Syracuse Falls Just Short of Epic Comeback Against Duke

Thursday, Mar 25, 2021 at 11:07 pm by Sports Editor

By Trey Redfield

CitrusTV Men’s Lacrosse Beat Reporter

Second-ranked Duke and Fourth-ranked Syracuse. Every time you hear those schools, you know there is going to be some great lacrosse. Since 2017, every game has been decided by one goal. Also since 2017, these close matchups have gone in favor of the Orange. 

But tonight, it didn’t.

Syracuse’s second half push was not enough, as it fell to Duke by a final of 15-14 at Koskinen Stadium in Durham, North Carolina.

At the beginning it was a slow start for SU. The Orange went into the half winning only 20% of their faceoffs. The result of this was the Blue Devils scoring seven unanswered goals in just the second quarter. After the first 30 minutes, it was a 12-7 ballgame.

But just like every other thriller dating back to 2017, Syracuse fought back. The Orange outscored the Blue Devils 7-3 in the second half, earning their first lead of the game at the 7:10 mark of the fourth quarter. The comeback was led by the experienced duo at attack, Stephen Rehfuss and Chase Scanlan. The fifth year and the junior combined for seven points in the second half, and eleven overall.

The charge led by Scanlan and Rehfuss was enough for an opportunity to send this game into overtime for the second straight time. Syracuse was up two men for seven of the final ten seconds. A shot by Rehfuss that came from Owen Hiltz to the cage’s back left was acrobatically denied by Duke’s fifth year transfer’s goalie, Mike Adler. 

For the Blue Devils, their duo was on point. Grad-tranfer Michael Sowers notched a hat trick and three assists, extending his point streak to 56 games. Freshman Brennan O’Neill was right there behind Sowers with a hat trick as well. 

Jamie Trimboli, 2018’s hero when the Orange last travled to Durham, was silent. The senior put up a gooseegg in the points category on only one shot on goal and two turnovers. Brendan Curry, 2019’s hero at Cicero-North Syracuse High School, notched two goals from the midfield.

Duke moves to 9-0 on the year for the first time since 2005–and the first time in the John Danowski era. The Blue Devils also move to 1-0 in Atlantic Coast Conference play. For Syracuse, it falls to 4-2, dropping to 1-1 in the ACC. 

SU is back in action next Saturday, April 3, against Notre Dame. The last time these two squared off was 2019. The Irish defeated the Orange 13-10, behind a 11-3 first half blowout. Face-off for the first of two matchups between the conference foes is at noon. | @trey_redfield