No. 13 Syracuse commits season-high 22 turnovers in 14-10 loss at No. 18 Rutgers

first_imgPISCATAWAY, N.J. — Syracuse’s chances seemed dim, but it had an opportunity to crawl back into the game. The Orange was man-up, trailing by two early in the fourth quarter. As the offense worked the ball around, looking to remain perfect in extra-man opportunities, the ball found Jamie Trimboli at the top of the key.He looked left and passed the ball, which was subsequently batted down by Garrett Michaeli. Rutgers scooped the ground ball, pushing transition and killing the penalty. Trimboli’s errant pass was Syracuse’s 15th turnover of the afternoon, marking a season-worst. Three minutes later, SU had its second shot clock violation. Rutgers’ Jules Heningburg would score his fifth goal of the game after that turnover.“We didn’t value the ball,” redshirt-sophomore defender Nick Mellen said. He paused. “Yeah, we just got sloppy and fell away from our game plan a little bit.”On a day where Syracuse needed its offense to bounce back, it did the opposite. When trying to work the ball around, most passes missed their target. Two separate times while man-up, Syracuse turned the ball over. Both came while trailing and could’ve shifted momentum toward the Orange. But that would never come on Sunday afternoon, as the No. 13 Orange (3-3, 1-0 Atlantic Coast) committed a season-worst 22 turnovers in its 14-10 loss to No. 18 Rutgers (6-2, 0-0 Big Ten) at High Point Solutions Stadium. For the first time since April of 2004, the Scarlet Knights walked away with a win against SU.A physical back-and-forth game saw the first half end with just as many turnovers as goals (10). Mistakes often committed by Syracuse, allowing Rutgers to stay within striking distance. Of the first-half turnovers, seven were committed by the Orange. Errant passes, a shot clock violation and Stephen Rehfuss stumbling into the crease gave the Scarlet Knights opportunities in transition.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textEven with the added possessions given to Rutgers, Syracuse’s defense remained its backbone in the first half, much like it has all season long when constantly pressured and overworked. Rutgers went a perfect 2-for-2 on the man-up, but one of the penalties was on attack Brendan Bomberry. Outside of Heningburg’s two first-half goals, one coming on a missed slide and the other on a defensive midfielder matchup, the team’s other first liners scored just two goals on 16 shots.Syracuse struggled to maintain possession in the second half as well. With the game tied at six, the Orange committed three straight turnovers, including a failure to clear the ball. Despite forcing two Rutgers turnovers in that stretch, the offense came up empty-handed, constantly giving the ball back to RU which eventually scored to take the lead for the second time all game.“Offensively, we did OK in the first half,” SU head coach John Desko said, “and in the second half, we were behind and felt we had to catch up so we forced a lot of things. Anytime you’re forcing things and trying to catch up, you’re going to get turnovers.”Syracuse junior attack Nate Solomon followed up a Rutgers run with back-to-back goals to regain the lead for SU. But right after his second goal, Heningburg intercepted a pass off the ensuing faceoff. He found himself alone with only goalie Dom Madonna to beat, which he did with ease. Then, after winning the next faceoff, Heningburg scored his fourth goal of the day to give Rutgers the lead back.Again, turnovers shifted the momentum from in the Orange’s favor to against it. The next possession, Solomon turned the ball over. Nearly a minute-and-a-half later, Christian Mazzone found the back of the net.Mazzone’s goal was the third of seven straight Rutgers goals that spanned the end of the third quarter and most of the fourth. In that 7-0 run, when Syracuse’s offense held possession, a turnover or save from goalie Max Edelmann gave Rutgers a running start in transition. The Scarlet Knights seized the opportunity with Heningburg leading the charge with four goals in that seven-goal run. “Today when we lost our composure a little bit, they jumped on us,” Desko said. “… We can’t play that way.”The Orange began scrambling in the fourth quarter as Rutgers’ lead widened. Syracuse began forcing passes and taking shots while defended tightly. Two man-up opportunities ended in turnovers. Multiple long passes on clear attempts ended up in a Rutgers stick. Players tried going 1-on-1 on the Scarlet Knights defenders, but nothing would come out of it.Syracuse finished the fourth quarter on a cold streak, playing more than 17 minutes without a single goal. It committed seven turnovers in the final frame and while the Orange would score with just 1:20 left, and again 17 seconds later, the damage had been done.“Something that I’ve noticed is that in the past few games are we enter this panic mode when we go down by two goals,” sophomore faceoff specialist Danny Varello said, “and start trying to force balls and do things we’re not usually good at.”After winning the ensuing faceoff and trailing by four with a minute to play, Syracuse turned the ball over yet again. It was a common theme for the Orange: as momentum shifted, turnovers stopped any chances at a full-fledged comeback.A week after being embarrassed by Johns Hopkins in the Carrier Dome, Syracuse had an opportunity to bounce back and win its third ranked game of the year. But that same turnover-prone offense that left the Dome traveled to Piscataway, and Rutgers exploited it.“Getting pushed out of our comfort zone is probably the biggest threat to us,” Varello said. On Sunday, Syracuse was far from comfortable yet again, unable to crawl out of another weak offensive performance. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on March 18, 2018 at 3:22 pm Contact Charlie: [email protected] | @charliedisturcolast_img