Chester, Pa. – A quick take on Syracuse’s stinging 15-14 loss against Notre Dame in the ACC championship game, a sunny and brisk Sunday afternoon at PPL Park in front of an enthusiastic crowd of 4552 along the Delaware River waterfront:
WHAT HAPPENED: Notre Dame broke open a close back and forth game that was tied 7-7 at halftime and 8-8 at the 12:17 mark of the 3rd quarter by scoring the next five goals to lead 14-9 entering the final quarter. As they did Friday night, back came the ‘Cuse scoring five times in the fourth quarter to trail by a goal with the ball and :54 left in regulation. Kevin Rice had one last shot blocked by ND goalie Conor Kelly just before the final horn sounded. SU coach John Desko reversed his goalie rotation, starting Bobby Wardwell but replacing him with Dom Lamolinara early in the fourth quarter.
WHAT IT MEANS: The No. 4 seeded team in a loaded ACC won this weekend event, and the ‘Cuse suffered its first loss in three years of playing in conference tournaments dating back to the Big East in 2012. The defeat also snaps a six game winning streak.
STAR GAZING: Notre Dame attackman Matt Kavanagh who had the game-winning goal Friday night against Maryland, darted around the Orange defense scoring four goals, including back-to-back beauties in the pivotal third quarter. ND goalie Kelly was tough finishing with eight saves, including the last one on Rice in close. SU’s Randy Staats scored five times and Rice had six assists in defeat.
WHAT’S NEXT: A final regular season home game against Colgate (9-6) this Saturday, May 3, to tune-up for the NCAA Tournament. The ACC traditionally holds its tournament the weekend before the brackets are revealed, and like this season, all six ACC teams playing in Chester were helping each others RPI (No. 3 beat No. 2, No. 4 beat No. 1, No. 6 beat No. 5, and No. 4 beat No. 3), before Syracuse is one of three league teams to schedule one last game before post season. Game Time: 4:00 p.m. ET / TV: Time Warner Cable Sports (upstate New York)