In lacrosse, the faceoff is one of the most important aspects of the game; the team that wins the faceoff is the team that controls possession and the game clock. Gaining the edge on faceoffs can be the difference between a win and a loss. It is something that a team will “live and die by,” as head coach Jim Lyons put it.
Senior defensive midfielder Joe Cicio is one of the Knights that takes the faceoffs this season. At 47 percent, he is extremely close to the 50 percent mark that Lyons would like of his players. Cicio says his approach in each faceoff is simply to be as aggressive as possible to win the ball.
Freshman Ian Moeser is the other player taking faceoffs for the Knights. He is converting 37.8 percent of the time and needs some experience, according to Lyons.
The Knights are currently winning the faceoff just 42.2 percent of the time.
There is a silver lining, however. In games they have won, Geneseo has converted better than 50 percent of its faceoffs, while just converting 35 percent in losses.
“In our wins, we were simply the better faceoff team,” Lyons said.
He went on to discuss the game against Clarkson University that saw the Knights win just two of 20 faceoffs – only 10 percent.
“There was one game where I think we only ended up with around 2-20 faceoffs, and if you take that one game out of the picture, we’re a better than 50 percent team,” Lyons said. “Some teams have different strategies for winning and the faceoff is one that Geneseo considers to be of the utmost importance.”
“We’ve been spending a lot of time in practice, it’s one of the things that we focus on a considerable amount,” he added. “You just have to keep working at it. There’s no magic wand for getting better as a faceoff team. Experience, time and being able to make adjustments are what we need.”
The men’s lacrosse team won 7-6 in overtime against SUNY Brockport on Wednesday April 9. Sophomore midfielder Joe Chiara had three goals on the day and junior attack Steven Cregan had four assists.
The Knights host St. John Fisher College on Saturday April 12.