No. 18 Syracuse men’s lacrosse couldn't keep up with No. 9 Maryland
No. 18 Syracuse came into the game against No. 9 Maryland outsourcing opponents 42-18 and undefeated on the season. The Terrapins on the other hand dropped their last game to Loyola Maryland, scoring just seven goals.
LISTEN: No. 18 @CuseMLAX dropped its first contest of the season 15-12 at No. 9 @TerpsMLax. The Orange never led. @francescosim16 and @JoePuccio_ were on the mic. pic.twitter.com/fbB20w93Nd— WAER Sports (@WAERSports) February 18, 2023
No. 9 Maryland (2-1, 0-0 Big Ten Conference) didn't allow No. 18 Syracuse (3-1, 0-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) dominance to continue as the home team came out victorious in the 15-12 matchup down in College Park.
SU and UMD have had a skewed history as of late. The Terrapins have now won five straight against the Orange. Syracuse has not won in Maryland since 1995.
Over to the action, Syracuse fell behind just 40 seconds into the game. Attack Daniel Kelly netted his first of four goals to start the day for the Terrapins. The junior now has four goals in each of his last two games, giving him a total of nine on the season. Kelly led both sides with 12 shots in the contest. He finished the game with two assists as well.
LISTEN: UMD's Daniel Kelly scored for the third time to give the Terps a three goal lead. @francescosim16 had the call for the attackman's second hat trick of the season. pic.twitter.com/DgY07MeEjY— WAER Sports (@WAERSports) February 18, 2023
Maryland tallied three goals in the opening three minutes as the shots came in bunches. The Terrapins had 17 shots in the first period. They finished with 50 on the game compared to the 29 attempts put up by the Orange.
Syracuse picked things up toward the end of the first quarter as freshman Michael Leo put the Orange on the board. Fellow freshman Luke Rhoa’s second goal of the season later tied the game at three, four minutes into the second quarter. That would mark the closest SU came to a lead for the rest of the game.
A Finn Thompson slashing penalty gave Maryland the man advantage with 8:42 left before the half. With five seconds remaining on the penalty and after four minutes of deadlock, Maryland’s Owen Murphy put the ball past Syacuse’s goalie Will Mark in order to take a 4-3 lead.
Three more goals in the following two-and-a-half minutes gave the Terrapins a commanding 7-3 lead, but the Orange never gave up.
“I was super proud with how our guys played and didn’t give up,” Syracuse head coach Gary Gait said about the game. “We didn’t let the game get out of hand.”
Midfielder Griffin Cook scored for Syracuse in order to stop the Maryland run. Jake Murphy netted his first goal of the season to bring the Orange to within two. The Terrapins answered with two of their own right before halftime.
Michael Leo and Cole Kirst started the third quarter with goals to bring the score to 9-7. Once again, Maryland dominated the ensuing three minutes, scoring three goals on just four shots. Two of those goals directly resulted from Terripan face-offs as well.
“The face-offs and ground balls were the two biggest things we need to work on,” Gary Gait noted about the loss. Maryland won 24 of the 31 face-offs. The Terrapins also won the ground ball count with 46 compared to the 25 by the Orange.
Syracuse’s Jackson Birtwistle put two goals on the board to once again bring the Orange back into the game. The redshirt sophomore recorded a hat trick in the loss. Birtwistle has been one of the top goal scorers for Syracuse this season. The midfielder sits second on the team with nine goals.
Joey Spallina’s lone goal of the game to start the fourth quarter brought the score to 12-10. After Maryland’s Luke Weirman won the face-off, Kyle Long increased the Terrapin lead just nine seconds later.
Jack Koras scored all three of his goals on the season on Saturday. The sophomore put his third and final in the back of the net with 7:31 left in the game. Another Maryland goal on the next possession put the score at 15-10, a lead that proved too tall for Orange.
Syracuse’s path back to the win column comes with difficulty. The Orange’s next three games are all against ranked opponents. The next SU game is back at home against No. 19 North Carolina. Game time is set for 3 p.m. and tune into WAER’s coverage of the contest with the McClurg Team Countdown to Faceoff at 2:30 p.m.