The Syracuse Orange (7-5, 4-0) heads to Charlottesville, Virginia this Friday for its Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Tournament semi-final game versus the Virginia Cavaliers (10-4, 1-3) in Klockner Stadium at 8:30 PM.
This is a rematch of a conference game earlier this year that went in favor of the 'Cuse. SU pulled out its second of four 1-goal wins on the year as they beat UVA 12-11 in Virginia. Desko's squad lead early into the fourth by a score of 10-5, but the 'hoos mounted a comeback, going on a 6-1 run to knot the game at 11. Syracuse would rebound though behind Tucker Dordevic. The freshman midfielder scored his team-leading fourth goal on the day with just 13 seconds remaining to seal the win for the Orange.
The last meeting didn't end without drama either, as SU junior attackman Nate Solomon was suspended one game by the NCAA following a late hit on UVA goalie Alex Rode when the horn sounded at the end of regulation.
The 'Cuse comes into this game off of a last second loss at the hands of Navy in the Carrier Dome. The Midshipmen notched 2 goals in the final ten seconds to seal their ninth win on the season. Meanwhile for the Orange, this dramatic loss marked their fifth loss on the season, all of which have come from outside the ACC.
Against conference competition however, SU has been unbeatable to date. The 'Cuse stands at a perfect 4-0 within the ACC and will serve as the 1-seed for the tournament for the second straight season. Although in this spot last season, the Orange fell in the semi-final to the Tar Heels 16-15.
Four of Syracuse's top players this regular season have been named to the All ACC-Team. Defensemen Nick Mellen and Brett Kennedy, midfielder Jamie Trimboli, and attackman Nate Solomon were all named on Thursday as part of this years' squad. Mellen and Kennedy rank as the two highest defensemen in groundballs for SU. With 0.75 assists per game, Trimboli ranks 10th among all ACC players in that category this season. Finally, despite only playing in 11 of the 12 games, Nate Solomon ranks second on the Syracuse team in both goals and total points.
UVA will be led in the game tomorrow by their own All ACC-Team players, attackman Michael Kraus and midfielder Dox Aitken. Kraus ranks second in the ACC in goals, assists and total points, while Aitken ranks fourth in goals and fifth in total points. The sophomore Kraus has been able to get his shot all year, as he averages 9.36 shots a game, 1.89 more shots than any other player in the conference.
The winner of (1) SU and (4) UVA will take on the winner of (3) Notre Dame verses (2) Duke in the ACC Championship which is slated for Sunday, April 29th at noon in Klockner Stadium.