When asked about the much anticipated matchup with the No. 1 ranked Virginia Cavaliers Friday, SU senior goalie John Galloway pointed out one aspect that has made this game so exciting. Scoring and lots of it.
“We pride ourselves on not getting scored on double digits,” Galloway said. “That’s going to be our goal. We’re not looking to get scored on more than 10 times by any means.”
That will certainly be easier said than done. Take into account that SU has held Virginia under double digits only two times. There was even the game in 1997 where SU came out on top 22-21. A high scoring affair like that is music to the ears of offensive minded players like sophomore JoJo Marasco.
“It’s going to be very fun,” Marasco said. “As an offensive guy, it’s going to be very exciting. I can’t wait until this game.”
A big crowd is expected for the 6 p.m. game. In 2009, the teams played in front of 16,595 fans, which was the third largest crowd to watch a lacrosse game in Dome history. Virginia won that game 13-12. Syracuse and Virginia have played every year since 1994 and have combined for a total of 15 NCAA national titles.
The Cavaliers have come out on top the last three regular season games against the Orange, though each victory has been by a single point. SU head coach John Desko said in this matchup, the little things are what matter.
“The team that comes out more focused, playing better defense and fewer mistakes usually comes out on top,” Desko said.
Before last week’s win against Army, the talk among the team was not overlooking their opponent. The Orange should have no problem with that this week.
“Every game is the biggest game for us,” Galloway said. “It’s a great gauge at the beginning of the season. We’re going to let it fly out there. It’s Syracuse – Virginia. There’s going to be hopefully 20,000 fans in the Dome. That’s just one of those games you come to college to play for. We’re going to enjoy it.”
“It’s a lot of fun when you actually play relaxed,” he said. “The first four times I’ve played them, I haven’t been relaxed. So I’m really looking forward to going out there and actually playing my game.”
Desko knows that not only is this game a good test, it could be a preview to another matchup sometime in May. Until then, he and his players will enjoy Friday he said.
“I look forward to the game,” he said. “It’s a game you don’t see a lot of trickery. It’s more up and down. I’m really looking forward to a great crowd.”