Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

SU Men’s Lacrosse Loses Fifth Straight Game to No. 5 Virginia 21-15

Jackson Birtwistle (9) celebrates with teammates following one of his five goals.
Jackson Birtwistle (9) celebrates with teammates following one of his five goals.

In a season of lows, Syracuse men’s lacrosse reached its lowest point Saturday. No. 5 Virginia (9-3, 4-1 ACC) beat Syracuse (4-9, 1-4 ACC) 21-15 at the Dome to claim a share of the ACC title. Syracuse has lost five straight games for the first time since 1966. The last time Syracuse had a losing streak this long, color television was not widely available in America, and Lyndon B. Johnson was the President of the United States.

Syracuse midfielder Tucker Dordevic opened up the scoring one minute and six seconds into the game. Dordevic added another goal in the quarter with three seconds left. However, Virginia controlled the majority of the opening 15 minutes — Connor Shellenberger began UVA’s offensive onslaught with his 27th goal of the season, nine seconds after Dordevic scored for Syracuse. Face-off specialist Jakob Phaup threw an errant pass to Shellenberger after winning the face-off, resulting in the goal that made it 1-1.

“We just have to continue to be confident and help out Phaup. He’s been spectacular this year,” short stick defensive midfielder Brandon Aviles said postgame. Phaup is second in the ACC in faceoff winning percentage.

UVA scored the next four goals after Shellenberger found the back of the net, and SU head coach Gary Gait pulled goalkeeper Bobby Gavin for Harrison Thompson midway through the first. Gavin allowed five goals to Virginia, while Thompson gave up the remaining 16. Thompson made ten saves Saturday.

SU struggled to find an offensive groove throughout Saturday’s game. The Orange were outscored by the Cavaliers in every quarter besides the fourth. Virginia’s offense was spread out over the course of Saturday’s game, with numerous contributors finding the back of the net for the Hoos. Midfielder Jeff Conner led UVA with four goals. Cavalier attackmen Matt Moore and midfielder Xander Dickson had three goals each. Shellenberger, faceoff man Petey LaSalla, attacker Payton Cormier and midfielder Griffin Schutz each had two goals.

Syracuse midfielder Jackson Birtwistle was one of the only bright spots against Virginia. The redshirt freshman finished Saturday’s game with five goals — his career high. Birtwistle, a native of Delaware County, Pa., now has 11 goals this season.

“It’s awesome. It’s a dream come true. There’s so much to learn going forward,” Birtwistle said.

Jackson Birtwistle (9) and Tucker Dordevic after a Birtwistle tally.
@CuseMLAX on Twitter
Jackson Birtwistle (9) and Tucker Dordevic after a Birtwistle tally.

Birtwistle has been one of the most consistent members of the Orange lately. The 6-foot-4, 194-pounder had a hat trick against North Carolina on April 16, and two goals against Cornell the week before. Birtwistle made his first start in a Syracuse uniform Saturday.

“It was an opportunity…I think we decided we wanted to give him a shot, and in the last three games, he has been pretty consistent for us,” head coach Gary Gait said.

Midfielder Tucker Dordevic finished with three goals. Attackman Owen Seebold and Midfielder Brendan Curry scored with two goals each.

Syracuse faces No. 9 Notre Dame next Sunday, May 1st at noon. Our coverage begins at 11:30 AM with GZA Countdown to Face-Off.