Carolina stuns No. 1 Syracuse, 14-10

March 07, 1993|By Larry Keech | Larry Keech,Contributing Writer

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- The nine lacrosse coaches responsible for Syracuse's No. 1 ranking in the USILA's preseason poll

neglected to take the schedule into account.

No. 3-ranked North Carolina ambushed the Orangemen, 14-10, in their opener yesterday.

Coaches Dave Klarmann of North Carolina and Roy Simmons of Syracuse agreed that southern sunshine, a spongy grass field and a Tar Heels team with two games under its belt placed the Orangemen at a disadvantage.

"We weren't in our element," said Simmons. "We're a speed team, and our weather hasn't allowed us to practice outside the Carrier Dome. The grass took its toll on us, and we ran out of steam."

It was in the third quarter that Carolina's balanced attack seized control of the game with four straight goals and the Orangemen's legs began to betray them.

The Tar Heels' surge began after Syracuse's Jamie Archer had broken a 7-7 halftime tie by beating UNC goalie Billy Daye for a neat, wraparound goal in extra-man offense.

But when UNC midfielder Ryan Wade took a pass from Dan Levy and tied the game for the sixth time, they became the first two of seven Tar Heels who accounted for four straight goals and an 11-8 lead.

It was 12-9 when the period ended. Then UNC's defense and ball-control tactics stymied the Orangemen in the final quarter.

Most notable among the five Tar Heels who scored two goals apiece was senior attackman Steve Speers, who also had three assists.

Speers is from Fayetteville, N.Y., a Syracuse suburb, so he had additional incentive to play well against the Orangemen.

"I was recruited by Syracuse, but I was a Tar Heel basketball fan, and I wanted to come south to better weather," Speers said. "If Carolina hadn't recruited me, I don't know what I would have done."

Speers received plenty of assistance from teammates from the Baltimore area including John Webster (two goals, two assists), Levy (two goals, one assist) and Wade (two goals).

Although Syracuse retained six of nine All-Americans from the team that was beaten by Princeton, 10-9, in two overtimes for the 1992 NCAA title, Simmons said his team misses three-time All-America attackman Tom Marachek.

"We have a tradition of scorers that dates back to native American players many years ago," Simmons said. "More

recently, we've had Canadians like the Gait brothers and Marachek. But this year, we don't have any Canadians or native Americans.

"So we can't just go out and outscore opponents. We're going to need some single-digit defensive efforts. We needed one today."

A year ago, Syracuse beat Carolina, 15-10, at the Carrier Dome. And before Princeton's 1992 NCAA triumph, Syracuse, Carolina and Johns Hopkins had shared 14 straight titles -- six for Hopkins

and four each for Syracuse and UNC.

Syracuse 4 3 2 1 -- 10

North Carolina 4 3 5 2 -- 14

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