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MLAX : Eilers steps forward as scoring threat as SU prepares for Hobart

first_img Published on April 18, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Chris: [email protected] | @chris_iseman Comments Bobby Eilers couldn’t help but get distracted. As he stood speaking to reporters in the tunnel outside Syracuse’s locker room at Gillette Stadium on Saturday, his teammates playfully shouted his name as they walked to the bus.For Eilers, this much recognition and hoopla after a game was new. But scoring three goals will generate exactly that.‘I got in the first quarter, and I was just like, ‘I have to do this. I have to go hard, break the ice, get the goal,” Eilers said. ‘I took it to heart, and I went and shot and scored.’And that was Eilers only describing his first goal. Eilers’ first career hat trick helped lead No. 4 Syracuse (10-1, 3-0 Big East) to a dominant win over Providence on Saturday in the New England Lacrosse Classic.Eilers did what his teammates and coaches have been telling him all season long in practice — to use his size and speed to beat defenders and go to the goal. What they saw in practice, though, hadn’t translated to a big-game performance until Providence. On Tuesday, as the Orange prepares to play Hobart (5-6, 2-2 Eastern College Athletic Conference) at 7 p.m. inside the Carrier Dome, Eilers will look to do it all again. And if he can, the Orange could retain the Kraus-Simmons trophy that SU and Hobart have played for since 1986.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAnd his confidence is finally where it needs to be to make it happen.Eilers is part of SU’s second midfield line, which has become the team’s latest threat in recent games after struggling to score at the start of the season. But Eilers was never the main component of that line, as the junior only had one career goal entering Saturday. But in one game, Eilers proved he has the ability to be an additional scoring option. Eilers started the season on SU’s defensive midfield line, but what he showed in practice convinced head coach John Desko that he’ll be more of an asset on offense.‘The reason we moved him from short stick to offense was that he just was showing a lot of confidence in practice,’ Desko said. ‘He’s a 6-foot-3 guy that runs real well. He shoots the ball hard from the outside.’After he scored his first goal about five minutes into the first quarter, Eilers said his confidence immediately increased. He ran straight through the middle of the Providence defensive zone, dodging and beating defenders all the way to the cage. His speed allowed him to go virtually untouched. He took another shot seven minutes later, and he scored again. With a little more than eight minutes remaining in the game, Eilers scored once more.Eilers said he returned to what he always did in high school, which was to go as hard as he could to the goal. There was nothing holding him back. After he scored his first career goal against Duke on April 3, he said he wanted to get back out on the field and do it again. But the second line got limited playing time against Princeton and Cornell, so Providence was his next opportunity. In a blowout game during which the second line was on the field just as much as the first, Eilers took advantage.‘Bobby, he’s a big, strong kid,’ SU midfielder Jeremy Thompson said. ‘He’s come out, and he’s surprised a lot of people. I think he’s proven himself out there on the field. The last couple of games, he’s been putting up some points for the second midfield line. … Something that we need.’It is perhaps for the best that Eilers is no longer on the defensive midfield line. He said he prefers offense, but took the defensive position because he wanted to help the team in some capacity. Plus, making the switch meant less time on the sidelines. Things didn’t go as planned, and when the Orange’s offense sputtered at the start of the season, the coaches moved him back.Along with Steve Ianzito and Scott Loy, Eilers has helped SU’s second midfield line come into form at the final stretch of the regular season. Eilers has been waiting for his confidence to get to where he wants it to be to become a more consistent scorer. And it finally has.So when the Orange takes the field Tuesday against Hobart, Eilers has a simple yet definitive plan.‘Trust me, it feels good to score,’ Eilers said. ‘So I’m going to try to keep scoring.’[email protected]center_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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