In a game that initially was not added until late April, Syracuse was able to hold on to a 21-14 regular season finale victory over Robert Morris on Friday evening.
Here are three takeaways from the win:
Distractions continue to follow Syracuse
The Chase Scanlon saga continues.
Just hours before Syracuse’s matchup against Robert Morris, Scanlan was arrested in the parking lot of Manley Fieldhouse related to an off-the-field domestic dispute following Syracuse’s 21-9 loss to North Carolina on April 17. He has been charged with criminal mischief in the fourth degree, a misdemeanor, according to reports.
Scanlan, SU’s leading goal scorer (24), was suspended indefinitely after the incident, but was later reinstated by Syracuse head coach John Desko on April 26. The team, including its captains, threatened to walk out of practice if Scanlan was allowed to practice with the team.
Scanlan did not travel with Syracuse over the weekend in a 22-8 loss to Notre Dame.
Desko has refused to answer questions about the situation, and continued to do so on Friday evening, citing New York State laws.
Offense comes alive
Without its leading scorer, Syracuse turned to Owen Hiltz and Owen Seebold, and the two delivered, finishing with a combined 12 goals.
Syracuse raced out to an early 9-5 lead after the first quarter, capped by Seebold assisting on a Tucker Dordevic goal.
SU outshot the Colonials 58-39, and dominated possessions, winning 26 of 37 faceoffs. But it wasn’t until Hiltz went on a personal four-goal run in the second half that Syracuse put the game out of reach.
Hiltz started the run to put the Orange up 16-10 with 6:25 left in the third quarter. He capped the run on an unassisted goal as the Orange flexed its offensive muscles to go up 20-12.
“He’s definitely one of the better freshmen we’ve had,” Desko said. “We have very happy we are going to have him for the next (few) years.”
Aside from the Owens, Dordevic added a hat trick and Jamie Trimboli and Brendan Curry each chipped in two goals.
The Orange improve on the defensive end
A week ago in South Bend, the Orange gave up 22 goals to No. 4 Notre Dame. A week later, the defensive side of the ball looked much better against Robert Morris.
While Robert Morris is not the same offensive team as Notre Dame, the way the Orange were able to slow down the Colonials offense in the second half.
Ryan Smith scored five of the Colonials ten first half goals, but SU stymied Smith in the second half, limiting him to two goals. As a team, Robert Morris was held to only four goals after intermission.
“I was disappointed in the first half,” Desko said. “I thought they got some easier goals in the first. In the second half, the guys adjusted well and had some really good switches.”
Syracuse looks to Selection Sunday
With the regular season officially over and no ACC Tournament, Syracuse can now look toward the NCAA Tournament.
A loss may have put SU perilously on the bubble, but the win should solidify a bid. The Orange await their first round opponent, which will be announced on Sunday.
US Lacrosse Magazine currently projects Syracuse as a nine-seed, facing off against Army in the first round. But projected seven-seed Georgetown could be a possibility, as well.
“With the guys in the locker room,” Desko said, “there are a lot of smiles because they are happy with what they are doing and where they are headed.”