The #3 Syracuse Orange and #4 Duke Blue Devils faced off in the finals of the ACC Lacrosse Championship at PPL Park on Sunday, April 26th. Both teams had scored upset victories on Friday to make the championship game. Duke defeated #1 Notre Dame 13-8, and Syracuse upended #2 North Carolina 9-8.
The weather was picture perfect in Chester, PA on Sunday afternoon for the title game. Syracuse entered the game seeking their first ACC Men’s Lacrosse title in only their second year in the conference. Syracuse’s Nicky Galasso scored the game’s first goal less than a minute into the contest but Duke responded by scoring the next 5 goals in a row to take a commanding 1st quarter lead.
The Orange bounced back, scoring the first 5 goals of the second quarter to retake the lead 7-6. Syracuse closed out the half scoring two unanswered goals to take a 9-7 lead into the locker room at intermission. Duke scored first in the second half but Syracuse rifled off the next three goals to maintain their lead, 11-8.
The two evenly matched teams continued to battle throughout the second half. Duke was never able to tie the contest but Syracuse was never able to pull away. Down just 1 goal in the final two minutes, Duke fired off 4 shots at Syracuse goalkeeper Bobby Wardwell, but none of them found the back of the net. Despite out-shooting Syracuse 43-35 for the game, the Blue Devils came up short and Syracuse captured their first Men’s ACC Lacrosse Championship.
Galasso, Randy Staats, and Kevin Rice each scored 3 goals for Syracuse. Rice was named the tournament MVP for his 3 goals and 4 assists on Sunday (to go along with 2 goals and 2 assists on Friday). Duke was lead by Jack Bruckner’s 5 goals and Myles Jones who chipped in 3 goals.
The NCAA Lacrosse Championships will be held next month in Philadelphia at Lincoln Financial Field.
[Photo credit: Michael Green]
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