Henry Schoonmaker emerges offensively to complement Nicky Galasso, Hakeem Lecky after slow start to season

first_img Published on March 17, 2015 at 12:14 am Contact Matt: [email protected] | @matt_schneidman While Nicky Galasso and Hakeem Lecky carried Syracuse’s first-line midfield offensively, Henry Schoonmaker lagged behind.Through Syracuse’s first four games, Galasso had 10 goals and two assists and Lecky five of each. Schoonmaker tallied just two goals and a lone helper as the other two were being credited for alleviating the defensive pressure put on SU’s starting attack.But since then, Schoonmaker has paced the unit, totaling five points in the last two games to complement the two other fifth-year seniors. He had two goals for No. 1 SU (6-0, 1-0 Atlantic Coast) in a comeback win over then-No. 16 Johns Hopkins on Saturday, and he’s begun to round out his defensive abilities as a midfielder with an emerging offensive prowess.“It’s great that he stepped up and made those shots today,” Orange head coach John Desko said on Saturday. “He’s been right on the edge and fortunately they dropped today for us.”With Syracuse trailing JHU by three in the second quarter, an open Schoonmaker received a pass from attack Dylan Donahue 15 yards away from the goal.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBlue Jays midfielder Michael Pellegrino stuck with Donahue and pointed for someone to guard Schoonmaker, but the SU midfielder took a crow-hop and unleashed a shot that found the left side of the net past diving goalie Eric Schneider.On the Orange’s next goal, Schoonmaker once again received the ball on a swing, but this time fed Randy Staats right outside the crease for an easy goal instead of shooting himself. The two goals were the start of a 7-0 run for the hosts.“I think it’s just teammates moving the ball well and the offense was starting to get in rhythm,” Schoonmaker said.Being the second fastest of SU’s first-line midfielders, Schoonmaker sometimes draws a long pole. It can hinder him at times since there’s less room to operate, and it’s created more chances for Galasso, who’s reaped the benefits of going against short-stick midfielders.On Saturday, though, Schoonmaker showed just how effective he can be when he is given the opportunity to attack against a short stick.With the Orange holding onto a one-goal lead against Hopkins in the fourth quarter, Schoonmaker cradled the ball with short-stick midfielder Phil Castronova defending him.He first juked left, faked right, then left Castronova in his tracks before bouncing the ball into the bottom-right corner as he leveled another defender in his tracks and looked down at him as the crowd erupted.“A lot of times the slide comes and then we’d pass to the backside and I’d be wide open to either dodge the guy or shoot,” Schoonmaker said. “The offense was getting in a flow, so that’s just the reason that I think I had a couple goals.”Schoonmaker may also be tasked with handling Duke midfielder Myles Jones on Sunday, and the Blue Devils’ All-American already has 45 points through eight games.But the defensive ability is something Schoonmaker already boasts, and now he’s starting to bring his repertoire full circle.Said Galasso: “Henry does a lot more than people know for us.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more