Men’s lacrosse: No. 5 UVA falls to No. 12 Syracuse in ACC opener, 12-11
No. 5 Virginia (4-1, 0-1 ACC) dropped its ACC opener to the No. 12 Syracuse Orange (3-1, 1-0 ACC) on Sunday afternoon, 12-11, at Klöckner Stadium. It is UVA’s third one-goal loss in a row to the Orange and its fourth overall.
Virginia used a 6-1 run in the fourth quarter to tie the game, 11-11, but Tucker Dordevic scored an impressive unassisted goal with 13 seconds left to lift the Orange over the Cavaliers.
“I give Dan Varello, Brett Kennedy, and Jared Fernandez a ton of credit,” said Virginia men’s lacrosse head coach Lars Tiffany. “We’ve been able to win a lot of faceoffs this year and those extra possessions are key with our style of play. We can sustain a lot of turnovers when we are winning those possessions, or we’re able to ride effectively. We were not effective with our ride today, and Syracuse did a great job clearing the ball. More importantly, looking at faceoff facts, what Varello and his wings were able to do in getting those extra possessions is really what kept us down for the second and third quarters.”
Virginia opened up fast, taking a 3-1 lead on goals from Ryan Conrad, Michael Kraus and Ian Laviano. The extra-man goal by Laviano capped a 3-0 UVA run with 6:33 left in the first quarter. However, the Syracuse defense limited the Cavaliers to only two scores over the next 38:53. During that dry spell, Syracuse outscored Virginia by seven goals, 9-2, taking a 10-5 lead with 12:54 left in the game.
The Cavaliers bounced back, going on a 6-1 run to tie the game, 11-11, with 1:41 left on a Jared Conners goal, assisted by the goalie Alex Rode. Mike D’Amario scored three times during the run to aid the Cavalier effort. Syracuse won the ensuring faceoff to set up Dordevic’s heroics.
“Our system, said Tiffany. “It can be frustrating as we go along, but it does allow us to explode at the end of the game for those six goals in the fourth quarter. That is a testament to how we play and how we compete. It can be sloppy like it was and then all of a sudden it can work beautifully.”
Syracuse won the battle of shots (43-30) and faceoffs (16-11). Virginia had more ground balls (40-38), saves (15-10) and turnovers (19-18).
Aitken led UVA with five points on two goals and three assists. D’Amario had the hat-trick, while Kraus and Laviano also had two goals.
The game served as the 1,000th in Virginia program history. UVA became the 13th Division I program to reach the plateau.
Virginia returns to action on Wednesday when they commence a two-game spring break road trip in New York. Wednesday night the Cavaliers face Manhattan at 7 p.m.