Syracuse Men’s Lacrosse Looks for Season-Defining Win Against Notre Dame
By: Ryan Bridges | @RyanBridgesTV
Men’s Lacrosse Beat Reporter
SYRACUSE, N.Y.– Syracuse men’s lacrosse came into the first game against Notre Dame last year with some confidence.
The Orange had just knocked off #10 Duke at home to give them their first ranked win of the season.
However, SU would travel to South Bend the next weekend only to get embarrassed in a 22-6 thrashing against the Fighting Irish.
In that game, Syracuse fell into a 12-0 hole before finally scoring a goal with just under 10 minutes left in the second quarter.
The two teams faced off in the regular season finale inside the JMA Wireless Dome and Notre Dame won, 18-11.
However, as SU head coach Gary Gait and his players have pointed out many times throughout this season, this year is different than last year.
SU looks to avenge its two previous games against Notre Dame at 2 p.m. on Saturday.
It’s a game that would completely flip the script on Syracuse’s season. The Orange have lost all four of their games against ranked opponents in their 2023 campaign.
On that note, Coach Gait and his team are embracing an underdog mentality heading into Saturday’s matchup.
“I don’t think anyone would pick us to win this game,” Gait told reporters on Wednesday. “We’re doing everything we can to get that upset.”
Syracuse has been gearing up for this moment ever since falling to 10th-ranked Johns Hopkins inside the dome on March 11th.
In that game, SU led 9-8 with seven minutes to go before allowing three straight goals to the Blue Jays to close out the game.
In order to pull out the win, they’ll need to get big contributions from Jack Fine and Johnny Richiusa at the faceoff “X”. The Orange have won just 42% of their faceoffs so far this season.
SU has made up for those lost possessions in other ways, one of them being man-up opportunities. Syracuse ranks fourth in the entire country in man-up offense at 57%.
Gary Gait was asked if he knew his team would be so good on the power play on Wednesday.
“Yeah, I think we knew what we had. We’ve got guys with incredible stick work, and they’ve got great lacrosse IQ,” he said.
Notre Dame will offer stiff resistance to an SU win after picking up their first loss of the season against #3 Virginia last week.
The last time the Irish lost back-to-back contests was on March 12th of 2022.
Syracuse and Notre Dame square off on Saturday at 2 p.m. CitrusTV Sports will have live coverage throughout the game as well as postgame coverage with Orange Press Pass after the contest.