Syracuse men’s lacrosse wraps up regular season hours after Scanlan’s arrest

SU men's LAX wraps up regular season hours after Scanlan's arrest

Chase Scanlan was charged with criminal mischief prior to Owen Hiltz's career day in the Dome.
Published: May 7, 2021
Owen Hiltz #77 of the Syracuse Orange celebrates a goal with teammate Owen Seebold #14 against the Robert Morris Colonials during the second half at the Carrier Dome.
Owen Hiltz #77 of the Syracuse Orange celebrates a goal with teammate Owen Seebold #14 against the Robert Morris Colonials during the second half at the Carrier Dome.

The No. 9 Syracuse men’s lacrosse team ended the regular season with an emphatic 21-14 victory over visiting Robert Morris to finish with a 7-5 record. Despite on-field success, the victory was overshadowed by the latest development for attack Chase Scanlan off the field.

The Orange played the final three games of the regular season without Scanlan after he was involved in a domestic incident on April 18. While his suspension for conduct detrimental to the team was reversed, he did not participate in team activities.

Scanlan was taken into the custody of the Syracuse Police Department in the parking lot of Manley Field House around 11 a.m. on Friday, five hours before the team’s last game before the postseason. He has been charged with criminal mischief stemming from the April 18 domestic incident.

Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick gave a statement regarding the investigation and the arrest.

“Hopefully, today’s arrest will put to rest the rumors that have been running rampant about this incident for the last couple of weeks and send a message that we take all incidents of domestic violence seriously, no matter where they are committed or by whom they are committed,” Fitzpatrick said. “This investigation is ongoing.”

After a challenging morning for the program, the game opened with a quick strike for the Orange and ended with teammates challenging for the goal scoring lead. Just 28 seconds in, Jamie Trimboli found himself nearly parallel with the goal line with mere inches of shooting space between the crossbar, post and goalie’s helmet. He snuck the ball through for a top-shelf snipe for a 1-0 lead and his 16th goal of the season.

The Colonials struck next, but their excitement was short lived as Owen Hiltz fired a rocket into the net off a feed from Tucker Dordevic. The floodgates opened as Owen Seebold skipped a low shot past keeper Ben Savick, but following a quick strike and a man-up goal halfway through the first, the game was tied at 3-3.

After the game, head coach John Desko praised Hiltz for his career-best performance as one of the most prolific freshmen he has coached.

“He’s definitely one of the better ones,” Desko said. “Pretty comforting knowing we’re going to have him for three more years.”

The Owen show continued as both Hiltz and Seebold notched their second goals of the game in quick succession. Jakob Phaup started the game 9/10 on the faceoff, which kickstarted the offense to the tune of a 6-3 lead following a Brendan Curry goal.

RMU capitalized on another man-up opportunity to cut the lead to two, but Seebold, the attack who replaced Scanlan in the starting lineup, completed his hat trick in the first quarter. RMU retaliated, but ‘Cuse answered as Stephen Rehfuss and Seebold assisted on a goals from Trimboli and Dordevic to round out the quarter 9-5.

Brendan Curry #16 of the Syracuse Orange dodges to the goal against the defense of Blake Lori #7 of the Robert Morris Colonials during the first half at the Carrier Dome.
Brendan Curry #16 of the Syracuse Orange dodges to the goal against the defense of Blake Lori #7 of the Robert Morris Colonials during the first half at the Carrier Dome.

Phaup continued to dominate on faceoffs, winning 13 of 17 before he was illegally body-checked for a one-minute full serve penalty. He left the field with the help of the training staff but was back to win the next faceoff after Dordevic cashed in just after the penalty was released.

The SU offense kept clicking, but the defense fell asleep at times throughout the game. RMU cut the lead to three as a man was left alone behind the net to wrap around on Drake Porter. The offense remained undeterred at the other end, however, as Hiltz grabbed a hat trick of his own on a fancy underhand flick that danced in right under the bar.

Curry, Rehfuss and Seebold would also tally goals in the second, but the Orange surrendered the five first half goals to Ryan Smith, the nation’s fifth leading player in goals-per-game heading into the matchup. Following Smith’s 46th of the season with one second remaining in the half, the Orange held a 14-10 lead.

Porter and Savick traded saves to open the third as both teams went six minutes without a goal. As the game progressed, a race was on to see who would finish as the team’s leading scorer. Hiltz and Rehfuss tied Scanlan in the first half, and Dordevic pulled within one to break the stalemate in the third. With 6:25 remaining in the quarter, Hiltz put the Orange up 16-10 and took the team lead with his 25th of the season.

Not to be outdone, Rehfuss scored his 25th, but Hiltz answered his teammate just over one minute later to reclaim the lead and push SU ahead 18-11 heading into the fourth.

Hiltz scored his sixth and seventh goals of the game, and Seebold added his fifth as both players extended their previous career highs by a hat trick.

In the press conference following the victory, Desko highlighted the importance of Seebold to the team’s front line heading into the postseason.

“Owen (Seebold), going down the stretch here the last five or six games, is really playing with a lot of confidence,” Desko said. “He wants the ball on his stick. He wants to make something happen. He’s a big, physical guy that creates matchup problems for other team’s defenses.”

Hiltz and Seebold led the way with nine and seven points, respectively. Hiltz’s seven goals tied him for the most by a freshman in program history. Phaup ended the afternoon with a 75% win rate on faceoffs and 16 ground balls as the Orange closed out a 21-14 victory.

With a 7-5 record and a top-10 ranking, ‘Cuse will look to Sunday’s NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse Selection Special to determine where they will be ranked and who their opponent will be for the NCAA Tournament. The team rallied in the wake of Scanlan’s suspension and arrest. In the pursuit of the team’s first championship since 2009, Desko outlined his expectations for the rest of the season.

“We look at it as a whole new season,” Desko said. “To play the number one (ranked) schedule in the country, or two, says something. It makes you better, so I think it’s going to help us going into the playoffs. A good attitude and a win today’s going to get us off to a good start.”