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When Hofstra’s men’s lacrosse program was interrupted due to COVID-19, Syracuse (3-1, 1-0, Atlantic coast) was no longer an opponent for the next game. And with a game at Duke, arguably the biggest game of the regular season in Syracuse, on the horizon, the Orange needed a new opponent.
That was Holy Cross (1-2, 0-2 Patriot) – the third opponent with no rank that Syracuse faced in succession.
Holy Cross didn’t have a single winning season between 1989 and 2018 (without 2020 when they went 4-3 in the shortened season). The team has hired a new head coach, but it will be a while before results improve on a program with a total of two scholars.
The Crusaders were lucky with their only win of the season. They were outshot and won fewer faceoffs than Sacred Heart, but they were picked up by A.J. Fox ’17 saves.
Against Boston University, Holy Cross was 20-26 and still lost by 10 goals. If one thing is right for the Crusaders, it often doesn’t do much else.
Syracuse hasn’t lost to an unranked team since the 2019 season opener against Colgate. Conversely, Holy Cross isn’t very used to high-ranking opponents – Patriot League enemies Army and Navy are the only consistent ranked teams Holy Cross usually play.
Even when they play poorly, as they did against Vermont, Syracuse is still talented enough to beat intermediate teams. Aside from one of the worst breakdowns in recent sports history, SU against Holy Cross is probably fine.
Syracuse’s offense has to tear apart the Holy Cross defense, which allows for nearly 13 goals per game and not a top all season -25 opponents.
DiNanno is in the top 10 of the Patriot League for goals and points – lists of Brendan Notern and Aidan Byrnes from Army. In three games he has seven goals and nine points, three goals and an assist that Colgate lost in extra time two weeks ago. DiNanno has scored a quarter of the team’s goals in a struggling Crusaders squad.
As a newcomer last season, DiNanno started in all seven games and was second on the team in points, with at least one counted in each game. As a high school student, he was an select from Connecticut All-State and helped Wilton High School in his senior year in the state championship game.
In three games, Holy Cross had a total of 24 sales, which is eight per game. Syracuse averages just over seven and Holy Cross keeps their opponents under six per game. You can flip the ball but have trouble scoring afterwards. They either fail on a clear or they turn the ball over again. Of the 55 total sales by Holy Cross this season, only 17 were caused by an opponent.
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