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Syracuse 9 - St. John’s 8: The Orange overcome an error filled day to improve to 4-1

Syracuse played its worst game of the year, by far, in a 9-8 win over St. John’s. The Red Storm took advantage of numerous caused and unforced errors to keep pace with SU.

NCAA Division I Lacrosse Championship - Semifinals Jim Rogash/Getty Images for Reebok

I hope you did not watch that game. Honestly. It was frustrating, to say the least.

The Syracuse Orange move to 4-1 after barely escaping Queens, NY with a 9-8 win over the St. John’s Red Storm.

SU had 15 turnovers in the game, but only seven were caused. All day Syracuse couldn’t get out of its own way, putting the ball on the turf and throwing it out of bounds (or throwing it to no one). The Orange came out of the gate hot, picking up four straight goals on four straight shots midway through the first period. St. John’s finally picked its first score of the game up with 1:34 to go in the first on a Joe Madsen goal to make it 5-1 SU.

After netting five in the opening period, the Orange only managed one in each of the second and third periods and picked up two in the fourth to hang on.

At 7:50 in the second, with Syracuse riding a St. John’s clear hard, Nate Solomon tackled the ball carrier with his stick around the player’s neck. Certainly he could have been thrown out of the game for the take down, but instead was given a two minute non-releasable penalty. St. John’s did not put a shot on cage during the extended man-up opportunity, but scored just seconds after it released on a Nick Heller shot. I don’t recall seeing Solomon again during the game.

The play of the game came from Evan Molloy late in the second quarter. Molloy made the save, high, on an initial shot but gave up a rebound that the SU defense couldn’t control. The groundball battle moved to goal line extended and Molloy came out of the net to assist. The Red Storm were able to recover the gb, and got the ball in front of cage for what looked like it would be an open net goal, but just as the shot released Molloy dove in front of the net to make a save with the shaft of his crosse. Incredible effort from the senior goalie who had nine saves on the day. St. John’s would put away one more in the half, for a three goal period to leave the score 6-4, Syracuse.

The seventh goal for Syracuse on the day came with 11 seconds to go in the third period, ending a 24:02 SU scoring drought. Nick Mariano, on the near side, put a beautiful pass right into Brad Voigt’s stick as Voigt sat on the opposite crease with a man on him. The pass was just out of the reach of a St. John’s defender and the height of it allowed Voigt to simply dunk it in on Dan Costa. Mariano led the Orange in assists and points today with three and five respectively, while also tying a team high two goals.

With just 35 seconds remaining in the game and SU up 9-8, Syracuse took a timeout. The Orange came back to the field playing keep away with Dan Costa out of net playing the ball. It looked like SU would ride out the final seconds of the game with the ball until… the Orange threw it away with 15 ticks to go. St. John’s managed to clear it, but the Red Storm was only able to get one, off-net shot before the final buzzer.

Don’t get it wrong, Syracuse escaped. SU’s performance on the offensive side of the ball was nothing short of disgusting. Mariano had two turnovers, Jordan Evans had two turnovers, Sergio Salcido had three turnovers, and a slew of other offensive players turned the ball over as well. I know it was cold out today but the mental errors were constant and frequent. The ‘Cuse did not deserve to win today’s game.

The Syracuse Orange visit Johns Hopkins next Saturday in Baltimore. If SU plays anywhere near how it played today, it could be a major blowout.