Men’s lacrosse beats ND, clinches share of ACC title
Cuse MLAX beats Notre Dame
Syracuse head coach John Desko stood on the sidelines with his arms crossed and a blank look on his face midway through the second quarter. Notre Dame had just tied the score at four.
But that somber look on Coach Desko’s face didn’t last long. Ninth-ranked Syracuse defeated sixth-ranked Notre Dame 10-6 in the Carrier Dome.
With the win, the Orange (5-3, 3-0 Atlantic Coast) grabbed its 900th program win. They became only the second collegiate lacrosse program to achieve that feat, behind Johns Hopkins.
Syracuse defender Nick Mellen said being a part of the 900th program win was special.
“It just makes all of us on our team grateful for all the teams that played before us, just to put us in the position that we are,” Mellen said.
The game was physical, as Syracuse had eight penalties and Notre Dame (5-3, 1-1 ACC) had one. Despite the high number of man-down possessions, Coach Desko’s defense stood its ground. Notre Dame did not score on any of their man-up opportunities despite having eight chances.
“I didn’t agree with all of them [penalties], but fortunately our man-down did a good job of staying tight, knowing who they were,” Coach Desko said. “Notre Dame does a really nice job of moving their people around and getting some skip passes, and I think our defense understood that, took the skip passes away.”
But it was the defense that shined. Syracuse goalie Dom Madonna was a force in the cage, stopping 13 shots.
Mellen knew how important it was to prevent the Fighting Irish from scoring on those extra-man opportunities.
“All year we’ve kind of been trying to work to prevent those big waves that other teams have on us, and we kind of noticed throughout the game that a lot of the calls weren’t in our favor, so we just kind of said we got to bear down here,” Mellen said.
“We trust this guy [Madonna] to make a big save at the end of the game,” Mellen added.
The Orange suffocated the Fighting Irish in the second half. Syracuse held Notre Dame to just two goals in the final 30 minutes of play.
Trimboli put the nail in the coffin with a little over one minute remaining in the game as he beat the shot clock for a goal to put the Orange up 10-6. After this goal, Notre Dame fans hit the exits and Syracuse fans rose to their feet.
Syracuse has faced seven ranked teams consecutively and has won four of those games. Coach Desko views it as a positive.
“We’ve talked all year with our schedule, especially that if it doesn’t kill us, it will make us stronger, so we’ve just been trying to get better every week that we play,” Coach Desko said.
Syracuse has a short turnaround before its next game, hosting Hobart on Tuesday at 7 p.m.