Men's Lacrosse

Fast reaction: 3 quick takeaways from No. 2 seed Syracuse’s 10-7 NCAA quarterfinal loss to No.11 Towson

Sabrina Koenig | Asst. Photo Editor

Matt Wylly and Towson always had an answer for the Orange and a 6-0 cushion after the first quarter was all the Tigers needed to punch a ticket to Foxborough.

NEWARK, Del. — Syracuse’s longest national title drought since 1983 endures another year.

Towson marched out to an early 6-0 lead and did not relent in its 10-7 victory over SU on Sunday afternoon. No. 2 Syracuse (13-3, 4-0 Atlantic Coast) scored its fewest goals (six) since its season-ending loss last season in its season-ending loss to No. 11 Towson (12-4, 4-1 Colonial Athletic) on Raymond Field at Delaware Stadium. The Tigers advance to the Final Four in Foxborough, Massachusetts, to play Ohio State.

Syracuse suffered only its third loss this season and its worst loss since this weekend last year, when SU lost to Maryland, 13-7, in the NCAA quarterfinals. The Orange, ranked No. 1 in the country for three weeks this season, had its season cut prematurely for the fourth straight year.

Here are three quick takeaways to the game.

Historic loss

This year’s senior class became the first grade to not reach Memorial Day weekend since 1979. The Orange has not won the national championship since 2009, the program’s longest drought since 1983. Senior attack Jordan Evans became only the second player to wear the No. 22 since 1988 and not capture a national title.

Syracuse drops to just 3-4 in NCAA tournament games over the last three years. The Orange has reached the Final Four only once — 2013 — since its last national title in 2009. Towson came out firing in SU’s historic loss, as the Orange lost the week before Memorial Day for the second straight year.

SU came back from down by four or more goals on four separate occasions this season, but no such comeback was in store against the Tigers. 

Answering machine

Every time Syracuse showed life with a goal, the Tigers answered. Towson senior goalkeeper Matt Hoy entered Sunday playing some of the best lacrosse of his career, and he continued to excel in the cage. He made 10 saves, several from point-blank.

“We have to be efficient, especially against Towson because they’ll be a lot more patient that Yale was,” SU head coach John Desko said this week. “They’ve been called for stalling quite a bit. We have to make sure we’re good, making saves, not giving the ball to them in any of those situations.”

The opposite played out in Newark, Delaware, on Sunday afternoon.

Where’s the offense?

Towson’s third-ranked defense, which thrives because it packs in the interior of the offensive area like a zone, stifled the SU offense. Middle cutters were a rarity. SU’s second-ranked man-up offense, which converts on about half of its chances, went 0-for-4. The Orange committed 11 turnovers, several of which led to Towson goals at the other end.

“We have to be patient,” Desko said this week. “We have to work for good shots. And if it’s not there, we just have to bring it out and start our offense all over again.”

At times, SU was patient, though possessions ended in turnovers. Other times, SU forced shots or had passes batted away by one of the stingiest defenses in the country. Towson’s elongated possessions ate up clock and created a vicious cycle that SU could not spin out of.

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