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Down six in the third quarter, Syracuse killed Georgetown’s man-up opportunity when the Hoyas attack lost his footing at X and dropped the ball. With a chance to recover and potentially spark a comeback in what turned into a scoreless third period for the Orange, Owen Seebold fired a shot. The ball crashed into a defender, and the Hoyas went on to tack on three more goals during the third quarter via Dylan Hess, Jake Carraway and Graham Bundy.
For the fourth time in school history, Syracuse was unseeded in the NCAA Tournament, entering its matchup against No. 5 seed Georgetown. The Hoyas hadn’t won a tournament game since 2007, but snapped that streak in College Park, Maryland on Saturday night. Syracuse’s first-line midfield didn’t notch a point until the fourth quarter as the Orange’s season concluded. By the end, head coach John Desko could only shake his head on the sideline.
Here are three takeaways from Syracuse’s (7-6, 2-4 Atlantic Coast) 18-8 loss against the No. 5 seed Hoyas (13-2, 9-1 Big East):
Georgetown controls ground ball battle
When Owen McElroy made a save and then got hacked just inches outside his crease, he charged to X in a scrum for the loose ball. Outnumbered by SU’s Jamie Trimboli and Stephen Rehfuss, the Georgetown goalie took contact from both. McElroy still scooped up the ball, despite getting shoved over by Trimboli for a foul, and cleared for Georgetown. The Hoyas proceeded to convert their man-up opportunity in the third quarter from Carraway, putting them up 9-4 and restoring their five-goal cushion from the first half.
After Jakob Phaup lost his first four of his first six faceoffs, Danny Varello came in for a change of pace to start the second quarter, what Desko repeatedly calls his “1-2 punch.” Varello was late to the loose ball, and Will Goodine got there first as Varello laid out but came up short. Late in the fourth quarter during garbage time, Varello came away from an ugly faceoff with the ball in his stick, but then couldn’t recover it back from the carpet when it was jarred loose.
Saturday night, faceoffs were frequently followed by a scrum for the loose ball. Phaup rarely won the initial faceoff change, but battled for the loose ball by jarring it loose. But more often than not, the Hoyas’ wings were a step quicker than the Orange’s.
In the fourth quarter, after a mini 3-0 run by the Orange featuring goals from Trimboli and Seebold, the latter fired a shot which got blocked. With the ball on the floor, SU stood, ball-watching. Jack Leary was there to suction the ball up from the turf and send the Hoyas back the other way.
SU burned by turnovers, errors
Down five goals, Drake Porter stepped outside the crease with the ball in his stick and then reentered. The referee blew his whistle, and Georgetown converted the error into a goal via Hess. The freshman unloaded a deep effort, and Porter could only watch the ball crash into the back of the net. The score marked Georgetown’s fifth of a 5-0 run during the second quarter, a goal that gave Georgetown a comfortable cushion which it didn’t relinquish on Saturday night.
Moments before, Owen Hiltz tried to connect a short, right-to-left pass to Tucker Dordevic near the top of the box. Syracuse blew its man-up opportunity — which it finished 0-of-2 on — and Georgetown exploded downfield. Carraway spun past Mitch Wykoff before shooting off his left foot. Carraway raised his stick in the air with both hands, pumping it up and down.
Stephen Rehfuss got yard-saled as his stick went flying in the third quarter, and Georgetown charged downfield.
After Porter made an easy save, Cole Horan dropped the ball before sending an astray pass to Grant Murphy. That ball nearly trickled out of bounds, and when SU finally got across the midfield line, Curry stretched his stick out fully but couldn’t collect another loose ball.
During the second quarter, Lucas Quinn dished a pass toward the middle of the field. In traffic, the pass didn’t connect with an SU player. Instead, the Hoyas took over possession. Syracuse lacked that same discipline when an SU player was called for unsportsmanlike conduct after swearing at an official, creating a two man-up chance which Georgetown scored on. And in the final two minutes, the Orange went down six-on-three after three penalties — one of which was another unsportsmanlike conduct call.
The Orange finished with 13 turnovers, nine of which were caused by Georgetown, and the Hoyas capitalized on SU’s errors.
Orange defense struggles one-on-one
On the man-up during the fourth quarter, Peter Dearth was matched up one-on-one with Carraway, Georgetown’s all-time leading scorer. The short stick matchup was favorable for the Hoyas’ attack, and the Syracuse sideline screamed “shooter Dearth” over and over. But Dearth couldn’t switch on defense, and Carraway blew past him to put the Hoyas up 9-4.
Eleven of the Hoyas’ 18 goals were unassisted, including their first eight consecutive goals.
Nicky Petkevich matched up against Dami Oladunmoye to open the second quarter, doing a spin move against the SU short-stick defensive midfielder before unloading a left-handed shot to put the Hoyas up 4-2. Brett Kennedy played strong, tight defense on the following possession but Carraway still managed to sneak a shot past. Then Declan McDermott dodged past Brandon Aviles, getting into an alley before exploding downfield for an easy goal.
With the game slipping away during the third quarter, down eight goals, Hiltz tried to ride against a Hoyas defender. Instead, he got called for a 30-second pushing violation — one of SU’s 11 penalties on Saturday night — and the Hoyas converted a man-up opportunity seconds later. Syracuse went down nine, and there wasn’t anything the Orange could do to climb back in.
The post 3 takeaways from Syracuse’s season-ending loss to No. 5 Georgetown appeared first on The Daily Orange.