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Lacrosse Weekly - 5/19/09

First start, first win. That's how you do it.
When you make a game plan, you hope that it will give you the best chance to win. When the goalie you game plan for is ill and is not in the game, you basically have to toss your game plan out the window. That is what Maryland had to do. I admit I was worried putting in a goalie in the NCAA Tournament for his first career start, but Syracuse played brilliantly at both ends of the field. #2 Syracuse punches their ticket to Foxborough against Maryland 11 to six.

Syracuse jumped off to an early three goal lead in the first quarter. Kenny Nims got Syracuse going early on a nice goal running from behind the cage. During the first quarter Al Cavalieri was sensational stopping several tough shots from Maryland. Syracuse’s Cody Jamieson then hit a goal to start the second quarter. Maryland then picked up two goals before dazzling saves from Cavalieri. Then Syracuse and Maryland got another goal each to end the half with Syracuse up 5-3. SU started the second half before Maryland answered back. Then it was all Syracuse for the next five goals. Maryland got two goals in garbage time when it was too late to close out the game, but Syracuse was in control basically the entire second half.

Eight different scorers added at least one goal to Syracuse’s tally. Stephen Keogh, Kenny Nims, and Dan Hardy all each had two goals. Nims, Matt Abbot, and Pat Perritt each had two assists. Nims led the Orange with four points on the day. Matt Abbot, the one man clear, picked up six ground balls on the day. Jake Moulton did well at the face off X, winning six of 12. Gavin Jenkinson also did very well, winning five of seven. Josh Knight lost his two face offs. Al Cavalieri was again outstanding in his first start as he made 14 saves and only allowed six goals.

Syracuse once again led in the shots category. Syracuse had 38 shots, while Maryland had only 26. Maryland led in the ground balls category picking up 34, while Syracuse had 30. Syracuse led overall in face offs winning 11 of 21. Maryland had trouble clearing the ball as they only managed 12 of 17, while Syracuse cleared 20 of 21. Each team converted on an extra man opportunity, as Maryland was 1-2, while Syracuse was 1-3. Finally, Syracuse had 14 saves, while the Maryland goalies combined for 11 saves.

Of course Syracuse had their back up goalie in as well, but Maryland also had to put in their back up as well. Although not a true back up, Maryland had been using a two goalie system most of the season, but recently settled on sophomore Brian Phipps as their starter. He was in for 13:58 when while protesting a call he tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). Jason Carter, who had seen considerable minutes this season, stepped in and played well, but Syracuse’s offense was simply too much for the senior to handle. The best goal of the day went to Tyler Hlawati who received an assist from Sid Smith for a rarely seen long stick to long stick goal early in the forth quarter. In this game Syracuse was visibly in control for the majority of the contest. Although time of possession is not a statistic that is kept, Syracuse possessed the ball more than Maryland, and looked sharp and far more active and confident than Maryland did. It was a nice victory for Syracuse. The complete box score is here.

Other quarterfinal scores were:

Hofstra Regional:

#5 Cornell 6 – #4 Princeton 4

Navy Regional:

#8 Johns Hopkins 8 – #1 Virginia 19

#6 North Carolina 11 – #3 Duke 12

The complete bracket is here.

So the Final Four is set. #2 Syracuse will take on #3 Syracuse at 12:00pm, while #5 Cornell will take on #1 Virginia at 2:00pm. Syracuse earns yet another trip to the Final Four and takes on a team that Syracuse has been dying to match up against in basketball, has taken their point guard as our potential quarterback, and a lacrosse team that has been quite embattled the last few years. The Duke Blue Devils will not be an easy team, and should provide a classic semifinal game, much like the Virginia game last season. Stay tuned for my preview later this week of course, and again for the record, I am still perfect in my bracket.

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