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Syracuse men’s lacrosse: Orange stay resilient in overtime thriller over Duke

The Orange finished the game on a 5-0 run.

Syracuse Athletics

They did it again. They did it yet again.

Whether it’s coming back from a slow start or edging an ACC rival by one for the third straight year, the Syracuse Orange keep waking up at the right time. And for the third straight year, ‘Cuse defeated the Duke Blue Devils by one goal, with this year’s result coming in overtime by a score of 9-8 at Cicero-North Syracuse High School. This time around, Brendan Curry delivered the game-winner.

Duke came out of the gates hot in the first five minutes, taking a 3-0 lead. After goals by Nate Solomon and Jamie Trimboli, the Blue Devils went on another 3-0 run to lead 6-2 at halftime. The third quarter was quiet outside of a Trimboli man-up goal from Curry.

But then came the fourth quarter. After Joey Manown and Stephen Rehfuss traded goals, Brad Smith scored with 6:28 left to put the Blue Devils up 8-4. Fans started to leave the stadium. That was a dumb move.

42 seconds later, Trimboli found Solomon on another man-up goal to keep the game interesting. It stayed interesting with another man-up tally from Bradley Voigt with four minutes to play. David Lipka scored 45 seconds later, and Rehfuss, who struggled for the majority of the first three quarters, capitalized by sliding back door behind Duke defenseman JT Giles-Harris and tied the game from a Solomon pass. Curry had a late chance in regulation that hit the inside of the top left corner of the goal frame before overtime began.

In the extra session, Drake Porter stopped freshman midfielder Garrett Leadmon coming right toward him to keep the game going. After a John Desko timeout, Curry took a shot that Turner Uppgren made an easy save on. Following that, John Danowski took a timeout and saw Kevin Quigley’s shot blocked in front with Porter scooping up the ground ball. Which then ended with Curry’s winner.

One player, I think Jonah Swigart, knew before anyone else did.

Solomon led the way points wise with a pair of goals and assists, while Trimboli and Rehfuss each had two goals and one assist. The Orange defense caused 10 turnovers in the win, Porter stopped 12 shots, and the faceoff unit went 11-of-18 on draws.

Scoring and Stats


A Joey Manown (2 Gs, 1 A, 1 GB)
A Joe Robertson (2 Gs)
M Garrett Leadmon (2 Gs)
A Brad Smith (1 G, 1 A, 2 GBs, 1 CT)
M Reilly Walsh (1 G)
M Jake Seau (1 A, 1 GB, 1 CT)

LSM Peter Welch (2 CTs, 3 GBs)
D JT Giles-Harris (2 CTs, 2 GBs)
D Cade Van Raaphorst (2 CTs, 2 GBs)
M Kevin Quigley (1 CT, 1 GB)

FOGO Brian Smyth (6-of-14 FOs, 3 GBs, 1 CT)
FOGO Jordan Ginder (1-of-3 FOs, 1 CT)
G Turner Uppgren (11 saves, 1 GB)


A Nate Solomon (2 Gs, 2 As, 3 GBs, 1 CT)
A Stephen Rehfuss (2 Gs, 1 A, 2 GBs, 1 CT)
M Jamie Trimboli (2 Gs, 1 A, 2 GBs)
M Brendan Curry (1 G, 1 A, 1 GB, 1 CT)
A Bradley Voigt (1 G, 1 A, 1 GB)
M David Lipka (1 G, 2 GBs)

D Tyson Bomberry (2 CTs, 6 GBs)
SSDM Peter Dearth (2 CTs, 3 GBs)
LSM Brett Kennedy (1 CT, 4 GBs)
D Nick Mellen (1 CT, 2 GBs)
D Marcus Cunningham (1 CT)

FOGO Jake Phaup (8-of-12 FOs, 1 GB)
FOGO Danny Varello (2-of-5 FOs, 1 GB)
FOGO Nick Martin (1-of-1 FO, 1 GB)
G Drake Porter (12 saves, 2 GBs)

Notes and Nuggets

  • A personnel note: Grant Murphy played for the first time since he injured himself in the win over Johns Hopkins.
  • Watching it on TV (nearly going to it in person), CNS looked like a phenomenal venue for the game. Standing room only and it was packed. Maybe Syracuse should build a small stadium of that size down the road from where soccer currently plays and have soccer and lacrosse there?
  • The Orange have a very good crop of sophomores and juniors, and today’s game showed that. Whether it’s Jake Phaup at the faceoff X with Brett Kennedy and Jared Fernandez on the wings, Peter Dearth as the top short stick defensive midfielder, the entire first line midfield, Porter in goal, or even the redshirt-juniors like Rehfuss and Nick Mellen. Last year was a young team that lost a ton of leadership the year before. This year’s team is a little bit older, and a little bit better and with some leadership attached.
  • Despite the finish, which does matter, Syracuse needs to start games much stronger. In the three games they started out flat, they took their first lead in the fourth quarter (or in this case overtime). Being a part of the 2017 team, I know the guys want to play a complete four quarter game. But if the slow starts and second half comebacks continue and they keep winning, all will be well and the team won’t be regressing to the mean.
  • On the telecast, Paul Carcaterra mentioned moving Rehfuss up to midfield and Curry down to attack. That came right before Rehfuss scored his first goal of the game to help start ‘Cuse’s comeback run. The coaching staff did run Rehfuss out of the box in January scrimmages as an experiment. I did see Solomon run from the midfield a little bit early in the game.
  • The starting six were part of all nine Orange goals in the win. And that was it. Sure you can say nearly the same thing as Duke (Seau was absent for most of the game after getting crushed by Fernandez and Tyson Bomberry and was replaced with Reilly Walsh), but you do need to have some production from the bench. Jacob Buttermore has been absent from the scorebook since his hat-trick against Hopkins. Guys like him, Griffin Cook, Pat Carlin, Matt Magnan, and Owen Seebold at attack who had a great opportunity earlier in the game, along with Lucas Quinn (who dressed but did not play) will need to contribute at least in a small way.
  • This was a huge win for ACC conference play. They’re 1-1 with their next conference game next week on the road against Notre Dame. UNC doesn’t look good despite a 6-3 record, but they haven’t played a conference game yet.

What’s Next?

As I just mentioned, the Orange resume ACC conference play with their FIRST ROAD GAME against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish Saturday at noon on ESPNU. Notre Dame is coming off a 11-10 overtime loss to Ohio State yesterday. Four of ‘Cuse’s next five games are on the road. After Notre Dame, they have a short turnaround against Hobart three days later in Geneva.

Expect the top 20 polls to come out on Monday. Syracuse will probably be in the 9-13 range this week.