Villanova, Pa. – A quick recap of third-seed Syracuse’s 15-6 win over host and second-seed Villanova in the Big East Lacrosse Championship semi-finals at Villanova Stadium Thursday night.
WHAT HAPPENED: SU raced out to an early 2-0 lead and never looked back, leading 6-4 at the half and 10-6 after three quarters. The Orange offense was economical with its second half possessions scoring nine goals to comfortably pull away and avenge an 11-10 regular season loss to the Wildcats in the Dome in March.
WHAT IT MEANS: SU will have an opportunity to be back in a familiar spot, the NCAA Tournament, by winning the Big East’s automatic bid with a win over St. John’s in Saturday’s championship game. Since 1982, a year before winning its first national title, the Orange has only missed the NCAA Tournament once, in 2007.
STAR GAZING: Senior middie Bobby Eilers had a career high four goals, setting the tempo with the game’s first two goals. While freshman goalie Bobby Wardwell played well, especially in the second half, finishing with 12 saves. Senior attack Tommy Palasek had a goal and three assists.
WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse looks to clinch an NCAA Tournament spot with a win over 4th seed St. John’s on Saturday at Villanova Stadium. The Red Storm raced out to a five goal lead over top-seed Notre Dame and held off a furious Irish fourth quarter rally to edge ND 8-7. In the regular season meeting in March, the Cuse nipped SJU 9-8 in Queens. Game time Saturday is 12:00 and it will be televised live on ESPNU.Brad Bierman (Follow on Twitter @BradBierman)