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Lacrosse + Syracuse = I Thought We Were Friends?

Midfielders Needed: Call 315-443-DESKO
Losing All-American Greg Rommel and fellow senior Steven Brooks was borderline catastophic. Losing budding superstar Greg Niewieroski is worthy of a campy CBS Sunday night disaster movie.

As Dave Rahme reports, it appears as if Niewieroski got himself into a stitch of trouble on Marshall Street this past Friday evening:

Greg Niewieroski, 20, a sophomore on the Syracuse University lacrosse team, may miss the rest of the season due to injuries suffered during a Friday night incident on Marshall Street.

According to the lead story Monday night on Watertown television station WWNY TV's Web site, Niewieroski's mother, Shari, told a reporter from the station that Niewieroski was attacked by four people as he ran to catch up to a friend. She said he was sprayed with mace and was kicked and beaten. She told the station that her son suffered broken bones in his face and will undergo surgery today in Syracuse.
In a follow-up article appearing in today's Post-Standard, Rahme expanded upon the details (or lack thereof) of the incident:
. . . [H]e [Niewieroski] suffered broken bones in his face that would require surgery on Tuesday in Syracuse. It is unclear whether that took place, as federal law forbids disclosure of specific injuries without a patient's approval.

Details surrounding the incident are fuzzy. No police report had been filed as of Tuesday morning, and Desko and university officials were still trying to figure out what happened.
Beautiful. This is exactly what the team needs before heading to Baltimore this weekend to take on a hungry Johns Hopkins squad.

The news isn't all bad though. Niewieroski, because he has only made a brief appearance on the field this year against Georgetown, should be eligible for a medical redshirt. As things stand now, Desko appears to be interested in pursuing this option:

"I don't know if we'd get Greg back in time (for a playoff run) or not," he said. "The plan right now is for both to redshirt and save a year of eligibility."

Also, it looks like Syracuse's heralded freshman class will have the opportunity to get a few more runs under their legs now that Syracuse's big three midfielders are sidelined indefinitely. Rahme and Desko have hinted at such, providing the following:
With Rommel, Brooks and now Niewieroski apparently lost for the season, Desko is left with a first midfield line that features senior Brian Crockett and true freshmen Dan Hardy (Tully) and Pat Perritt.

"We've got two of the most talented freshmen around, and we're trying to turn them into sophomores in a hurry," Desko said. "They're giving everything they've got. Steve Babbles (sophomore, Skaneateles) is playing well, Brendan Loftus (sophomore, Watertown) is coming along and another true freshman, [Matt] Abbott (Nottingham), is making a lot of good decisions. We're going to give them a lot of experience and hope it pays off down the road."

Coaches and Media Unite: "We Hate Hopkins!"
For the week of March 13, 2006, the Inside Lacrosse Media Poll and the USILA STX Coaches Poll each tabbed Maryland as number one. These polls, of course, were released before the Bucknell's shocking double-overtime upset of the Terrapins last night.

Aside: What the hell are they putting in the water at Bucknell to make its athletes giant killers. This is getting ridiculous.

The rest of the polls look as follows:
USILA STX Coaches Poll
1. Maryland
2. Virginia
3. Duke
4. Navy
5. Cornell
6. Princeton
7. Massachusetts
8. Georgetown
9. Hofstra
10. Syracuse
11. Notre Dame
12. Delaware
13. [Hate] Johns Hopkins
14. Denver
15. Pennsylvania
16. Dartmouth
17. Hobart
18. Loyola
19. Towson
20. Fairfield

Inside Lacrosse Media Poll
1. Maryland
2. Virginia
3. Duke
4. Navy
5. Cornell
6. Princeton
7. Massachusetts
8. Georgetown
9. Delaware
10. Hofstra
11. Syracuse
12. Denver
13. Notre Dame
14. [Hate] Johns Hopkins
15. Towson
16. Pennsylvania
17. Loyola
18. Albany
19. Dartmouth
20. Penn State

Dorking Up Lacrosse
Jeff Sagarin, the bane to the existence of many a college football fanatic, has jumped forth into the world of college lacrosse. Using his unique method of power ratings, Sagarin has partnered with Inside Lacrosse to provide his methodology to the college lacrosse masses.

Sagarin's initial ratings are interesting to say the least. Topping his rankings is fellow upstate powerhouse Cornell with Maryland and Virginia following close behind. Syracuse is currently slotted in the 17 hole; Hopkins is placed 22nd.

For an explanation of Sagarin's rankings, click here.

Georgetown Beats Syracuse In Lacrosse, Admitting Rich Kids
On Friday afternoon, the Hoyas traveled up to the Dome to tussle with the Orange. What transpired was an utterly pathetic effort from Syracuse, as Georgetown went on to a 10-8 victory over the stumbling Orange. It was Georgetown's first victory ever in the Dome.

As Post-Standard staff writer Donna Ditota pens, the Orange were unable to capitalize on the ample opportunities offered by an undisciplined Hoya squad:

The Orange offense, which put up 15 goals a week earlier in a loss at Virginia, struggled to score all afternoon against the Hoyas. SU took 48 shots in the game. Just eight found the back of the net.

Attribute part of that to Georgetown goalie Miles Kass, who made 15 saves, some of them doorstep gems that erased strong SU scoring chances. But part of it too, was that SU's shooters failed to direct their shots toward the goal.

"All through the game," said SU coach John Desko, "I thought offensively we were doing a pretty good job getting our shots. Their goalie made some good saves and we missed the cage more than we normally do."

That proved especially painful in man-up situations.

Georgetown (2-1) had been allowing opponents to convert half their man-up opportunities. The Hoyas tendency to commit fouls, coupled with their inclination to allow extra-man goals, had been a dangerous combination.

But against SU, the Hoyas for the most part prevented the Orange from creeping in on the crease and getting anything easy inside. And when those shots did materialize, Kass was there to eliminate them.

"We've had a lot of trouble with man-down this year and we've worked on it a lot," said Georgetown defender Reyn Garnett. "They really only ran maybe one or two plays and after awhile, we kind of knew what they were doing. Although they had two or three layups that they could have scored on and Miles made great saves on them."

Syracuse went 1-9 on the day with the man advantage. This team isn't going to win very many games this year if it can't convert on the man-up especially with an unproven netminder on the Orange's defensive end. In short, this team needs to capitalize on every opportunity it gets; just being good enough this year will not be sufficient to generate wins.

A lot was made of the plodding play exuded by both teams on the carpet Friday. The assessment appears to be somewhat accurate. In terms of pace, Syracuse generated 32 possessions on the afternoon; Georgetown clocked in with 40. This is the second time in as many games that Syracuse was out-possessed by an opponent.

Georgetown's advantage in the possession department is less attributable to dominance in the face-off "x" (the Hoyas only won two more draws than Syracuse) and is rather the result of Georgetown winning the groundball game (41-30) and the Orange once again being dreadful on clearing situations (15-20). Given the fact that Syracuse's defense is still a major question mark for this team, especially in the cage, the Orange really needs to maximize its possessions and disallow its opponents from dominating the pace and style of play.

In terms of efficiency, the Syracuse offense was just dreadful. On its 32 possessions the Orange just managed eight tallies. That amounts to a .250 efficiency. Compounded with only a 16.7% shooting percentage and one is led to the indisputable conclusion that Syracuse was really its worst enemy against Georgetown.

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