Syracuse and Villanova's lacrosse teams were both riding win streaks going into last Monday's game at the Carrier Dome. In SU's case, it had to grind out wins over Hofstra and Hobart, the latter an 9-8 overtime decision.
SU head coach John Desko recognized that the team was sluggish on offense, and challenged his players to respond. The message was well received.
On the same Carrier Dome turf where the Orange beat the Wildcats 25-10 a year ago, it was d (c)j vu as SU impressively crushed Villanova 20-6.
The 20 goals were a season high -- and it was a well-balanced affair as 13 players scored. Jeremy Thompson led all scorers with three goals and freshmen Jo Jo Marasco contributed with a career-best five points -- one goal, plus four assists.
Matt Keogh hit a double, scoring two times and kept his point streak intact for 29 consecutive games. Senior Cody Jamieson added a pair of goals one of which included a behind-the-back shot that was flipped into the right corner of the net.
Jeff Gilbert gave SU stellar minutes and was close to a hat trick as he pitched in with two goals and one assist. Reserve Alex Giocondi made the most of his opportunity as he added a pair of scoring markers in the late going.
SU's defense played a tremendous game, protecting goalie Joey Galloway while limiting Villanova to just 21 shots all afternoon. Galloway finished with seven saves, a few of them beautiful stops.
SU controlled all statistical categories such as scooping up 44 balls, as compared to the Wildcats 21. The Orange won the battle of the face-offs 19-for-29 and hit perfection in clears going 21-for-21.
Villanova junior Brian Karalunas is regarded as one best of the defensive players in Division I men's lacrosse. But Karalunas, who created 5 turnovers was no match for SU.