March 5, 2017
SYRACUSE – The No. 12 Syracuse Orange (3-1, 1-0 ACC) overcame a five-goal deficit and outlasted the No. 11 Virginia Cavaliers (4-2, 0-1 ACC) on Sunday afternoon, 14-13, inside the Carrier Dome. Sergio Salcido’s goal with 15 seconds left in the game gave the Orange their only lead of the afternoon.
“The loss stings,” said UVA men’s lacrosse head coach Lars Tiffany. “To put this in perspective, what a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon – running up and down against Syracuse University in a high-scoring, big-hitting and action-packed game. I don’t think I can be any prouder of my team. We really did a great job on the ground balls. We flew around and created extra possessions for ourselves most of the game. The last half of the fourth quarter – give credit to Syracuse, because they were the ones getting the extra possessions and the loose balls, and creating more shots on goal.”
With 11:06 left in the third quarter the Syracuse Orange trailed by five goals, 10-5. The Orange went on a 6-1 run to tie the game, 11-11, with 12:06 left in the contest. UVA retaliated right back when Ryan Conrad picked up the ground ball on the ensuing faceoff and streaked toward the Orange goal, depositing his second of the day with 11:56 left.
Ryan Simmons for Syracuse found nylon with 10:15 left to play, tying the game again, 12-12. Dox Aitken recorded his hat-trick at 7:04 on an unassisted goal to put UVA up one goal, 13-12.
Syracuse evened the score with 5:45 left ,13-13, on a Matt Lane goal. UVA won the ensuing faceoff, but after Michael Kraus drew a pushing penalty with 3:10 left, the Cavaliers never possessed the ball again on offense.
After UVA goalie Will Railey saw a barrage of shots, saving three in the final three minutes, Salcido slipped the game-winner in with 15 seconds left.
The Cavaliers started the game fast, taking an early 2-0 lead on the heels of goals by Conrad and Aitken. Zed Williams and AJ Fish also scored in the first quarter as the game was knotted at 4-4 after 15 minutes of play. UVA played stellar defense in the second quarter, shutting out the Orange, while scoring four goals in the process, leading at the intermission, 8-4. Kraus scored three of this four goals in the second frame, securing the natural hat-trick.
Kraus led UVA with four goals and two assists. Aitken tallied his fifth career hat-trick in his sixth collegiate game. Aitken is up to 19 goals on the season, which ties him with Larry LeDoyen (1983) and Jay Jalbert (1997) for most goals by a UVA freshman midfielder in program history.
Syracuse won the battle of shots (47-41) and saves (12-8). UVA won the battle of ground balls (43-27) and faceoffs (17-14), while turnovers were the same (11-11).
Virginia returns to action on Saturday in its first-ever game in the state of California when the Cavaliers meet the Cornell Big Red at the Pacific Coast Shootout. The game will be played in Costa Mesa, Calif., at Orange Coast College. Faceoff is set for 9 p.m. ET.