A combination of poor defense and terrible play at the X ends the Orange’s lacrosse season in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
WHAT HAPPENED: The Duke Blue Devils came out firing. The Orange went down 0-3 early in the game but scored right before the end of the quarter to avoid being shut out during the first 15-minutes of play. Syracuse surged back and trailed by just one-goal going into halftime. The Orange came out of the locker room and tied the game up but then crumbled. Duke went on a four-goal run as a part of a six-goal third quarter. Syracuse couldn’t mount another comeback and fell short. The Blue Devils advance to the second round of the tournament with a 12-9 victory.
WHAT IT MEANS: Consistency has been a problem for the Orange all year. Today, Syracuse couldn’t put together a good 60-minutes of lacrosse. After the team surged at the end of the first half, it had the momentum going into the third quarter. But that momentum was soon crushed by a 2-for-10 performance at the X. It’s almost impossible to beat a team that dominates the possession like Duke did today. When Syracuse scored a goal, it was important for the defense to get a stop so the Orange could get a run going. That never happened. The defense wore down and was exposed by Duke in the second half.
The season is over and Syracuse says goodbye to its seniors. After a disappointing season that was salvaged by a Big East Tournament victory, the Orange couldn’t continue its post season magic. The team played a lot of freshmen and sophomores this season and has a bright future ahead.
STAR GAZING: The two stars of the game are the face off guys from Duke. Brendan Fowler and Greg DeLuca dominated at the X today and a huge part of the victory can be credited to that. The two picked up a combined 17-of-24.
WHAT’S NEXT: The Orange will head home and watch the rest of the NCAA Tournament from home before buckling down and getting ready for next season.Ben Glidden