March 11, 2011

'Cuse Opens BE Season vs. Hoyas

from press release

- Consensus No. 1 Syracuse squares off against Georgetown at 11 a.m. in the opening game of the Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic on Saturday, March 12 at M&T Bank Stadium. The contest is the BIG EAST opener for the Orange and the first of three games it will play this season in an NFL venue.

Syracuse carries a perfect 3-0 record into the contest, including a 12-10 victory over Virginia in its most recent outing. The Hoyas are 2-2 and 1-0 in the conference. Georgetown defeated St. John's, 13-9, in its BIG EAST opener on March 5 before losing a mid-week showdown to Harvard, 16-15.

Saturday's game will be televised live nationally on ESPNU. Fans can also hear the action live on the radio home of the Orange - TK 99 (99.5 FM). Live streaming audio is available on as part of Orange All-Access.

This is the fifth year of the Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic, an event organized by Inside Lacrosse, and the third appearance for Syracuse. This year's edition features three games. Syracuse versus Georgetown starts things off at 11 a.m., followed by Cornell-Virginia at 1:30 p.m. and Johns Hopkins-UMBC at 4 p.m.

The Orange took part in the first two Face-Off Classics. At the inaugural event in 2007, the Orange lost to Virginia by the score of 11-8. A year later, Syracuse was beaten by the Cavaliers again, 14-13, in overtime.

The 2011 season marks the second year of the BIG EAST men's lacrosse league. The Orange has never lost a conference game, going 6-0 in league play last year to win the inaugural BIG EAST regular-season championship. SU rolled through the league's first season, averaging 14.5 goals per game and outscoring its conference opponents cumulatively, 87-41.

Syracuse is 2-3 all-time in games played at M&T Bank Stadium, including a 2-1 NCAA Tournament record at the facility. The Orange made its debut at the venue in 2003, losing to Johns Hopkins, 19-8, in the national semifinals. The following season, Syracuse defeated the Blue Jays there in a semifinal rematch and went on to win the 2004 NCAA Championship with a thrilling 14-13 victory over Navy in the final. Syracuse has never won a regular-season game at M&T Bank Stadium, losing to Virginia in the 2007 and 2008 Face-Off Classics.

Syracuse senior John Galloway (Syracuse, N.Y.) enters the Georgetown game with 47 career victories, tied with Jay Pfeifer (2002-05) for the most goalie wins in school history. Galloway can surpass Pfeifer with a victory Saturday. Currently, Galloway is 47-6 in 53 career starts and he's tied with Pfeifer for third on the NCAA Division I career wins list.

It's hard to find two more consistent players for the Orange than senior first-line midfielders Josh Amidon (Lafayette, N.Y.) and Jovan Miller (Syracuse, N.Y.). Both players have two points in every game this season. Amidon has three goals and three assists in 2011. Miller has five goals and one assist on the year. For their careers, Amidon has 36 goals and 26 assists for a total of 62 points. Miller has 26 goals and 19 assists for 45 points.

The Hoyas are 2-2 overall this season and have yet to play a home game. They enter Saturday's neutral-site affair as one of the highest-scoring teams in the country, but they have struggled defensively. Georgetown averaging 12.75 goals per contest and have scored 15 goals twice this season, including in a 16-15 loss at Harvard on March 8. It's also allowing an average of 14.25 goals per game and surrendered 20 in a 12-goal loss at Maryland on Feb. 26.

Sophomore Davey Emala has emerged as one of the nation's most productive attackmen. He leads the Hoyas in points (14) and goals (12). He tallied five goals in the Harvard loss. Sophomore attackman Travis Comeau and junior midfielder Zack Angel are solid offensive complements to Emala. Comeau and Angel are tied for second on the team with eight goals apiece. Fifth-year senior Rickey Mirabito is the team's best feeder with seven assists. Brian Tabb is the team's top faceoff specialist. Tabb has won 43 of his 76 attempts this season (.566) and leads the Hoyas with 22 ground balls.

All-BIG EAST selection Barney Ehrmann anchors the defense. Ehrmann, a fifth-year senior, is the son of Syracuse football legend Joe Ehrmann, who played for the Orange in the late '60s and early '70s and went on to an eight-year NFL career with the Baltimore Colts. The younger Ehrmann missed all of 2010 with an injury. This season, he is second on the Hoyas with 14 ground balls. Reigning BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week, and Georgetown starting goalkeeper, Jack Davis was lit up for 16 goals by Harvard. He has 45 saves on the season and a 14.37 goals-against average.

Syracuse and Georgetown have played at least once every year since 1995 and the Orange holds a 15-4 series advantage. SU holds the longest winning streak in series history, winning eight straight meetings from 1999-2004. One of those pairings was a 24-16 SU win during the 2000 season. The Orange's 24 goals in that contest are the most scored by the team in John Desko's tenure as head coach. Last season's 15-12 Orange win at the Carrier Dome represented the Orange's inaugural game as a member of the BIG EAST Conference.

The Orange prepares for its first mid-week game of the season Tuesday, March 15 when it hosts Empire State rival Albany. Game time is 7 p.m. at the Carrier Dome. The game will televised live throughout New York State on Time Warner Sports and SNY.

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