After No. 16 Syracuse erased a four-goal deficit to tie the score at five early in the second half, No. 3 Duke (14-4) answered with five of the game’s next six goals and went on to defeat the Orange’s men’s lacrosse team in the opening round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament, 12-9, Saturday, May 12 at Koskinen Stadium. The Orange, which received two goals apiece from seniorKevin Drew (Katonah, N.Y.) and sophomoreScott Loy (Toledo, Ohio), finishes the season with a 9-8 overall record.
Dukes generated the majority of its offense on the strength of a 17-of-24 (.708) performance at the faceoff X. Brendan Fowler led the way, winning 12 of his 17 draws. The extra possessions allowed Justin Turri (3g, 2a), Robert Rotanz (3g) and Christian Walsh (3g) to record hat tricks for the Blue Devils, and combine for 11 points in the game.
“I thought their faceoff guys did a terrific job, especially in the second half,” Orange head coachJohn Desko said after the game. “We were able to come within one at halftime and tie it up early in the third quarter. I see they were 8-of-10 on faceoffs in the third quarter, so we just kept putting a lot of pressure on our defense.”
Duke’s faceoff advantage also led to a 32-24 margin in ground balls. C.J. Costabile had a game-high eight for the Blue Devils, many of which he picked up when charging in from the wing on draws.
Duke opened the scoring 2:10 into the contest as Turri dodged a Syracuse defender to the right of the cage before sending a shot into the top left corner of the goal for an early 1-0 Blue Devil advantage. Jordan Wolf made it 2-0 Duke one minute later with a low shot through traffic that beat SU freshman goalkeeper Bobby Wardwell (Clifton Park, N.Y.).
After Blue Devil goaltender Dan Wigrizer denied senior Bobby Eilers (Simsbury, Conn.) from 10 yards out, Duke increased its lead to 3-0 when Turri picked up his second goal of the afternoon, prompting a Syracuse timeout with 10:12 left in the opening period.
The Syracuse defense settled in after that, and the offense got the Orange on the board with less than one minute left in the first as seniorTommy Palasek (Rocky Point, N.Y.) sent a pass from behind the cage to Loy, who buried a 10-yard shot to trim the Duke margin to 3-1.
The Blue Devils regained their three-goal edge (4-1) with 12:51 left in the second quarter when Rotanz fired a low shot past Wardwell, and they pushed the lead to 5-1 when Turri and Walsh connected for a goal with 8:07 to play in the opening half.
Syracuse answered with a goal from redshirt freshmanHenry Schoonmaker (Portland, Ore.) 68 seconds later, and Eilers cut the deficit to 5-3 with a bounce shot into the back of the Duke net following a takeaway by freshmanBrandon Mullins (Coppell, Texas) behind the SU cage.
Redshirt seniorTim Desko (Syracuse, N.Y.)netted the Orange’s third straight goal with 1:20 left in the second when he took a pass from Palasek and converted a whirling shot from just outside the crease, bringing the Orange within one, 5-4.
Just 25 seconds into the third quarter, Syracuse knotted the score at five as the Orange caused a turnover off the faceoff, and Drew fired a shot that deflected into the Duke goal off Wigrizer.
The Blue Devils, however, countered with a four-goal run of their own to open up a 9-5 advantage. Rotanz netted back-to-back goals in the scoring spurt. Josh Dionne and Walsh also added tallies in the run.
Loy briefly halted Duke’s momentum with his second goal of the game, batting a Desko pass by Wigrizer, but the Blue Devils responded with another Turri score to regain a four-goal lead (10-6) at the 4:23 mark of the third.
Drew and Walsh traded goals in the final 2:18 of the period, and Duke took an 11-7 lead into the fourth quarter.
SophomoreDerek Maltz (Ashburn, Va.) and Palasek connected for a man-up goal with 10:07 left in regulation to cut the deficit to three (11-8), but Dionne pushed the Duke margin back to four (12-8) with nine minutes to go.
The Blue Devil defense only surrendered one more goal the rest of the way, aMatt Harris (Buffalo Grove, Ill.) tally with two seconds to play, and advanced to next weekend’s NCAA quarterfinals with the 12-9 win.
Wigrizer totaled 12 saves in the cage for the Blue Devils, while Wardwell made 10 stops for Syracuse.
At 9-8, the Orange finished the season with a winning record for the fifth straight season, and 36th time in the last 37 years.