Lacrosse déjà vu at Cornell

With shades of 2009, Syracuse steals another victory from Cornell.

The second-ranked Orange visited the tenth-ranked Big Red Tuesday night in Ithaca. The first rematch between the teams since Syracuse came back from four goals down in the fourth quarter to win the 2009 National Championship game in overtime followed the same script, but without the extra frame.

Chris Daniello fired the game winner with under a second left, earning the Orange a hard-fought 8-7 victory in front of a bipartisan crowd.

Following a timeout with just two minutes left in the game, Cornell looked to kill the remaining clock time. The Big Red looked for one last scoring chance, until junior defender John Lade swatted a pass intended for Cornell attack Rob Pannell to the turf.

“Lade does that time and time again,” junior midfielder Joel White said. “He has one of the best sticks in Division I lacrosse. He just gets his stick on everything.”

With the ball on the grass, White recovered the loose ball and broke downfield. As he crossed midfield, two Big Red midfielders took diving swipes at his stick, but after the game, White said he barely noticed.

The Orange worked it down low to senior attack Cody Jamieson, who took the ball to the cage with less than 10 seconds on the clock. He tried to tuck it under goalie AJ Fiore, but the freshman got his stick on it. 

That’s when Daniello recovered the ground ball. He ran toward the sideline, turned and fired a rising shot that hit the top left corner, just as time was expiring. Daniello scored three goals on the day.

“I was standing on our bench, I actually had the perfect view of it going into the net,” White said. “I looked up at the clock, and saw that there was one second still on the clock. I knew the whole time that it was a goal.”

Cornell head coach Jeff Tambroni remembered it differently. Following the goal signal from the referees, he approached them to hear their perspective on the game winner.

“It seemed that when I looked up at the clock, it said zero, then the ball went in, then the horn went off,” Tambroni said. “I just wanted to get their take on how the call was made.” 

Before the final goal, Syracuse spent much of the game trying to catch up to Cornell. In the third quarter, Syracuse trailed 4-2 until senior attack Cody Jamieson scored back-to-back goals from in tight that Fiore had little chance to stop. Jamieson added an assist for a three-point night.

Just over a minute after he tied the score at four, Jamieson took his first of two illegal body check penalties. Twenty-six seconds into the extra man opportunity, Cornell regained the lead on Roy Lang’s second goal of the night.

“I thought they were a couple clean hits,” Jamieson explained. “The first one… the ref called it a high hit, but I thought it was legal. The other one kinda got a little rough. It’s just excitement, trying to get the ball back."

In a fit of fourth quarter heroics reminiscent of the 2009 National Championship game, Syracuse powered four goals past Fiore, the would-be hero of the game. The goalie made 20 saves on the night, a career high for the Ithaca native.

With eight minutes left and Syracuse trailing by two, Jovan Miller used his speed and power to break down the right wing. He fired a near perfect shot to the top left corner that Fiore could see but not touch. Miller flexed and roared in celebration following the goal. 

Three minutes later, Tim Desko fired a cannon past Fiore into the top right corner to tie it at seven.

Following the game-winning goal, the stunned Big Red players stood by and watched Syracuse celebrate their comeback victory as some fans threw foam seat cushions toward the field.

Syracuse (9-1) extended their win streak to seven straight. They visit Rutgers (5-5) on Sunday.

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