At least, it felt that way this weekend.
The Syracuse men's lacrosse team made good on it's #2 rankings and defeated the Siena Saints 11-4 on Sunday to advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Orange led 4-0 at halftime and never looked back, though the lead was only four goals as late as the fourth quarter.
It was a typical game for the Orange in 2009. The offense is slow and steady. The defense is stifling. It Orange were out-matched is certain intangible areas such as face-offs but managed to keep their opponent off the scoreboard long enough so that when their eventual 2nd half surge happened, it was too little too late. Finally, when the will of the other team was broken, the Orange pour on a couple more goals.
It's the "strategy" that's gotten the Orange this far but it's still a disconcerting one for the next couple weeks. The talent level is about to shoot up exponentially, and there's only so long they can hold off a superior team before they need to score goals and keep pace. There's a reason it didn't work against Virginia and Princeton earlier this year.
Some very good news to come out the game was the official christening of the Dome by Cody Jamieson. Jamieson scored his first hat-trick and assited on one other goal. It's the extra offensive weapon the Orange were desperately looking for all season:
"We wish we had him for the whole season," Galloway said, "but if we're going to get him we got him at the right time. We're just excited to see what our offense can do now with another component. A lot of people talk about Syracuse being a balanced offense with six or seven players. Well, now we've got seven or eight."
The Orange now play Maryland (10-6), who dispatched with previously unbeaten Notre Dame on Sunday. It's a showdown between two college lax powerhouses normally reserved for Final Fours. A foreboding note is that in the three seasons previous to this one, Notre Dame's season has ended at the hands of the eventual national champion. Hopefully not the case again this year. The game will be played Saturday at 12 p.m EST at Hofstra.
The men weren't the only SU team to come away victorious in the Dome yesterday. The women also scored a win, beating Boston University 20-10 behind the magic stick of Katie Rowan (who else?). Rowan scored ELEVEN points in the game (5 goals, 6 assists) and the Orange pulled away early, cruising to victory. She's now 3rd all-time in NCAA history in scoring and SU's all-time post-season scorer with 38 points. Yet somehow, she's not a finalist for the Tewaaraton Trophy. Why are NCAA lacrosse committees so dumb?
The ladies will play Maryland also in the 2nd round, though in this match-up it's SU who is the underdog. The Terps are 20-0 and coming off a 20-4 pasting of Colgate. The game will be played Saturday.
Not to be outdone by their big college bretheren, Onondaga Community College brought home some hardware themselves. The men's team won the National Title for the third time in four years. OCC was led by Jeremy and Jerome Thompson, the wondertwins who will hopefully be playing in Orange very soon.
Don't forget about the women's team either, they won the National Title too. Did I mention it's their FIRST SEASON?