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Lacrosse Weekly - 4/28/09

It was a fine day in Amherst for the Orange.
Syracuse has had a fine year with a few downs, but mostly ups. Heading into Saturday’s game versus #15 Massachusetts, #2 Syracuse had a record of ten wins and two losses. Syracuse has also lost the last two times they have traveled to Massachusetts, most recently preventing Syracuse from reaching the NCAA Tournament in 2007. That was no the fate of the Orange this time, as Syracuse wins big in Amherst ten to three.

The game started off back and forth, with Massachusetts scoring the first goal. It was a defensive battle the entire first half, as no team managed to score in the last thirteen and a half minutes in the second quarter. However after the start of the second half, Syracuse scored four unanswered, making it eight to two. UMass added their third and final goal with less than two minutes left in the third. Then Syracuse finished by adding two more in the fourth to win ten to three. Transfer Cody Jamieson almost added one more, but it was waived off for a crease violation. Either way, this was a strong effort on both sides of the ball. Syracuse’s defense led by Sid Smith was stifling on most occasions, and was tough on the UMass shooters. Syracuse’s offense also found much success on the net, as the shooters continued to paint the corners and hit far and contested shots.

Stephen Keogh led the Orange with three goals, two of which came in the forth quarter to earn him his 40th goal of the year. The goal at the 6:44 minute mark is in the video below, in which he gets a pass right in front of the crease and puts it through his legs and in the goal. Kenny Nims led in assists with three, and he also contributed a goal. Josh Amidon also added two goals of his own. Sid Smith set a career high for himself in picking up six ground balls. Four Orange players took a face off in this game. Jake Moulton won four of nine, Tim Harder won two of three, Gavin Jenkinson won two of four, and Josh Knight lost his one face off. John Galloway looked much sharper in this game. He did let one very soft goal go by in the second UMass score, but his third was just a good goal as Galloway made the initial stop but the deflection ended up right in the net of a UMass player and he put it right in. That one couldn’t be helped. He finished the day with 14 saves and only three goals against in sixty minutes of play. A significant improvement over his last few games.

Syracuse, as expected, led in the shot category. Syracuse took 37, while Massachusetts took 30. The Orange picked up 31 ground balls and the Minutemen only grabbed 19. This could be due to luck, but it was mostly due to the solid wing play of Syracuse. Massachusetts led the Orange in face off wins, taking nine of 17. Syracuse cleared 19 of 25 balls, while Massachusetts cleared 18 of 20. Neither Syracuse nor Massachusetts capitalized on two extra man opportunities. Finally, Galloway again made 14 saves, while Massachusetts goalie Doc Schneider saved 17 and allowed 10. The complete box score can be found here.

Syracuse improves to 11-2 on the season. Massachusetts falls to 8-5. Massachusetts set an attendance record for lacrosse with 13,722 people attending. Syracuse fans comprised a good chunk of the fans. This game was played at McGuirk Field, normally where UMass football plays. The last time lacrosse was played at McGuirk was against Syracuse. Before this game Syracuse had lost the last two games in Amherst, but they won big on Saturday. At the time Syracuse and UMass were ranked #2/3 and #15/16 respectively. Now Syracuse ascends to #1 in both polls, earning 15 of 20 first place votes in the Inside Lacrosse Media Poll and four of eight in the coaches poll. UMass is tied for 15th in the media poll and #15 in the coach’s poll. The media poll can be found here, and the coach’s poll can be found here.

Syracuse earns the top spot because of some interesting action over the weekend. Other notable scores were:

April 24:

Navy 9 – Colgate 8

North Carolina 16 – Maryland 10 (ACC Tournament)

Duke 16 – Virginia 5 (ACC Tournament)

April 25:

Dartmouth 7 – Princeton 14

Notre Dame 14 – Ohio State 8

Vermont 5 – UMBC 18

Rutgers 7 – Georgetown 15

Cornell 9 – Brown 11

Albany 12 – Stony Brook 13

April 26:

Navy 9 – Bucknell 8

Duke 15 – North Carolina 13 (ACC Tournament Championship)

April 27:

Johns Hopkins 12 – Mount St. Mary’s 5

For the complete Inside Lacrosse scoreboard click here.

Syracuse now turns to its final regular season game against Colgate in the Carrier Dome. This game has relatively low implications, but with a victory Syracuse should seal up a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. A loss will surely still allow Syracuse to go to the NCAA Tournament, but they will not have as good of a seed. At they very least they have locked up a top 4 seed though. If Syracuse continues to play well like they did in Amherst, they should easily reach the Final Four once again. But Syracuse should worry about getting through the end of the season with one more victory first. As I was at this game in person I have several fun pictures of the day, which you can view here.

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