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Lacrosse Weekly - 5/11/09

Syracuse earned a trip to the Regionals on Mom's Day.
The Carrier Dome was the site of several major events in the past few days. One of them was the first round of the NCAA Tournament pitting the #2 seeded Syracuse Orange against MAAC Champions and first time competitors Siena in the first ever meeting between the two schools. While some people in the media thought this game would be closer than not, clearly the Orange were far more talented than the Saints. Syracuse advances to the regional game 11 to four.

There was a lot of action in this game, but it was mostly on the defensive end. Syracuse finished the first half up 4-0. While that means that Syracuse led by four at the half, that also means that there were only four goals for a great SU offensive team, and that Syracuse and Siena played some damn good defense. That was definitely the case. Both goalies in this game were outstanding and John Galloway and Brent Herbst easily played the best games of their seasons. The second half is when the game opened up for Syracuse. The third quarter had four goals, with Syracuse and Siena going back and forth. Siena ended the quarter with a goal from Jordan Loftus, brother of former SU player Brendan Loftus. Then in the fourth quarter, Syracuse had a three goal burst. Siena earned a goal with 8:46 to go, but by then it was too much for Siena to hope to stay close. Siena earned another goal with less than a minute to go, but not before SU got two more.

Syracuse had some stellar play from who I would pick for MVP of Syracuse. Kenny Nims earned five more points getting a goal and four assists. Stephen Keogh had another great scoring day with a hat trick. Cody Jamieson earned his first start for The Orange and Syracuse was rewarded with a three goal, one assist day from Jamieson. Yes folks, he is as good as advertised. Kevin Drew and John Lade each led the ground ball category with four each. Jake Moulton took the primary face off duty again and he earned eight of 14. Gavin Jenkinson won two of four. Josh Knight lost his only one. And John Galloway was absolutely brilliant in the cage. He allowed four goals and had 13 saves. But the box score does not give his performance justice as he simply stoned several Siena shots on the doorstep. Maybe Galloway is just better in the playoffs, and he was.

Syracuse of course led the shot category with 34. Siena made a good effort with 22. ‘Cuse picked up 33 ground balls in the game, while Siena had 24. Syracuse took a big step forward by leading in the face off X, earning ten of 19. The Orange were almost perfect in clearing the ball, clearing 24 of 26. Siena had a big problem clearing, only managing 11 of 19. Syracuse’s penalty kill unit had its work cut out for it, but only allowed Siena to capitalize on one of six extra man opportunities. Finally, Herbst had 11 saves while Galloway had 13. Again both goalies were great.

Dan Hardy, wearing famed #22 in case you forgot, had an absolutely terrible day. While he did have a goal, he had one of the worst cases of the dropsies a lacrosse player has ever had. He looked like he played for the football team last year. Hopefully he will recover the next time, and I’m glad this happened against Siena rather than another team. Again, congratulations to Cody Jamieson, who played excellent in his first starting game, his first NCAA Tournament game, and thus earning his first hat trick. In case you didn’t see it, Syracuse went with an interesting look for the first time. They had their traditional white jerseys, but wore their away uniform orange shirts as seen in the picture above. It created an interesting look with the orange helmets they wear. Overall I approve, as they need to continue to wear them that way as it is what they wore to win their first tournament game. The complete box score can be found here.

The rest of the games from the weekend went like this:

Saturday May 9:

Brown 11 - #8 Johns Hopkins 12 F/OT

UMBC 13 – #6 North Carolina 15

Hofstra 8 - #5 Cornell 11

Navy 5 - #3 Duke 14

Sunday May 10:

Maryland 7 - #7 Notre Dame 3

Villanova 6 - #1 Virginia 18

Massachusetts 7 - #4 Princeton 10

Best Game of the Weekend – Brown v. Johns Hopkins

Most Interesting Game of the Weekend – Maryland v. Notre Dame

The games are now set. #5 Cornell will play #4 Princeton and Maryland will play #2 Syracuse in the Hofstra Regional in Hempstead, New York, while #8 Johns Hopkins will play #1 Virginia and #6 North Carolina will play #3 Duke at Navy in Annapolis, Maryland. The updated bracket is here.

Syracuse will again take on Maryland. It has been a number of years since Syracuse has played Maryland, but rest assured they are a good team. Syracuse matched up with them in the NCAA Championship in 1995, losing to Syracuse 13 to nine in College Park. Maryland has been to the Championship nine times and has won twice, the last time being 1975. This will be an interesting game for the Orange, and I will have my usual preview before next weekend. Until then, congratulations to the Orange for surviving and advancing on the road back to Foxborough.

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