With a possible NCAA Tournament berth on the line, the Orange couldn’t take down the Fighting Irish in South Bend, Ind., losing 8-6.
WHAT HAPPENED: It was a tale of two halves for Syracuse. The first half was a nightmare. It was the worst half of lacrosse the Orange have played all season. The team went scoreless and Notre Dame took a 4-0 lead into the half. Coach John Desko must have lit a fire under the players during halftime because the Orange came out firing in the second half. Syracuse scored six goals to Notre Dame’s four, but that wasn’t enough. Syracuse came within one goal but the Fighting Irish always responded and wouldn’t let the Orange tie the game up.
WHAT IT MEANS: This was a must-win game for the Orange. It would have been a huge resume builder for the NCAA Tournament. A loss today means Syracuse needs to win the Big East tournament next weekend in order to clinch a bid to the big dance. The Orange face the hosting school, Villanova, in the first round of the tournament. The Wildcats defeated Syracuse earlier this season at the Carrier Dome.
There weren’t many positives to take away from the loss, but if I had to choose one, it would be the progress of Bobby Wardwell. He kept the Orange in the game today, especially in the second half. He made some great saves and really established himself as the Syracuse goalkeeper of the future. He will be around for the next few years and his confidence in net will be a huge help to this team.
STAR GAZING: John Kemp was incredible in net for the Fighting Irish today. He’s one of the best (if not the best) goalkeepers in the country and he showed why today. On the other side of the ball, Tim Desko had a couple goals and showed off his flair with an impressive between the legs goal.
WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse will play Villanova in the Big East championship at Villanova on Thursday, May 3 at 7 p.m. TV: ESPN3.