Syracuse, NY — The No. 9 Syracuse men’s lacrosse team takes on No. 2 Virginia at noon Saturday at Klöckner Stadium in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The game will be televised on the ACC Network.
See in-game team and individual stats here.
Finals: Virginia 20, Syracuse 11
Syracuse drops its second-straight game to a highly ranked opponent.
The Orange trimmed an eight-goal deficit down to three with a chance to further cut into the lead in the third quarter. But a costly turnover by Griffin Cook resulted in a transition goal by Virginia, which quickly created separation to remain unbeaten.
Cook, a Jamesville-DeWitt graduate, finished with a team-high three goals.
Virginia’s freshman goalie Matthew Nunes was outstanding, recording 15 saves and a .577 save percentage.
And Petey LaSalla won 19-of-28 faceoffs, flipping the script at the X after SU’s Jakob Phaup dominated him in both matchups a year ago.
Syracuse returns to action on Wednesday afternoon in the Carrier Dome for another ranked matchup against Army. The Black Knights defeated the Orange in last season’s opener and return a senior-laden squad highlighted by star attack Brendan Nichtern.
Virginia is content running clock late here with a big lead.
Curry’s bouncing shot hits the post. Virginia will get called for a pushing penalty, and SU gets another man-up opportunity. Both teams have low conversion rates on the man-up.
6:41: Virginia 20, Syracuse 11
Virginia’s ride elicits a roar from the crowd, and it results in a turnover at the midfield line.
A transition goal gives Virginia 20 goals on the day.
Syracuse will get a 2-minute man-up chance after two penalties on Schutz. In a closer contest, that could have loomed large, but the Orange trail by nine with about 10 minutes to play in regulation.
Nunes is up to 14 saves, and Virginia runs out of the man-down situation.
Max Rosa delivers a big hit, and Cook buries it on the other end for his hat trick.
Cook has been a bright spot in preseason practices, according to Gary Gait, but that success hadn’t flashed on gameday. He made a mental error earlier at a critical juncture in the game, but he leads the team with three goals.
12:37 p.m.: Virginia 19, Syracuse 10
Mikey Berkman scoops up a rebound and puts it home.
Virginia added to its largest lead of the game with a goal by Matt Moore, who has a hat trick coming off the hamstring injury.
Syracuse is going to fall to 1-2 on the season after dropping back-to-back games to the top-two ranked teams in the country.
It has a quick turnaround with another ranked matchup with Army on Wednesday night in the Carrier Dome.
End of third quarter: Virginia 18, Syracuse 9
Payton Cormier and Petey LaSalla score to double up the Orange.
LaSalla gets drilled on the goal, resulting in some shoving between both sides. LaSalla is going to get some attention from the trainer.
Earlier, Evan Zinn, one of the fastest players in lacrosse, races down the field for his second goal of the season.
Virginia has ripped off four-straight goals to counter the 4-0 run by the Orange earlier, and the lead is back to seven.
5:28: Virginia 14, Syracuse 9
Syracuse had a chance to shrink an eight-goal deficit down to two, but UVA has quickly countered to create some separation here midway through the third quarter with two goals in 30 seconds by Jack Simmons.
Brendan Curry bounces in a goal and SU is within three.
Extra possessions have certainly helped with better play the X.
Griffin Cook tries a behind-the-back pass that results in a turnover. Jack Simmons makes him pay by extending the lead back to four.
8:41am: Virginia 12, Syracuse 8
Virginia stops the 4-0 run with a goal by Schutz, who has a hat trick this afternoon. Shellenberger uses the pick and times a great pass in front for the easy dunk.
Lucas Quinn gets the Orange back within four on the quick release on the left wing.
11:59am: Virginia 11, Syracuse 7
Syracuse wins the opening possession, and Dordevic buries it on a step-down rip.
Phaup wins the second draw here in the second half, and Cook draws a penalty and finishes the job with his second goal. It’s his third career multi-goal game from him.
Promising start here for the Orange, which has scored the last four goals after trailing 11-3.
Halftime: Virginia 11, Syraucuse 5
Virginia looks like the national title contender it is in this one.
Payton Cormier (three goals), Connor Shellenberger (on goal, two assist), Matt Moore (two goals) and Xander Dickson (two goals, one assist) are pacing the Cavaliers.
Quiet halves for Brendan Curry (one assist) and Tucker Dordevic (no points) as Owen Seebold leads the Orange with two goals.
Petey LaSalla, after being dominated at the X in both of last season’s losses, is 11-for-15 at the faceoff X. Phaup is 5-for-17.
That possession dominance has resulted in an uneven total shot. Gavin, despite allowing 11 goals, has eight saves. Matthew Nunes has seven for UVA.
Virginia has doubled up SU at the X, 10-5.
Brendan Curry circles around to the X and feeds Quinn for an easy goal in front.
Gavin with an incredible save on Scott Bower, and he’s pumped up. Bower, a long pole, with a tough catch in front, and Gavin turns him away.
5:22: Virginia 11, Syracuse 4
Syracuse and Virginia trade goals here. Griffin Cook gets on the board, and Connor Shellenberger, last year’s most outstanding player at the Final Four, paints the corner on a tough angle off the right side.
A Dordevic shot low hits the pipe. Orange was offsides, but UVA’s Matt Moore is called for slashing and SU goes man up again for a minute.
Nunes with a great save. He’s been outstanding here in the first half with eight saves.
9:35am: Virginia 10, Syracuse 3
Cormier buries his second goal of the game, and Virginia brings its lead back up to six.
Syracuse has trouble clearing again, and Virginia’s Cormier makes it pay off a little scoop feed by Xander Dickson. Brett Barlow with a late slide on Dickson, and that leaves Cormier open.
11:30am: Virginia 8, Syracuse 3
Owen Seebold rips in a shot on the right side off the pass by Quinn just as the man-up penalty comes to an end.
Seebold has two goals on four shots. SU’s other players are empty on seven shots.
Berkman then gets a free shot on an empty net as Nunes is out helping on defense.
12:40 p.m.: Virginia 8, Syracuse 1
Syracuse will start the second quarter with a man-up chance.
Virginia clears and we’re back to even strength but only briefly. Brendan Curry called for a 30-second offside penalty.
Gavin made a save on Dickson, who crashes into the HIS goalie. Offsetting penalties on Olexo and Dickson will result in Orange ball and another man-up chance.
Nunes with a couple deflections on shots from the right wing, and Tiffany calls timeout with a handful of seconds remaining in the man-down situation.
END OF FIRST QUARTER: Virginia 8, Syracuse 1
Six Virginia players have scored eight goals in the opening quarter.
Virginia has flipped the narrative here in the first quarter.
Petey LaSalla has won 6-of-8 at the X, spurring the Cavaliers’ hot start.
Syracuse has been a mess offensively, getting outshot 18-7 and rarely challenging freshman goalie Matthew Nunes.
1:11: Virginia 7, Syracuse 1
Virginia continues the first-quarter scoring with Schutz’s second goal.
Syracuse has six turnovers, including three instances where it couldn’t clear the ball.
3:18: Virginia 6, Syracuse 1
Syracuse has had issues clearing and at the X.
Virginia’s lead grows to five off the goal by Xander Dickson.
Earlier in the quarter, Matt Nunes just snags a snipe by Griffin Cook looking to pass the ball behind the cage.
SU with a great clear on the 10-man ride, then Owen Seebold uses his size to back down his man and then slip through three defenders to score.
Somehow Cormier gets a shot on goal after another win by LaSalla at the X.
Virginia is going to get a man-up chance here with 4:33 remaining in the first quarter. Saam Olexo called for slashing, and I think I heard some colorful language there from Dave Pietramala.
Cook gets the ball knocked away, and SU can’t finish off the clear.
Virginia’s Moore buries the transition goal off the selfless feed by Connor Shellenberger.
7:33: Virginia 4, Syracuse 0
Griffin Schutz just overpowers Dami Oladunmoye, and Virginia continues its hot start.
Syracuse struggling with clears early here. Two early mistakes giving Virginia extra chances.
wow. Tucker Dordevic with a great pass to Berkman, but Nunes is there for a point-blank save.
Nunes has four saves early in the first quarter.
Syracuse forces a turnover but gives it right back on the ride, and it results in a 3-0 lead for UVA on the goal by Jack Peele.
1:00 p.m.: Virginia 2, Syracuse 0
Phaup picks up the game’s first ground ball to give the Orange the opening possession. Matthew Nunes with an early save.
Matt Moore, back in the lineup after battling a hamstring injury, nets the game’s first goal at the other end from the right wing.
Gavin makes a great save on UVA’s second possession, but Payton Cormier buries the rebound, bouncing it past SU’s goalie.
LaSalla has won two early draws.
It looks like Virginia attack Matt Moore will give it a go this afternoon, back from a lower-body injury.
Here are today’s starting lineups:
Syracuse lacrosse faces another top-two opponent as it opens ACC play Saturday at Virginia.
The Cavaliers are the two-time defending national champions but face their stiffest competition yet after three non-conference wins marked by slow starts.
Virginia coach Lars Tiffany, a LaFayette native, changed up the practice schedule, transitioning to team scrimmage periods after warm-ups to try to get his team locked in right off the bat.
The Orange is looking to rebound after dropping its first game of the season last week. It fell into an early hole against No. 1 Maryland before playing the Terps even for most of the game.
Contact Nate Mink anytime: Email | Twitter | 315-430-8253
MORE ORANGE LACROSSE
Syracuse lacrosse box score at Virginia
Jake Phaup has had Petey LaSalla’s number but downplays the dominance: ‘I caught him on 2 bad days’
Why wasn’t Paul Gait’s jersey retired with his brother Gary’s? (Ax lax notes)
Syracuse lacrosse goalie Bobby Gavin on the reason he transferred from Virginia
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism