PHILADELPHIA — A quick take on Syracuse’s disappointing 16-10 loss to Duke in the NCAA championship game on (finally) a beautiful Memorial Day afternoon before a crowd of 28,224 (220 less than Saturday) at Lincoln Financial Field:
WHAT HAPPENED: After jumping out to a 5-0 lead a minute into the 2nd quarter, the Syracuse (16-4) offensive went into a 22 minute scoring drought against an aggressive Duke defense, while first-team All American faceoff specialist Brendan Fowler of the Blue Devils won draw after draw (21 of 30) giving Duke’s offense plenty of time to sizzle, and the Blue Devils (16-5) cashed in. Duke took its first lead with 2:00 left in the 3rd quarter amidst a 7-1 scoring blitz that completely tilted the game, and outscored the ‘Cuse 10-4 in the 2nd half.
WHAT IT MEANS: No dice on the program’s record 12th national championship on this afternoon, which also denied head coach John Desko his sixth national crown and the team a school-record 17th win of the season. It will be interesting the first time the teams play as ACC members next spring, all the pregame talk will look back on this May game, and perhaps a rivalry has been born.
STAR GAZING: A tough game for the final three quarters with such little scoring (four goals after halftime), the defense forced to play so many minutes because of the faceoff disparity, and goalie Dom Lamolinara facing a barrage (46) of shots. We’ll salute the team as the top-seed in the 2013 tournament, and finishing as national runners-up for the sixth time in program history.
WHAT’S NEXT: Preparations for the inaugural season of ACC lacrosse in 2014 with fall practices and scrimmages, before a new annual schedule that will see Duke each year, along with Virginia, North Carolina, Notre Dame, and for one more season at least, Maryland, along with the annual ACC Tournament. Word is Louisville is thinking of eventually adding men’s lacrosse when it replaces Maryland for 2014-15, keeping the ACC at six teams, the minimum for a conference to retain its NCAA automatic qualifier.Brad Bierman (Follow on Twitter @BradBierman)