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Orange Sports

Curious end to streak

Posted Wednesday, May 18, 2005 by John Desko

With no "22" on the field, SU's final-four lacrosse run ended at 22 years.

For those inclined to believe in karma or kismet, Syracuse University's lacrosse fate was sealed in the stars.

The Orange had participated in 22 consecutive final fours. For 22 years, teams wearing Syracuse uniforms had survived the preamble leading to the college game's biggest stage and earned a chance to win a national championship.

Twenty-two. That was the operative number.

Once Gary Gait pulled the jersey over his broad, brilliant shoulders for the first time as a Syracuse sophomore in 1988, No. 22 became Syracuse's signature lacrosse number.

Gait wore it. Charlie Lockwood wore it. The trio of Powells, starting with Casey and continuing through Ryan and Mike, wore it. All were named to multiple All-America teams.

When Mike Powell completed his eligibility last season, when he left SU as a two-time Tewaaraton Trophy winner and a four-time first-team All-American, the number stayed on the Syracuse shelf, as much a tribute to its luster as to the burden of its legacy.

And now, one of the more remarkable streaks in college sports has ended at 22.

Coincidence? Some don't think so.

"It's nuts," Lockwood said. "If it ended at No. 21 or No. 23 or 24, I don't think it would be as weird a topic. But the first year there isn't a 22 on the field, the streak ends at 22. It's kind of eerie."

"No one was wearing 22 and it was almost fitting, the streak ending at 22," said Devin Darcangelo, an SU attackman from 1997 to 2000. "I think a lot of alumni had the feeling that it was going to happen this year. And we'd never had that feeling before."

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