The Syracuse Men’s Lacrosse team face North Carolina on Saturday and look for their third straight win. The Orange are coming off a dominant 13-8 win over No.8 Cornell.
Syracuse has won six of the last eight matchups over the past five years. With their most recent victory being an overtime win in 2018. In that game, Nate Solomon was the main offensive force for the Orange, scoring four goals. Again, Solomon has been a strong scoring presence. He has scored a goal in every game this season except for against Johns Hopkins, where he still finished the night with a point after an assist. His goal-scoring ability will be needed against a North Carolina team whose goalkeeper saves 51% of shots on goal.
The Tar Heels have a scoring threat of their own and his last name is also Solomon. Freshman Nicky Solomon has started off his college career with the hot stick. He has scored in every game this season. He not only scores goals on his own but he also creates opportunities for his teammates, notching an assist in over half of the games this season. Syracuse’s defense along with goalie, Drake Porter, will need to keep an eye for this prolific scorer.
Another person who has been an impressive season so far is senior Brad Voight. This is the first time Voight is playing as a starter and has not disappointed. After being held scoreless in the season opener, Voight has become the offensive firepower for the Orange, scoring in every other game and
scoring a season-high six goals against UAlbany. Voight will be an important force against the Tar Heels who allow under 10 goals and scores an average of 13 goals. Scoring at a high rate will be crucial for Syracuse victory.
In the game against Cornell, the Orange won 17 of the 25 faceoffs in the game which contributed to Syracuse’s outshooting Cornell by 18. North Carolina’s main faceoff guy is freshman Zach Tucci. In his first season of play, Tucci has won over 50% of his faceoffs. Danny Varello the faceoff specialist for the Orange. He has a very similar stat line to Tucci’s, winning just over 50% of his faceoffs. For this matchup, the player who wins more faceoff will put their team in a better position to score goals.
When comparing schedules, these two teams have played similar opponents. The two matchups that jump out our both teams playing Johns Hopkins and Duke. Syracuse beat #17, Johns Hopkins, 14-10. The Tar Heels drop their matchup against the Blue Jays early in the season. The other interesting matchup for both teams is their respectively game against Duke. At the height of Duke’s dominance this season, both the Tar Heels and the Orange won. North Carolina won by a slightly bigger margin in regulation. Syracuse came from behind to beat the Blue Devils in overtime. Both these teams have proved this season that they are able to win in close games against the top opponents.