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GameThread: Syracuse men’s lacrosse vs. North Carolina

A critical game for both teams in terms of the ACC Tournament.

Syracuse Athletics

The Syracuse Orange men’s lacrosse team (7-3) heads down to Chapel Hill, N.C. today to take on the North Carolina Tar Heels (7-4). The game starts at 3:30 p.m. ET on ACC Network Extra and is also on TK99 for those preferring an audio version. Both teams are currently ranked, but stand on slightly different footing coming in.

SU and UNC each need a win to keep themselves out of a potential opening round matchup of the ACC Tournament — which now pits the No. 4 and No. 5 team in the conference against one another as a play-in. Virginia is in first place in the ACC right now at 3-0, but all of the other teams have just one win. If either Syracuse (1-2) or North Carolina (1-1) get a victory here, it’ll mean they can fall no lower than third via tiebreaker.

In terms of NCAA Tournament seeding, however, the Heels need a win more than Syracuse. Over on College Crosse, Chris has ‘Cuse as a seeded team in his latest bracketology post, at sixth overall. Meanwhile, North Carolina is among the first four out, along with Denver, Cornell and Rutgers.

Adding to the intrigue on Saturday, the game is not only UNC Senior Day, but will be a bit of a family affair. Syracuse senior Nate Solomon will face off against his younger brother Nicky Solomon, a freshman attackman for the Heels.

The goalie matchup between SU’s Drake Porter and Carolina freshman Caton Johnson will also be big for both teams. Johnson’s looked great in his first two starts against Duke and Virginia (1-1 record, 21 saves in his debut — a win vs. Duke).

Leave your pre-, in- and post-game thoughts below. And G’ORANGE!