Your new #1 team in the nation.
Syracuse played their biggest game of the year with the most at stake. The winner would basically win the Big East Conference title for the season, but more importantly would in all likelihood lock up the #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament coming in just a couple weeks. And the likely benefit of being the #1 ranked team in the country again. Syracuse managed to win in a convincing way over previously unbeaten Notre Dame in front of a huge crowd in the Carrier Dome 11-8.
Notre Dame jumped out to an early two goal lead after winning faceoffs and taking good shots. They came ready to play at the start, and the ND defense was playing well. But then Syracuse found their chances with good dodges, and capitalizing on easy shots at point blank range due to ND's defensive gaffs. They went on a four goal run to end the quarter up 4-2. Also adding to the momentum was a huge home run pass from John Galloway off a save to JoJo Marasco who hit a streaking Scott Loy for a goal seven seconds before the end of the first. Syracuse won the second quarter as well scoring two goals to ND's one. Zach Brenneman tried his best to keep Notre Dame in the game, but Syracuse went to the locker room up 6-3. And that was after possibly the best goal this season from Stephen Keogh through his legs off a feed from Jovan Miller. Syracuse again added three goals to two in the third quarter as Syracuse played tough defense. Finally Notre Dame tried to make a game at the end of the fourth quarter by adding three goals, but it was too late by then. Syracuse ended up winning on the back of tough defense, and smart, crafty offense. Additionally, Syracuse caused a lot of Notre Dame turnovers and made point blank shots, where Notre Dame was unable to do those two things, despite bettering Syracuse on faceoffs.
- Keogh had another four goals against Notre Dame, tying his mark he had last year against them. Both Marasco and Steve Ianzito had two assists. Marasco also had one goal. Jeremy Thompson and Tommy Palasek had two goals a piece.
- Thompson was 3-6 on faceoffs. Chris Daddio, who will most likely be the heir apparent for next season went 5-11. Ricky Buhr was 1-4 and Josh Knight was 0-2.
- Syracuse and Notre Dame were even in shots at 33.
- Syracuse managed one more ground ball than Notre Dame 30-29.
- Another team again did better at the X. Syracuse won 9-23, with Notre Dame winning 14.
- Syracuse was perfect in clears in this game 23-23. Notre Dame was 17-20.
- Neither team capitalized on extra man opportunities. Syracuse was 0-1. Notre Dame 0-2.
- John Galloway earned 12 saves with eight goals against. ND goalie John Kemp had nine saves and 11 goals against in the loss.
- Syracuse only had eight turnovers in this game which is huge. Notre Dame had 17, some forced and some unforced.
- The complete box score can be found here.
Taking a look at the Big East, and it is all but Syracuse's title at this point. Take care of business in their last game on Saturday and it's theirs. The full standings are as follows:
1. #1 Syracuse 13-1 (5-0)
2. #3/4 Notre Dame 10-1 (5-1)
3. #9/10 Villanova 10-3 (3-2)
4. Georgetown 6-7 (2-3)
5. St. John's 4-9 (2-3)
6. Rutgers 5-9 (0-5)
7. Providence 3-11 (0-5)
Syracuse takes on St. John's next as I said. They will cruise to another Big East title if they just take care of business. That game is Saturday May 7 at 1:00pm from the Carrier Dome and broadcast locally on TWCS and SNY. Syracuse remains undefeated in Big East play all time after one fantastic game against Notre Dame, a team that has never beaten Syracuse.