Fall Ball

A few months removed from his team's 19-8 loss to Johns Hopkins in the semifinals of the NCAA tournament in Baltimore, MD on May 24, head coach John Desko has had plenty of time to digest the beating the Orangemen took to the Blue Jays at M & T Bank Stadium.

The semifinal game was characteristic of the 2003 season, in which the Orangemen were on the losing end five times. The team was up and then it was down.

"In the playoffs," said Desko, "we had a tough one with Dartmouth, but then we handled Princeton. We were hoping we could take it into the Final Four and in the first period against Hopkins we did.

"We haven't lost like that in a long time. And for it to get away from us and not be able to fight back, I was disappointed in that. Then you look back at the whole season, it was kind of how the whole season went-we were up and down all season. We were definitely up and down during that final four game-up early and down late."

The Orangemen, making their 21st consecutive appearance in the NCAA tournament, played flawless in the first half, jumping out to a 4-1 lead. But the Blue Jays were too much to handle as they scored 14 unanswered goals and totally dominated the Orange, enroute to the victory before 37,823 fans, who set a record for the largest crowd to assemble for an NCAA semifinal win.

"I watched the first period of the game and the second period. We were up and we had some excellent opportunities to score more goals," Desko said.

"The second half, we couldn't win a faceoff. Our game plan was to take advantage of our opportunities, we weren't going to stall the ball, but we were going to make them play some defense and keep them away from their offense. Their offense is very good. It didn't happen, obviously."

More on Syracuse lacrosse can be found in this month's issue of The Juice.

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