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Feb. 23, 2016 — An unusual bracketing

Last Sunday, the Syracuse University women’s lacrosse team did something which, in the grand scheme of things, has actually become routine for them. In fact, they did the same thing the previous weekend.

What the Orangewomen did on Sunday was play two regular-season games in one day. Here’s an account of the 10 hours in the Carrier Dome that day, which also included a Top 10 showdown between the Syracuse men and the University at Albany.

Aside from baseball, softball, water polo, and some individual pursuits such as track and field, wrestling, and swimming, it’s difficult to imagine playing two contests in a single day in any team sport on the collegiate level.

And this especially goes for men’s lacrosse, where full contact is allowed within a certain distance of the ball, meaning that coaches would rather schedule matches during the winter than have to play a Wednesday match and risk injury to a key team member.

Gary Gait, of course, is the Syracuse women’s head coach. And he’s one of the greatest male players in the history of the sport. He’s always thinking, always innovating. I cannot help but think these doubleheaders aren’t an accident, but more of a demonstration.

The demonstration could be interpreted as a show of the Orange’s depth (the current roster has 51 players on it). It could be an experiment as to the number of injuries (overuse or impact) occur during these doubleheader games.

But what I’m hoping is that it is a demonstration that more women’s lacrosse games should be scheduled during the week, and not to limit competition to single games on Saturdays or Sundays, just like the men do, over the course of several months.

Which, of course, would take February games out of the equation. Not a bad goal.

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