From press release
No. 6 Syracuse (4-2, 0-2 ACC) heads to Durham on Sunday, March 23 for a pivotal ACC showdown with the No. 3 Duke Blue Devils (7-2, 1-1 ACC) at 12:30 p.m. at Koskinen Stadium. The Orange has won two games in a row, but is still searching for its first win in the ACC. Duke has won three straight, including a 19-4 mid-week victory at Furman.
Sunday’s game is rematch of last year’s NCAA championship game won by the Blue Devils, 16-10.
VERSUS PREVIOUS YEAR’S CHAMPS
Since 1988, Syracuse is 13-5 the following season in games against the previous year’s national champion. The Orange is 1-0 versus Duke under that scenario. The Blue Devils captured the 2010 NCAA crown and lost to the Orange in 2011, 13-11.
THEY’VE BEEN GREAT LATELY
Syracuse and Duke have combined to win four of the last six NCAA championships. The Orange brought home back-to-back titles in 2008 and 2009. Duke won the crown in 2010 and 2013. SU has three Final Four appearances since 2008. Duke has reached the NCAA semifinals every year since 2007.
A WIN AGAINST DUKE WOULD …
… Be Syracuse’s 851st victory, second all-time behind Hopkins (938).
… Improve SU’s record to 90-22 since the start of the 2008 season.
… Be John Desko’s 192nd career coaching win.
… End Duke’s three-game winning streak in the series.
… Represent Syracuse’s first ACC victory.
… Mark the Orange’s second win in as many weeks against a top-five opponent.
SECOND MIDFIELD CLICKING
Senior Billy Ward (Baldwinsville, N.Y.), freshman Nick Weston (Honeoye Falls, N.Y.) and redshirt junior Nicky Galasso (West Islip, N.Y.) have combined for 11 goals this season. Plus:
- The unit has combined for three goals in each of the last two games.
- Galasso scored the first two goals of his SU career versus St. John’s on March 8.
- Ward totaled a career-best four points (two goals, two assists) at Hopkins.
- Weston scored the game-winner at Hopkins with 10:26 left during a timer-on situation.
HARRIS AN OFFENSIVE THREAT
Senior Matt Harris (Buffalo Grove, Ill.) has nine goals and six assists in his career, which places him among the national leaders in career points by an active long pole. Harris is tied for fourth on that list and SU is 8-2 in games when he records at least one point. This season Harris has three goals on three shots, including a third-quarter goal last week at Johns Hopkins.
The Blue Devils are 7-2 this season with their only lo sses coming to the top two ranked teams in the nation (Maryland and Loyola).
Reigning ACC Offensive Player of the Week Jordan Wolf leads the team in goals (26), assists (13) and points (36). In addition, Josh Dionne (22 goals) is a potent goal-scorer. Deemer Class (11 goals, 11 assists) is Duke’s top midfield scoring threat.
Faceoff specialist Brendan Fowler set the NCAA record last season for faceoff wins (339) and picked up 209 ground balls, the second-best season total in NCAA history. This year Fowler is third in the ACC with a .608 (115-189) faceoff winning percentage.
Defensively, Luke Aaron (71 saves, 8.17 GAA) has supplanted Kyle Turri as the team’s first-string goalie and owns a 6-2 record. Close defender Casey Carroll has 27 ground balls.
Coach John Danowski has guided Duke to Final Four every year he’s been in Durham and has won two national championships. He is second among active Division I coaches with 337 career wins.
THE SYRACUSE-DUKE SERIES
SU holds a 6-4 advantage in the all-time series against Duke. The Orange won six of the first seven meetings, including five in a row from 1992-2011. The Blue Devils have claimed the last three pairings, including NCAA Tournament wins in 2012 and 2013.
Overall, Syracuse is making its fourth trip to Durham, but its first in the regular season since 1978. The Orange is 1-2 in road games against the Blue Devils with its only win a 17-5 triumph in 1938.
UP NEXT …
The Orange returns to the Carrier Dome for the first time in more than a month. Syracuse welcomes fellow ACC newcomer Notre Dame to the Loud House for a 12 p.m. contest Saturday, March 29.
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Posted In: College lacrosse