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Lacrosse Weekly - 2/25/09

The quest for title #11 begins.
The lacrosse season has started and Syracuse looks to defend their title as National Champions of Division 1 Lacrosse. Because of this fact, we bring back our weekly feature Lacrosse Weekly. Because we were in the thick of some serious basketball discussion, and I had a busy week at school, I was unable to start at the onset of the season. But I will surely make up for that omission here by recapping both games, and the weeks that were in the start of the lacrosse season.

First, against Providence, this game was a joke. Rest assured, Providence will not be a joke for long, but being that they are not fully funded through scholarships yet, this team was not even remotely close to competing against the Orange. Syracuse beats Providence 22 to three.

Providence tied the game 1-1 with 5:53 left in the first quarter. Then Syracuse proceeded to score 15 unanswered goals, making the score 16-1 with 3:17 remaining in the third quarter. Common sense would then tell you that Syracuse held Providence scoreless for the last 5:53 in the first, all of the second quarter, and over 11 minutes in the third. That is a serious drought. What also did not help for providence was a three minute, unreleasable penalty for having an illegal stick, one in which the pocket was too deep so it was practically impossible for the ball to be knocked out. During this, Syracuse had three goals in the first quarter.

This was both a defensive and offensive clinic. Stephen Keogh led the Orange in scoring with five goals. He also had two assists for a total of seven points. Kenny Nims, Chris Daniello, and Greg Niewieroski each added three goals. Overall there were 12 players that scored a goal in this game. Kenny Nims led Syracuse in assists with five, for a total of eight points. That led the team. Jake Moulton did well on the face off X, earning five of ten, along with six ground balls, leading the team in that category. Josh Knight also earned seven of nine looks at the face off. Syracuse scored on six of seven extra man opportunities, while Providence failed to score on six extra man chances. Syracuse out shot Providence 55 to 12 in this game. Additionally, Syracuse had 29 ground ball pickups, while Providence had 21. Syracuse overall won 17 of 27 face offs in this game. Providence had 14 of 19 clears, while Syracuse did slightly better, clearing 15 of 17. Providence had 11 saves, while Syracuse had 7. This is clearly due to lack of shots by Providence. Speaking of saves, John Galloway, now a sophomore, earned the win with four saves and two goals against in 45 minutes of work. Al Cavalieri played the fourth quarter and had three saves and one goal against. Overall both played well in the cage, but Syracuse’s defense was stifling and played extremely well, giving few looks at the cage, and obviously few shots, to the Providence Attack. Overall this was an excellent game for the Orange. However, being a far inferior team, there cannot be too many judgments taken from this game. To really judge, we needed to wait until the following week and the game against #18 Army. The full box score for the Providence game can be found here.

The next game on Friday night was a little harder as Syracuse would play #18 Army in the Carrier Dome, a team that Syracuse only managed to beat by one goal the year before. That would not be the case this season however. After a slow start, the Orange win a big game over Army 17 to six.

This game started off slow for Syracuse, as Army earned a goal first, and then made it a 2-0 lead. Syracuse finally scored with 2:07 remaining in the first quarter, but Army made it 3-1 before the end of the first. Then Syracuse unleashed their offense, scoring seven unanswered goals, shutting out Army through the second quarter and halfway through the third. Syracuse led 5-3 at the half, and Army only managed to score three more times in the game, while Syracuse poured on their offense, earning seven goals in the third, and five goals in the fourth quarters. Keep in mind, the starters were out of the game and the second and third lines for Syracuse were still scoring on the US Military Academy. Syracuse never trailed after the 9:15 mark of the second quarter. Once Syracuse’s offense got going, similarly the defense found a rhythm, and the Army found it hard to do much against this recommitted Orange from the second quarter on. I guess being down 3-1 was the only wake up call they needed.

Kenny Nims and Stephen Keogh led Syracuse in goals with three a piece. Tim Desko (who earned a start in this game and is only a freshman), Dan Hardy, Josh Amidon, and Chris Daniello each had two goals for the Orange as well. Overall nine different players had a goal for the Orange. Dan Hardy and Kenny Nims also added three assists a piece, meaning Nims led the team in points with six. Jake Moulton took most of the face off responsibilities, winning nine of 16. Nims and John Galloway led the team in ground balls with five each. John Galloway gets another win with five saves and five goals against in about 52 minutes of work. Syracuse had 51 shots in this game, while Army only had 24. The Orange also earned more ground balls with 42, while Army only had 30. Army did win more face offs than the Orange however, winning 15 of 27, while Syracuse won only 12. Syracuse was perfect on clears however, clearing 22 of 22, mostly due to Galloway’s absolutely perfect long passes to streaking attack and midfield players. Army only cleared 11 of 14. Syracuse was also perfect on extra man opportunities, scoring on both chances. The Orange defense was tough, as Army failed to capitalize on any of the four extra man chances they had. Syracuse again trailed in saves, but this is again obviously explained by the disparity in shots. Army had 12 saves, while Syracuse had five. This was a good test for the Orange as Army is a good offensive team. Syracuse was able to overcome a slow start and convincingly beat Army by a wide margin. The full Army box score is here.

Syracuse maintains the #1 ranking from the coaches for the second straight week, and all 11 first place votes. That complete poll is here. Syracuse remains #2 in the media poll behind Virginia for the second straight week. Syracuse did earn four out of 16 first place votes. That poll can be found here.

Other notable scores in lacrosse from the past couple of weeks:

Friday February 13:

Canisius 11 – Colgate 15

Saturday February 14:

St. Joseph’s 9 – Lehigh 8

Loyola 9 – Notre Dame 10

Villanova 8 – Rutgers 4

Ohio State 6 – Navy 8

Wednesday February 18:

Rutgers 11 – Manhattan 7

Friday February 20:

Colgate 8 – Duke 9

Navy 8 – North Carolina 9

Saturday February 21:

Brown 13 – Lehigh 12

Massachusetts 10 – Hofstra 11

Georgetown 13 – Maryland 10

Denver 10 – Albany 9

Rutgers 10 – UMBC 17

Villanova 12 – Lafayette 4

Quinnipiac 8 – St. John’s 15

Bucknell 9 – Ohio State 10

Sunday February 22:

Harvard 9 – Duke 6

Colgate 9 – North Carolina 11

Notre Dame 13 – Penn State 8

The complete scoreboard from Inside Lacrosse is here.

Syracuse now will take on that exalted Virginia team, a team that Syracuse beat in overtime in last years National Semi-Final game. Both teams are ranked #1/2, so it should be an excellent contest to say the least. That game will be in the Carrier Dome in front of a nice crowd I’m sure. If you are on campus you should definitely go out and support your fellow students as the Orange will need every advantage they can get. You can go out drinking after. That game starts at 7:00pm, and will be featured locally on Time Warner Sports.

Some programming notes. This feature, Lacrosse Weekly, will be featured every week on Orange::44 and will sadly replace The Big East Report. That just became too much work, thus it had to be discarded in favor of lacrosse coverage and my hopes of graduating on time this spring. Either way, tune into Orange::44 for all the lacrosse analysis you can handle, as this team looks primed to make a repeat at the National Championship.

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