Jack Near scored an unassisted goal with 2:54 left in the second overtime as Notre Dame handed Syracuse its first loss of the season in a 13-12 thriller on Saturday afternoon.
It looked over long before that, as Notre Dame (6-1, 2-0 ACC) took a 9-3 lead early in the second half behind a stymieing defense and a sputtering Syracuse offense, which turned the ball over nine times. The Orange (7-1, 2-1) also outshot the Irish 44-35, but goalie Shane Doss collected 12 saves.
Faced with its biggest deficit of the season, SU found its offensive rhythm, sparked by a Nicky Galasso with seven minutes left in the third quarter. That proved to be the impetus to a 6-1 run that allowed the Orange to pull within one early in the fourth quarter. Dylan Donahue scored four goals during that run as part of a seven goal day.
The last of his goals gave the Orange its first (and only) lead of the day with 1:06 left and appeared to be enough to lift SU to a comeback win. But on the ensuing faceoff, P.J. Finley, who had been dominated to that point by Ben Williams at the X, cleanly won possession and raced down field, firing a shot past Bobby Wardwell and sending the game into overtime. SU would have the edge in that department 18-11.
Both teams went scoreless in the third overtime, and in the second extra frame, the Orange appeared to be in good position with possession. But after Galasso fired high and left on a potential game winner, referees inexplicably awarded possession to Notre Dame despite Kevin Rice being closer on the backup.
Notre Dame successfully cleared and Near beat Wardwell for the game winner.
Near and Sergio Perkovic finished with two goals apiece to lead Notre Dame, while Galasso added two goals and two assists for the Orange.