The Orange Fox is back!
The feature is back, albeit a day late.
Virginia Loses, Syracuse Now Ranked Second
Anyone remember 2004?
It may seem like distant history with Virginia's dominating performance in 2006, but the Cavaliers' start to 2004 may forecast what lies ahead for Dom Starsia's charges. In that season, the Cavaliers -- a young team with little defined upperclass leadership -- stepped out of the gate with a 15-4 drubbing of Drexel and promptly lost to Air Force and Denver in consecutive games.
Virginia finished 5-8.
While history does not always lead to future returns, Virginia does have a hole to climb out following its 11-10 loss to Drexel last Saturday.
Inside Lacrosse Media Poll
As the release notes:
One week of lacrosse action and already a new number one in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Men's DI Media Poll.
Defending National Champion Virginia took a tumble against Drexel this weekend, sliding to eighth place. Johns Hopkins, which was ranked second last week, moves into the top spot. Syracuse, Princeton, Georgetown and Maryland round out the top five.
|Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll|
Syracuse Beats Hobart, Sanity Restored
After residing in the Roy Simmons, Sr. Coaches Center for almost two decades, the Kraus-Simmons Trophy moved west last season after Hobart's stunning 9-8 victory.
Saturday, Syracuse decided that the vacated real estate in its trophy case created by Hobart's meddling needed attention. What resulted was a far-too-close 13-11 triumph in the Carrier Dome.
Poss. = Possessions
Sht% = Shooting percentage
Sht/Poss = Shots per possession
G/Poss = Goals per possession
Much has been made of Syracuse's "poor" defensive effort, but the defensive efficiency value illustrated above is actually better than the Orange's effort in 2006. While not particularly uplifting, it is something Syracuse can hang its hat on at this early juncture in the season.
In other areas of note:
- Syracuse performed very well in its clearing game on Saturday. Missing only two clearing attempts, the Orange did a nice of job of limiting Hobart's ability to create easy scoring opportunities, especially when considering how inefficient the Statesmen offense was on the day. It is an often overlooked aspect of play, but if Syracuse can continue its clearing consistency (a bugaboo in 2006), good things should happen to the Orange.
- If you're asking yourself how Syracuse's 2007 offensive performance compares to Virginia in 2006, you are probably going to be disappointed -- Syracuse is still significantly behind Virginia's blistering offensive efficiency pace of .357 in 2006.
- The possession numbers illustrated above is fairly misleading. The teams ended up even on the day due to Jon Jerome's heroic fourth-quarter performance. Had Hobart stolen some draws down the stretch, Syracuse would have likely lost the possession battle and the game in general.
The question is, therefore, why did Hobart create so many possessions? The answer is simple: Brandon Baer did an incredible job in the Hobart cage. Baer managed to limit the number of shots Syracuse was able to put on cage during the Orange's possessions and created a solid number of clearing attempts (28). Had Baer not played so well, Syracuse could have limited Hobart possessions by circumstance (Hobart cannot garner possession automatically if Syracuse is depositing the bean in the net).
All in all, a solid effort from the Orange to start the season. Friday night's tilt against Army should serve as a nice tune-up for next weeks game against Virginia in the Face-Off Classic.
UPDATE: SNY will broadcast the Friday evening contest against Army starting at 7:00PM.