The Syracuse lacrosse hasn't been a truly dominant squad this year. Gone is the high-scoring attack that drops gaudy offensive numbers every week. And the team usually picks at least one quarter each game to struggle and dare their opponent to pull ahead. But in the end, they almost always wear the other team with stingy defense and a relentless offense. Such was the case in this weekend's 10-3 win over UMass.
SU sophomore goalie John Galloway was fabulous in his own right, making 14 saves, several on the crease. The close defenders held UMass' potent attack tandem of seniors Jim Connolly and Tim Balise (55 goals combined) to two scores. The defensive midfielders refused to yield to UMass' frenzied dodges.
"The defense sucked it up and made the difference for us," SU coach John Desko said.
A UMass school-record 13,722 fans packed it in to McGuirk Stadium to see one of college lacrosse's most underrated rivalries end, for now. Stephen Keogh led the Orange with three goals while midfielder Josh Amidon added two.
SU Goalie John Galloway has see-sawed through some very good and very bad games this season. On this day, he was very good. He made 14 saves on the day and UMass went over 38 minutes at one point in the game without scoring a goal.
So what of phenom Cody Jamieson? Finally cleared to play, Coach Desko put Jamieson into the game...only with about three minutes left on the day and the game out of reach:
With just over three minutes remaining in the game, Desko finally inserted the highly-touted Onondaga Community College (Ontario) transfer into the contest. With under 30 seconds remaining, it seemed like Jamieson had his first-career Division I goal, but his goal was waved off due to a crease violation.
"We were so focused on the game, we weren’t really thinking about substituting," Syracuse coach John Desko said. "I looked up and thought it would be a good time to get Cody in and get his feet wet."
Feet wet. Now let's score some goals.
The Orange might not have have made the scoreboard explode, but it was good enough to get the win. It was also good enough to become the new #1 team in the country. Virginia got absolutely throttled by Duke 16-5 over the weekend and the Orange took claim on the top spot in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Poll and Coaches Poll. The voters are very stingy with Notre Dame despite their 13-0 record due to a softer schedule. Duke is your #3, followed by Princeton and Virginia.
Remaining on the docket for the Orange is Colgate on May 2nd. The Red Raiders have been imploding in recent weeks, losing back-to-back games to Bucknell and Navy. At 9-5, they're still ranked (#17)
but need to win their conference for any shot at winning the tournament. They'll already know if they're in the tournament or not by the time this game is played so technically the SU game doesn't mean anything. But a win over SU could do wonders for their seeding if they do qualify. As for the Orange, if they win out they assure themselves one of the top two seeds in the NCAAs. Not too shabby.