Syracuse expecting to get Villanova’s best in return home

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on March 28, 2010 at 12:00 pm Commentscenter_img Head coach John Desko has stated over and over again this season that his current squad hasn’t garnered the titles and the accolades of seasons past. But heading into each game, it doesn’t feel that way. The opponents always give a little more. The level of play goes up. Syracuse has seen every team’s best effort.‘I told the guys, ‘You are going to get the best out of every team you are going to play,” Desko said. ‘They elevated their games for us, playing Syracuse University, who won the championship last year. We are going to get that out of everybody.’And Desko expects much of the same when No. 3 Syracuse (5-1, 1-0 Big East) returns home after two straight road games to face Big East counterpart Villanova (5-2, 0-0) on Monday at 3 p.m. Though Villanova is unranked and was dismantled by SU, 21-6, two years ago, that is the last thing midfielder Joel White wants his team to think about. ‘We need to have a different mindset,’ White said. ‘We can’t go into the game thinking we are going to blow this team out because they have previous losses. We have to play every team as hard as we can.’AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe most recent example of this was the 9-8 overtime win against an unranked Hobart team last Tuesday night. Though Syracuse pulled off the victory, Hobart led 5-2 late in the third quarter. The Orange got off 56 shots but saw Statesmen goalie Max Silberlicht total a career-best 23 saves. It is efforts like these that opponents put up when Syracuse comes to town. For most teams, it is the biggest game on their schedule. At times, it is even a season-changing game that can be the catapult into the national rankings and possibly a postseason birth.The way teams raise their games against Syracuse was on full display against Hobart. ‘I watched Hobart on film and I got to tell you all the players on the team were a half step faster, a half step quicker, did better on ground balls, better on one-on-ones,’ Desko said. ‘We cannot take anyone lightly and certainly cannot take Villanova lightly coming up.’While Hobart is the most recent example, it is hardly the only time a team put forth a best effort against Syracuse. There is no question that the Orange has a big target on its back. In three tough wins this season against Army, No. 8 Georgetown and No. 12 Johns Hopkins, the Orange held leads but had to fight off comebacks by each team late in the game. Army came back from a three-goal deficit in the third to tie up the score. Georgetown was down four at halftime but cut the lead to one with seven and a half minutes to play. And Johns Hopkins was down 8-1 with eight minutes to play but stormed back and scored four straight goals. When a team is down late in a game, it is sometimes easy to fold and call it a day. Not when Syracuse is on the other sideline. This is a pattern Syracuse has seen time and time again this year and does not expect it to change any time soon.Especially against a much improved Villanova team.‘You look at Villanova, and they just beat a Drexel team who just got done beating Notre Dame,’ said goalie John Galloway. ‘So where do you put them in the national scene? They are one of the top teams right now.’While Villanova lacks the national prominence that a Virginia or a Johns Hopkins has, the Wildcats have come a long way in two years. They will bring a two-game winning streak into the Dome, with wins against Delaware and No. 14 Drexel.  Galloway was quick to point out the vast improvement the Wildcats have made.‘I think anyone who knows anything about lacrosse can see the improvement they have made in the past two years,’ Galloway said. ‘They are really becoming a good lacrosse team. This is a very good team who is on a hot streak right now.’And there is one thing Galloway and Syracuse can count on. Villanova will be ready to play its best lacrosse of the season come Tuesday. Just like every other team has done against the Orange.   [email protected]last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *