SU Lacrosse: Syracuse vs Army

Last second goal lifts Army men's lacrosse past Syracuse

Despite two players tallying hat tricks, SU comes up short at the Carrier Dome.

Nick Mariano and Brendan Bomberry each tallied a hat trick for the No. 6 Syracuse men’s lacrosse team, but it was David Symmes’ goal that made the difference as Army (3-1) beat the Orange, 14-13 on Saturday afternoon.

“Great game for us, hard fought,” said Army head coach Joe Alberici. “There’s been plenty of games here in recent years that we’ve come up short … just feels good to get one.”

Photo: Cody Hendrix
Syracuse's Brett Kennedy makes a defensive move against an Army opponent during Saturday's game.

Syracuse (2-1) came out of the gates strong and scored two early goals to gain a quick lead. Attackman Jordan Evans found Bomberry for the opener and forty seconds later midfielder Ryan Simmons found the back of the net after circling around behind the goal and finishing at a tough angle.

It soon became evident that Syracuse had a serious void. Faceoff specialist Ben Williams, who was 29-for-42 on the year, was declared inactive for the game due to injury. Cal Paduda was left in charge of faceoff duties, and Army took advantage.

After winning the faceoff, Army answered after a pushing penalty on Syracuse’s Luke Schwasnick allowed Ted Gelsener to put one home at the 11:57 mark in the first period.

The quick scoring stopped for a while but after Army controlled possession for quite some time, attackman Nate Jones scored unassisted for the Black Knights and tied the game with 3:51 left in the first.

A man-up goal from Mariano on a pass from Sergio Salcido (3 assists) at the 2:16 mark put the Orange up by one, but two goals, one each from Gunnar Miller and Nick Santorelli in the final minute, put the Black Knights up 4-3 after one period.

Bomberry picked up an assist to open the second half, finding Salcido to tie the game at four with 12:41 left in the second period, but that’s when Army broke loose.

After the Salcido goal, the Black Knights rattled off four unanswered goals. Midfielder Matthew Donovan scored unassisted at 10:32 to give Army a one goal lead. A nice save from Evan Molloy (12 saves) with just over eight minutes remaining in the first half kept the score the same. Soon after, Donovan scored again followed by goals from long-stick midfielder Danny DeSanti and attackman Conor Glancy, opening up an 8-4 advantage.

Stephen Rehfuss and Bomberry scored one goal each to end the half for Syracuse as the teams went to the locker room with Army ahead 8-6. Paduda finished the half just 3-for-13 on faceoffs, leading to a halftime adjustment.

Head coach John Desko dropped Mariano back to midfield and put freshman Danny Varello in the game as the faceoff specialists. It helped stop the bleeding and created more opportunities. Mariano scored two of his three goals in the second half and Varello won 10-of-17 faceoff opportunities.

“I think [Varello] got down a little quicker on the ball than Cal was,” Desko said. “To his credit but to our wings too, we were more aggressive in the second half.”

Still, Army kept finding ways to score. A faceoff win to open the half gave Army another goal, this time from Glancy again on the assist from Austin Colvin.

Desko was not surprised at how tough the Black Knights battled.

“One thing we knew about them coming was that they were well coached and they were going to play for 60 minutes,” Desko said.

The Orange, however, clawed their way back into the game. Mariano found Evans on the man-up chance to cut the lead to 9-7. Then Mariano did some work himself, putting one top shelf at 9:33 in the third period to bring Syracuse within one.

The Black Knights got two unassisted goals from Cole Johnson to put them back up by three, but Syracuse answered before the end of the period after a spinning, windmill-like goal from Brad Voigt pulled Syracuse to within two.

A Rehfuss goal opened the scoring in the fourth period bringing the score to 11-10, but Johnson completed his hat trick with a goal at 10:45 to go back up by two. He remained down on the field after taking a hit to the head.

Syracuse’s Pat Carlin was given a two minute non-releasable penalty for targeting, and then Paolo Ciferri was given a one minute tripping penalty, but Army could not capitalize and Syracuse killed both penalties.

Bomberry finished off his hat trick with 6:01 left in the game and then Evans scored again at 5:24, tying the game at 12.

“They were answering us but I kind of looked at it like we were answering them,” Alberici said.

David Symmes then entered the picture for Army and answered the Orange goals. The midfielder scored, followed by a Mariano goal for the Orange -- his third -- but then Symmes found the bottom left corner of the net with less than a second left to send the Black Knights home victorious.

For Army, after dropping last year’s game in the Dome by a score of 9-8, it felt good to get a little bit of revenge.

“I think we knew that we had the offense and defense to really kind of matchup with these guys this year,” Johnson said. “So we just came out with the confidence and the willpower to really get the W.”

And on the Syracuse side, it’s all about moving on to the next game.

“We’re going to have a lot of one-goal games and some are going to go our way and some aren’t,” Evans said. “I think we’re going to learn from what happened today.”

Syracuse looks to bounce back versus ACC foe Virginia on Saturday in the Carrier Dome at noon.


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