Friday, April 3, 2009

A battle of lax giants at Giants Stadium

On Saturday afternoon at 2:30 p.m., the No. 5 men's lacrosse team faces off against No. 2 Syracuse in a prime time venue for a prime time matchup.

To be sure, the battle against Syracuse at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., will be Princeton's most difficult game of the season as of yet. The Tigers vs. the Orange is one of three matchups taking place at this Saturday's first-ever Inside Lacrosse Big City Classic, which will showcase some of the best lacrosse teams in the nation. Before Princeton plays Syracuse, No. 1 Virginia takes the field against No. 10 North Carolina and No. 7 Hofstra competes against Delaware.

Syracuse, the defending national champion, is currently ranked No. 2 in the nation for several reasons. For one, the Orange possess an outstanding and athletic midfield, which could be its greatest weapon heading into this game. According to Vikram Rao, a senior sports writer for The Daily Princetonian, Syracuse midfielder Matt Abbott is a capable player who does a little bit of everything, helping out in all aspects of the game. Princeton head coach Bill Tierney labelled Abbott as "one of the fastest guys in Division I lacrosse," in Rao's Princeton-Syracuse preview article.

But the Tiger midfield should not be overlooked. Senior midfielder Rich Sgalardi has been playing excellently as of late, recording two goals and three assists in Princeton's 11-7 victory over Yale last Saturday in New Haven, Conn.

The battle between the pipes should also be an interesting one, as both teams possess the ability to score. Tiger freshman goalie Tyler Fiorito has played well thus far this season and he will need to continue to make key saves this Saturday against the Orange. For Syracuse, John Galloway will anchor the defense and try to stop Princeton's offense, which ranks sixth in scoring this season.

Be sure to look for live updates from the Sideline Dispatches blog, which will be updated from Giants Stadium by our very own Prince sports writers.

And, if you are looking for something new and different to do on campus this weekend, head down to DeNunzio Pool to watch the women's water polo team close out its regular season against a talented Maryland squad on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. The Tigers are coming off a Thursday evening 7-4 victory over Wagner, and they have another tough game against Bucknell in Lewisburg, Pa., tonight.