April 15, 2009

W. Lacrosse Looks to Run Winning Streak To Three vs. Syracuse

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The women’s lacrosse team heads to Syracuse tonight to face off with the Orange at the Carrier Dome. No. 17 Cornell currently holds a two-game winning streak heading into its match on No. 8 Syracuse’s home turf. Though the Red is on the upswing at the moment, Syracuse will be a much tougher test than either Brown or New Hampshire was.
The Red (7-4, 2-3 Ivy) will need to break away early if it intends to hold off a strong Syracuse team. The Orange (11-3, 5-1 Big East) has faced only nationally ranked teams in its last three games, winning two of those. The team lost in a tight overtime match to No. 6 Georgetown, but handily defeated No. 16 Loyola and got past No. 8 Notre Dame. [img_assist|nid=36848|title=Wave the Red flag|desc=Junior goalkeeper Kristen Reese was named the Division I Defense Player of the Week by womenslacrosse.com yesterday after leading the Red to a pair of victories last weekend.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
The Red lost in a blowout after the No. 20 Green opened up the game in the second half. The Red’s national experience has been minimal in comparison to the Orange and may be the deciding factor in this game.
In fact, the Red’s lack of experience may be the most problematic part of the team’s season record. This young team has worked hard all season to combat the loss of many of its top seniors, but even with step-up performances from freshman Jessi Steinberg and others, the team has had trouble repeating last season’s success. Inexperience has proved to be the toughest thing to overcome this season.
The Orange will be the highest-ranked team the Red has faced this season, and will definitely be its toughest matchup. Both teams will take to the turf of the Carrier Dome with two straight wins under their belt, but the Orange clearly have the power on their side. The best thing the Red has going for it is its solid defensive unit. The backfield, controlled by junior netminder Kristen Reese, who was named Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week this week, will be the key to the Red holding on against Syracuse.
The Red has shown athleticism and talent all season long, and many underclassmen have begun to get the experience it takes to compete against the nation’s top teams. The game today will be a true examination of whether the lessons learned thus far will be enough to help them pass by the Orange.
The game begins at 7 p.m. tonight at the Carrier Dome.