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Syracuse Lacrosse 2011: NCAA Title Or Bust

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Lets face it, EVERY season for Syracuse Lacrosse is NCAA Title or Bust. This year, though,it feels like the Orange really need to punch the sport across the nose to remind it of who's in charge around here. Coming off the 1st round loss to Army while many more "newbies" rise to the top of the sport, the Orange don't want to find themselves to be a fading giant.

Syracuse kicked off the season on Thursday with media day at the new Manley indoor practice facility (which sound funny if you changed Manley to "manly." What a manly indoor practice facility you have!).

The Orange are the No. 1 team in the land before they even step on the field. Such is Syracuse Lacrosse.

"You go back and talk about the preseason No. 1 ranking," Desko said. "And, you know, we’ve got some guys back, but we lost in the first round of the playoffs, so I’m not sure we’re deserving of that, and we have that big target on our back. But I think we have a lot of players who come to Syracuse to be No. 1. Obviously it’s more important to be No. 1 at the end of the year than the beginning of the year, but I think that’s just a fact of life when you’re wearing an orange jersey."

Two big stories on the day. First, the fact that Syracuse will be playing in more NFL Stadiums this year than the Carolina Panthers (not quite sure what that meas but I feel like it works). John Desko approves of this kind of scheduling.

"It’s all good stuff, Desko said. "For us to be in those venues helps everything. It helps in recruiting, it helps in being on national television, it helps in the budget, and I think in those venues, as it is in the Carrier Dome, it’s like playing in a playoff atmosphere. I think it prepares you for the playoffs."

The second big story is the arrival of Tom Palasek from Hopkins. We know that he did transfer but we have yet to hear why. Palasek explains...

"Lacrosse-wise, it was really tough to leave. Like I’ve said, I really liked playing with those guys. You go through day-to-day training and you work your butt off with those guys through the fall, the winter and then through the spring. It came down to the something pretty simple. It just didn’t seem to be the right fit, academically or athletically. I think I definitely could have helped the next two years, but it just didn’t seem to be the right fit. If you are going to transfer, you’re not going to wait – it’s either now or never. The decision was real tough, but it just wasn’t the right fit, and it had to be done. …You’ll never hear me say a bad thing about the Johns Hopkins team."

Don't worry, Tom. We'll say plenty of bad things about them for you. He also mentions that the commitment of his brother, Ryan, to play for the Orange, did have some influence as well.

College Crosse thinks Palasek will start the season on the bench, given the depth currently on display at attack and middie, but he'll get plenty of PT.

I do see Palasek playing in 2011 but my inclination is that he starts the season coming off the bench.  I think fall ball in Syracuse proved that Powderly and Ward can play and Desko knows the offense and has shown what he can do for the past two seasons now.  I see Palasek and Desko sharing the third attackman spot as the year goes on and definetly believe we will see Palasek run some offense from the midfield as well as be a very integral part of the man-up offense.

Lacrosse media day wrap...Daily Orange 

Men's Lacrosse Opens 2011 With Annual Media Day, First Practice...SU Athletics