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Syracuse men’s lacrosse: Orange hold off late Army West Point rallies with 10-8 win

Both goalies played outstanding, but Drake Porter helped his team get a big win.

Syracuse Athletics

After starting with a surprise upset loss to the Colgate Raiders, things might be finally rolling for the Syracuse Orange.

Syracuse found their groove with a 4-0 run against the Army Black Knights and held off multiple rallies in a 10-8 win. Junior goaltender Drake Porter had a career-high 16-save performance, while sophomore FOGO Jake Phaup went 15-of-18 from the faceoff X with 11 ground balls.

Army got on the board first with Liam Davenport’s goal 2:44 into the game. That would be the team’s only lead. Syracuse would score seven of the next nine goals to eventually take a 7-3 lead with 9:46 left in the third quarter. But the Black Knights scored four of the next five goals to trim the ‘Cuse lead to a goal. But Jacob Buttermore’s second tally of the game on a loose ball in front gave the Orange a two-goal lead once again. Brendan Nichtern scored his lone goal to cut the lead in half, but David Lipka’s late score proved to be the dagger.

Scoring and Stats


M Matt Manown (2 Gs, 1 A, 1 GB)
A Brendan Nichtern (1 G, 2 As, 1 GB)
M Liam Davenport (2 Gs)
M Alex Alacqua (1 G, 1 A, 2 GBs)
M Nicholas Garofano (1 G)
A Sean O’Brien (1 G, 1 GB)
M Connor DeWitt (1 A, 2 GBs)

D Johnny Surdick (1 CT, 4 GBs)
LSM Marcus Hudgins (1 CT, 4 GBs)
SSDM Matthew Horace (1 CT, 1 GB)
SSDM Jordan Cole (1 CT)

FOGO Evan Condon (4-of-16 FOs, 2 GBs)
G AJ Barretto (18 saves)


M Jacob Buttermore (2 Gs, 1 A, 1 GB)
A Nate Solomon (2 Gs, 2 GBs, 1 CT)
M David Lipka (2 Gs, 1 GB)
M Brendan Curry (1 G, 5 GBs)
A Bradley Voigt (1 G, 2 GBs)
M Jamie Trimboli (1 G, 1 GB)
A/M Griffin Cook (1 G)

LSM Austin Fusco (3 CTs, 2 GBs)
D Nick Mellen (3 CTs, 1 GB)
SSDM Peter Dearth (1 CT, 4 GBs)
D Marcus Cunningham (1 CT, 2 GBs)
LSM Brett Kennedy (1 CT, 2 GBs)
LSM Jared Fernandez (1 CT, 2 GBs)
D Grant Murphy (1 CT, 1 GB)

FOGO Jake Phaup (15-of-18 FOs, 11 GBs)
FOGO Danny Varello (2-of-3 FOs)
G Drake Porter (16 saves)

Notes and Nuggets

  • The Orange didn’t have starting senior defenseman Tyson Bomberry due to an “upper-body injury” or second line sophomore midfielder Lucas Quinn due to a hand injury. In his postgame press conference, Head coach John Desko said that Bomberry would be able to play if it was a playoff game, but mentioned that Quinn would be out “a few weeks.”
  • Both goalies played unbelievable, but it was Porter who came out with the win. AJ Barretto made a career-high 18 saves in the loss and was a big reason why the Black Knights were still in the game, including eight saves in the second quarter and seven stops in the third.
  • As for the Syracuse defense, they were once again solid. Out of Army’s 16 turnovers, 12 of them were caused by the Orange defense. Austin Fusco and Nick Mellen each had three caused turnovers. Mellen did a great job containing Brendan Nichtern, Army’s freshman attackman who led the team in points entering the game.
  • Murphy did a solid job on Nate Jones and later on Sean O’Brien for the majority of the game. Early in the first quarter, he tipped a pass from behind the net and force one of Army’s turnovers.
  • From the defense to the offense. It was another balanced effort from the attack and midfield, despite the midfield scoring all three goals in the first quarter.
  • For the first time this year, the attack unit was balanced in terms of scoring. Nate Solomon had two goals, Bradley Voigt had a goal, and freshman Griffin Cook scored his first career tally. More on his goal in a little bit.
  • While those three registered goals, Stephen Rehfuss did not once again. He just has one assist on 12 shots (seven of them on goal) this season, and he had six shots in today’s win. He had a couple good opportunities today, but Barretto stopped him dead on his tracks. As noted on the ACC Network Extra telecast, the redshirt junior battled the flu last week against Albany. Maybe that affected or is still affecting him?
  • Back to Cook’s goal. It was a phenomenal goal no doubt. But it once again brought up the dive rule. In the words of Stephen A. Smith, TAke a look, y’all:
  • There’s a lot to dissect. First, it looks like Cook dove towards the goal mouth. That wouldn’t be a goal. Then, it also appears Army SSDM Jordan Cole pushed Cook while he was diving. That would be a penalty on the defender. Finally, it might have looked like Cook made contact with Barretto before the ball crossed the goal line. I’m having a hard time pinpointing when he made contact with Barretto, who was shaken up after. As much as the crease dive is entertaining, the rule as a whole has been bad.
  • Finally to faceoffs. Danny Varello lost the opening draw but won the following two thanks to ground balls from Fusco and Jared Fernandez. But Phaup came in and took the rest of the draws and was able to win faceoffs to himself. By what developed in the game, I think Phaup is ‘Cuse’s top FOGO. Let’s see how Phaup and/or Varello both do against Petey LaSalla and/or Justin Schwenk next weekend against Virginia.

What’s Next?

The Orange host the Virginia Cavaliers this Saturday at noon on ESPNU. Virginia edged Princeton in overtime on Saturday thanks to 24 saves from freshman goalie Patrick Burkinshaw and four goals from Ian Laviano.

Expect the top 20 polls to come out on Monday. Syracuse will probably be in the 13-19ish range this week. I ranked the Orange 13th for the Inside Lacrosse Media and College Crosse polls.