Syracuse Men’s Lacrosse seeks revenge against No. 5 Virginia
North Carolina’s Chris Gray effectively ended the Syracuse Men’s Lacrosse season last Saturday. The attackman scored with only fifteen seconds remaining to earn No. 15 UNC a 14-13 win over Syracuse on Senior Day at Dorrance Field.
The loss resulted in a 4-8 record for the Orange with only two games remaining on the schedule. Since teams must be .500 or better to attain postseason eligibility, the loss officially eliminated SU from tournament contention. The ‘Cuse will miss the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2007. With two games remaining on the schedule, Syracuse head coach Gary Gait talked about how the focus now turns towards “building a foundation for future success.”
The next opportunity for Syracuse to find success comes this Saturday when No. 5 Virginia visits town. The two-time reigning champions enter the Dome with a 9-3 record and sit a half game ahead of Notre Dame for the top spot in the ACC. Earlier this season, UVA dominated SU 20-11 in Charlottesville. In that game, Virginia punished Syracuse early, holding an 8-1 lead through just fifteen minutes of play.
Heading into Saturday’s matchup, UVA defenseman Cole Kastner is a name to know. In the matchup between the Orange and Cavaliers earlier this season, the sophomore tallied four caused turnovers for the Cavs. Last season, the Californian only recorded seven caused turnovers across 18 games; Kastner has already quadrupled that number this year. The Cavalier defender has nine more caused turnovers than anyone else in the ACC. Kastner’s improvement this season landed him a spot as one of just three defenders on the twenty-five-player nominee list for the Tewaaraton Award. A defender has never won the award on the men’s side in its twenty-year history. The Cavaliers' Connor Shellenberger also received a nomination to the list. The sophomore recorded seven points in the win over the Orange earlier this season. That mark tied for the second most points in his career.
On the Syracuse side, senior Tucker Dordevic found himself as a nominee for the award. The Oregonian must step up his game against Virginia this weekend. In the nine goal SU loss to UVA earlier this year, the attacker only netted one goal, well below his season average of 3.5.
Dordevic and the Orange must upset pull the upset Saturday to avoid falling twice to Virginia in a single season for the first time since 2006. Gametime between the Orange and the Cavaliers is scheduled for 4 p.m. on Saturday afternoon. WAER’s coverage begins with GZA Countdown to Faceoff at 3:30.