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Syracuse men’s lacrosse: Orange collapse in fourth quarter to lose to Notre Dame, 20-12

The Orange keep finding new ways to lose in devastating fashion.

Notre Dame v Syracuse Photo by Rich Barnes/Getty Images

The Syracuse Orange men’s lacrosse team lost yet another game to the No. 3 Notre Dame Fighting Irish in blowout fashion on Saturday, 20-12, in the JMA Dome on Senior Day.

The one, however, had a different feel to it.

Mostly because of the crazy sequence early on in the fourth quarter that appeared to take a goal away from Syracuse and led directly to a Notre Dame goal at a time when the Orange had a one-goal lead.

That sequence sparked a rampaging Notre Dame run that saw the Irish score the final nine goals of the game in about 12 minutes time to take a 12-11 Syracuse lead and turn it into a 20-12 Notre Dame stomping.

The sequence in question happened as follows:

Early in the fourth quarter, Joey Spallina found Finn Thomson with a great look inside for an open look at the goal. Finn threw in a shot that Notre Dame goalie Liam Entenmann saved, but the fact that he was off-balance made him fall backwards. His stick went into the net and the top of his stick rippled the net. The entire head of his stick was over the goal line, but the referees whistled no goal, and play continued. Notre Dame ran right down the field and immediately scored to tie the game at 12.

It certainly appeared that SU got screwed and that the referees took a goal away from them when they should have had a 13-11 lead.

Here’s the problem. The NCAA Lacrosse rule book disagrees. Thank you Chris Jastrzembski for the clarification:

A.R. 46. A goalkeeper, in possession of the ball, brings the crosse back through the plane of the goal. RULING: Legal play, no goal scored. (Only a loose ball beyond the plane of the goal counts).

It’s only a goal when the ball is loose after crossing the line. If the ball crosses the line inside the goalie’s stick, it is not a goal. On the replay, it is, by my estimation, impossible to tell when exactly the ball is fully inside Entenmann’s stick.

If you’re asking my opinion, I don’t think Entenmann had control of it until after the ball had crossed the line. But that’s not how replay works. There’s not enough video evidence, in my opinion, to say for 100% certain exactly when the ball goes into the stick versus when it crossed the line. And that’s why I think even if they had gone to replay to review, they would not have called it a goal.

As for the game itself, it got completely out of hand after that sequence. Notre Dame closed the game on a 9-0 run as the Orange collapsed in the fourth quarter. They couldn’t win a face-off. They couldn’t make a stop. The whole game went to pieces after that sequence. I don’t know how much of that was because of the no-goal call, but whatever it was, it was a disaster for SU.

Speaking of disaster, the face-off situation has completely de-railed any hope for success of wins against quality teams that Syracuse has had this season. They lost the battle, 23-13, in this game, including 9-2 in the fourth. Those fortunes are not likely to change at any point the next month.

Cole Kirst (2G, 2A) led the way on Senior Day with four points, while fellow grad student Alex Simmons (3G) finished with a hat trick. Owen Hiltz (2G, 1A) scored three points, while Joey Spallina (1G, 1A), Michael Leo (1G, 1A), and Saam Olexo (1G, 1A) all had two. Will Mark made 12 saves.

The Orange will be back in action next weekend when they hit the road for their final non-conference game of the regular season against the Princeton Tigers on April 8 at 12 PM.