Finally, SU lacrosse got to yank that monkey off its back and chuck it into the distance. Sunday’s NCAA Tournament first round win over Siena marked a return to postseason success for the Orange, which bowed out prematurely against Army in round one of last year’s tourney.
- Listen to the Fresh FizzCast: SU lax, Chad Kelly, High School Classic
But as I point out in this week’s Fresh FizzCast, the mission is far from accomplished. The winningest (and possibly the “greatest”) class in program history has greater ambitions than outplaying the MAAC regular season champion at home.
“This team is not playing its season just to get into the tournament and beat Siena. If you talk to John Galloway, he’s not going to say, ‘We’re really happy about that record for most wins in a four-year span. We love regular season success. Who really cares about the playoffs?’ A lot of factors to me suggest that there won’t be a letdown against Maryland. That’s not to say they’re going to have an easy time with Maryland because Maryland is a good team. I don’t see a letdown, though.”
The voice of Orange lacrosse, Brian Higgins, jumped aboard the FizzCast and weighed in further on the matchup against the Terps at Gillette Stadium.
“[Maryland has] been ridiculously talented for four years, and they have shown that over that time, they can play with and beat anybody in the country when they play well. They played well [on Sunday] and just took apart a pretty good North Carolina team in a game that I think most thought was going to be reasonably even. And to see win it by as much as they did was surprising. But at the same time, this Maryland team could show up next week and do the same thing again and all of a sudden they’re a beast to deal with and maybe the toughest out in the tournament. Or, they might do what happened when they played the Orange in the quarters in 2009, and just disappear for quarters at a time. They are one of the strangest teams to watch because the talent is without question there, but until you see what they’ve got that day, it’s almost impossible to accurately predict what they’re going to do.”
As recruiting season heats up, so does our coverage of the prep scene, and D.A. made the point that the presence of future SU players at the New York State High School Football Classic rosters showcases the strides Doug Marrone has taken as a recruiter to own the state of New York. On the FizzCast, D.A. discusses how the game is everything but sponsored by SU football.
“Marrone, having a very good sense of the prep scene in the state of New York, said, ‘How do we close the borders?’ In the years prior to Marrone taking over, guys like Mike Hart came out of Syracuse and went to Michigan. Guys came out of New Rochelle like Ray Rice and went to Rutgers. Great players were not being kept in-state. Greg Robinson had no relationship with the high school scene. Marrone made that a priority, and the [All-Star Game] is kind of the child of it.”
You can also check out the Fresh FizzCast for D.A.’s analysis on Jim Kelly’s nephew, Chad. There’s a good chance we’ll find out in the next several weeks just how likely it is that Syracuse could land the dual-threat quarterback, and relative of a Buffalo Bills icon. Follow The Fizz on Twitter for all updates.
Posted: Andrew Kanell