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Lacrosse Weekly - The Final Four Edition

Syracuse will be advancing to another dual with Hopkins.

Well friends, I think I can easily say that that was probably the best lacrosse game I have ever witnessed in person. I say that even after attending the 2004 Final Four in Baltimore, Maryland. As advertised, #3 Syracuse and #2 Virginia provided yet another excellent game, a semifinal game for the ages, and one hell of a victory for the Orange by a score of 12 to 11 in two overtime periods.

This game really hinged on the face offs and goaltenders as I mentioned in my preview. Virginia’s Bud Petit played the game of his career in goal against Syracuse, making 16 saves in the game. Syracuse was held scoreless from the 8:23 minute mark in the first quarter, until there was 51 seconds remaining in the first half. Meanwhile freshman goalie John Galloway looked sluggish in the cage, letting in a few goals that probably should not have scored. Danny Brennan continued to do his job, winning 19 of 27 face offs for the Orange. It was DBren who continued to keep Syracuse in this game and give Syracuse possessions to keep chipping away at the Virginia lead. Galloway also tightened up his game and made two big saves in the first overtime period to keep Virginia from ending the game. Mike Leveille also helped.

Leveille, the Tewaaraton Trophy finalist, bolstered his resume in a big way tallying a career best five goals and two assists. His seven points also tie a career best for Leveille. He also happened to hit the game winner in the second overtime. Matt Abbot also added three goals. I happened to tailgate next to Abbot’s family and I have to say his mother is a lovely woman. Brendan Loftus also scored twice. Syracuse continued to exploit what they felt was a miss match between Loftus and the Virginia defenders they had on him. Dan Hardy also added two assists. Danny Brennan again dominated the face off X with 19 of 27 face offs won. He also added nine ground balls and generally played his heart out, leaving it all on the field. John Galloway, while not one of his best performances of the season, again made some clutch saves when it mattered most, especially in overtime. He finished with nine saves and 11 goals against in 66:17 minutes of work.

Syracuse of course led in shots with 47, while Virginia only shot the ball 35 times. The ‘Cuse picked up 44 ground balls compared to only 25 from the Cavs. Garrett Ince, the freshman face off man for Virginia only came up with 8 possessions. Virginia cleared the ball well, clearing 17 of 18. Syracuse cleared 15 of 17. Syracuse’s penalty kill unit did the job well as Virginia was held to only one score in six extra man opportunities. Syracuse capitalized on two of three extra man opportunities.

While I give Virginia a lot of credit for playing a great game, specifically goalie Bud Petit, Syracuse’s determination to complete “Revenge Tour ‘08” was too much for the Cavilers to handle. Syracuse played a solid offensive game, refused to give up, and in the end overcame a five goal deficit to take the game to overtime and then win on an underhanded shot by Mike Leveille. The crowd was great, the Syracuse fans were loud, and the Orange end up victorious. The complete box score can be found here.

Syracuse will now take on #5 Johns Hopkins for the right to say they have ten National Championships. Hopkins beat Duke in the second semifinal game ten to nine. The updated bracket is here. The game is on ESPN at 1:00pm on Monday, Memorial Day. I’ll again be in the stadium enjoying all of the lacrosse goodness that can be shoved into a National Championship. Special thanks to Tim, Chris, Jim, Jayme, Anthony, and Matt Glaude from Hoya Suxa for hanging out providing for an excellent tailgate and game viewing experience. The stakes will be high, the drama is thick, and one team will be able to boast the most championships after Monday. Without a doubt Syracuse can be proud of this season, but a National Championship would be quite the feather in the cap after failing to make the tournament the previous year. It is worth noting that the last time Syracuse failed to make the tournament in 1982 the following season Syracuse won the National Championship over Johns Hopkins. I am hoping history repeats itself.

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1 Responses to “Lacrosse Weekly - The Final Four Edition”

  1. # Anonymous Beat Visitor

    Congratulations to the Orange on your Championship!! (from your friends in Scarlet at Beat Visitor)  

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