SYRACUSE, N.Y. (SU ATHLETICS) – It was a back-and-forth Sunday at the JMA Wireless Dome as the No. 20 Syracuse University men’s lacrosse team lost a 14-13 overtime thriller against No. 5 Duke.

Syracuse (3-3, 0-2 ACC) tied the game with two minutes to go, and had a chance in the extra period, but could not complete the upset against the No. 5 Blue Devils.

Senior netminder Will Mark made 27 saves for the Orange, his highest total since joining the program. Cole Kirst scored four times on six shots and added an assist for a five-point effort. Jackson Birtwistle notched another hat trick.

Syracuse’s potent man-up picked apart the Blue Devil man-down unit. The Orange led the country in man-up goals entering the game, scoring another three from Birtwistle, Alex Simmons and Finn Thomson, who tied the game with his tally. Duke allowed just three extra-man goals in its previous five contests.

Duke (5-1, 1-0 ACC) got the game-winner from Charles Balsamo with 54 seconds left in overtime. Brennan O’Neill scored four goals with two assists for a six-point day while Balsamo, Dyson Williams, and Garrett Leadmon all notched a pair.

How it Happened
Syracuse’s high-octane offense came out firing, taking a 3-0 lead 10 minutes into the game. Kirst, Birtwistle and Simmons all scored, with Owen Hiltz and Finn Thomson assisting the second two goals.
Duke snapped the run on a Tommy Schelling goal at 3:01, but the Orange pounded home two more goals for a 5-1 lead after 15 minutes. Kirst and Luke Rhoa had the final goals in the frame.
The Blue Devils pulled back within one of the Orange with three unanswered goals from Garrett Leadmon, Andrew McAdorey and O’Neill.

‘Cuse redoubled its lead at 8-4 with Birtwistle, Hiltz, and Simmons all scoring in succession. Spallina had two assists in the series, which lasted just over a minute.
Back-to-back Blue Devil goals, this time from Charles Balsamo and O’Neill, made it an 8-6 Syracuse lead at the break. Mark made 15 saves in the first 30 minutes for the Orange.
Out of the break, Syracuse got two quick strikes from Birtwistle and Kirst, both completing the hat trick for a 10-6 lead.

Duke tied the game after a four-goal burst from Leadmon, Dyson Williams, and O’Neill twice, making it a 10-10 affair. The Blue Devils took their first lead of the game with 3:36 to play in the third as Schelling scored his second of the day to push the Orange into a timeout.
Late in the third, Duke continued its run, building to a two-goal, 12-10 lead with 51 seconds left. Aidan Danenza scored on a Balsamo feed.
Spallina ended a long ‘Cuse drought with another highlight reel goal, driving into his defender before shooting around the opposition and beating Helm five hole.
Williams pushed the Duke lead back to two with 8:07 to play in the fourth, the final marker for the Blue Devils in regulation.
Back-to-back goals from the Orange, including Kirst’s fourth of the day and Finn Thomson on the man-up from Hiltz, tied the game with 2:04 to play. The pair of goals came just 55 seconds apart.
Two of Mark’s 27 saves came in overtime, but eventually Balsamo found the net for the first Blue Devil win in Syracuse.
Behind the Numbers

Mark’s 27 saves ranked 10th all-time for a single game at Syracuse, and stands as an Orange high for the senior. Mark previously made 30 saves against Bryant in 2021.
Both teams were excellent in clears as the sides each went 22-of-23.
Kirst had a career day in the score column, depositing four goals, his eighth career hat trick. His five points on four goals and one assist also tie a career high.
Birtwistle continued his impressive scoring run, scoring at least once in each of the last 10 games for the Orange. It was his seventh career hat trick.
Owen Hiltz finished with three points on a goal with two helpers, his 19th straight game with at least one point.
The Orange offense was highly efficient, scoring its 13 goals on 32 total shots, 23 of which were on goal. Duke netminder William Helm made 10 saves.
Syracuse’s dry spell of nearly 19 minutes was just the second time this season the Orange were held without a goal for more than 15 minutes.

Up Next for Syracuse
The Orange conclude a three-game homestand on Saturday, taking on No. 15 Johns Hopkins.
Game time is set for 4 p.m. at the JMA Dome. During halftime, Syracuse will honor the legendary Mike Powell, retiring his jersey to the rafters of the Dome.