Princeton and Syracuse is perhaps the greatest rivalry in college lacrosse. The two have battled for numerous national championships, and were both considered dynasties in the glory days of the late 1990s and 2000s.
This year, the rivalry again takes center stage as the No. 8 Syracuse Orange make the trip to central New Jersey to take on No. 7 Princeton.
Both teams enter the game with a 6-2 record. Syracuse has losses to Albany and Villanova, while Princeton has fallen to North Carolina and Penn.
For Syracuse, the loss to Villanova was a bit of a shocker, although 'Nova has proven to have talent this year. The loss to Albany by one to open the season is not looking as bad since the Great Danes beat Johns Hopkins on the road last night.
Princeton's 16-15 loss to UNC was a tough one in Chapel Hill. Putting up 15 goals was encouraging, but a loss is a loss. The loss to Penn was detrimental as far as the Ivy League goes, but with snow, sleet, rain, and an hour-long lightning delay, the game was sloppy to say the least.
Tonight, these two teams will look to put a signature win on their tournament resume. Right now, Syracuse's biggest victories are over Hopkins and St. John's, with St. John's ranked No. 10 in this week's poll. Princeton's big wins are over Yale and Hopkins, but neither are ranked in the Top 10.
A win tonight would boost either team's ranking, while a loss would be detrimental if Syracuse and Princeton do not get automatic qualifiers by winning their leagues.
Who will win this match-up?
Princeton is led by an arsenal of offensive threats. All-American Tom Schreiber has been helped by Jeff Frocarro, Ryan Ambler and Mike MacDonald in a big way this year. Their ability to score in high volume has allowed Schreiber to become a pass-first midfielder, although he also has one of the toughest shots to stop in the country.
Syracuse is led by Jojo Marasco and Kevin Rice on offense. They are both crafty attackers that can score in a heartbeat. A young Princeton defense will have to stand tough early to help their team keep pace.
Justin Murphy has been huge for Princeton at the face-off X recently. He has helped stabilize a unit that had been struggling for the past few years at Princeton. Syracuse has been mediocre on their draws, and will look to control the pace of play tonight away from home.
My call of the game can be heard on 103.3 WPRB FM in Central New Jersey. It will be televised nationally on ESPNU. Face-off is set for 5 p.m.