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No. 14 Syracuse men’s lacrosse falls to No. 12 Army, 17-13

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Costly mistakes that Army punished was the name of this game for Syracuse.

Army v Syracuse Photo by Rich Barnes/Getty Images

You can't make that many mistakes and hope to beat anybody, let alone Army.

The Syracuse Orange men’s lacrosse team suffered their third straight loss on Wednesday, and their second straight to Army, in a 17-13 defeat in the Dome.

Outside of a good second quarter, SU’s day was defined by bad turnovers and failed clears that the Black Knights turned into goals. In the end, those costly mistakes were the difference in an otherwise tight game. But if there’s a team that’s going to punish you for your sins, it’s Army.

For the third game in a row, ‘Cuse got off to a slow start against a good team. After scoring the opening goal, SU surrendered the next five to get down by at least four goals for the third first quarter in a row. I don’t know why it’s happening, but the Orange need to change something about their pregame routine in order to get out of the gates better.

The Orange actually shot really well in the first quarter, going 3-for-5. The problem was they only got five shots, as they turned it over eight times in the opening frame. They cleaned up their play in the late first quarter, and went on a 9-2 run to close the half and take the three-goal lead. But in the second half, their sloppiness resumed, especially in the fourth quarter as Army started to gain some separation.

The effort is there for this team, but the efficiency with the ball and obvious defensive issues are killers right now, especially when combined with the slow starts.

Brendan Curry and Owen Seebold each scored four goals to lead the Syracuse offensive day. Tucker Dordevic, the focus of Army’s defensive efforts, mustered a goal and two assists, and Jakob Phaup actually had a two-point day with a goal and an assist.

After a strong first possession in which Brendan Curry used a Griffin Cook screen and ripped one into the upper corner on the run, the next 10 minutes of the game imploded for SU. Army went on a 5-0 run while ‘Cuse turned the ball over seven times in a row, including twice on clear attempts that led directly to goals. SU was just getting outmuscled and outworked by Army in the early going, something we’ve seen far too often so far this season.

Late in the first quarter, Gary Gait replaced Bobby Gavin in net with Harrison Thompson and, coincidentally or not, the flow of the game changed. The turnovers stopped and the goals started pouring in as SU scored six in a row to take a 7-5 lead. From there, the teams traded the next few goals before the Orange scored the final two of the half to take a 10-7 lead into the break.

The second half was all Army, whose zone defense stifled Syracuse’s offensive flow and held them to only three goals after the break. The Black Knights outscored the Orange 10-3 in the final 30 minutes thanks to a back-breaking combination of Army’s defense, SU’s sloppy play and a much more even half at the face-off X.

The Orange will look to end the losing streak when they host Hobart in a battle for the Kraus-Simmons trophy on Sunday, March 6 at 4 PM on ACC Network Extra.