The only good news that Syracuse men's lacrosse fans can take under advisement right now? Next year's team is going to be pretty damn good. But then again, you already knew that.
The team is losing a lot of weapons, for sure. Cody Jamieson deserved more time to imprint his legacy on the program. Chris Daniello didn't get the credit he deserved for such a great season. Matt Tierney, Max Bartig, Joe Coulter and Gavin Jenkinson will also be missed. That said, the Orange can reload like very few teams in the nation.
Start with goalie, where John Galloway has turned into the Gerry McNamara of SU Lacrosse. He's the consummate "hasn't that guy been here for six years already" guy that opponents are sick and tired of facing. Some thought he was worth a Tewaaraton Trophy nomination this season and he's only going to get better.
He'll have a formidable defensive unit in front of him, led by All-American John Lade and Brian Megill, not to mention Kevin Drew who provides speed at the defensive midfield.
Longstick middie Joel White is a team captain and Tewaaraton Trophy finalist. In basketball or football, he'd be long gone. Thankfully it's lacrosse and he'll be back next year. Joining him as a specialist will be Jeremy Thompson, who was a strong faceoff specialist for the Orange.
Speaking of the midfield, Jovan Miller, Josh Amidon and Thompson will lead a strong unit that doesn't lose too much. And offensively they'll be in sync with a lot of returning attackmen, such as Stephen Keogh, Tim Desko and JoJo Marasco. Keogh finished the season with his 100th career goal while Marasco might just be the next guy to don legendary No. 22.
So, don't cry too much for SU Lacrosse. It will be just fine.
As far as this year, I think that we were just due. It happens. 2005 wasn't a shock, considering we weren't seeded that year. So really, we hadn't lost a game this early in the tournament as a top seed in almost 30 years. It happened to pretty much everyone else along the way...it was just our time.
I don't buy the "weak Big East schedule" argument. We saw that the SOS was actually better than what it would have been if we played our normal, independent schedule. I think we probably shouldn't schedule a team like St. John's to close the season moving forward, but I don't think this team lost in the NCAA Tournament because it had to play Providence.
We lost because we played a well-disciplined team with good coaching that had played us well previously, wasn't intimidated by us and figured out our weaknesses. Same reason SU basketball lost to Georgetown in the Big East Tournament. Don't over-think it. Sometimes it's just common sense.
In the meantime, Syracuse.com has a great rundown of the entire season, complete with results and recaps from Dave Rahme.