Syracuse men's lacrosse (3-1, 1-0) turned smooth sailing into a wild ride in Sunday's 12-11 win over Virginia (4-1, 0-1).
The Orange almost threw away a masterfully played three quarters, but freshman Tucker Dordevic was there to save the day in the game's closing seconds. A rightwards spin dodge followed by a right-handed fling gave Dordevic his fourth goal of the day and gave Syracuse the road victory.
The first of sophomore Jamie Trimboli's two goals put the Orange up by five early in the fourth quarter. At that point, Syracuse had held the nation's fourth-highest scoring offense to just five goals, but a quick response from Virginia's Ian Laviano set the tone for a six-goal fourth quarter for the Cavaliers.
The SU defense showed weakness in the game's final quarter, giving up multiple goals to wide-open players. A couple of those defenseless opportunities were capitalized on by Virginia's senior attacker Mike D'Amario. The New York native scored three straight goals for the Cavaliers to bring the game to within one.
Virginia goalie Alex Rode made the last of his fifteen saves before clearing the ball to sophomore Jared Connors for the game tying goal, setting up Tucker Dordevic's heroics.
Following a 4-4 first quarter, it began to look as if Syracuse would run away with the game. Freshman Brett Kennedy put in his first two goals of the season to put the Orange ahead early in the second quarter. After a Virginia goal, Dordevic finished the second quarter scoring with a low-rolling shot past the goalie to send Syracuse into halftime with a 7-5 lead. The freshman then opened up the scoring in the second half with a long-range, sidearm bounce shot into the back of the net.
Meanwhile, the UVA offense looked lost. Cavaliers players were caught multiple times throwing errand passes and dropping the ball with little defense. To make things easier on the Orange defense, goalie Dom Madonna had five of his ten saves in the third quarter.
The final seconds of the game were intense even after Dordevic's winner. With less than a second on the clock, Syracuse junior Nate Solomon laid a hit on Virginia's goalie, who was releasing a last second heave on net. A scuffle between the teams ensued, resulting in ejections for Solomon and UVA's Zach Ambrosino.
The Orange return home on Saturday to play #19 Johns Hopkins. The last two editions of the teams' annual matchup have gone to overtime with each team capturing a win.