The Syracuse Orange were just on the wrong side of one of the most lopsided contests I’ve ever seen. Notre Dame came out firing this afternoon and didn’t let off the gas all game in a thorough thrashing of SU. It says something when the Men’s Lacrosse Twitter didn’t have a single highlight to post all afternoon, and the postgame pic is missing the final score:
Flush it, learn and get ready for Albany. pic.twitter.com/3s2DvEFWMF— Syracuse Men’s Lacrosse (@CuseMLAX) April 2, 2022
For a team that had struggled to score so far this season, the Fighting Irish certainly didn’t play the part.
The Orange put themselves at a huge disadvantage early on when just over three minutes into the game, Matteo Corsi and Saam Olexo both took penalties, giving the Irish a 6-on-4 advantage in the offensive zone. They didn’t waste it; Jeffery Ricciardelli ripped home his fourth of the season in the first of many for Notre Dame.
Next on the board would be Jake Taylor, a junior in only his sixth career game in South Bend. Remember that name.
The entire first quarter was, to put it plainly, a mess. The Syracuse defense was nonexistent, as Irish attackers were able to repeatedly run straight through the middle and shoot right in front of the net. Bobby Gavin only stopped two of ten shots on goal, and although the bad performance wasn’t entirely his fault, he was pulled for Harrison Thompson with 2:23 left in the period. After a grueling 15 minutes, it was 9-0 with Notre Dame on top.
The Irish got it all the way to 12-0 before Brendan Curry mercifully put a ball past ND goalie Liam Entenmann at 9:28 of Q2. Tucker Dordevic tallied his 32nd of the spring and midfielder Jacob Buttermore picked up his first goal, but there was no way Syracuse was getting back into this one. 15-3 was the halftime score, as the home team showed why even with a losing record entering the game (2-4), their elite defense warranted them being ranked where they were. If their offense has woken up for good, the rest of the ACC should be looking over their shoulders.
Notre Dame let up a little in the second half, but one man continued to score. Remember how I said not to forget Taylor? He set a program record with EIGHT goals in this one. He had three career goals entering the game.
10 different Irish players wound up scoring in this one. The broadcasters mentioned how SU didn’t get checked into their hotel until after midnight, but even with that, there’s no excuse for a team to come out as flat as the Orange did today. If John reads this: you definitely picked the right lax game of the two to cover today.
I think many people knew that Gary Gait had a challenge ahead of him bringing this program back to national relevance. After today, it finally set in for me just how far he has to go.
The Orange drop to 4-5 (1-2 ACC) following the blowout. They’ll travel to Albany for a Thursday night matchup. Face-off will be at 7, and you can watch (a hopefully much-more competitive game) on ESPN+.