Syracuse began their quest for title #12, and their third in a row. While Syracuse lost a lot of firepower as they always do, my biggest concern heading into the off season was the loss of Sid Smith on the defense, and Matt Abbott who was probably the best midfield in the game last season. It was mostly the defense that was the concern though. However a lot of experts out there kept worrying about that loss on offense. Hey this is Syracuse. You don't think we have offensive powerhouses waiting to take the field? We started scoring early and often. Syracuse rolls over the Bill Tierney (6 time NCAA Champion former coach of Princeton) lead University of Denver Pioneers 15 to nine.
This game started off with a barrage of scoring. After only 41 seconds Syracuse's Jovan Miller scored. Syracuse added one more before Denver got on the board for the first time. But the Orange kept scoring in the first quarter, finishing at the end of the first with a 8-2 scoring advantage. In case you are wondering, yes eight goals in one quarter is a lot. Long and deliberate possessions in the second quarter resulted in only three goals total, putting the halftime score ten to three in favor of the hometown Orange. Syracuse started off the second half strong as well, scoring with 57 seconds off the clock. Syracuse continued to score, finishing three ahead 14 to five. They the second, third, and probably fourth string players made their way into the game and fumbled a bit as Denver scored four in the quarter, but Coach Desko got his backup players some valuable game experience.
Cody Jamieson, with his fresh donning of the #22, had a career game in the first game of his first full season. He finished with four goals and was the leading scorer for the Orange. Stephen Keogh was next with two goals, while nine other SU players added a goal in this game. Freshman JoJo Marasco had two assists, leading the category for SU. He was balsy enough to ask for #22 before the season started. Sorry kid, that number is on the best offensive player right now. Both Jovan Miller and Joel White each had six ground balls and led in the category as we got strong contributions from the midfield. The faceoff X wasn't too shabby for Syracuse either. Gavin Jenkinson was 9-13 on the day, Jeremy Thompson won 7-11, and Tim Harder was a perfect 3-3. John Galloway also had a pretty good game for the just over three quarters he was between the pipes. He finished with 11 saves and 5 goals against. At one point he left the cage pretty far, lost the ball and Denver got an easy goal. He's wondered an awful lot but that has never happened to him before. Hopefully it never happens again.
The Orange led in the shots category, taking 41 shots to Denver's 31. Syracuse picked up 41 ground balls to Denver's 26. Denver was obviously on the short end of the face off stick. They won eight to Syracuse's 19. Denver cleared the ball on 21 of 22 possessions, while Syracuse cleared the ball 24 of 29 times. Denver converted much better on extra man opportunities as well. They scored on 2-7 extra man opportunities, while Syracuse blanked on four chances. Yes Syracuse had seven penalties. The game got a little rough. Denver committed 25 turnovers, while Syracuse only 17. Finally, Syracuse had 13 total saves in goal, while Denver saved 19. The full box score can be found here.
Winning this game keeps Syracuse atop both the media and coaches polls. Syracuse received all 13 first place votes from the coaches, while getting 18 of 20 in the media poll. The University of Virginia is second in both polls. Looking around the Big East, Notre Dame jumps to #5 in the media and #3 in the coaches polls after a big win against then #3/2 Duke. Georgetown is #13/12.
Here are some other notable scores from the past week. Games in italics involve a Big East Conference member.
Friday February 19:
Manhattan 3 - Johns Hopkins 14
Saturday February 20:
Lehigh 5 - North Carolina 17
Ohio State 5 - Bucknell 11
Maryland 12 - Bellarmine 7
Delaware 11 - UMBC 10 in OT
Notre Dame 11 - Duke 7
Virginia 11 - Drexel 8
Holy Cross 8 - St. John's 9
Sunday February 21:
Denver 12 - Jacksonville 13 in OT
Rutgers 24 - Wagner 4
Tuesday February 23:
Virginia 15 - Mount Saint Mary's 7
Delaware 7 - Johns Hopkins 15
Thursday February 25:
North Carolina 11 - Navy 4
As always, the complete Inside Lacrosse scoreboard can be found here.
#1 Syracuse (1-0) will next take on Army (1-1) at 3:00pm on Sunday the 28th in the Carrier Dome. The perfect little Sunday afternoon to pair with an epic basketball tilt the night before. As a bonus, upon the conclusion of the game both Cornell and Hobart open up their seasons as Hobart have relocated their game from Geneva to the Carrier Dome. This is Cornell's first game since the National Championship last May, so coming into the Carrier Dome, even though they aren't playing Syracuse, probably won't be pleasant. But this is a good match to watch as well. It is a solid Syracuse sports weekend, and hopefully the Orange can complete the sweep. Stay tuned right here for all the lacrosse information you can handle. We're like one of the few that actually covers this stuff after all.