Syracuse edges Army at the Dome

I got talked into driving to Syracuse this past Sunday, the hotspot of upstate New York in the middle of winter. Actually, the weather was pretty nice and the matchup of the day was even better: No. 6 Syracuse hosting Army in a college lacrosse showdown at the Carrier Dome. This was my first trip to the Dome (my mom and uncle both went to ‘Cuse) and it was a nice day, especially since my man Tommy was behind the wheel for those 7 hours of highway.

Syracuse entered the game ranked No. 6 nationally in the ESPN/Inside Lacrosse poll, which I guess is considered to be the authoritative rankings right now. Another NCAA poll had the Orange at No. 6 and another had them at No. 1. Army, which beat Syracuse two years ago, wasn’t in the top 25 coming into the game, but played like a top-10 team on this day.

Here’s a recap of the game with one of my photos, plus there’s a link to a photo gallery of images from Tommy and I. Also, click on each photo here to view it larger an as a gallery!

Lacrosse is more of a northeast sport, with schools like Duke, North Carolina and Virginia among the elite as well, but nationally, it lacks coverage and interest. It’s great to shoot and watch in person, and Army really stepped up their game for this one.

In terms of shooting, the Dome was better than advertised when it comes to lighting. The white roof helps add some sunlight to the place, but it comes off looking like you’re outside on a cloudy day. I was around ISO 2000-2500 and 1/1000th shutter @ f/2.8 for this one, with a custom Kelvin temperature white balance from 3900-4200 depending on the light coming through the roof. No shadows.

Most of the place was empty (it’s a huge building that also hosts ice hockey, basketball, soccer, football and whatever else they have going on up there). A lot of the empty bleachers had orange Syracuse padding, so that allowed for some nice orange backgrounds in some angles, like this:

We heard beforehand that Syracuse had invited 600 soldiers from nearby Fort Drum to the game, which made me expect to have some nice shots of those fellas in uniform in the background. Either they didn’t show, or they didn’t come dressed up, I’m not sure. Either way, this image seems appropriate as the Army player has the 10th Mountain Division patch on his sleeve (based in Fort Drum, N.Y.):

Here’s a vertical fisheye shot of the Dome, you can see the middle section of the roof is brighter, or more see-through, so to speak. It wasn’t enough light to overpower the indoor lighting, but it made for a natural look:

Here’s senior Conor Hayes, who’s mom Claire comes to all the games and shoots alongside us. Conor scored a clutch goal in the final seconds of the first half to really show Army was capable of shocking the Orange:

Another nice orange background with some additional light drop-off:

Evan Danahy is Army’s backup goalie and probably never plays, but I caught him in warmups with this big grin and thought it was a nice moment:

Garrett Thul is a monster on the Army offense. Here he is diving for a ball as it bounces out of bounds:

Senior goalie Zach Palmieri stepped up in this game:

This was a nice trip as I’d never spent much time in Syracuse besides driving through it on the way to fishing trips. Tommy and I left West Point around 8:45am and took Route 17 up to 81-N for about three and a half hours to the city. I grabbed my media pass at Gate B and made it up to the press box by noon for the 2pm game. After some lunch, we took the field and got ready. The Carrier Dome is much, much nicer than FedEx Field, the Redskins’ home and the venue of this past season’s Army-Navy football game. Incredible how an NFL team in DC could play in such a dump, but this college — literally the middle of farmland and nothing for miles and miles — has a top-notch facility, and one that isn’t new or shiny.

I also got some scenic trips down memory lane as we passed through Roscoe, Deposit, Hancock, Fish’s Eddy, Calicoon and all these tiny towns I used to frequent with my dad growing up on fishing trips. (These days my dad is on a mission to destroy his family and get rich, so sadly, the fishing trip memories are all I have at this point). Back to lacrosse:

JoJo Marasco is Syracuse’s best player and one of the top players nationally. Evidently the fact he wears No. 22 is a big deal in the program — some former greats have worn it and the team uses it as a recruiting gimmick of sorts to attract some big talent.

Hope you enjoyed the shots. Be sure to check out Tommy’s gallery here on LaxAllStars.com

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