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Syracuse: The University of Losing


Virginia Slams Syracuse, Earth Spins on Axis

Syracuse Post-Standard staff writer Donna Ditota's lead in today's edition effectively sums up Syracuse's performance yesterday afternoon against Virginia:

Syracuse ran out of miracles when it ran into a lacrosse juggernaut.

Top-seeded Virginia rode the tidal wave of a 9-2 start in Saturday's national semifinal to roll over the No. 5 Orange 17-10 and advance to Monday's NCAA Division I title game against Massachusetts.

SU, which lifted itself off the canvas of an early 1-4 start, gamely fought back Saturday and trimmed the deficit to 10-7 at halftime.

But the Cavaliers' brutally quick display of offense and their heady array of scoring weapons doomed the Orange on a day when SU needed to play nearly flawless against the nation's best team and did not.

"We dug ourselves too big of a hole against a good team and you can't do that against a team like this," said SU defender Steve Panarelli. "You just make it too hard on yourself."
From the perspective of my possession-based "victory factors," Syracuse was fairly competitive:

Victory Factors: SYR v. UVA

Unfortunately, the "victory factors" fail to adequately illustrate why Syracuse lost on Saturday. While much of the blame for Syracuse's poor performance is attributable to the Cavaliers' relentless offense and the Orange's continued lunacy clearing the ball from its defensive end (which is depicted in the abovenoted stats), Peter Coluccini's cold start in net ultimately doomed the Orange.

The following three points buttress this conclusion:

  • Virginia scored eight goals on its first eight shots;
  • Coluccini, the young yet promising goaltender for Syracuse, did not record a save until the 10:22 mark of the second quarter; and
  • Virginia scored 10 goals on 21 first half shots.

Had Coluccini been functional to start the game, there is a very good chance that the Orange could have pulled out the miraculous victory. Syracuse trailed by only three tallies at the half and only four goals at the close of the third quarter. With a stronger performance in net, there is no reason to believe that the Orange could not have forced a dogfight.

49,562 Fans Cheer Not Hopkins

Staaaaaate school . . . staaaaaate school.

It's official: lacrosse is no longer a fringe sport.

Logging its fourth consecutive year of semifinal attendance figures north of 45,000, the NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championships has become one of the best attended collegiate events in the country as well as a burgeoning fixture in the consciousness of a nation.

With championship weekend returning to Baltimore next year and Foxboro in 2008, the joy that is Final Four weekend should continue to blossom into a terrific event paralleling, if not surpassing, the College World Series. There is no ceiling to the popularity of America's first game, and if you have not yet exposed yourself to lacrosse, there is no better time than 1:00 Monday afternoon.

5 Responses to “Syracuse: The University of Losing”

  1. # Anonymous Ian

    I'd hate to think the "State School" jibe is directed at us...  

  2. # Anonymous Matt Glaude

    I'm dumb, but I'm not that stupid.

    The picture is actually of the UMass section yesterday.  

  3. # Anonymous Ian

    Dig it...I made it out today last minute and yes, the UMass fan section looked like 75% of them had nicknames like "Smitty" or something. It's tough to say who the crowd was pulling for as a whole, but I would say that UMass was far and away the sentimental fave, and if you weren't wearing orange, you were probably rooting for the Minutemen.  

  4. # Anonymous Matt Glaude

    I'd rather drink Drano than throw my support behind the Minutemen. There is absolutely nothing redeeming about that program or school.

    Championships weekend is generally devoid of the white trash sect (sans the droves trekking from central New York), but UMass managed to throw that state of affairs right out the window. I am fairly sure that the Minuteman population has cornered the market on the bangs and helmet hair look.  

  5. # Anonymous Saltine Warrior

    All in Favor of going back to being the Saltine Warriors say Aye. Something a little more threatening than fruit would help all SU athletics, especially in recruiting. I have lived in Syracuse my whole life and its always amazed me how we even compete athletically and recruit at all by convincing high school seniors to become Central New York Citrus.  

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