While a relatively new rivalry between played out in front of 35,000 on Saturday, a much older rivalry reached an historic milestone. The Orange of Syracuse and the Big Red of Cornell met for the 100th time on the lacrosse field, the second most of any match-up in lacrosse.
More than being another chapter in a great lacrosse rivalry, Sunday’s game was a match-up between two of the best teams in the nation in 2015. The first quarter, which saw the Orange grab a 1-0 lead, seemed to suggest the game was going to be a defensive struggle. This all changed in the following three quarters.
Of all of the positive attributes of this Orange team, the returning attackers make this team stand out. The Orange returned all of its top scorers from last season. The pure goal-scoring ability and experience of Kevin Rice, Dylan Donahue, Randy Staats and Hakeem Lecky was just too much for the Big Red to handle in the latter three quarters.
When it was all said and done the impressive Orange attack led Syracuse to a 15-6 win over their upstate rivals. More than an impressive showing on offense, Syracuse goalie Bobby Wardwell put on a stellar display, posting ten saves.
The development of Wardwell, a senior, is crucial to the Orange’s success this season. The Orange will score and score often, but the games against the big guns of the ACC often come down to which goalie can step it up and make a big save when it matters most.
Last season, Wardwell split time with Dominic Lamolinara with Wardwell mainly playing the second half. This year, Wardwell is carrying the load, playing 93 of the 120 minutes so fat this season. He has given up only 10 goals in two games and his attack has netted 36.
The combination of attack and defense has allowed the Orange to jump into the top 3 in both the Inside Lacrosse Rankings (3rd) and the USILA Coaches Poll (2nd). John Dekso became the third coach in Syracuse history to record 200 wins after Syracuse’s win on Sunday. The Orange are now 2-0 and Wardwell and company will take on Army at the Dome next Sunday, February 22nd.
Posted: Logan Grossman