From press releases -- SOUTH BEND, Ind. – After failing to score in the first half, No. 17 Syracuse (7-7, 3-3 BIG EAST) recorded six goals after intermission, but came up short in an 8-6 loss to No. 3 Notre Dame (11-1, 6-0 BIG EAST) on Saturday, April 28 in front of a sold-out crowd of 4,522 at Arlotta Stadium.
The Orange trailed 4-0 at the half, and 6-3 after three quarters before rallying to get within one, 7-6, midway through the final period. Syracuse was never able to tie the game though, and Will Corrigan added an insurance goal for the Irish with 7:10 left to produce the final score.
Junior JoJo Marasco (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) and senior Bobby Eilers (Simsbury, Conn.) led the Orange with three points each. Marasco finished with two goals and one assist, while Eilers recorded one goal and two assists. Redshirt senior Tim Desko (Syracuse, N.Y.) also contributed two goals for the Orange.
The Irish opened up a 3-0 lead after the first quarter on goals by Jim Marlatt, Westy Hopkins and Ryan Foley.
In the second quarter, Pat Cotter scored on Notre Dame’s only shot of the period to extend the Irish advantage to 4-0 at the break.
The Orange scoring drought reached 37:53 before Desko fired a left-handed laser past Notre Dame goalie John Kemp at the 7:07 mark of the third quarter to get Syracuse on the scoreboard. Senior long-stick middie Joe Moore (Plainsboro, N.J.) followed with an unassisted goal in transition to cut the Notre Dame advantage to 4-2.
With the momentum starting to swing Syracuse’s way, the Irish responded by scoring two of the third quarter’s last three goals, including one by Foley with one-tenth of a second left in the stanza. Foley’s last-second goal pushed the Notre Dame lead to 6-3 heading into the fourth quarter.
Marasco and Notre Dame’s Sean Rogers traded goals in the first two minutes of the final period, and consecutive goals by Desko and Eilers followed to close the gap to 7-6 with 7:43 left in regulation. Eilers’ extra-man goal with the Orange’s last as Notre Dame’s top-ranked defense held Syracuse scoreless the rest of the way.
Seven different players had goals for Notre Dame. Foley led the way with two goals. He also added an assist to finish with three points. Rogers (1g, 2a) also had three points for Notre Dame to match Foley for team-high scoring honors.
Kemp made 11 saves for the Irish to record the win, including seven stops in the first half. His counterpart, Bobby Wardwell (Clifton Park, N.Y.), finished with nine saves for Syracuse.
Syracuse outshot the Irish, 31-21, for the game. The Orange also held the advantage in ground balls (26-24) and faceoffs (9-8).
Next up for Syracuse is the Villanova Wildcats. The Orange and Wildcats meet at 7 p.m. in the semifinals of the inaugural BIG EAST Championship on Thursday, May 3 at Villanova Stadium. The game will air live on ESPN3 (Internet only) and tape-delayed on ESPNU at 11 p.m. Thursday.
Game Notes: The Irish finished unbeaten in BIG EAST play for the first time to win the conference regular-season championship outright … Marasco extended his point-scoring streak to 22 games … The loss was Syracuse’s first to Notre Dame … The Orange is now 5-1 all-time against the Irish.