What a surprise —- Virginia and Syracuse played another classic tonight.
Maybe it didn’t have overtime like last year’s two games. But there was one huge parallel: Virginia building a big league and Syracuse methodically erasing it in short order.
Only this time, the Cavaliers held on to win 13-12.
A crowd of 16,595 showed up at the Carrier Dome, which is simply a stellar crowd for a lacrosse game in February. The fact it was a 1 vs. 2 matchup —- counterintuitively, the first at the Dome since 1995 —- surely helped matters.
Virginia led 13-8 with 7:32 left. Syracuse needed little more than six minutes to get the deficit down to one.
It was, in short, a typical Virginia-Cuse game. Having seen six of the last seven meetings before tonight, the stuff I’ve read so far hints it fits in nicely with those.
There’s three things to be taken away from the proceedings, all of which could have been predicted earlier in the week.
1. The winner (Virginia) should be a unanimous No. 1 this week in both the coaches and media polls.
2. The loser (Syracuse) merits strong consideration for No. 2. Who else, realistically, is better, regardless of results? The Orange will remain at No. 2 when I submit my top 20 on Sunday.
3. Any fan of the game had better hope these two meet up in Foxboro(ugh) on Memorial Day weekend. If you’re getting 13-12 at this time of year with the game being decided on a turnover in the closing seconds, the encore performance only figures to be better with more on the line than an early-season ranking.
—- Patrick Stevens