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Pause in rivalry between Syracuse, Princeton men's lacrosse teams likely to last more than one season
There was a time when Division I lacrosse needed Princeton-Syracuse on the regular season calendar. It was a driver for television exposure and gave fans a glimpse of postseason play in early-April/late-March. Tigers-Orange in the late 90's and early 00's was the matchup at college lacrosse's highest level of play, arguably outpacing the allure of Virginia-Syracuse or Hopkins-Maryland. It was two dominant programs with elite players, all under the guidance of two of the best coaches in the game.
Since the evolution of the game at the Division I level, though, the rivalry has lost of a little bit of its luster. There are equally prominent dates on the calendar, even if Princeton-Syracuse holds a special place in lacrosse's history. That's why a potential moratorium between the two schools is both disappointing and acceptable: There's still something to Tigers-Orange, but it's not quite what it used to be.
Conference re-alignment has placed the Syracuse men's lacrosse team in what is likely the most powerful conference in the sport's history. It has also cost Syracuse fans one of their favorite rivalries.
Syracuse and Princeton won't play this season for the first time in 16 years, potentially ending an excellent rivalry between two of the sport's most prestigious programs.
Both Syracuse head coach John Desko and Princeton head coach Chris Bates said they'd like to find a way to keep the rivalry alive in the future, but Bates said it could take a few seasons for the teams to find space on their schedules again.
"It's a game that we both want to play," Bates said. "It's a great rivalry, but it's probably going to be a few years until we see how conference re-alignment shakes out."
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