A quick take on Syracuse’s selection to the 16-team 2021 NCAA Lacrosse Tournament, announced Sunday evening by the Division I Men’s Tournament Committee on an ESPNU telecast:
WHAT HAPPENED: Syracuse (7-5, 2-4) was the only ACC team not seeded, drawing No. 5 Georgetown (12-2, 8-2) for a first round game to be played this Saturday, May 15 at College Park, Md. (7:30 p.m. ET/ESPNU). The top eight teams are seeded and are the “home” team, even though due to COVID-19 protocols the initial games in this year’s tournament are being played at four designated sites, Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina and Denver, as opposed to the top eight seeds hosting first-rounds games the procedure in previous seasons. Georgetown won the Big East Tournament edging Denver 10-9, those two teams split the conference’s regular season crown. SU and Georgetown last met in 2013 in D.C., a 9-8 Orange victory.
ANALYSIS: Syracuse’s strength of schedule, playing in the dominant ACC, and no Ivy league teams competing this year helped secure a tournament bid. SU’s two best wins were over conference-mate Virginia; 20-10 at home and 13-11 on the road, and both came at opportune times. The former following an 18-11 shellacking at home to Army in the season opener, the latter a week after a 21-9 rout at the hands of North Carolina in the Dome. UNC is the top seed, Duke right behind at No. 2, Virginia No. 4, and Notre Dame a somewhat surprising 6th seed. The committee was guided by having to limit the total number of plane trips needed for the first round, and how many schools were located 400 miles or closer to the four sites to make a reasonable, multi-hours bus trip to the game locales.
HERO: Postseason is time for the SU seniors that came back in 2021 with a “championship or bust” mentality to lead the Orange at both ends of the field. That begins with Drake Porter in goal, and fellow captain’s attackman Stephen Rehfuss, and midfielders Jamie Trimboli, Brendan Curry and Peter Dearth. Their leadership was on display in taking a stand in the Chase Scanlon suspension (see below), and now has to translate to on-the-field success in a single elimination format.
ZERO: The late-season Chase Scanlan saga. The sophomore attackman was arraigned on fourth-degree criminal mischief and second-degree harassment charges Friday afternoon in Syracuse City Court, at about the same time the Orange were on route to knocking off Robert Morris 21-14 in the regular season finale. On the heels of Scanlan being suspended from all athletic activities, it’s time for SU to move on beginning with the NCAA Tournament, and it’s a pretty sure bet Scanlon never suits up for the ‘Cuse again.
WHAT’S NEXT: A win over Georgetown puts Syracuse in the quarterfinal round against the winner of the game between Virginia and Bryant. That game will be played at Hofstra’s Shuart Stadium in Hempstead, N.Y. on May 22. Syracuse has not won a quarterfinal round game since 2013, which was played at Maryland, edging Yale 7-6.