SU MLAX squeaks by Princeton 13-12

What Henry Schoonmaker started, Jojo Marasco finished Saturday afternoon on the road against Princeton.

Schoonmaker tallied a career high six points (4 goals, 2 assists) en route to a 13-12 Orange win. The midfielder's play helped Syracuse overcome two, two point deficits in the fourth quarter. His fourth and final goal at the 4:31 mark nodded the game up at 12 apiece and ultimately, paved the way for Marasco's go-ahead goal two minutes later to send Syracuse off on its seventh victory of the season. The senior had his hand -- or stick depending how you look at it -- in the last three Syracuse goals, recording two assists and the eventual game-winner.

The win is the Orange's third against a Top 10 opponent this year.

The Orange did not get rattled: When Princeton made a run, specifically going up by two at the end of the third quarter, I was wondering what adjustments -- if any -- Orange head coach John Desko would make. Even after the Kevin Rice goal out of the gate, Syracuse was still down three minutes into the fourth quarter. However, that didn't matter as junior attack Derek Maltz scored back-to-back goals in 11 seconds to tie the game up at 10. Baldwinsville native, Billy Ward would strike next at 5:28 and Schoonmaker and Marasco scored late to fulfill the comeback.

Offenses lived up to the hype: Talk about a battle between two dynamic offenses -- so exciting to watch. The lead changes, the way these players scored and the physicality of the game was enough to get myself off the couch and stand up at certain points of the game. The hard-hitting scrums and hustle that both team's showed was all one could ask for in a lacrosse game. The atmosphere was great, too, a mix of well-traveled Syracuse fans and Princeton faithful.

The Froccaro brothers, to put it simply, put on a clinic, combining for half of the Tigers 12 goals. I noticed the chemistry between these two early on in the game. The two, specifically on the crease, would set mini-picks for each other. At the 9:08 mark of the second quarter, some brotherly love was apparent as Jake found Jeff for his second goal of the game, his 24th of the year.

Minimizing Schreiber early: The Syracuse defense minimized the All-American Schreiber to just one goal and two assists on the afternoon and, from what I saw, Mike Harris –- a long stick middie –- and midfielder Matt Pratt were on him at times. Peter Macartney, also a long stick middie, got in on the action, too, keeping Schreiber out of the middle -- a place where he is so dangerous. I agreed with the color announcer on television that Schreiber didn't take advantage of the times he didn't have a long pole on him. The upperclassman should have seized the opportunity in those instances.

Faceoff woes solved...for this game: Princeton head coach Chris Bates mentioned to me he didn't want to use Jeff Froccaro at the X if he didn't need to due to the amount of work he did in the midfield. Bates turned to him for only a few reps due to Justin Murphy's struggles. Murphy was 8-of-25 (32%) while Froccaro went 3-of-4 (75%). On the other hand, Syracuse showed signs of improvement going 18-of-29 (62%). Desko leaned on freshman Brendan Conroy at the X and he prevailed, going 13-of-18 (72%) and got the job done over junior Chris Daddio (4-of-10).

What impresses me is: The way Syracuse effortlessly finds one another on cuts and picks. Coming in late in the season to cover this team, the consensus was how well this team moves off ball. After watching this game today, I can say that there is nothing stagnate about this offense.

What I don't get is: Why did the Syracuse defense go into a zone towards the end of the game? Stay tuned for this answer. I should have one by Monday. All I can say it was a risk that paid off.

The Orange will have roughly three days to prepare for No. 2 Cornell at the Carrier Dome. The Big Red is coming off a 14-12 win against Harvard. Game time is slated for 6 p.m.

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