen_Bailey1 Commentscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more