Despite the oppressive, funktastic tunes courtesy of FreakBass and the sellout crowd in Arlotta Stadium, Syracuse lacrosse did what Syracuse lacrosse does...they won.
White deposited two shots past Irish goalie Scott Rodgers, Keogh added four more scores and the Orange used a four-goal final quarter to bury Notre Dame 12-6 before a sellout crowd of 4,063 at Arlotta Stadium. The trip was SU’s first to the new Notre Dame lacrosse facility, which was saturated by heavy rain that pelted the region just minutes before the opening face-off.
With one game left in the regular season, No. 2 SU improved to 12-1 overall and 5-0 in the Big East. Notre Dame, its post-season possibilities teetering, dropped to 7-6 and 2-4.
Anytime you can improve your chances at getting a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament while basically eliminating Notre Dame from any kind of post-season appearance, you have to take that.
Stephen Keogh has "quietly" put together a great year for the Orange. Chris Daniello might get the glory, Cody Jamieson might get the attention and Tim Desko might get the highlights but Keogh has been the consistent cog in the machine for most of his career. His recent "slump," due in large part to teams keying on him to shut him down, might have allowed some to assume he wasn't worth keeping an eye on anymore. Oops, you Irish. Keogh scored four goals for SU, including the last two of the game to ice the victory.
The Orange got off to a quick start, scoring the first five goals of the game. However they cooled in the middle, allowing the Irish to come back, cutting the lead down to 5-4. However the Orange never relinquished the lead and ultimately held off Notre Dame long enough to pull away late. Dave Rahme says the Orange needed to put on a dominant routine early to break out of old habits, something accomplished for sure. Now they just need to work on putting together a complete game.
The Orange remain No. 2 in the Media Poll and tthe Coaches Poll, though the gap between them and Virginia widened. Virginia spent the weekend beating up on Robert Morris, 18-9. Maryland, UNC and Duke round out the Top Five. Big East teams Villanova (#13, #11), Georgetown (#14, #14) and Notre Dame (UNR, #19) also show up in the rankings. SU is also No. 2 in Quint's rankings.
Also worth noting is Denver, who checks in at No. 12 but clinched a spot in the NCAA Tournament after their 12-4 thrashing of Loyola. (In this week's edition of The People Who Vote For Lacrosse Polls Are Dumb And Don't Make Common Sense Decisions, Loyola (9-3) is ranked way higher than Denver (11-4) in both instances). Kudos to Bill Tierney for working some magic so quickly and turning the Pioneers back into a tournament team ahead of schedule. His trick? Yoga.