For the second straight game, the Syracuse Orange will face a fellow upstate New York team. Syracuse and Cornell have played each other every year since 1920 with the Orange holding a 62-37-1 record. SU and Cornell's most famous matchup in recent years came in the 2009 National Championship game in which Syracuse scored in the final seconds to send it into overtime where the Orange eventually would win the title.
This year Cornell sped off to a 9-0 start. They were the last undefeated team in Division-I lacrosse but couldn't hang on as they fell to Harvard on Saturday. At 9-1 the record may look better than it actually is. The Big Red's biggest win came against Virginia where they beat the Cavaliers 12-9 led by goalie Christian Knight who nabbed 15 saves in his first collegiate start. Cornell sits second behind Harvard in the Ivy League. After their game against Syracuse, the Big Red face Hofstra, Brown and Princeton.
Orange fans opened up their season with great optimism, but after getting blown out by Maryland and Virginia, optimism quickly melded into a nightmare season. Credit to Syracuse though, they have seemed to turn things around. In the beginning of March I for one couldn't have imagined the Orange making the ACC Tournament. As it stands now however, the Orange have a shot to make the ACC post-season, but if they don't a win over Cornell would certainly add to their at-large resume.
By no means did the Orange have a great game against Binghamton last week, but in the end they managed to take care of the Bearcats 10-8. Cornell will be much more of a troublesome opponent.
Syracuse will travel to Ithaca on Tuesday where Cornell will host the Orange in a 7:00 pm game. The game can be heard on WTKW 99.5 FM.
Three upperclassmen form the starting midfield line for the Big Red. The offensive leader for Cornell is senior Dan Lintner. The Ontario native is fourth in the country at 3.30 goals per game and is ninth in shot percentage at .478. With just 3 assists, Lintner leads the Big Red with 33 goals over 10 games. He has had 7 games of at least 3 goals, but in Cornell's loss to Harvard Lintner put up just 1 goal. Opposite Lintner is junior Matt Donovan. In his freshman year, Donovan earned Ivy League Rookie of the Year. The Seton Hall Prep graduate has totaled 23 points and 14 assists and has had 6 games with at least 4 points. John Edmonds moved up to the first midfield line after an excellent 2013-rookie season. Edmonds has 14 goals, 22 assists in 2014, and is sporting a .730 shots on goal percentage.
Doug Tesoriero is Cornell's face-off man. Tesoriero has had just two games this year where he has lost the face-off battle, one of those just happened to be against Harvard, their only loss of the year. The Syosset native picked up only 7-24 versus the Crimson, though overall he has 130 of 244 record, or a .533 win percentage.
Connor Buczek leads the Big Red with 3 game winners and is trying to surpass his 2013 total of 53 points. Last year's Second-Team All-American is a very physical player and has 5 penalties this year. Against Hobart, the junior from Cincinnati, Ohio, had a massive hit on a Statesman player, completely leveling his target. Buczek has 25 goals and 10 assists on the year. Junior John Hogan has seen a lot more time this year and has more than doubled his 2013 points total, putting up 13 goals and 16 assists. Defensive midfielder Joe Paoletta has 8 goals and 5 assists in his 9 games played this year. The senior from Falls Church, Virginia, has also has snagged 5 groundballs and caused 1 turnover.
Cornell returns two starters from last year on defense. Junior Jordan Stevens has 12 caused turnovers to go with his 33 groundballs. The Smithtown, NY native has 8 penalties on the year. The only other player with more penalty minutes on the team is fellow long-pole Tom Freshour, also hailing from Smithtown, NY. Freshour has 10 penalties for 8:30 minutes, but does lead the team with 15 caused turnovers and is 29th in the nation with 1.50 CTs per game. Freshman Marshall Peters rounds out the close defense. In his rookie season, Peters has picked up 22 ground balls and caused 8 turnovers.
After beginning the season as the starter, Brennan Donville was superseded by Christian Knight. The freshman out of Boys Latin in Maryland has done very well in his new position. After 6 starts Knight has a 9.66 goals against average and a .563 save percentage. Knight has the ability to make spectacular, point-blank saves, as he did against Virginia earlier in the season.