With loss to Virginia, Syracuse lacrosse hurts its NCAA chances

Tucker Dordevic
Tucker Dordevic looks up field during the first half of Syracuse lacrosse's game. Mandatory Photo Credit: The Juice Online, Initra Marilyn.

A quick take on Syracuse’s heart-wrenching 11-10 loss to Virginia in the semifinals of the ACC Tournament on Friday evening in Charlottesville, Va.:

WHAT HAPPENED: After Mike D’Amario beat Dom Madonna with 1:36 left to give Virginia an 11-9 lead, the Orange responded in dramatic fashion nine seconds later when Seth DeLisle won the faceoff and was rewarded two passes later by Nate Solomon to pull the Orange to within a goal. But the Orange couldn’t equalize with four seconds left, and Virginia snapped a four-game losing streak against SU. It was a tight game throughout, with neither team holding more than a two-goal lead.

» Related: Syracuse lacrosse plays in ACC Tourney with NCAA bid in mind

ANALYSIS: Syracuse’s postseason resume took a hit with the early exit. Though the Orange went a perfect 4-0 in regular season conference play, it was 3-5 out of conference with lopsided losses to Albany and Johns Hopkins and has also lost three of its last four. Still, Syracuse coach John Desko didn’t want to speculate on if SU would miss the NCAA Tournament. “So many things change in every weekend now,” he said. “We still have a game to play.” Desko said before the weekend that the biggest things the NCAA Selection Committee has taken into account recently are head-to-head matchups, injuries and how a team has finished the season.

HERO: Freshman midfielder Matt Moore set a career-high with four goals while Michael Kraus added five points on two goals and three assists. Alex Rode chipped in with 10 saves. Stephen Rehfuss scored a pair of goals an added an assist for the Orange.

ZERO: The two teams last met on March 4 when the Orange narrowly edged the Cavaliers 12-11. In that game, the Orange took 16 of 27 faceoffs. That wasn’t the case on Saturday, with Virginia winning 18 0f 25 at the X. Dan Varello went just 4-15 while DeLisle was only slightly better (3-10).

WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse closes out the regular season against upstate rival Colgate on May 5 at 2 p.m. at the Carrier Dome. The Raiders finished the regular season 7-6, and lost in the quarterfinals of the Patriot league against Lehigh, 11-6 on Tuesday.

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Wes Cheng
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Wes has worked for Rivals.com covering the New York Knicks, as well as for Scout.com covering Syracuse athletics. Wes has also worked for the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) and reported on the NBA and MLB for the New York Sportscene. A native of Long Island, New York, Wes graduated from Syracuse University in 2005. Follow him on Twitter @ChengWes.