Here are some schedule highlights and games of note:
February 7: Siena; February 15: Cornell; February 22: Army; March 1: Virginia; March 14: Johns Hopkins; March 22: Duke; April 2: Albany; April 14: Hobart
Syracuse will play two-thirds of its regular season schedule in the Carrier Dome this coming spring, one of the most unique lacrosse environments in the nation. Since the Orange started playing their home games under the Dome's teflon-coated roof in 1981, Syracuse is a stunning 209-32 in its home building, a mark good for an 86.72 winning percentage. No team that the Orange will face in 2015 in the Dome hold a winning record against Syracuse in the Carrier Dome; Virginia -- at a middling 4-5 -- has the best winning percentage against the 'Cuse in the Carrier Dome over the last 34 seasons. Two of the above-noted teams -- Siena and Duke -- have never earned a victory against the Orange in the Carrier Dome and four other teams -- Cornell, Army, Albany, and Hobart -- have less than a 33 percent winning percentage against the Orange in the Dome.
The Carrier Dome has been a massive vehicle for victories for the Orange, and in a season where Syracuse will play a large portion of its schedule in the Dome against elite competition, the 'Cuse will need the Dome to work its magic in order to help the Orange push through its season. Six of the Orange's first seven games are Carrier Dome dates with five of those Dome contests -- Cornell, Army, Virginia, Johns Hopkins, and Duke -- coming against opponents that finished 2014 in the top 20 of LaxPower's final ratings. The volition of the Orange's season is heavily tied to how Syracuse starts the year, and given the relevance of the 'Cuse's home performances, the team's efforts in the Carrier Dome are vital signs for the Orange.
Make that Paper
February 15: Cornell; March 1: Virginia; March 14: Johns Hopkins; March 22: Duke; March 28: at Notre Dame; April 11: at North Carolina;
Syracuse and the above-noted six teams have combined for 79.55 percent of the NCAA's 44 national championships and the Orange and the above-noted six teams have constituted almost 72 percent of the total Memorial Monday participant pool. That's insane: 35 NCAA titles and 63 championship games appearances are tied up in the Syracuse-Cornell-Virginia-Hopkins-Duke-Notre Dame-North Carolina septet. There is, of course, a sliding degree of history among these seven teams, but the fact remains that Syracuse will throw hands six times -- half of its regular season schedule (not including a potential date against Pennsylvania during ACC Tournament Weekend) -- with years of powerful history underscoring the games.
April 2: Albany
Over the past two seasons, Syracuse-Albany has become one of the most interesting games in the country: Hectic paces combined tight battles featuring elite scoring has thrust the Upstate New York rivalry into a special place reserved for sensory overloads. The (admittedly short) details back this up:
|Offensive Efficiency||32.69||39.02||Offensive Efficiency||36.59||45.71|
|Possessions/60 Minutes||52||41||Possessions/60 Minutes
|Raw Offensive Shooting %||38.64%||33.33%||Raw Offensive Shooting %||31.91%||35.56%|
A solid argument can be made that the Danes were the better team in both matchups the last two seasons, but that ultimately doesn't matter. What matters is that Syracuse and Albany will meet, once again, in what could be a ridiculous display of seismic power.