When the No. 8 Syracuse Orange host the No. 2 Cornell Big Red tonight in the Carrier Dome, it won't be just another showdown between the Upstate New York rivals. It will be a culmination of head-to-head careers between arguably the best offensive and defensive players in the nation. Oh, and that first part, too.
Two years ago, Cornell's Rob Pannell torched Syracuse's Brian Megill for three goals and three assists. Last year the Cornell attackman missed the game due to injury, though the Big Red won that one as well.
It's been a long time coming for Megill to get his revenge and he's not going to waste it:
"I'm expecting a different outcome," Megill said. "I'm a different player now than I was then. Back then, I was a little more immature. He's one of the best players I've ever played against."
Meanwhile, Pannell still carries with him an extra bit of scorn for the Orange. He's the lone remaining player from the 2009 team that lost to Syracuse in the NCAA Championship, 10-9, in overtime.
"Probably a day doesn't go by when I don't think about the championship in some sort," Pannell said. "It was a tough game that day, but it is what it is. You try to move on."
Face-off will be at 6:00 p.m. in the Dome and the game will be televised on ESPNU. Cornell enters the game 10-1, their lone loss coming at the hands of No. 11 Bucknell. The Orange come in at 7-2, having rebounded from their Villanova loss with a rout of Canisius and a come-from-behind 13-12 win over Princeton this weekend.
College Crosse has an infographic to fill you in on the history of the teams and the rivalry.