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No. 14 Syracuse men’s lacrosse outlasts Hobart, 18-16, for Kraus-Simmons trophy

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The Orange couldn’t get out of their own way at times, but did just enough to come out on top of their upstate rivals.

In another tightly contested edition of the battle for the Kraus-Simmons trophy, the Syracuse Orange men’s lacrosse team retained the trophy for the eighth consecutive year on Sunday with a 18-16 win over the Hobart Statesmen.

It was the 107th all-time meeting between the upstate rivals, and the 36th meeting since the trophy was first awarded in 1986. The Orange are now 33-3 in trophy games.

This game ended up being a lot closer than it should have been, thanks to a handful of Syracuse errors that kept the Orange from ever establishing a lead of more than three on the Statesmen. Seven different times in this game, ‘Cuse got up by three goals, but never once turned that lead into four. It was mostly self-inflicted mistakes that kept them from pulling away.

While the Orange dominated the FO (25-13) and GB (35-22) battles, their 16 turnovers took away a lot of scoring chances and often times led to Hobart scores. Additionally, a rash of penalties gave Hobart easier scoring chances that they capitalized on, going 5-of-6 on man-up opportunities. We all know that the top-flight teams on SU’s schedule will stomp the Orange if they make that many errors against them, so obviously the mistakes continue to be a major area of concern for Gary Gait, Dave Pietramala and company.

Tucker Dordevic and Brendan Curry were, unsurprisingly, the catalysts in this game. They each scored five times and Dordevic led the way with seven points (5G, 2A) while Curry had six (5G, 1A). Mikey Berkman (2G), Owen Seebold (1G, 1A), Lucas Quinn (1G, 1A) and Tyler Cordes (2G) each added two-point games. Harrison Thompson (8S) and Bobby Gavin (3S) combined for 11 saves as they both played for the second game in a row. Who will start against Hopkins next weekend? Tough to tell at this point. Jakob Phaup put up good numbers despite committing three violations in each half, going 25-of-38 (65.8 percent) for the game.

Hobart opened up the scoring in this one with goals on back-to-back possessions, but Syracuse fired right back off an unsettled situation as Pete Fiorini found Brendan Curry for a man-up goal. Lucas Quinn tied it up less than a minute later before Hobart cashed in a man-up goal of their own to take a 3-2 lead.

In the late-first and early-second quarters, the Orange went on a 4-0 run on the back of an on-the-run Curry goal and a pair from Tucker Dordevic to take a 6-3 lead.

They gave it back quickly, though, as Hobart went on a 3-0 run in just over two minutes to tie it back up thanks to another man-up goal and a huge mistake by Jakob Phaup who won a face-off and then threw it right to a Hobart attacker. That run tied the game at six, but SU closed the half strongly with a 4-1 run to take a 10-7 lead into the break.

The third quarter was a goal-fest, with 10 total goals evenly split between the teams for a 5-5 quarter that sent the Orange to the fourth with a 15-12 lead. Bobby Gavin subbed in late in the third quarter after Harrison Thompson came up empty on what looked to be a relatively easy save attempt on an outside shot.

Hobart struck first in the fourth to once again get within two goals, but LSM Saam Olexo scored SU’s third transition goal of the game to push the Orange back out by three. After another Statesmen goal, Brandon Aviles scored as he was falling down to make it 17-14 with just under seven remaining.

Hobart would get it down to 17-16 on a goal with 36 seconds left, but ‘Cuse won a battle for the ensuing face-off and Brendan Curry scored an open-net goal coming out of a timeout with 11 seconds left to seal the win for the Orange.

The rivalry meter is about to get dialed all the way up next weekend when Syracuse travels down to Baltimore to resume their rivalry with Johns Hopkins after a one-year hiatus. The two most storied programs in history will meet next Sunday, March 13 at 4 PM on ESPNU.