VILLANOVA, PA. – A quick take on Syracuse’s most impressive 9-3 win against Notre Dame in the Big East Lacrosse Championship semifinals on a gorgeous Thursday afternoon/evening at Villanova Stadium in suburban Philadelphia:
WHAT HAPPENED: The Orange defense dominated the Irish (11-4) for the second time in five days, holding the team that many had forecast as the top seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament to a combined total of just seven goals in wins last Sat. (10-4) and in this game to move on to the Big East championship for the second straight year, this time facing host Villanova on Saturday afternoon.
WHAT IT MEANS: Syracuse (11-3) continues to play like a team to be considered for the top seed in the NCAA Tournament. Throw out the loss to Hobart, and since beating Cornell and Notre Dame twice, along with a rising Georgetown team over the last three weeks plus, the defense has excelled and all the offensive pieces are jelling led by conference midfielder of the year JoJo Marasco and many talented options shooting the ball. And, it doesn’t hurt that faceoff possession has turned around as the season progressed.
STAR GAZING: Goalie Dom Lamolinara and the close defense trio of Brian Megill, Sean Young, and David Hamlin have been practically impenetrable down the stretch of the season. Lamolinara had 10 saves facing 24 shots against N.D. in this round two meeting, resting with just under 5:00 left to play and the win secure. Attack Derek Maltz was everywhere on the offensive end finishing with 2 goals/2 assists, while Marasco had 4 assists.
WHAT’S NEXT: A date in Saturday’s championship game against Villanova, the top seed, and a chance to end the school’s Big East lacrosse chapter on a high note, and gain some revenge. The Wildcats (7-7) held off fourth-seed Georgetown in the fourth quarter to win 15-12 in the other semifinal Thursday night. SU lost a lead and the regular season game to ‘Nova 11-10 on March 23 on the same field, that defeat ended up costing the ‘Cuse the top seed in the championship. The players remember. Game Time: 12:00 pm ET / TV: ESPNU