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Game Thread: Syracuse Lacrosse Saturday

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It’s now-or-never for the men, while the women look to get back on track in conference play.

North Carolina v Syracuse

The Syracuse Orange lacrosse teams are set for a spring Saturday with very different setups.

While the women (11-3, 5-1) are looking to improve their stellar record in ACC play against a team they should be able to handle, the men (4-7, 1-2) are putting their postseason fate on the line with a do-or-die game down on Tobacco Road. If they lose, they will officially be eliminated from NCAA Tournament consideration.

The women are “hosting” the Louisville Cardinals at Christian Brothers Academy for a 12 PM draw on ACC Network Extra, while the men will be trying to end their agonizing three-game losing streak down in Chapel Hill for their final road game of the season against the North Carolina Tar Heels at 4 PM on ESPN U.

The Louisville women can probably be classified in the bottom tier of the ACC. They are 6-8 overall and have a 1-5 record in conference play, with their lone conference win coming over Virginia Tech. They actually did keep things relatively close with Duke and Virginia, but got blown out by UNC, BC and Pitt.

Their most dangerous weapon is Hannah Morris, a senior from Ontario whose scored a very impressive 45 goals this season. Caroline Blalock seems to be their most well-rounded threat with 23 goals and 16 assists, and Nicole Perroni is another Canadian goal-scorer with 33 on the season.

On the men’s side, North Carolina comes in at 7-4, and they’re actually behind SU in last place in the ACC because of their 0-3 record. The loser of this game will be the basement dwellers at the end of this weekend.

The Carolina offense has sputtered the last two weeks in losses to Duke and Notre Dame. The Heels mustered only 10 goals between the two games combined. That’s almost unthinkable for any lacrosse team, let alone one of North Carolina’s caliber.

This, of course, means that they’re probably ready for a massive game just in time for the Orange to arrive in town. The depth of scoring has just not been there for them outside of Chris Gray, who’s now only 15 points away from breaking Lyle Thompson’s NCAA Division I career scoring record of 400 points. Hopefully he won’t get that in this game.

The Tar Heels are in desperate need of a strong finish to the season because their current resume does not exactly scream NCAA Tournament team. Their best wins on the season are over Denver, Richmond, High Point and Brown. That’s decent, but not enough for an at-large resume.

They really cannot afford a loss to a 4-7 Syracuse team, so this game is essentially a must-win for both teams’ NCAA Tournament hopes. That should be interesting to watch.