Syracuse men’s lacrosse’s regular season ends with 18-15 loss to No. 2 Duke
In its season finale, No. 15 Syracuse men’s lacrosse (8-7, 1-5 Atlantic Coast Conference) fell to No. 2 Duke ( 18-15.
The game started as a back-and-forth contest. Duke led three separate times, and the Orange responded to tie the game all three instances. After the 3-3 tie, the Blue Devils netted three unanswered to take a 6-3 lead early in the second. Then, the Orange stormed back and tied the game at 6 with just under 7 minutes in the quarter. Duke responded with four straight goals to lead 10-6 at the half.
Attackers Dyson Williams and Brennan O’Neill led the way for Duke with hat tricks in the first. SU head coach Gary Gait said those two players made the Blue Devils go from good to great.
“Duke is an incredible team,” Gait said. “Brennan O’Neill and Dyson Williams really stepped up for them.”
For SU, midfielder Luke Rhoa had two goals in the first half. In the third quarter, Rhoa added onto his scoring early in the third for his first career hat trick. It was more back-and-forth in the third quarter, but the Blue Devils pulled ahead to lead 15-9.
SU stormed back to start the fourth with four unanswered goals to trail 15-13. But the Blue Devils pulled away, and Charles Balsamo – who scored the game-winner in March against the Orange – netted the dagger, and Duke took down Syracuse 18-15. Williams led the game for Duke with six goals, one assist, and seven points.
Gait said that his squad got unlucky in the final frame, which made a critical difference.
“Inopportune calls and plays didn’t happen our way [in the fourth quarter],” Gait said.
The Orange fall to 8-7 with the loss. While eligible for the NCAA Tournament, SU will learn its fate next Sunday, May 7. If Syracuse misses the tournament, it’ll mark back-to-back seasons of no postseason play for the Orange.
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