No. 11 Syracuse upset No. 5 Virginia on Saturday, 13-11, potentially punching its ticket to the NCAA Tournament. Here are three takeaways from the game:
No Scanlan, No Problem
Syracuse attack man Chase Scanlan was suspended indefinitely last week for an undisclosed incident following SU’s 21-9 loss to North Carolina. It was a critical loss for the Orange, as Scanlon led Syracuse in scoring with 24 goals and was second in points with 33 in nine games.
Owen Seebold started on his place, and the move provided a boost for Syracuse, as he scored four points in his first collegiate start.
The Orange also used Lucas Quinn on the first line attack, and he responded with two goals and an assist. Jamie Trimboli led Syracuse with a hat trick.
“When I got the word (about my first start), I was really excited,” Seebold said. “I’m glad the coaches put me in the opportunity to seize the moment.”
Syracuse dominates in faceoffs
Syracuse has struggled in ACC play at the X.
In losses to No. 2 Duke and No. 9 Notre Dame, where the Orange went a combined 17 for 47 (.367). It was also the case in a humiliating 21-9 loss to North Carolina last week, with the Orange losing 19 of 34 faceoffs.
Syracuse appeared to be in for another tough day, matching up against one of the ACC’s best specialists, Petey LaSalla, who came in winning more than 65 percent at the X.
But Jakob Phaup ended up dominating, winning 24 of 26, for his best percentage (.923) of the season. At one point, LaSalla was replaced by Gavin Tygh, but the two only won three faceoffs total on the afternoon.
“I can play with the best faceoff guys in the country,” Phaup said. “I just trusted my own ability and got back to basics.”
That allowed the Orange to outshoot the ‘Hoos 54-30, and win a +9 margin on shots on goal.
“When we control the ball like that, it gives us more time,” Seebold said. “It allows us to settle into our game. It was huge for us.”
» Related: Syracuse humbled in 21-9 loss to North Carolina
Postseason Saving Win
Syracuse headed into the matchup 1-3 in the ACC and in peril of missing the NCAA Tournament. But the win improved them to 6-4 overall and 2-3 in the ACC, which should be enough to push the Orange into the postseason.
The Orange had dropped three of its last four and three straight ACC games heading into Saturday.
Syracuse closes the regular season on Saturday at No. 2 Notre Dame, and a win would leave no doubt about a tournament bid. It’s possible that the Orange schedules another game on the weekend of May 8 to make up for the cancellation of its matchup with Utah.
“There’s some relief because we’ve been waiting on a big win like this,” Seebold said. “As happy as we are, we’re taking the mindset that we’re in the playoffs right now.”
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