After tight battle in Big City Classic, Syracuse to meet Notre Dame again in upcoming Big East tournament

first_img Published on April 28, 2013 at 11:47 am Contact David: [email protected] | @DBWilson2 EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — For 45 minutes, nothing separated the nation’s No. 1 and No. 7 teams. Notre Dame’s staunch defense and superb goaltending illustrated why it was regarded as the team to beat heading into the final weeks of the season. Syracuse’s hustle and equally firm defense demonstrated why it could play with anyone.For the final 15 minutes of the Konica Minolta Big City Classic at MetLife Stadium, the Orange asserted itself as the better of the two — even if by a slim margin. And in less than a week they’ll go at it again.The Fighting Irish will have a chance to avenge its 10-4 loss to SU in East Rutherford, N.J., in just days, when the two meet in the first round of the Big East tournament in Villanova, Pa., on Thursday. The winner will advance to next Saturday’s Big East championship against the winner of the earlier semifinal game between the Wildcats and Georgetown.“Mentally we’ve got to get that edge back going into this next game because it’s really difficult to play a team you just beat, play them a few days later,” Syracuse head coach John Desko said. “It’s mental challenge for us as coaches and players.”For the first 15 minutes, the Orange and UND defenses traded blows, missed opportunities and made spectacular saves. SU midfielder Scott Loy freed himself up on the right side of the field, no defender within five yards. When he cranked up to shoot though, Notre Dame goaltender John Kemp slid over and deflected Loy’s shot with ease.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textFor 10 minutes, this is how things went. The game was even, as expected. Both Syracuse and the Irish found chances, but Kemp and SU goaltender Dominic Lamolinara positioned themselves in the way when they needed too. But for much of the first quarter, the stalwart defenses kept the opposition away from the cage.UND midfielder Tyler Kimball scrambled around atop the Irish offensive zone, but David Hamlin came in full pursuit. The Syracuse midfielder harassed Kimball, causing a turnover and keeping the teams level through one quarter.“When you come off a win, the tendency is to not evaluate the other team because whatever you did last time worked,” Desko. “I think we can’t do that as coaches. We have to have a Plan B ready.”Even as his defense collapsed in the fourth quarter, Notre Dame head coach Kevin Corrigan said he wouldn’t change anything up in practice this week. The Fighting Irish have played well enough all season to merit the No. 1 ranking. Saturday’s collapse was just “a manifestation of four quarters of bad lacrosse.”Said Corrigan: “We’ll come back on Friday – or Thursday – and try it again.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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