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Monday, May 14, 2018 at 1:02 am

Syracuse struggles to protect on man-down, score on man-up, falls to Cornell 10-9

By Zachary Levine

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Syracuse lost to Cornell earlier this season, but with the matchup moving to the Carrier Dome, the Orange entered the first round of the NCAA Tournament looking for a different outcome. However, a lackluster second half and struggling man-up offense didn’t help the cause, as SU fell to Cornell 10-9.

The SU offense came out strong, outshooting and outscoring the Big Red in both the first and second quarters. Turnovers, however, plagued the Orange.  SU had eight turnovers in the first thirty minutes.

The first half was back-and-forth between the two Central New York rivals. Tucker Dordevic got the scoring started, but Jordan Dowiak was quick to answer for the Big Red. The two teams continued to trade goals, until Jamie Trimboli struck for two straight, just one-minute apart, to give the Orange a 6-3 lead with just over ten minutes left in the first half. SU headed to the locker room up two and looking to knot up any holes in their defensive strategy.

The second half quickly turned into the Clarke Petterson show. The Big Red junior attack knotted five total goals on the day, three of those coming in the third and fourth quarters.

Petterson accounted for two of the three Cornell man-up goals, while Syracuse had three chances (two in the second half), and failed to find the net on any of them.

“We had some opportunities and we didn’t capitalize on them in the second half,” said SU Head Coach John Desko. “We had some good shots on the man up…that specialty may have cost us the game tonight.”

“I thought our defense was stout for most of the game,” said sophomore defenseman Nick Mellen. “Some of their goals were kind of cheap goals. Goals where we got a turnover and they just picked the ball right off the ground and put it in the net.”

The Big Red are off to Annapolis, where they will face Maryland in next week’s quarterfinals. Meanwhile, Syracuse will have to look to next season.  The Orange will have to build off its young core developed, losing only two starters from this year’s squad.

However, for the second straight set of seniors, another set of four years gone without a trip to championship weekend.  Next season means another chance to break a drought that dates back to 2013.