SU women’s lacrosse looks to get out of rut as Big East play opens against Rutgers

first_img Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on March 24, 2010 at 12:00 pmcenter_img Just a week ago, the Syracuse women’s lacrosse team was sitting pretty. It had beaten then-No. 10 Towson on March 17 by an eight-goal margin and was approaching a battle with the best team in the nation. Traveling across the country to Christian Brothers Academy in Jamesville, N.Y., was top-ranked Northwestern.And for 58 of the 60 minutes in that game against the Wildcats Sunday, the Orange continued it success. At the end of the first half, SU led 10-7 thanks to a Jackie DePetris goal with 19 seconds remaining. Michelle Tumolo couldn’t hold in the pent-up elation any longer.The freshman attack sprinted to the sidelines, jumped into her teammate’s arms and let out a spirited shout. It encapsulated the moment for both teams, as Northwestern was behind for the first time all year.But those last two minutes of the game did in the Orange, as the Wildcats came back to win, 13-12. Three days later, a different Syracuse team showed up. No. 11 Dartmouth came to SU and trounced the Orange Wednesday.So, one week later, a different vibe has engulfed the team, as No. 7 Syracuse (4-3) limps into its Big East conference schedule. The Orange will face Rutgers (6-2, 0-1 Big East) in the Carrier Dome Sunday at 1 p.m.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textGone were the celebratory sprints to the sidelines. They were replaced by slow, somber steps to the locker room.‘I don’t think anyone is really happy with a loss, and we had an opportunity to win the game,’ SU head coach Gary Gait said. ‘But we just didn’t get the job done.’The disappointing loss to the Big Green was only one part of SU’s hell week. The past five days have consisted of many blows. Along with the two losses, SU lost captain Lindsay Rogers to a knee injury. It remains unclear how long the defender will be out. In the immediate future, the truth is apparent — someone will need to step up defensively to stop the current drought of losses. ‘At this point, we were playing lots of defenders,’ Gait said. ‘You know, we’ll respond and the players will step up. We have a couple players that are ready to step into that role and try and fill her shoes. It’ll be tough, but they’ll do their best.’The team’s poor performance during the last five days could fester moving forward with the injury. And with Big East play starting, it won’t get any easier. It all starts with a very formidable Scarlet Knights team.Rutgers is no slouch. It was ranked No. 18 earlier in the season.‘This year we have a very tough Big East schedule,’ senior attack Halley Quillinan said on Feb. 17. ‘We’re really lucky that we have the strength of schedule that we do, and it prepares you a bit for the NCAA tournament.’The contest with Rutgers begins SU’s quest to defend last season’s Big East title, which it shared with Georgetown. SU was picked to finish second in the Big East this season with Georgetown pegged in the No. 1 position. The Orange received 57 points in the preseason poll to Georgetown’s 59.Despite the losses, the team has the highest ranking among its Big East foes. Notre Dame, Georgetown, Loyola and Louisville are the others to crack the polls.‘The goal is to build on what we’ve done this year,’ Gait said Tuesday. ‘We’re ready for the Big East, and this group is starting to get a taste of what they’re all about and they want to show that they are a great team.’But building anything with an injury is never easy. And seven days after a game filled with bliss against the best team in the country, SU is back down to earth. Back down to earth with the rest of the Big East.‘You have to be ready for the next thing,’ DePetris said. ‘You don’t have a week off to relax and take it easy. You just have to go right into the next opponent.’[email protected]last_img