Syracuse men’s lacrosse falls to Cornell in the NCAA tourney opener

SU falls to Cornell in NCAA men's LAX opener

While the Orange outshot, picked up more ground balls and won more faceoffs, it was not enough against the Big Red.
Published: May 14, 2018

Cornell men’s lacrosse overcame a two-goal halftime deficit and knocked off eighth-seeded Syracuse 10-9 at the Carrier Dome Sunday night in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.

Trailing 7-5 at halftime, Cornell (13-4) exited the locker room and responded with two-straight goals to tie the game at seven. SU (8-7) answered at the 5:40 mark in the third quarter to get the lead back, but it would be the last lead the Orange saw on Mother’s Day. The Big Red scored three of the final four goals of the game, helping Cornell beat Syracuse for the second time this season.

Clarke Petterson scored five goals for the Big Red, but the game-winning goal came from the stick of Colton Rupp with 5:35 left in the fourth quarter. Cornell received a man-up opportunity because of a Nate Solomon unnecessary roughness penalty at the 5:55 mark to set up Rupp’s goal, and the Big Red advance to play top-seeded Maryland in the quarterfinal round in Annapolis next weekend.

After earning possession in the final minutes, Syracuse head coach John Desko took a timeout to set u a play. When that timeout did not yield a goal, Desko took another timeout with less than a minute remaining. That timeout resulted in a missed shot, followed by a penalty against Cornell, but the game clock ran out before SU could go on the man-up opportunity.

Syracuse received two goals from freshman Tucker Dordevic, sophomore Jamie Trimboli, and senior Brendan Bomberry, as well as single goals from freshman Brendan Curry, redshirt sophomore Stephen Rehfuss, and junior Nate Solomon. Redshirt senior Dom Madonna stopped 11 shots between the pipes for the Orange.

In addition to Petterson’s strong performance and Rupp’s heroics down the stretch, Jake McCulloch tallied a four-point performance for the Ivy league champions with two goals and two assists. Jordan Dowiak and Cooper Telesco also found the back of the net. Goalkeeper Christian Knight made 8 saves in the cage for Cornell.


The Syracuse defense did play well, limiting Cornell’s offense to four goals below its season average of about 14 goals per game. The Big Red had the nation’s second-highest scoring offense this season behind Albany. The Orange defense – especially redshirt sophomore Nick Mellen – did an admirable job on Cornell’s Jeff Teat as well. Teat was the nation’s second best point man this season with 96 points (37 goals, 59 assists), yet the Tawaaraton Award nominee tallied just one assist against SU on Sunday after a two-goal, four-assist outing versus the Orange during the regular season on April 10. Mellen guarded Teat closely all night long.

Overall, Syracuse outshot Cornell, picked up more ground balls, and won more faceoffs, but the Big Red had three man-up goals compared to zero for the Orange. SU also turned the ball over more than Cornell.

Syracuse men’s lacrosse has not advanced to championship weekend since 2013 and has not won a national championship since 2009, However, the Orange loses just five players from this year’s team due to their final year of eligibility, meaning the majority of this year’s team will be back for another potential run next season.