Key takeaways from Syracuse lacrosse’s 22-6 loss at Notre Dame

Syracuse attackman Stephen Rehfuss
Syracuse lacrosse. Mandatory Photo Credit: Kicia Sears, The Juice Online.

A modest two game winning streak came to a jarring stop for the Syracuse lacrosse team on a chilly Saturday afternoon in South Bend, getting blown out 22-6 by Notre Dame.

Here are the three key takeaways from the one-sided defeat:

#1: Travel issues knocked the Orange off kilter.

According to the team’s Twitter account, due to weather issues it took two tries before Syracuse’s flight could land in northern Indiana early Saturday morning, and the traveling party didn’t arrive at its hotel until nearly 2:00 a.m., and it showed.  Notre Dame scored the first 12 goals of the game before Brendon Curry finally tallied for SU at the 9:39 mark of the second quarter.

By then, Gary Gait had made a change in goal with Harrison Thompson relieving Bobby Gavin late in the first quarter in front of a shell-shocked SU defense.

It didn’t get much better after Tucker Dordevic scored his team-leading 32nd goal of the season midway through the second quarter, with the Orange managing only 21 shots on goal the entire day with the six scores.

Now with a 4-5 record and at 1-2 in the ACC, and with a quick turnaround to get ready to play at Albany Thursday night, Syracuse has little room for error in its remaining five games if it wants to keep its goal alive for a NCAA at-large bid.

» Related: Syracuse defeats Duke 14-10 for first ACC win

#2: Who says the Irish can’t shoot?

Notre Dame came into the game with season-long shooting woes, including only having 20 of its 47 shots go on goal in last week’s loss at Virginia.  Against SU, ND scored nine goals on its first 11 shots of the game, finishing with 31 of its 38 shots on net and the stampede of 22 goals.

Out of nowhere, and playing like a Tewaaraton Award winner, Notre Dame junior attackman Jake Taylor scored five goals on seven shots in the first half, two the behind-the-back variety, then added three more goals in the second half to set the school’s single game record with eight goals (on 10 shots) in one game.

Pat Kavanaugh, who scored 19 points in Notre Dame’s two wins over the ‘Cuse last season, had nine points with three goals and six assists.

In a play that was the epitome of the day, Notre Dame goalie Liam Entenmann made a save in the closing seconds of the second quarter and flung a pass the entire length of the field right into the stick of Pat Kavanaugh.  In one motion Kavanaugh flipped in a short shot past Thompson with 0:01 on the clock for the Irish’s 15th goal of the first half.

#3: Opponents on the field, teammates off the field.

In such a one-sided defeat there was one bit of positive news on the day.  Both programs partnered to dedicate the game to highlight Mental Health Awareness.

Each team wore specially designed warm-up shirts highlighting the 15 For Life Foundation for Syracuse, and the Tommy O’Brien Fund for Notre Dame.  The shirts were made available for purchase to the fans attending the game at Arlotta Stadium with proceeds going to the respective organizations.

The 15 for Life Foundation was created in memory of former Syracuse star Rob Kavovit (1994-97) who took his own life in March 2021 while suffering from silent depression.  The Kavovit family has turned the loss of Rob into a crusade of opening up the dialogue surrounding depression and mental illness, and to help other families and individuals dealing with mental health matters.

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About Brad Bierman 816 Articles
Now in his sixth decade of covering SU sports, Brad was sports director of WSYR radio for eight years into the early 1990s, then wrote the Orange Watch column for The Big Orange/The Juice print publication for 18 years. A Syracuse University graduate, Brad currently runs his own media consulting business in the Philadelphia suburbs. Follow him on Twitter @BradBierman.