The Orange played its third straight Top 25 opponent in a Wednesday matinee showing against 12th ranked Army.
In a game led by large momentum runs, Army had the last surge and sent a struggling Syracuse squad to its third straight loss. Here are the biggest takeaways from the game as the Orange continue their rocky start in the Gary Gait era.
Syracuse fades in fourth quarter, again
Army dominated the last 15 minutes, outscoring the Orange 5-0 in the final quarter.
Syracuse was ahead 13-11 with 1:49 left in the third quarter, but that would be the last goal Syracuse scored. Army took complete control of the game after it scored two goals in the span of six seconds, as Will Coletti’s scored to make it 17-13 with just over four minutes left.
It continues a disturbing trend in the last three games. Against No. 1 Maryland and No. 2 Virginia, the Orange was also competitive in the third quarter before a lackluster fourth quarter sent them to losses. Wednesday was no different.
“They have the ability to play with everyone,” Gait said. “But they have to do it for sixty minutes and we have not done that. So we take this on the chin and move on.”
Army takes full advantage of sloppy Syracuse play
Syracuse had 19 turnovers against Army, seven coming in the fourth quarter. Two tough unsportsmanlike and interference penalties in the fourth quarter hurt the Orange, and Army was 2 for 3 in man-up opportunities, all occurring in the second half.
The miscues contributed to the Orange being outshot 50-39 by Army, with the Black Knights being led by Bobby Abshire and Brendan Nichtern, who each scored four goals.
“There were so many simple errors on both ends of the field,” Gait said. “I don’t blame one side in particular between the offense and defense. There were missed passes and miscommunication. Its a lack of focus and communication where I hope we can get better.”
It doesn’t get any easier
Syracuse will play three ranked opponents in its next five games. Aside from played unranked Hobart and Stony Brook, The Orange will also play at No. 14 Johns Hopkins, No. 10 Duke and at No. 7 Notre Dame in the next month.
With a 1-3 start Syracuse continues to move farther outside the Top 10. The Orange will look at Hobart and Stony Brook as must needed victories to get back on track before a tough match against #14 John Hopkins in Baltimore.
“During the toughest of times during this stretch,” Brendan Curry said, “the most important thing is our brotherhood.”