Syracuse Men's Lacrosse Falls to Duke in NCAA Title Game

Duke (16-5) used a 12-1 run in the middle of the game to overcome a 6-1 deficit and win the 2013 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship with a 16-10 victory over top-seeded Syracuse (16-4) Monday, May 27 at Lincoln Financial Field. The loss was SU's first in a NCAA championship game since 2001, ending a string of four straight national-title game victories for the Orange.

 

Sophomore attackman Kevin Rice and redshirt freshman Dylan Donahue paced the Orange with four points each. Rice finished with one goal and three assists. Donahue scored three times and dished out one assist. Senior JoJo Marasco contributed two goals and one assist for the Orange in his final college game.

 

Donahue and Marasco represented Syracuse on the all-tournament team along with defenseman Sean Young and goalie Dominic Lamolinara.

 

It was Rice who sparked the Orange early against the Blue Devils as all of his points came in a 5-0 Syracuse run to start the game. Rice assisted on junior Billy Ward's transition goal at the 10:26 mark of the first quarter to open the scoring. Rice found the cage himself less than a minute later, and connected with senior Luke Cometti and Donahue for goals during the run.

 

Duke's Jordan Wolf briefly halted the Orange momentum when he finished a Walsh pass with 12:54 to play in the first half, but junior Scott Loy came right back for Syracuse, scoring off a feed from Donahue make it 6-1 Orange.

 

With Syracuse threatening to break the game open, the Blue Devils responded with four consecutive goals, including an unassisted score by Wolf with 1:51 left in the half, to trim the Orange margin to 6-5 at the break.

 

In the third quarter, David Lawson notched Duke's fifth in a row to tie the game, 6-6, with 12:58 remaining in the period.

 

The Orange scoring drought eventually stretched to 22 minutes and 19 seconds before Donahue finished a Ryan Barber pass at the 4:28 mark of the third quarter to give Syracuse a 7-6 advantage.

 

After Donahue's goal, Duke ripped off the next seven goals to go up 13-7 with 10:47 to go. Josh Dionne and Josh Offit keyed the Blue Devil surge with two goals apiece in the run.

 

Back-to-back goals by Marasco closed the gap to four, 13-9, with 7:36 to play, but Duke tallied three of the game's last four goals to hold off the Orange and win its second national championship.

 

Wolf led the Blue Devils with four goals and two assists. Offit contributed five points (three goals, two assists) and Dionne had three goals.

 

The Duke offense was aided heavily by faceoff specialist Brendan Fowler who won 20-of-28 (.714) draws, including 13 in row at one point, to repeatedly give the Blue Devils possession. Overall, Duke won 21 of the game's 30 faceoffs and Fowler was named the NCAA Championship's Most Outstanding Player for his performance.

 

Senior defenseman Brian Megill was the Orange's best answer for Fowler. Megill was 5-for-7 (.714) at the X and picked up six ground balls in his collegiate finale.

 

Duke outshot the Orange, 46-36. The Blue Devils also held a 44-27 advantage in ground balls.

 

The Orange are now 11-6 all-time in NCAA title games, including a 5-3 mark under head coach John Desko.

 

The loss to Duke was SU's first loss to ranked opponent this season (9-1).

Marasco finished the season with 42 assists, tied with Kenny Nims (2009) and Mike Powell (2002, 2004) for ninth on SU's single-season record list. Marasco's 87 career assists rank ninth on the Orange's all-time list.