It's official. Syracuse is in full-on "We will win every game from here on out but we are going to take 27 years of the lives of each Orange fan out there by the time this season is over." That's regardless of quality of opponent, their record and whether or not the game has any business being close.
Case in point, Saturday's 7-5 win over Princeton.
The top-ranked Orange allowed a 5-2 halftime lead slip away, then dug deep and found a way to win. Senior attackman Stephen Keogh took a pass from midfielder Steve Ianzito, turned and while falling ripped a right-handed shot over Tyler Fiorito with 7 minutes, 30 seconds to play.
Defensive midfielder Kevin Drew added an empty-net goal with just over a minute left, and Syracuse won a game in which it suffered a 27-minute scoring drought, was outshot by the plodding Tigers 30-29, committed two more turnovers than the host team and committed five one-minute infractions.
Here's the good news. When it mattered most, the Orange rallied together and ground out yet another victory, their 9th on the season. Here's even better news, they did it without defenseman John Lade, who ended up sitting out the game with his ankle injury. The defense held up its end of the bargain:
The Orange gave up only five goals, the third time in the last four outings Syracuse held its opponent to five goals or less. It killed all five of Princeton’s man-up opportunities, including a one-minute penalty against sophomore Brian Megill for slashing late in the fourth quarter while clinging to a 6-5 lead.
The 9-0 Orange just keep on keeping on. That said, don't be too shocked to see Notre Dame snag another first-place vote or two. One gets the sense the lacrosse world is in doubt mode on the Orange. If they keep this up, they'll be the least-feared No. 1 seed in NCAA Tournament history. So be it, cause the Orange keep on winning all the same.
Oh and by the way, Jovan Miller is better than you, Exhibits A & B:
Syracuse University lacrosse coach explains why he lost his cool during victory over Tigers...Syracuse.com
With Lade out, replacement Hamlin contains Tigers' top scorer in 1st career start...Daily Orange
SQUEEZE PLAY: Orange stays patient, finds open seams against Tigers defense to stay perfect...Daily Orange
Keogh’s hat trick leads SU past Princeton...The Juice Online
Top Ranked Syracuse Stays Unbeaten...ESPN