Recapping Syracuse’s 2nd-straight undefeated regular season in the ACC

first_imgNo. 12 Syracuse (7-5, 4-0 Atlantic Coast) finished the season undefeated in conference play for the second-consecutive season. The Orange started the season predicted to finish fourth in conference play, but enters the ACC Tournament on Friday as the top seed down in Charlottesville, Virginia.SU opens play on Friday at 8:30 against No. 4 Virginia (10-4, 1-3), and should the Orange win that, it would play the winner of No. 2 Duke (12-2, 3-1) and No. 3 Notre Dame (6-5, 1-3). Here is how the Orange fared against those opponents this season.Virginia – March 4, 2018 – Charlottesville, Virginia – Syracuse 12, Virginia 11Both teams entered the contest coming off of impressive home wins. The Orange narrowly took down Army in triple overtime while the Cavaliers escaped a battle against Princeton with a three-goal victory.While Virginia started hot in the first few minutes, Syracuse soon found its groove on both sides of the ball. After falling down 3-1 midway through the first quarter, Syracuse dominated the next 40 minutes, rattling off a 9-2 run to take a commanding 10-5 lead in the opening minutes.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textVirginia then stormed back in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 11, before Tucker Dordevic scored the game-winning goal with just 13 seconds remaining. The freshmen paced the Orange that Sunday with four goals, twice as many as he had scored in the team’s first three games. And in his first start, filling in for the injured Tyson Bomberry at defense, Brett Kennedy notched two goals and was named ACC Defensive Player of the Week.The two teams may enter Friday’s contest with a bit of bad blood. The first matchup ended in a fight after Nate Solomon delivered a late hit to Virginia goalie Alex Rode, resulting in a suspension for the following game.Duke – March 24, 2018 – Durham, North Carolina – Syracuse 15, Duke 14Syracuse and Duke each entered the game with momentum riding in opposite directions. Syracuse suffered two straight losses at the hands of Johns Hopkins and Rutgers, while Duke was winners of four-straight, including a win at Loyola.Despite Duke appearing as heavy favorites pregame, this game was close throughout. The largest lead for either team came in the third quarter when Syracuse took a 10-7 lead.Much of the game failed to turn out as expected on paper. Duke entered the contest one of the worst faceoff teams in the country, but won 20 of 32 against the Orange. And while SU turned the ball over 22 times a week before against Rutgers, the Orange had just eight against Duke. Instead it was the Blue Devils, who normally took care of the ball better than most teams in the country, who gave Syracuse opportunities.Despite trailing for most of the game, Duke rallied to take a 13-11 lead, that held until there were under five minutes left in the final frame. Nick Martin proved to be the hero at the faceoff X, coming in and winning five straight to close out the game. During that time, the Orange ran off four goals while limiting Duke to just one, to close out the game 15-14 on the road for the team’s biggest win of the season.Notre Dame – March 31, 2018 – Syracuse, New York – Syracuse 10, Notre Dame 6Syracuse knocked off Duke only one week prior to its matchup against Notre Dame, while the Fighting Irish had won three of their last four, with wins against Denver, Virginia and Ohio State.The first half of the game went back and forth, as the two teams were tied just minutes into the opening minutes of the third quarter, but from that point on, Syracuse dominated. The Orange closed the game on a 5-1 run to take down the Fighting Irish at home, and advanced to 3-0 in ACC-play.Syracuse won this contest with stout defense. After a 13-save performance, where he allowed just six goals against the then-No. 7 team in the country, Dom Madonna earned NCAA Lacrosse Player of the Week honors, and SU’s man-down defense proved stellar. The Orange held Notre Dame scoreless in eight man-up opportunities. Plus defender Nick Mellen limited UND’s top scorer, Ryder Garnsey, to just one assist and no goals. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on April 26, 2018 at 12:45 pm Contact Matt: mdliberm@syr.edulast_img