The Syracuse Orange have been very familiar with starting out slow and mounting a comeback in the second half en route to a thrilling victory.
The ingredients were there Saturday afternoon against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Syracuse was down at halftime and mounted a second half comeback to make it an interesting game. However, the Orange gave up 11 goals in the first half and scored only three and weren’t able to complete an unreal comeback as Syracuse fell 13-10 in South Bend, Indiana.
For the sixth time in their eight overall games, the Orange gave up the first goal of the game. The start didn’t seem to be as bad as the last three games when Bradley Voigt cut Notre Dame’s lead to 2-1 with 11:14 left in the opening quarter. But for the remainder of the half, the Irish outscored the Orange 9-2 to take a commanding 11-3 halftime lead.
But like the last three weeks, Syracuse started to click in the second half. With Luke Strang in goal for the second half and using Jamie Trimboli’s last goal in the second half, the Orange went on a 7-0 run and shut out the Irish for the majority of the second half to trim the deficit to just two goals. But Brett Kennedy was called for a cross-check to the head of Brendan Gleason which gave Notre Dame the momentum switch they needed and converted with a Bryan Costabile goal. The midfielder would score his fifth of the game shortly after and would provide Notre Dame with some additional breathing room to hold on for the victory.
Trimboli and Voigt each had a hat-trick, while Trimboli added an assist to lead all Orange players with four points. Defenseman Nick Mellen finished with a game-high three caused turnovers. Drake Porter started the game but gave up 11 goals while making six stops. Strang came in and made five saves on two goals against with a couple of caused turnovers.
Scoring and Stats
M Jamie Trimboli (3 Gs, 1 A)
A Bradley Voigt (3 Gs, 2 GBs)
A Nate Solomon (2 Gs, 1 A, 3 GBs)
M David Lipka (1 G, 1 A, 1 GB)
A Stephen Rehfuss (1 G, 4 GBs)
M Brendan Curry (1 A, 1 GB)
M Jacob Buttermore (1 A)
A/M Griffin Cook (1 A)
D Nick Mellen (3 CTs, 3 GBs)
D Tyson Bomberry (1 CT, 5 GBs)
LSM Austin Fusco (1 CT, 2 GBs)
D Marcus Cunningham (1 CT, 1 GB)
SSDM Peter Dearth (1 CT)
FOGO Jake Phaup (15-of-21 FOs, 8 GBs)
FOGO Danny Varello (1-of-4 FOs)
FOGO Nick Martin (0-of-1 FO)
G Drake Porter (6 saves)
G Luke Strang (5 saves, 1 GB, 2 CTs)
M Bryan Costabile (5 Gs, 1 GB)
A Brendan Gleason (3 Gs, 1 A, 3 GBs, 1 CT)
M Wheaton Jackoboice (2 Gs, 2 As)
A Connor Morin (1 G, 1 A, 1 GB)
M Quinn McCahon (1 G, 1 A)
A Brian Willetts (1 G, 1 GB)
A/M Griffin Westlin (1 A, 1 GB)
D Hugh Crance (2 CTs, 3 GBs)
LSM Jose Boyer (2 CTs, 2 GBs)
LSM Eric Restic (1 CT, 3 GBs)
SSDM Timmy Phillips (1 CT, 1 GB)
D Arden Cohen (1 CT)
SSDM John Hallenbeck (1 CT)
FOGO Charles Leonard (10-of-25 FOs, 5 GBs, 1 CT)
G Matt Schmidt (6 saves, 1 GB)
G John Zullo (1 save)
Notes and Nuggets
- The first half was really sloppy by the Orange. They turned the ball over 14 times, seven each in the first and second quarters. The team cleaned it up in the second half which helped in their comeback efforts.
- ‘Cuse’s defense didn’t look good at all in the first half. That was obvious to anyone watching. Six of Notre Dame’s 11 goals came from the midfield. Three of the 11 were on man-up opportunities.
- I didn’t think Drake Porter played that bad. A lot of it was more on the defensive personnel not living up to standard. I can see both arguments for pulling and not pulling him before the third quarter. If you’re John Desko and you pull him, the goalie might lose some confidence, but a change could give some life to the team after a few early stops. If Desko doesn’t pull Porter, that shows he still has confidence in his goalie, but if the goals continue to pile up, Porter might lose some confidence in himself and that could hang over his head.
- That being said, Strang looked pretty good in the second half. He made some early saves that helped juice up the Orange for a comeback run. There might be some goalie controversy questions with how he looked in his 30 minutes of play, but I don’t think there’s anything to it. Porter should start Tuesday night against Hobart.
- This should also be pretty obvious, but the slow starts have to stop. It can fly for so long, but there’s a limit to the madness. Take two years ago when this was happening. The Orange were down 13-4 to North Carolina in the ACC semifinals and it looked like the Tar Heels would cruise to a victory. But Syracuse went on an 8-0 run to cut that lead to a goal before UNC would wake up and hold on for a 16-15 win. Then in the NCAA Quarterfinal against Towson, the Tigers went on a 6-0 opening first quarter en route to a 10-7 win. There will be a slow start that might cost this team later in the season.
- With the loss, the Orange are 1-2 in conference play with North Carolina remaining on their conference schedule. Virginia leads the way with a 2-0 record, followed by the Tar Heels at 1-0. Notre Dame is 1-1, while Duke is 0-2. Unlike previous years, everybody makes the ACC Tournament. However, the 4th and 5th place teams play each other in a play-in game to take on the top seeded team the Thursday before the conference semifinals that occur two days later. ‘Cuse has to win in a little under two weeks in Chapel Hill in order to possibly save themselves from playing an additional game.
The road games continue for the Orange, as they don’t have that much time to refuel and recover. They travel to Geneva to take on Upstate New York rival Hobart Tuesday night at 7 PM for the Kraus-Simmons Trophy.
Expect the top 20 polls to come out on Monday. Syracuse will probably be in the 11-15 range this week.