MLAX : Syracuse hopes to win Big East title outright with win versus St. John’s Saturday

first_img Published on May 5, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Chris: cjiseman@syr.edu | @chris_iseman Facebook Twitter Google+ John Desko doesn’t want his team to sit back and be complacent with only a part of the Big East championship. For Desko, there’s nothing good about having to share that type of honor.That means it’s time for Syracuse to get selfish.‘We tend to be pretty greedy with things,’ Desko said. ‘We don’t want to share a Big East title. We want to have it to ourselves.’Syracuse gets the chance to win the entire championship outright on Saturday on Senior Day when it takes on St. John’s (4-9, 2-3 Big East) in its final regular season game. With its win over Notre Dame last week, the Orange clinched at least a share of the Big East title. A win over the Red Storm would make No. 1 SU (13-1, 5-0) the outright champion for the second consecutive season, giving it plenty to play for in a game that could turn into an easy victory for the Orange.After beating the Irish in a game the Orange considered its biggest of the season, Syracuse is going into its matchup against St. John’s preparing to see the Storm’s best. St. John’s has played well enough in several games this season to be on the verge of several more victories than currently appear in the Red Storm’s record. And those close losses came against good teams.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textOn April 16, St. John’s was tied with then-No. 2 Notre Dame heading into the fourth quarter, but gave up three goals to the Irish to lose 10-7. A week after that, the Storm had a two-goal lead on then-No. 11 Villanova going into the final quarter, but yielded four goals to lose 11-9.Seeing the results of those games keeps Syracuse from overlooking the Storm and already setting its sights on the playoffs. Not to mention the conference championship that’s riding on the game, as well as a possible No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.‘This games means a lot,’ attack JoJo Marasco said. ‘You can’t have a let-down. We’re going to go out there and play our best game. … No. 1 is definitely what we want. Also, winning Big East two years in a row would be great.’Coming off its victory over the Fighting Irish that gave it the top spot in the rankings again, the Orange knows there’s always the possibility of a letdown game. The emotions aren’t the same in preparing to play a team that’s five games below .500, no matter how close it might have come against some good teams in the past couple of weeks.Still, Syracuse has seen what happens when it lowers its expectations and intensity after winning some of the season’s biggest games. Early on in the year, the Orange beat then-No. 2 Virginia 12-10, and then barely got by Georgetown 9-8 in an overtime victory in the next game.‘We learned that from the Virginia game,’ midfielder Jovan Miller said. ‘We beat them, and then had a little bit of a hangover going into the Georgetown game. We really felt like they came out more intense than us. So, we learned from that.’Miller and Syracuse have also learned from something else they’ve seen this season. Miller said he’s expecting the Red Storm to stall the ball or drop into a zone defense to try to slow Syracuse down. That’s what teams have done against SU all season to try to win the. The only way to combat that, Miller said, is for the Orange to execute its own game plan as best it can.If it doesn’t, Syracuse could be in for a shocking loss in the team’s final regular season game. But Desko knows what a win could do for the team heading into the postseason.‘St. John’s is a big game,’ Desko said. ‘We just want to feel good going into the playoffs. We’d like to play well like we did the week before. Continue playing, trying to get 60 minutes of ball out of the guys and have us gear up for the first playoff game.’Desko still recovering from injuryFor the sixth straight game, Syracuse will be without its third attack Tim Desko. The junior suffered a knee injury against Duke back on April 3, and then re-injured it the following week against Princeton. An infection that has since developed on the knee has made Desko’s recovery even more complicated and uncertain.John Desko said Wednesday before his team’s practice that Tim will hopefully be able to come off antibiotics ‘very soon,’ possibly next week. At that point, John Desko said, they will see what Tim Desko can do physically to gauge when a possible return could take place.‘I don’t have an exact timeline,’ John Desko said. ‘Everybody’s different with those types of things.’cjiseman@syr.educenter_img Commentslast_img read more