Kraus-Simmons Trophy up for grabs

In a rivalry that has been lopsided over the years, Syracuse knows that it can't take Hobart for granted. Analysis of the game inside.

The No. 5/3 Syracuse men's lacrosse team (9-2, 3-1) is in the home stretch of its regular season schedule and looking to build upon its three, come-from-behind victories against No. 10 Princeton, No. 2 Cornell and Rutgers. The Orange will face another tough opponent in Hobart (5-6, 2-3) Tuesday evening and rehash one of the longest standing rivalries in the game of lacrosse that dates back to 1916.

Syracuse needs to put together a full game: Yes, a win is a win no matter how ugly it is. However, the Orange, like many other lacrosse teams, is gearing up for postseason play and the kinks should be ironed out by now. Syracuse proved it can come out on top when faced with adversity, but all it takes is one bad break. Taking care of Hobart early is priority as Syracuse has tough BIG EAST matchups on the horizon with Georgetown and No. 3/1 Notre Dame.

"We remember last year," junior goalkeeper Dominic Lamolinara said, "we were up against them 10-4 at halftime and they came back. They have the ability to shut us down while still scoring points. I've seen film of their goalie and he is very good. It's going to be a struggle to come back if we are down again. We just need to put together a full 60 minutes and come through as a team."

The Orange staved off a furious comeback and held onto to win 13-12, securing the Kraus-Simmons Trophy for at least another year.

"I've learned since I've been here that it's a pretty big rivalry," Lamolinara continued, "I feel like it's not a very well-known rivalry, though. I didn't know that there is a trophy involved until I got here to Syracuse. We definitely want to keep that trophy with us. I think we have lost twice in the past 20 years. They are traditionally close games."

While inconsistency is probably the best word to describe this Hobart team, throw records out the door when it comes to this matchup. The Statesmen are coming off a signature win against No. 20 Bellarmine in overtime and has also beaten the ranks of then ranked Colgate, too.

Game adjustments have been spot on in wins: Tip your hat to head coach John Desko on this one. Desko has been a mastermind when it comes to slowing the pace of the game to favor its team the last few games. He decided to go to the zone at the end of Princeton and used it on-and-off against a high octane Cornell team last Wednesday. He has been on the Syracuse sidelines for over thirty years and has seen it all. Like all sports, it comes down to matchups and Desko has been on the winning end of that as of lately.

The emergence of Cal Paduda: The freshman took over for junior Chris Daddio in the second quarter and outworked Rutgers' Joseph Nardella in the final quarter going 4-of-9 to seal the victory for the Orange. Hobart is 126-for-140 (90 percent) while Syracuse is 119-for-278 (42 percent). The matchups on the X is still an ongoing, evolving process for Syracuse.

Tewaaraton watch alert: The Statesmen boast a player on the Tewaaraton watch list in Alex Love while the Orange has three: junior Derek Maltz and seniors Jojo Marasco and Brian Megill. Love enters tomorrow's contest with 37 goals and seven assists (43 points) and has started all 11 games on attack. The Orange trio has no doubt held up their end of the bargain, but it's Marasco who has separated himself from the pack as someone who must be in the discussion now as a Tewaaraton finalist. Marasco has 13 goals and 27 assists on the season and showing just how balanced he is as a scorer and passer. In last Saturday's game against Rutgers, Marasco was instrumental in the comeback victory, contributing five key assists.

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