SYRACUSE — Playing for the first time in nearly a year, the Syracuse men’s lacrosse team returned to action with an 18-11 loss to Army on Sunday afternoon at the Carrier Dome.

Tucker Dordevic totaled four goals and an assist to pace the No. 4-ranked Orange (0-1) who played for the first time in 351 days.

But Syracuse’s offense was not enough as No. 12-ranked Army (1-1) led for most of the game, building an 8-7 advantage through the first half.

After the Orange built a 6-1 lead in the opening quarter, including a 5-0 run, they were held to only five goals the rest of the way.

The Black Knights outscored the Orange 10-3 in the second half, including 5-1 in the third quarter, to prevail.

“It’s a lot about character but we also have to find ways to get game experience under our belt,” said Syracuse coach John Desko, whose team lost its season opener for the second time in the past three years. “We just finished our third week of practice and quite frankly I think we played like it. We normally have five weeks and two or three scrimmage games under our belt when we played Army. They played with more experience on the field and more composure than we did.”

Brendan Nichtern led the way for Army by totaling seven points, including four goals, while Bobby Abshire added four goals and two assists. Aidan Byrnes, Gunner Phillipp and Nickolas Edinger scored three goals each.

Stephen Rehfuss (2-1) and Chase Scanlan (1-2) each recorded three points on the day for the Orange and goalie Drake Porter made 13 saves.

Wyatt Schupler made 12 saves to record the win for the Black Knights.

Syracuse, which is now 81-21 in season openers, had also won its past three meetings with Army. The Black Knights lead the all-time series, 41-27.

On Sunday, Syracuse played its first game since March 7 in a 15-9 win over Johns Hopkins in a nonconference game in Baltimore.

The Atlantic Coast Conference then canceled all spring sports because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Orange posted a 5-0 record last season, all against nonconference opponents, including 4-0 in home games.

Syracuse will host No. 3-ranked Virginia at 6 p.m. on Saturday at the Carrier Dome in the ACC season opener for both teams.

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