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NCAA Lacrosse Tournament Preview - Quarterfinals

Another quarterfinals, another SU game.
The NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Tournament rolls on, and the Orange are of course still in it. Syracuse enters the quarterfinals against #13 Maryland, the only unseeded team to win in the first round and advance. Maryland, no stranger to the NCAA Tournament has been quiet as of late, not having headed to the Championship since 1998. Meanwhile, Syracuse is the defending National Champions and currently ranked #1, with a two seed in the NCAA Tournament. This should be a classic game with two powerhouse programs going at it for a ticket to the Final Four in Foxborough.

The last meeting these two teams had was in the 1997 NCAA semifinal, in which Maryland won in a shootout 18 to 17. That will not be the fate of this edition of the Orange however. Syracuse is averaging right around 13 goals per game. While Maryland held Notre Dame to only three goals last week, and kept them scoreless through 30 minutes of play, this should not be the case for the Orange. However, as I have said all year, Syracuse’s real weakness is the face off X, missing specialist Danny Brennan. Jake Moulton will again take primary duty at the X, and he again needs to win around 50% like in the Siena game for Syracuse to keep Maryland out of it. Syracuse will also need excellent wing play from Matt Abbot and Joel White. If Syracuse does that, no question the offensive strengths of Syracuse will shine though. Maryland’s goalkeeper Brian Phipps has only started the last few games for Maryland and has done well, but he needs to be on his absolute best to limit the score of Syracuse. Maryland’s offense is good, but it is not as deep as Syracuse. The Terps will no doubt run a similar offensive look as Siena, being very deliberate, patient, and trying to pick apart the defense of Syracuse methodically. If Syracuse stays sharp, and John Galloway stays absolutely brilliant like he was all last year in the NCAA’s, and last Sunday, this should not be a problem. Galloway is 29-4 as a starter, and Syracuse is 27-2 all time in the quarterfinal round, therefore the numbers, history, and momentum is all in Syracuse’s favor. Interesting note though, in the last three tournaments the team that has beaten Notre Dame has gone on to win the title. Last year SU did it, and this year, Maryland has taken out the Irish in the first round. Additionally, Will Yeatman on Maryland might be a familiar name to Orange::44 readers, as he was one of the young men at Notre Dame to get into a fight and drink underage. Oh yeah, he also likes to drink and drive. Looks like he’s pulled a Gottlieb and left ND for “greener pastures”. Either way, Syracuse should win this one and get to yet another Final Four. As my bracket is perfect you can kind of bet on this one. Syracuse will win, but in a fairly close game, by three.

The game is on ESPN U, but will also be simulcast on ESPN2 at 12:00pm on Saturday. Both in stunning high definition. I’ll catch it off my DVR later on Saturday so look for my lacrosse weekly feature Monday morning, as well as my thought on Greg Paulus among other things. Also, on a personal note, congratulations to my fellow future lawyers as my classmates and I graduate tomorrow from Western New England College School of Law. Best wishes folks.

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