WLAX : After historic regular season, Orange preps for matchup with Hoyas in Big East tournament

first_img Published on May 2, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact David: [email protected] | @DBWilson2 When the final whistle sounded at the end of Syracuse’s 18-3 victory over Villanova, the celebration began. The Orange huddled around the Big East regular season trophy on the sideline for a team picture to commemorate the most successful regular season in SU history.But that’s already a distant memory for Syracuse. The Orange still has bigger goals to accomplish.‘As soon as the last game ended it was on to the next one,’ SU goalkeeper Alyssa Costantino said. ‘We’re just really focused on (Thursday’s) game.’Top-seeded Syracuse (15-2, 8-0 Big East) begins its quest for its first goal on the list Thursday at 8:15 p.m. against fourth-seeded No. 16 Georgetown (9-7, 5-3) in the Carrier Dome in the semifinals of the Big East tournament. The winner of that game will face the winner of the 5:30 p.m. semifinal between No. 2 seed Loyola (Md.) and No. 3 seed Notre Dame in the Big East Championship final Saturday at 1 p.m. in the Dome with an automatic berth to the NCAA tournament on the line.A season ago, the Big East tournament was do-or-die for Syracuse after a mediocre regular season. The Orange fell in the semifinals to the then-No. 9 Greyhounds, ending its season.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThis season, SU is among the top teams in the country, but the Big East tournament is still another step toward achieving its ultimate goal in the NCAA tournament.‘We’re treating it the same way as we did last year because you never know what’s going to happen,’ SU attack Michelle Tumolo said. ‘… Each game counts and is as important as the last one.’Syracuse came into the season aiming to win the Big East regular season and tournament championships while also contending for the national championship.SU attack Kailah Kempney said the conference tournament is just one more challenge for the team to prepare it for the NCAA tournament. This weekend could help decide the Orange’s seeding in the NCAA tournament.Syracuse is ranked No. 2 in both major polls and received a first-place vote in the IWLCA coaches poll. That, coupled with being No. 2 in NCAA Women’s Lacrosse RPI, has SU in position to likely claim the No. 2 overall seed in NCAA tournament if it can add the Big East tournament title to its resume.No. 1 Northwestern, who defeated the Orange in overtime in February, will likely earn the top seed in the NCAA tournament.But Syracuse is focused on this Thursday first.All season long the SU players have stressed taking one game at a time, only discussing the next game on the schedule.Right now, that game is against Georgetown in the conference tournament semifinals.Though the Orange blew out the Hoyas 22-11 when the two played for the first time on April 14, SU head coach Gary Gait expects this GU team to be different than the one Syracuse blew off the Dome field that day. Gait has told his team that Georgetown’s performance was one of its worst of the regular season and that the Orange should expect the Hoyas to come out with a vengeance.And he knows his team should take the field fired up, too. The regular season and all the success this team had is already in the past.It’s the postseason now, and Gait feels that alone should be enough to motivate his team.‘That’s over already,’ Gait said. ‘That’s the regular season. It’s tournament time.’[email protected] Commentscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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