first_img Published on May 9, 2013 at 12:20 am Contact Trevor: [email protected] | @TrevorHass Facebook Twitter Google+ The formula is simple: When Hakeem Lecky scores, the Orange wins.SU is 5-0 when Lecky finds the back of the net.After struggling with his shot early in the season, Lecky has scored six goals in the last four games — all Syracuse wins — helping guide SU to a Big East tournament title. He’ll look to score and lead the Orange to another win Sunday at 7:30 p.m. when No. 1-seed Syracuse (13-3) battles Bryant (8-10) at the Carrier Dome in the first round of the NCAA tournament.“I just haven’t really been thinking about it too much,” Lecky said. “If I find myself open, I just try to shoot as hard as I can or try to put it in a spot where the goalie can’t get it.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textEarly in the season, Lecky’s shots skirted left and right. He blew by defenders with blazing speed, but couldn’t finish around the net. Through 12 games, Lecky tallied just two goals and shot a woeful 11 percent.In the first game against Albany, Lecky attempted six shots. Only one was on goal, and all six missed. The next game against Army, Lecky took four more shots. Again, they all missed the net.He began the season on the first midfield line, but only notched two goals through mid-April and was mired in a seasonlong slump.“I don’t like to go back in the past and think about how I was playing at the beginning of the year,” Lecky said, “but I do know that I don’t think I was playing as well as I should have been.”But Lecky didn’t let his struggles get to him. Midway through the season, he started warming up freshman goaltender Evan Molloy with more regularity. Lecky said 15-20 minutes of rifling shots at Molloy every day helped his accuracy.Teammates, coaches and friends offered words of encouragement, but Lecky was never worried. He knew he’d start producing. It was just a matter of time.“I definitely think I could have been playing much better,” Lecky said, “but it goes on.”Lecky also absorbed advice from teammate JoJo Marasco. The senior told him to dodge hard and shoot hard. Don’t worry about finishing. Just shoot the ball.Defender Brian Megill said Lecky often wins sprints in practices. Lecky laughed and scratched his head when asked if he usually finishes first. He said Henry Schoonmaker’s usually right by his side. The races are always competitive, but Lecky often comes out on top.Lecky was a matchup nightmare for opposing middies. He just needed to convert his scoring chances.“I’ve talked all year long about Hakeem being very quick, very fast, being one of the best dodgers on the team,” Syracuse head coach John Desko said. “Now, he just needs to be able to finish the ball to complete his game, and he’s starting to do that.”Against Georgetown on April 20, Lecky delivered late in the third quarter. As he’s done all season, Lecky used his sizzling speed to burn a defender. That part was nothing new. This time, though, Lecky converted.He scored again against Notre Dame in the regular-season finale — twice.Then — just five days later against the Fighting Irish in the Big East tournament semifinals — twice again.Then he scored once again in the conference championship against Villanova with the game tied in the first quarter. Syracuse didn’t trail the rest of the game.Lecky’s tear elevated his shooting percentage from 11 to 27 percent. He shot 6-of-11 in the final four games. His struggles were something of the past.“You can see it in the stats lately,” Desko said. “He’s doing a real nice job coming down the stretch.”Lately, no one has been able to stop him. SU midfielder Chris Daddio said Schoonmaker’s success paved the way for Lecky’s recent emergence. Teams were forced to key in on Schoonmaker when he was on the field with Lecky and Ryan Barber. That opened the door for Lecky.Now, he’ll have a chance to continue to shine on college lacrosse’s biggest stage, starting against Bryant on Sunday night.“I don’t think he was struggling,” Daddio said. “I think he just didn’t have as many chances to go to the goal.” Commentslast_img