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Syracuse men’s lacrosse vs. Robert Morris preview

A tumultuous regular season reaches its conclusion on a Friday in the Dome.

Johns Hopkins v Syracuse Photo by Rich Barnes/Getty Images

The long, winding, pot-hole-filled season that is 2021 for the Syracuse Orange men’s lacrosse team is coming to an end this afternoon at 4 p.m. ET on ACC Network.

The Orange are playing host to a first-time opponent on Senior Day in the Robert Morris Colonials.

This is the fourth first-time opponent of the season, joining Vermont, Stony Brook and Holy Cross. It’s the first time SU has played four new teams in the same season since all the way back in 1972.

Sure, that’s a long time, but for reference at just how long it is, keep in mind: that was four years before Jim Boeheim became the head coach of the basketball team and it was only the second year of Roy Simmons Jr.’s tenure as head coach of the lacrosse team. So, yes, this has been a unique season in many ways.

If you’re wondering, in 1972 SU played five first-time opponents: Delaware, Towson, UMBC, Morgan State and Baltimore College.

Robert Morris: Almost a full-time ACC team

Robert Morris is playing the 2021 season as an independent program. They’re 7-5 so far this season and have played quite the raucous schedule. In fact, the Orange are the fourth ACC team the Colonials have played, making them an honorary member of the conference for this year.

RoMo went 0-3 with losses to Duke, Notre Dame and Virginia. The loss to the Irish was a blowout, something the Orange know way too much about, but they actually kept things close(ish) with the Blue Devils and Hoos, losing by four and two goals, respectively.

The larger point there is that they will not be scared coming into the Dome to play an ACC team as it will be their fourth ACC road game this season. We’re not going to win on intimidation, so we’ll have to go out there and just beat them.

Scouting the Colonials

The Colonials are lead by the efforts of big, graduate student attackman Ryan Smith. The native of Canada is a load at 6-foot-2, 220 pounds, and leads Bobby Mo in goals (41), assists (23) and points (64) this season for an average of 5.3 points per game.

Defensively, they struggle, giving up 13.75 goals per game, a number that ranks them 55th out of 65 teams in Division I this year. Unfortunately, Syracuse is only a tick better in 54th place defensively (13.73 goals per game), so we should be looking at a goal-fest.

For once, the Orange might be looking at some good news at the face-off X. While the Orange have slogged their way to 49.7 percent this year (30th in DI), the Colonials have been an outright disaster. They sit 49th in the country having success on only 41.6 percent of their re-starts. This might actually be a day for the Orange FOGOs against someone other than Virginia. Emphasis on might.

Let’s Get Positive

This is a big opportunity for SU to just have something go right for themselves heading into (we assume) postseason play. As far as tournament positioning is concerned, this game can really only hurt if we were to lose rather than give any kind of help if we win.

But the point of this game is to have the team feel good about itself after the unmitigated disaster that was their trip to South Bend after a debacle of a Chase Scanlan-centric week that preceded it.

Hopefully, they can play well and do a lot of things right in this game, pick up the win, and get some positivity brewing on the final weekend of the regular season.

Win face-offs. Take care of the ball. Tighten up the swiss-cheese defense. Put up a big number on the scoreboard. And then let’s ride with the postseason.

Tune in for what we hope will be a fun Senior Day celebration, and Let’s Go Orange!!!