The Washington Times - May 24, 2009, 03:06PM

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. —- Caught up with ESPN’s Quint Kessenich this morning, and he obliged a request to break down tomorrow’s Syracuse-Cornell national title game:

“Princeton beating Syracuse allows me to make a case for Cornell. In that Princeton win, Tyler Fiorito stood on his head. I’m not sure [Cornell’s] Jake Myers can do that, although he’s playing well right now. I think I’m done underestimating Cornell.”


On a Syracuse key:

“The Syracuse midfielders I thought were the difference against Duke. [Matt] Abbott and [Jovan] Miller play defense, they carry in, they go behind the goal. They force that offensive midfielder to play D. Yesterday you saw [Steve] Schoeffel caught on defense a lot and got burned. They’re going to try to do that with Cornell with [Max] Seibald, [John] Glynn and [Rocco] Romero. Yesterday, Cornell got a free pass. They got those guys off. You never saw 42 and 20 have to play long defensive shifts. The other thing was Duke chose not to play the substitution game, so guys were staying on the field instead of matching feet and running off to get the right personnel on.”

On faceoffs:

“Syracuse is not a great faceoff team this year. In the playoffs, they’re doing very well. Their defense in the last five games is sensational. Look at their goals against, and the last five games a noticeable jump up. Sid Smith‘s playing well  on the ground, a lot of grounders. I thought [goalie John] Galloway, having [Al] Cavalieri [play well in the quarterfinals], a little competition. It’s amazing how that motivates an athlete.”

On Cornell:

“Cornell’s poles are underrated. Cornell’s kind of like the land of the misfit toys. They have short guys, they have tall, skinny guys, [defensive midfielder Roy] Lang is awkward. Put it all together and it works. You look at them and it’s like … These guys are overlooked by the Virginias and Hopkins. … In the intangible category, this team is off the charts.”

A Cornell key:

“The Cornell attack has to continue to play well, because no one’s had midfield success against Syracuse this year, really. … I don’t think it will be Seibald/Glynn scorefest. It’ll start with the other guys.”

—- Patrick Stevens