April 12, 2010

CNY Lacrosse Powers Collide on Tuesday

from press release

- No. 2 Syracuse (8-1) faces its second consecutive Ivy League opponent on Tuesday, April 13 when it travels to nearby Ithaca, N.Y. for a 7 p.m. matchup against No. 10 Cornell (8-2) at Schoellkopf Field. It's the second of three straight road games for the Orange.

Syracuse is coming off a 13-4 triumph against Princeton at the Konica Minolta Big City Classic on Saturday and has won its last six games. The Big Red has won four of its last five, including a 13-12 victory against conference rival Harvard on Saturday.

Tuesday's game will be televised live in the Syracuse area on Time Warner Cable Sports. Fans can also hear the action live on the radio home of the Orange - TK 99 (99.5 FM). Live streaming audio of the radio broadcast is available on SUathletics.com as part of Orange All-Access.

The contest is a rematch of the 2009 NCAA championship game, which will go down as one of the most exciting lacrosse games in recent memory. The Orange rallied from a 9-6 deficit late in the fourth quarter and eventually prevailed 10-9 in overtime. SU's Kenny Nims tallied the game-tying goal with 4.5 seconds left in regulation after a mad scramble for the ball during a failed Cornell clearing attempt. Current Orange senior Cody Jamieson (Six Nations, Ontario) clinched SU's record 11th NCAA title with a goal on the team's first possession in overtime.

Syracuse head coach John Desko and Cornell head coach Jeff Tambroni enter Tuesday night's clash with the two highest active winning percentages in the Division I ranks. They also share something else in common. They both are graduates of West Genesee High School in Camillus and played for legendary coach Mike Messere. Desko graduated from the school in 1975 and attended Syracuse, while Tambroni starred for the Wildcats in the late 1980s before attending Hobart College.

Desko tops the active winning percentage list (.768, 142-43). Tambroni is second at .745 (105-36). The two men are also the quickest active coaches to reach the 100-victory plateau. Desko achieved the feat against Binghamton in 2007, his 133rd game. Tambroni earned his 100th head coaching win earlier this season against Army. It was his 134th game.

SU and Cornell rank second and seventh, respectively, on the list of all-time winningest Division I programs. The Orange has compiled 802 victories, while Cornell has 673. The two schools have combined to win 14 NCAA titles (SU 11, Cornell 3). The Orange won the most recent (2009). The Big Red won the first (1971).

Junior goalie John Galloway (Syracuse, N.Y.) is approaching 40 wins for his career. His current record stands at 39-5 and he is on the cusp of becoming the fourth goalie in school history to amass 40 career victories. Galloway has started 44-of-45 games for the Orange since joining the team as a freshman in 2008. Galloway was 16-2 in 2008, 15-2 in 2009 and he owns an 8-1 record this season.

Jay Pfeifer holds the Orange record for wins (47). Rob Mulligan (41) and Matt Palumb (40) are the other Syracuse goalies to reach the illustrious plateau.

NOTE: Tom Nims could have had as many as 42 wins from 1981-85, however, goalie decisions were not recorded at that time.

Redshirt sophomore Tim Desko (Syracuse, N.Y.) tied his career highs in both points (3) and goals (2) in his first game back from injury April 10 versus Princeton. Desko, who missed the previous four games, entered the contest in the second quarter and found the cage twice in the period. His second goal with 2:51 left before halftime was a circus shot between his legs that found its mark to give SU a 7-2 cushion. He also assisted on a goal in the fourth quarter.

Cornell boasts one of top attack duos in the nation. Sophomore Rob Pannell leads the nation in points per game (5.1). He has 51 points so far this year. Pannell's the most productive assist man in the country with 33 and he leads the nation in assists per game (3.3). No one else on the Big Red has more than seven assists. He's flanked by senior finisher Ryan Hurley, who leads the club with 28 goals.

The Big Red midfield and defense were hit hard by graduation after last season, but they have been rebuilt. Senior Chris Ritchie (12g, 7a) leads the first midfield, which also features sophomore Chris Langton (10g, 2a) and sophomore Roy Lang (8g, 5a). Rookie Jason Noble leads the Big Red close defense with 32 ground balls. Cornell also boasts one of the best longstick midfielders in the nation in senior Pierce Derkac (40 GBs).

Freshman AJ Fiore and junior Mat Martinez have shared time in the cage this season. Fiore has 68 saves and an 8.22 goals-against average in nine games. Martinez has 28 stops and an 8.20 goals-against average in six outings. Martinez played all 60 minutes to earn the win against Harvard Saturday.

The Syracuse-Cornell series dates back to 1920 and the two schools have met every season since 1979. The Orange holds a 60-33-1 advantage in the series and is 27-17-1 in games played in Ithaca. The Orange has registered double-digit goals in each of the last 25 meetings dating back to an April 11, 1987 regular-season contest won by the Big Red, 19-6. The Orange is 20-5 against Cornell during that stretch and has won the last three in a row, including the aforementioned 2009 national championship game.

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