The Syracuse Orange vs. The Princeton Tigers on a lacrosse field. Used to be that's all you had to say.
Seventeen National Titles between them, at least one of these teams played for the title every year between 1992 and 2002, including four head-to-head battles.
Now, these two programs enter Saturday’s 4 p.m. game in the Carrier Dome as a bit of an afterthought while "newbies" like Duke, Cornell and UMass steal the headlines.
It's not that either program is bad. It's just that they're both...pretty good. And pretty good isn't very good at all in the annals of both schools' history.
No. 10 in the nation, the Tigers enter the game 6-2, having recovered from losses to Johns Hopkins and North Carolina a few weeks back. They've won four in a row, including a convincing win over the same Villanova Wildcats team that beat Syracuse.
Meanwhile the No. 17 Orange are reeling at 4-4. It's looking like will be the worst season since 2007, which was also the last time SU missed the NCAA Tournament.
Among the many things John Desko is trying to figure out is who his starting goalie should be moving forward. He should probably figure that out sooner than later:
Lamolinara has a 9.68 goals-against average and a tepid .477 save percentage, allowing 46 goals while making 42 saves. Lerman has been in the same ballpark (9.85, .508, 32/33). Wardwell remains the X factor. Desko praised Lamolinara’s overall performance vs. Duke.
Brian Megill was named a Midseason All-American by Inside Lacrosse, the only Orange on the list. College Crosse had some midseason awards as well, though none for the Orange.