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Syracuse men’s lacrosse: Orange play Notre Dame in first away game of season

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It’s March 30 and the Orange are away from Syracuse for the first time this year.

Syracuse Athletics

The Syracuse Orange play in their first road game of the season as they head to South Bend, Indiana to take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in ACC conference play at Arlotta Stadium. Opening faceoff is set for Noon on ESPNU. Steve Schlanger and Matt Ward will be on the call (Live Stats are here).

The Orange lead the all-time series 10-4 and have met every year since 2010 when the two were members of the Big East. Syracuse head coach John Desko and Notre Dame head coach Kevin Corrigan have coached all 14 games for their respective teams.


The Last Game

In a repeat of the previous two games against Johns Hopkins and Rutgers, the Orange started out slow in the first half. But down 8-4 with 6:28 left in the game against Duke, Syracuse somehow found a way to come back like they always do. Nate Solomon, Bradley Voigt, David Lipka, and Stephen Rehfuss all scored in the quarter to force overtime where Brendan Curry ended his 0-for-11 shooting slump with the biggest goal of the game and probably his career so far for a 9-8 decision.

Solomon led the way in points with a pair of goals and assists and also recorded his 100th career point in the process. Rehfuss and Jamie Trimboli 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.


Last Time They Met

The teams met in the Carrier Dome last season in a back-and-forth fight early. After Syracuse scored the game’s first three goals, Notre Dame countered with a 3-0 run of their own. The two squads would alternate the next four goals before the Orange scored the next four goals to push them past the Fighting Irish 10-6.

Solomon finished with a pair of goals and assists, while Dom Madonna made 13 saves.


KNOW YOUR ENEMY: NOTRE DAME

The Irish are usually better than what their record says. This year, they’re 4-3 but their losses have come against Richmond, Virginia, and Ohio State, all within two goals. They have a #5 RPI and the best SOS in the country according to LaxBytes.

Their starting attack has gone through some changes. Ryder Garnsey is no longer with the team due to being academically ineligible. So joining Brian Willetts and Brendan Gleason is sophomore Connor Morin. Gleason leads the team with 20 points (12 Gs, 8 As), while Willetts is second on the team with 15 goals.

The midfield is also a bit different, but retains their best player in Bryan Costabile. The junior leads the team with 16 points and is probably Notre Dame’s best offensive player. That will probably mean he will get covered by LSM Brett Kennedy. He’s joined by talented sophomore Wheaton Jackoboice and freshman Quinn McCahon. Other key depth midfielders include Griffin Westlin, Tommy McNamara, Mikey Drake, and Morrison Mirer (the son of former NFL quarterback Rick Mirer).

Notre Dame is known for their defense thanks to assistant coach Gerry Byrne. Their three starting close defensemen have consisted of Arden Cohen, Hugh Crance, and Jack Kielty. Cohen is one of the better young defensemen in the country and tops the Irish with 11 caused turnovers and second with 28 ground balls. Eric Restic and Jose Boyer are the two LSMs, while Drew Schantz and John Hallenbeck are the two two SSDMs with Timmy Phillips and Nick Stinn as the second pair of shorties.

Sophomore Matt Schmidt returns in goal and boasts a 9.59 save percentage. Charles Leonard is Notre Dame’s top FOGO, winning 55.4% of his draws.


Things To Know

A quick heads up, the team has a very quick turnaround. After Saturday’s game, the Orange will return back to Syracuse before heading west to Geneva to take on Hobart in a Tuesday night tilt.

Here’s John Desko’s weekly press conference.

Solomon and Drake Porter also spoke.

Could Brendan Curry be SU’s next big star? More from Lindsay Kramer of Syracuse.com.

“I probably wouldn’t have been able to take 11 shots in a game as a freshman. I wasn’t getting my hands free as much,’’ Curry said. “You think that (he might be snakebit). But that just comes with the short-term memory. You’ve just got to forget about it and move on, just keep shooting.’’

And this season, Curry is perhaps better equipped to exploit that skill than ever before.

Curry had an impressive debut with the Orange last season, wracking up 10 goals and seven assists in 15 games. At the end of the season, SU coach John Desko urged Curry to spend a lot of the off-season polishing his shooting.

”We never questioned his work ethic,’’ Desko said. “He’s always in great shape. He comes ready to play. He’s a very good dodger. He’s got a good first step. He’s got good speed after the first step, which gives him distance from his defender. Bottom line is get it in the back of the net. I think he worked hard at that.’’

Enjoy the weekend of college lacrosse! There’s a ton of other games this weekend (including Penn State-Maryland), so make sure you enjoy what the sport has to offer! And if you want to chat during the game, this will be the place to do it!