Apr 1, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Syracuse Orange attack Tim Desko (21) drives to the goal against the Duke Blue Devils at the Big City Classic at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim O'Connor-US PRESSWIRE
You'll often hear people say that the season doesn't really start until the postseason. The 2012 Syracuse Orange are apparently talking that to heart.
Playing with an energy not often seen this season and a step-on-their-throat finish that we definitely haven't seen, the Orange dominated the Villanova Wildcats in the semifinal game of the Big East Tournament, cruising to a 15-6 win.
Leading 6-4 at halftime, the teams went back and forth throughout the third quarter before the Orange exploded for the game’s final six goals. SU goalkeeper Bobby Wardwell (Clifton Park, N.Y.) kept the Wildcats quiet in the final 30 minutes, and tied a career-high with 12 saves.
Syracuse held a dominating 41-22 edge in ground balls for the contest, led by a career-high eight by Ricky Buhr (Manhasset, N.Y.) Buhr also led the Orange at the faceoff X, going 11-of-20 as SU combined to win 13-of-25 draws.
Dan said it best, "Syracuse Lacrosse is playing Syracuse lacrosse. Hooray."
Bobby Eilers led the Orange attack with four goals while Tommy Palasek added a goal and three assists and Tim Desko & Derek Maltz both scored one and dished two.
In a shocker, the Orange move on to play the St. John's Red Storm, who upset top-seeded Notre Dame 8-7 in the early game. All of a sudden, the 8-7 Orange have a very-attainable road to the NCAA Tournament via an conference title. SU escaped with a 9-8 win over the Johnnies back in early March.
The Big East Championship Game will take place on Saturday at 12:00 p.m. and will be televised on ESPNU.