Every game of this Syracuse Orange lacrosse season seems to redefine the entire ride. The loss to Villanova was shocking proof that the season was a wash. The loss to Duke was confirmation. The win over Princeton was validation that this team had not quit and remained resolute in their desire to win-out.
Tuesday's 12-6 loss to the Cornell Big Red reminded everyone that this team just isn't on the same level as the big boys this year, and that's a tough pill for SU lacrosse to swallow.
The 5-5 Orange were able to keep things in check early thanks to the same zone defense that stifled Princeton. However, it was our old friend Faceoff Woes that led to our downfall.
Cornell won 14 of 22 faceoffs but dominated even more there when the game was in doubt.
The discrepany allowed the Big Red (9-1) to dominate virtually every facet of the game, including an unofficial 46-24 advantage in shots and a commanding 39-23 edge in groundballs. Cornell's ability to outhustle the Orange to just about every loose ball was especially evident in the second half.
But hey, the uniforms were cool.
I haven't watched enough of this team myself to pinpoint what the issue is, whether it's simply a talent gap or if there's a bigger issue afoot. The fact remains, this team will almost certain have to win the Big East Tournament for a shot at the NCAAs.
They'll get a chance to right the ship once again when they play Rutgers in North Carolina (wut?) on Saturday as part of the ESPNU Warrior Classic in Charlotte. Opening faceoff, which Syracuse has a good chance of not recovering, is at 11 a.m. on ESPNU.