Games @ 6 bud, showin up at 7 is cool though!“@jojomarasco22: big week! Cornell EspnU at 7 in dome Wednesday night. going to be a battle”— RP3 (@RobPannell3) April 8, 2013
"And that's the half. Cornell has gone on a 35 to zero run over the first 30 minutes of play, Quint. What do you think the biggest reason for that was?"
"Well, they've been getting timely scoring from Rob Pannell and Steve Mock, but I'd have to say that the biggest reason for the Red's lead right now is that Syracuse simply forgot when the game started and never left the locker room."
"But you can't take away what Cornell has done so far -- a 35 to zero run, against an opponent that is actually on the field or not, is impressive. And how about that defense?! Pitching a shutout so far!"
"Yes, Eamon, but was the defense really tested in that first half? It's not like they were playing against an opponent."
"Fair enough. We'll be right back after these messages from the Giant Cupcake people."
Anyway, there's just one game today and ESPNU -- with a cast of a hundred billion! -- has the broadcast from the Carrier Dome. Here is your highlight for the day:
- Cornell at Syracuse: Ryan hooked you up with an infograph; I meandered through something that may or may not make sense. It's Cornell-Syracuse, people; I'm not sure what exactly needs to be written here for you to understand that the Carrier Dome is going to provide important lacrosse theater this evening. All the chatter leading into this thing has been built around the Brian Megill-Rob Pannell one-on-one battle, but I'm less interested in that than I am some other things:
- Cornell's defense hasn't faced an offense as efficient (on an adjusted basis) as Syracuse's yet this season. (The closest that the Red have come to facing an opposing offense that has canned the bean as well as the Orange this season has been Bucknell, and that game was in a snow storm and otherwise miserable weather conditions.) How will Cornell's defense hold up -- especially between the pipes, but also as a unit generally -- against an offense that shoots 34.03 percent on the season (fourth nationally) and features a host of weapons -- JoJo Marasco, Derek Maltz, Henry Schoonmaker, Kevin Rice, Luke Cometti, and Dylan Donahue -- that carry different skill sets and can frustrate a defense in their totality?
- The turnover battle could be important tonight, especially as neither team is going to want to squander opportunities given how closely these teams are matched. Syracuse, on the season, has been solid at maintaining possession of the ball, turning the bean over at a rate that ranks sixth-lowest in the country (the team's unforced turnover rate ranks 22nd nationally). Cornell, like Syracuse, has also been tremendous at valuing the ball, turning the bean over at a rate that ranks 10th-lowest in the country (the team's unforced turnover rate ranks 32nd nationally). The breaking point, then, is twofold: (1) Whether either team play uncharacteristically loose with the ball; and (2) Whether a pursuit to generate turnovers will impact the first point (Cornell ranks fourth in the nation in caused turnovers per defensive opportunity; Syracuse ranks 45th in the same metric). Both teams have been solid at maximizing their functional offensive possessions by limiting turnovers in the attack box -- Syracuse ranks seventh in the measure and Cornell ranks 10th -- and it's an important aspect of gameplay tonight that may influence the outcome.
Here's today's full schedule with links to things so that you can monitor the carnage (Wagner isn't in action today because OH MY GOD I WONDER IF THAT DOG CAN TALK LIKE A HUMAN?!):
Leave your notes about the game or anything else (QUERY: Do I really want a girl with a short skirt and a long jacket?) in the comments below.