Inside Syracuse's Latest Schedule Scramble

PHOTO BY JOHN STROHSACKER


Syracuse faced a bit of a pandemic-fueled conundrum earlier this week. Knowing Hofstra — which was scheduled to visit the Carrier Dome on Saturday — couldn’t play because of a positive COVID-19 test, the Orange had two options.

One was to find a replacement opponent on short notice, an ideal choice to keep sharp for a team averaging 18 goals per game during its three-game winning streak. Or it could take an open date in advance of next Thursday’s trip to Duke, which is not playing this week.

“We discussed that because it’s a short week next week, and it probably would have made sense,” said coach John Desko, who ultimately added Holy Cross to the schedule. “We kind of had to weigh out not playing for that number of days. Then for the guys, too, they want to play games and it’s here in the Carrier Dome, so it’ll be dry and fast. I think it’ll be a good pickup.”

It will be the first meeting ever between Syracuse (3-1) and the Crusaders (1-2), who were supposed to play at Army on Saturday before the Black Knights’ pause shelved that game. The Holy Cross-Syracuse game will fill the noon window on the ACC Network that Hofstra-Syracuse originally occupied.

Desko said Lehigh, which has actively sought a game for this weekend with some social media advertising in recent days, was an alternate possibility.

“If Holy Cross couldn’t have come, we probably would have played Lehigh, although there was some discussion amongst the coaching staff to take the weekend off,” Desko said. “I think probably the timing is good for Holy Cross. We talked to them first, and they responded within the timeline and gave us a positive answer.”

Postponements have unsurprisingly become a regular component of this season through Division I. Five games last Saturday were shelved due to COVID issues (a sixth, Georgetown-Denver, was postponed due to snow but played Tuesday).

There are four more postponements due to positive tests this week (Holy Cross-Army, Siena-Quinnipiac, Hofstra-Syracuse and Denver-Villanova) and two tied to school-mandated pauses (Navy-Lafayette and Marist-Monmouth). St. Bonaventure-Canisius was also postponed as part of the Metro Atlantic’s juggling to find an opponent for every team able to play. Both the Bonnies and Golden Griffins will play alternate opponents Saturday.







NUMBERS OF NOTE

0

Johns Hopkins didn’t allow a goal (or a shot, for that matter) in the third quarter of Saturday’s 13-6 defeat of Penn State. It was the first time the Blue Jays held a team scoreless for a quarter since March 2, 2012, when it shut out Princeton in the second quarter of a 10-8 victory.

11

There are 11 undefeated teams remaining in Division I entering the weekend. In addition to Duke (8-0), Maryland (4-0) and North Carolina (7-0) — all of which have won a national title in the last decade — Binghamton (1-0), Lehigh (3-0), Marist (1-0), UMass (1-0), Monmouth (2-0), Navy (2-0), Notre Dame (2-0) and UMBC (2-0) all have unblemished records.

20

Villanova hit the 20-goal plateau for the first time in five years when it handled St. John’s 20-8 on Sunday behind Patrick Daly’s five goals. The last time the Wildcats scored 20 goals in a game was March 5, 2016, when they defeated Delaware 23-13.

26

Siena goalie Christopher Yanchoris made 26 saves in the Saints’ 7-6 overtime loss to Monmouth on Saturday, the most of any Division I goalie in a game since Providence’s Tate Boyce made 27 stops against Saint Joseph’s on Feb. 23, 2019.

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