Beat writers predict No. 2 Syracuse to eek by Towson in NCAA tournament second round
Jordan Phelps | Staff Photographer
Syracuse’s quest for its first national title in eight seasons and first Final Four since 2013 continues on Sunday at noon against Towson at Delaware Stadium in Newark, Delaware. The No. 2 Orange (13-2, 4-0 Atlantic Coast) face a tough challenge in the No. 11 Tigers (11-4, 5-1 Colonial Athletic), which won its league, upset former No. 1 Penn State in State College last week and brings its third-ranked defense to Delaware. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2. The winner of Syracuse-Towson will play the winner of Ohio State-Duke next Saturday at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts.
Here’s how our Syracuse men’s lacrosse beat writers predict SU will fare against Towson.
Syracuse 12, Towson 10
Syracuse has proven time and time again that it can withstand a very weak performance at the faceoff X and still win. Towson’s Alex Woodall is among the best in the country and will be a deciding factor in the game’s outcome. But, Syracuse thrives in come from behind situations and one-goal games. That’s where the balanced offense with six strong scoring threats finally breaks through. Another late game push led by Danny Varello at the faceoff X will give SU the fourth-quarter run it needs to advance to the Final Four for the first time since 2013.
Syracuse 10, Towson 9
The biggest roadblock in Syracuse’s path to its first Final Four in four years is its own offense. In each of the Orange’s last five games, it has had to come from behind against teams like Colgate (36th-ranked scoring defense), Yale (31st) and North Carolina (34th). The offense eventually kicks into gear, scoring 11.6 goals per game in that stretch, but now it faces Towson. The Tigers have the third-best defense and force a much slimmer margin of error. Don’t rely on a comeback. Syracuse’s offense needs to get it from the get-go to put the Orange in the Final Four.
First in Four
Syracuse 9, Towson 8
Don’t expect a barn burner down in Delaware: Towson owns a stingy defense and Syracuse’s offense has stalled lately. Just know that the No. 2 Orange will score when needed and advance to its first Final Four in four years via a one-goal game. Evan Molloy continues to be excellent in goal and senior attack Jordan Evans hangs a few points on the Tigers in Syracuse’s 14th victory of 2017.
Published on May 20, 2017 at 11:54 am