Clu is back with another scintillating edition of the Salt City Weekly.
After taking a week off to let some news develop in the land of the Orange, I was able to get the low down on a whole lot of action that went on. We had some big wins in mens basketball and will also be talking womens’ hoops for a change! Oh and in case you missed it, Syracuse football accomplished something for the first time in nearly 10 years. And of course we cant forget all of the other SU sports too! So heres what you missed…
SU Soccer Stars Named to All-Freshman Team
So in light of a tremendous season by the SU Men’s soccer team that had made it all the way to the sweet 16 in the NCAA tourney, the Orange received word that two of their Freshmen were named to the All-Freshman team. Goalkeeper Bono was named to First Team All-Freshman, while classmate Jordan Vale earned a spot on the Third Team All- Freshman squad. Bono started 20 matches for Syracuse in the 2012 season, recording 10 shutouts and 79 saves. The freshman goalie was also named to the Big East Goalkeeper of the week three times during this season, which was also a Syracuse record. Bono posted a career high 8 saves in his two NCAA Tournament appearances (vs. #19 VCU and #6 Georgetown). Vale, meanwhile, started in every match for the Orange this year and finished the 2012 season as their squad’s leading scorer. His 9 goals are the most for an SU freshman since Kirk Johnson did it in the 2000 season with 9 goals as well. His 21 total points are also the most for a first year player since 2001. Both players were key in getting the Orange to the 3rd round of the NCAA tournament in 2012 (as previously stated), which was also the furthest that SU soccer has gone in school history. Bono and Vale will be key players if Syracuse is to continue their success in the 2013 season.
Women’s Hoops Bows Out to Temple, Goes to 7-1 on the Year
Switching it up a little bit now, I figured that I would talk about the Syracuse women’s basketball team which has been impressive early on this season. They headed into Philly to take on the Temple Owls holding a 7-0 record. All seemed to be clicking, as the Lady orange were on a 14-0 run and cruised into halftime holding a 39-25 lead. However, the Owls started their comeback immediately with a 12-0 run to start the half and cut the lead to two. They shot near 60% overall in the second frame. Victoria Macauley scored 14 of her game-high 20 points in the second half to lead the comeback. The Orange were also out-rebounded by the Owls 48-32, and 25-13 in the second half. Cuse was led by Philly native Carmen Tyson-Thomas who had 18 points on 8 of 13 shooting. Seniors Kayla Alexander and Elashier Hall also chipped in with 12 points a piece. After the tough loss, Syracuse goes to 7-1 while Temple’s record goes to 5-2, Syracuse now heads home to open up a 5 game home-stand.
Southerland Leads SU Past Arkansas in Big East/SEC Challenge
Now I’m sure you are aware that the Syracuse basketball has been one of the most watched teams in recent college basketball history. Last Friday, they showed us why that is the case. In the Friday night matchup for the Big East/SEC Challenge, the Orange traveled to the University of Arkansas to face a very tough Razorbacks hoops team in a very hostile arena. Syracuse was led by senior James Southerland who put up redic numbers off of the bench. The Bayside, Queens native led Syracuse in scoring with 35 points, contributed to 35 of the Orange bench points (40), and he tied a school record with 9 three pointers, shooting 9 of 13 from beyond the arc. Triche and Michael Carter-Williams added 17 points each and C.J. Fair chipped in with 12. The Orange led by as many as 15 points in the first half, which was due in large part to Southerland’s hot hand. SU overcame an early onslaught from the Razorbacks, who were fueled by the emotions coming off of the fans, who were all primed for an upset over the top ranked ‘Cuse.
The Razorbacks were able to close the gap to 2, at 43-41, early in the second half, but SU answered with a 14-1 run and went up 57-42. Yes you guessed it….it was sparked once again by James Southerland. The run would put the Orange ahead for good as Southerland connected for his sixth and seventh three pointers of the game. Hey what can I say? the man was on fire all night. This was the only the second meeting between the two schools, with the only other time coming way back in 1995 NCAA tournament. Arkansas would go on to win that second round game in OT. The win for Syracuse was coach Jim Boeheim’s 895th career victory. He would go on to record his 896th victory monday night over Eastern Michigan, moving even closer to the coveted 900 win mark.
SU Football Crowned Big East Champs, Set to Face West Virginia in Pinstripe Bowl
Yes you read that right everyone! Syracuse Orange football (7-5, 5-2) won a share of the 2012 Big East championship (along with Cinci, Rutgers and Louisville). Its the first time that there has been a four way tie in the Big East since 2004, which also happens to be the last time that Syracuse won the Big East title. With that being said, the Orange ended up ranked #4 in the Big East and were selected to represent the conference in the 2012 New Era Pinstripes Bowl, where they face former Big East rival West Virginia (7-5, 4-5 in Big 12).
West Virginia you say? Why they sound awfully familiar….in case you guys don’t remember anything about ’em, the Mountaineers bolted from the Big East after the 2011 season (following the exodus of both Syracuse & Pitt, who will be playing in the ACC in 2013). WVU elected to go into the Big 12 because, since they were one of the top teams in the Big East for such a long time, they must have figured “hey we want to show we can hang with the real teams in the Big 12!” My how the mighty have fallen…West Virginia held its own this year until they got into the thick of conference play. Long story short, they couldn’t hang with those big boys of the Big 12 and ended up with a 4-5 in-conference record (at one point they had lost 5 straight).They did manage to reel off two wins at the end of the year against Iowa State and Kansas, but both teams finished dead last in the Big 12 conference.
West Virginia and Syracuse used to be hated rivals in the Big East. While the rivalry might have faded due to the lack of competitiveness from the Orange over the past decade, Syracuse managed to upset WVU in each of the past two seasons, so perhaps they could have made this rivalry somewhat relevant again had WVU not left the conference. If you want to learn more about the history of this rivalry, check out my Rivalry trophy series post I did about it!
West Virginia is an offensive juggernaut for sure, and are led by Senior QB Geno Smith. This guy put up some godly numbers for West Virginia, and believe me, Syracuse has his photo on a white board somewhere as public enemy no.1. Stopping him will be key for Syracuse if they want to win their second Pinstripes Bowl in three years. The Orange do have some offensive weapons of their own in QB Ryan Nassib, and WRs Alec Lemon and Marcus Sales. The winner of this year’s Pinstripes Bowl will have to figure out how to contain the opposing team’s offensive attack, because both teams are extraordinarily good on the offensive side of the ball. I expect to see a high scoring game here.
For Syracuse, as previously stated, this will be their second appearance in the Pinstripes Bowl in three years. Their first appearance was in the inaugural bowl game back in the 2010 season, when they won a 36-34 thriller against Kansas State. While the opponent may be different, the Orange will once again have an uphill battle against the Mountaineers. Syracuse has faced many challenges over the course of this season and has been picked to lose in almost every one of those games, but in the words of Indians Manager Lou Brown: they “figured we ought to hang around for a while and see if we can give ’em all a nice big shit-burger to eat!” This bag of Oranges is a special and talented group of players who have battled all season long, set numerous team records, and even when people wrote them off as nobodies, they worked hard won some tough games. They have gotten Syracuse back into bowl contention and it should make for a very exciting Pinstripes Bowl.
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