Shooting gallery

SU fired 55 shots, improving to 2-0 on the season in a 12-7 victory over Army.

The No. 1 ranked Syracuse men’s lacrosse team finally figured out Army’s goalie in the second half of Sunday’s game to beat the Black Knights 12-7.

Allowing just 16 goals in their first two games, Army focused on shutting down Syracuse’s offensive stars Cody Jamieson and Stephen Keogh.

For three quarters, the Black Knights (1-3) did just that. Relying heavily on junior goaltender Tom Palesky, who made 21 saves on the afternoon, Army’s defense kept it close -- especially in the first quarter when the Black Knights barely controlled the ball.

Photo: Jamie De Pould
Senior captain Chris Daniello fires off a pass during the first quarter against Army on Sunday. Daniello and junior Stephen Keogh combined for eight of the Orange's 12 points.

Syracuse fired 55 shots, their highest total since the first game of the 2009 season when they beat Providence 22-3. Despite the number of chances, the Orange’s offense had difficulty connecting, just missing passes to each other or misfiring from high-percentage areas of the field.

“It gets frustrating, but everybody’s got to keep their head and keep shooting,” said junior attack Keogh. “They started to fall for us at the end. (Palesky)... He’s a great goalie.”

Palesky only handled 18 shots in his first two games combined, but looked poised throughout Orange’s afternoon shooting gallery.

The Orange's Chris Daniello scored three of his four goals in the close-checking first half, and helped Syracuse establish a 5-2 lead at halftime.

Early in the second half, the Black Knights took advantage of Syracuse’s inability to capitalize on their chances. Buoyed by Palesky’s play, Army used a series of fast breaks to surprise the Orange midfielders and defenders.

Five minutes into the third quarter, Syracuse had a one-man advantage. With the Black Knights on their heels, the Orange were attempting to add to their three-goal lead.

After recovering a loose ball, sophomore attack Tim Desko found Jamieson glued to the top of Army’s crease. He faked high but Palesky got his stick on the shot. Palesky found a midfielder streaking downfield. Seconds later, Tyler Seymour’s blast tightened the lead to just two.

The Black Knights took advantage of Syracuse’s slow transition game, using their speed to score two goals within 15 seconds of Palesky making important saves.

Orange coach John Desko said that everybody was guilty of being caught off guard by Army’s fast transition game.

“Two of those were situations where we were man-up and had a really good shot against their goaltender,” said Desko. “He made a big save, so it caught us off balance – we thought the ball was in the back of the net. I think we all hesitated. We just reminded our guys over and over again, if he makes the save, which he had been doing plenty of times today, that he’s looking to get that ball out, and they’re looking to fast break.”

But Jeremy Thompson once again proved the importance of dominating faceoffs. Just six seconds after Army tied the game at five, Thompson found Keogh wide open in front of the Army net and he buried the second of his afternoon’s four goals to put Syracuse ahead permanently. Keogh leads the team with six goals on the season.

In the fourth quarter, Syracuse’s offense began to click like the nation’s top-ranked team should be clicking. Thompson, Josh Amidon and Max Bartig all tallied in the fourth quarter.

Thompson said that, as the offense continues to learn each other’s habits, there will be occasional growing pains.

“On offense, we’re strong,” said Thompson. “Josh Amidon, Kevin Drew, Jovan (Miller), all those guys are great athletes. It’s just a matter of time.”

Syracuse visits the University of Virginia (3-0) on Friday, one of just two teams to beat them in the 2009 regular season.

Sophomore attackman Tim Desko puts one into the Army cage with 9:02 remaining in the fourth quarter. The point put Syracuse up 10-6. Copyright 2010 Jamie De Pould/


Sophomore attackman Tim Desko puts one into the Army cage with 9:02 remaining in the fourth quarter. The point put Syracuse up 10-6.  (PHOTO: Jamie De Pould)

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