John Carrozza played in many big game during his college career. Carrozza gives his thoughts about playing in the rivalry that is Syracuse/Virginia...
The highly anticipated match up between Syracuse and Virginia is a game that never lets you catch your breath. With fast paced action up and down the field, it seems as though predicting the winner is as certain as betting all of your money on an impulsive game of roulette. Will you bet black or red? Or in this case, Cuse or UVA?
The fact of the matter is that at this point of the season, neither team is battle tested and weaknesses on both sides will show their face regardless of where people expect them to be.
Each school has so much lacrosse tradition that when they meet, the game environment takes on a playoff type atmosphere. Each player is leaving everything they have on the field with the hope that their squad will come out victorious.
Having played against the Cavaliers several times, I can attest to the fact that the game is fast paced and highly competitive. Unfortunately, I was only victorious in one out of five contests. However, the one game we won was a double overtime victory during the semi-finals of Championship weekend; a game that will go down in lacrosse history as a Shakespearean type story about a Syracuse team focused on redemption.
Despite the short term calamity a loss will impose on the team who comes up short this time around, you can bet that come playoff time these two teams could potentially meet again.
So, does this game possess tradition? Yes. Will this game provide those in attendance with a memorable Friday night? Yes. Will this game shake up the rankings? Yes. Does this game mean anything come playoff time? No.
That being said, I can’t wait for these two premier programs to compete against one another in the Carrier Dome. Last time they met in the Dome was February 27th, 2009. The attendance for the game nearly topped 16,000 people in a 13-12 barn-burner that saw the Virginia Cavaliers come out on top. If anything can be taken from this game, its for each team’s coaching staff to evaluate the things your team does well, but more importantly, correct the things you struggle with so that the following week you’re ready for your next opponent.