Cardiac 'Cuse is back. Sixth-ranked Syracuse (3-1, 1-0) won back-to-back games by a single goal and will look to take that momentum into a matchup with another lacrosse powerhouse in 16th-ranked Johns Hopkins (2-2, 0-0).
The previous meeting between these two was a thriller in Baltimore a year ago. Brendan Bomberry scored in overtime to give Syracuse an 8-7 win. Nate Soloman scored two goals as well to aid the Orange, but will not be in action Saturday because of a suspension for his hit on a Virginia player.
Hopkins enters the game having righted the ship against Princeton the last time out. That 16-9 victory ended a two-game losing streak for the Blue Jays.
Syracuse edged Virginia in its first road game of the season when it last took the field. The Orange blew a four-goal lead in the final 10 minutes, but Tucker Dordevic notched a dramatic winning score with just 13 seconds to play. It was his fourth of the contest.
The Orange will need another strong showing from Dordevic with Soloman suspended, but the defense should be back intact. Tyson Bomberry should be set to return from injury after missing the last two games. Brett Kennedy stepped up in relief of Bomberry though, as the former notched his first two career goals against Virginia.
Syracuse and Johns Hopkins usually play each other close, but 'Cuse has a lot of experience playing in tight games. The Orange has played in a one-goal contest 13 of its last 19 games.
It is hard to split these two teams on paper. Syracuse has scored 47 goals this year and allowed 40. Johns Hopkins has scored 46 goals on the season and allowed 40 as well.
One area of difference though is on the defensive end. Syracuse excels at generating turnovers, causing eight per game. Hopkins struggles a bit in that department, only creating five per game. That could lead to a few more possessions for the Orange, which in a matchup like this, could be the difference.
These two schools have a long-standing rivalry dating back to 1983. The Orange beat the Blue Jays in the national championship that season. Johns Hopkins won the next two titles at Syracuse's expense. They met again in 1989, with the Orange coming out on top by just one goal. 'Cuse added another championship over Hopkins back in 2008. The two programs have combined for 19 national championships.
Saturday will add another chapter to this storied rivalry.