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DeJoe adds extra dimension to Syracuse’s man-up unit as sharpshooter

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ In a low-scoring affair, Syracuse needed to make the most of its extra-man opportunities. The Orange cycled the ball around the outside in the third quarter, looking to expand on its three-goal cushion on the man-up.The ball found its way into the pocket of Derek DeJoe’s stick. Without any wavering in confidence, the freshman fired from 15 yards out, beating Sam Somers for SU’s sixth and final goal of the day, further dimming any Army comeback hopes.“I think I’m pretty good at shooting. The main thing is just everyone believes in me, and everyone’s confident in my shot,” DeJoe said, “so it’s pretty easy for me myself to just catch it and shoot it.”DeJoe has helped add a new dimension to Syracuse’s man-up unit. The Orange (1-1) has scored on three of its five extra-man opportunities this season, with the latest coming on the 15-yard rip from the freshman. DeJoe’s shot has been clocked as fast as 103 mph, he said, and is already one of the best on the team.He uses that ability to stretch the defense and make the opposition susceptible to interior scoring from Derek Maltz and the rest of the attack.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“I’m pretty pleased with the man-up so far,” Maltz said. “I think we’re executing well, we’re getting good shots off and overall, we’ve done a pretty good job early in the season.”DeJoe arrived at SU as the second ranked field player in SU’s Class of 2012 — goaltender Tyler Avallone was its top player overall. The scouting report on him said he would thrive as a shooter. It was his admitted best attribute on the field and main skill he planned to work on at Syracuse. He rode that shooting ability to 93 career goals at Fairport (N.Y.) High School and the No. 71 overall prospect ranking by Inside Lacrosse.The Orange’s three man-up goals this year have come in three different ways. In the opener against Albany, attack Kevin Rice found a cutting Matt Walters for a seven-yard strike. The first against the Black Knights came in close, courtesy of Maltz.Then came DeJoe’s. It was SU’s first long-range goal on the extra-man, but it’s the threat DeJoe provides that leads to so much else.“He helps stretch the defense,” head coach John Desko said. “He can score a little farther out than most midfielders and most freshmen at this stage of the game, so it’s a matter of trying to get him out there where he can get the opportunities to take that big shot.”That constant threat makes it impossible for Desko to take him off the extra-man, despite his freshman status. The extra-man unit is young this season, but successful.Desko let the young guys run in the scrimmages, and when they played well, it meant some real action once the season came around. With a 60-percent success rate, albeit early in the season, the underclassmen have made it tough for the head coach to pull them off. His only concern lies in the group’s defensive ability if the inexperienced unit turns the ball over.As he remains on the field, the goals will continue to come. Maltz called him, “one of the best shooters on the team,” and expects the long-distance goal against Army will be the first of many for the freshman.DeJoe feeds off of that confidence. It’s the reason it doesn’t waver when he shoots. He doesn’t know the farthest he’s ever made a shot from. But whatever it was, he and his teammates knew that, like always, it had a chance to find the back of the net.“Everyone’s pretty comforting, they’re all real confident in me,” DeJoe said. “Maltz down low, and they always love when I shoot, so it’s pretty easy for me to just get it and rip it.“You almost just close your eyes sometimes.” Comments Published on February 27, 2013 at 12:01 am Contact David: [email protected] | @DBWilson2center_img Related Stories SELF DEFENSE: Syracuse shuts down Army, Thul in 1st win of seasonlast_img read more