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Freshman attack Nicole Levy learns under veterans while integrating into offense

first_img Related Stories Syracuse sneaks past Binghamton, 9-6, despite offensive inefficiencySyracuse downs Loyola, 17-6, in season opener Nicole Levy always tries to rip her shots from 8 meters out. Inside Lacrosse’s No. 7 recruit in the 2015 class is known for her scoring, but there was one startling difference in one of the freshman attack’s first practices at Syracuse in the fall.As Levy loaded up to shoot, senior defender Mallory Vehar checked her stick from behind.“Out of nowhere,” Levy said. “I was like, ‘Wow. That was fast.’ … It was awakening. I needed that.”Levy has spent the fall and winter acclimating to the college game as she figures to be a major factor for No. 3 Syracuse (2-0) this season. She recorded five assists on opening weekend, including four in the first game when head coach Gary Gait played his best players, including All-American attacks Kayla Treanor and Halle Majorana. Levy is a shooter with an unorthodox style, but her undefined offensive role leaves the door open.“(Levy) is going to put pressure on defenses,” assistant coach Regy Thorpe said. “… If you shut down (Treanor), shut down (Majorana), she’s going to get on the stat board.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textLevy distributed on Sunday, hovering between the 8- and 12-meter arcs, swinging the ball around the top of the zone and finding cutters. Once, restarting play on a fast break, she drew the goalkeeper out and dished to Treanor for an easy goal.In the first game, Treanor and Majorana aggressively pushed into the space in front of the Loyola goalkeeper. Levy tried similar moves, but was unable to finish. Majorana and Treanor combined for nine goals. Levy is still looking for her first.The biggest adjustment from East Islip (New York) High School to college, she and her coaches said, has been the speed and strength of defenders. Between the two games, Levy took four shots, two on target, and missed them both.“It’s just in her head a little bit as a freshman trying to push and get that first goal,” Gait said after Sunday’s games. “She just had a tough day on the shooting end. I thought she played well though.”Both Gait and Thorpe previously praised her scoring ability. Gait thinks she’s been the team’s best shooter in practice, percentage-wise, since she got on campus. In a fall scrimmage against Penn State, Thorpe remembers, Levy got the ball at the 11-yard line and stuck a low-to-high shot in the corner.“That was fun to watch,” Thorpe said, his eyebrows raised. “… She’s not the biggest, not the most athletic, but she makes plays.”The 5-foot-2 attack has an unorthodox low-to-high shot usually seen in the men’s game. It comes from years of watching her father, Steve Levy, coach a men’s team.When he became her high school coach, he brought the style of play with him. Levy’s creativity, how she describes her game, developed at family barbecues while goofing around with trick passes and shots.“(The Syracuse coaches) always encourage me to try new things,” Levy said. “They’re not going to yell at me if I try a behind-the-back or something.”In that way, Thorpe said, she fits in with Gait’s free-wheeling style of offense. Levy said Gait reminds her of her dad as a coach.Though Levy has shown she can pass, and the coaches believe in her scoring, her exact offensive description is uncertain. In the meantime, to avoid getting checked from behind, Gait, Thorpe and Levy herself said she’ll learn from SU’s two top-flight attacks.“We’ve got an extremely talented offense, but she’ll find her role,” Gait said. “… her role is to, when she gets a shot, take it.” Comments Published on February 16, 2016 at 11:17 pm Contact Sam: [email protected] | @Sam4TRcenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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