Syracuse rides another 4th-quarter run in comeback win against Rutgers

first_img Published on March 16, 2019 at 3:16 pm Contact Nick: | @nick_a_alvarez Comments Facebook Twitter Google+center_img With palms above his head and facing the Carrier Dome roof, Syracuse head coach John Desko elicited a cheer from the blue-and-orange clad SU fans behind him. Three minutes earlier, Syracuse had earned its first lead of the game, and after a series of comebacks, the ball could finally settle. White jerseys formed a loose offensive zone and passes were lofted around.The crowd bubbled for the decisive score, the dagger that Rutgers spent the majority of the game looking for but never found. As the clock ticked, freshman Griffin Cook flipped the ball to David Lipka who doubled the lead and popped the stands. The “game of runs” appeared over, and again — a week after a 6-1 fourth quarter secured a victory — SU had prevailed. “We made a lot better decisions, especially in the fourth quarter,” Desko said. “A lot of it with our shooting. We figured out how and where to shoot on him in the fourth quarter and that was a big difference.”On Saturday afternoon, the Orange trailed by four goals in the first quarter and responded. They trailed by four in the in second frame and again answered. Facing a three-goal deficit in the fourth, No. 13 Syracuse (4-2, 0-1 Atlantic Coast) stormed back a final time with an 8-1 stretch to beat No. 15 Rutgers (4-4), 18-14. SU tallied nearly 20 scores and  57 shots against a top-25 defense. Nate Solomon chuckled in the postgame press conference. “That’s a lot of shots,” he said shaking his head. In a contest between two teams built on their defensive identity, scoring prevailed.After starting 2019 scoring 13 goals or fewer in their first three games, the Orange appeared to be a team that would rely on their defense and veteran backline. But after three-straight games averaging at least 15 goals, their identity has shifted. Their attack hasn’t relied on a No.1-option. Instead, the score-by-committee efforts have produced. They beat Max Edelmann, the third-best goalie in the country (.610 save-percentage), despite his 19 saves. In its first shootout of the season, Syracuse provided its best offensive showing. AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“We just like to go on runs,” Solomon, who finished with four goals, said. “…Whoever is on that run is gonna ride that wave and we were on the right end of that wave.” From the jump, Rutgers’ offense utilized its primary weapons to exploit SU’s defense. Kieran Mullins — who entered the game as RU’s point-leader — operated from behind the cage while also finding his own shot. The first goal of the day followed a failed man-up possession by the Orange and ended with Mullins beating Drake Porter at the doorstep.A few minutes later, Robert Marron established a 3-0 advantage. Then, Ryan Gallagher dove toward the crease. 4-0. The score triggered an Orange timeout. And for the first few seconds of the stoppage, head coach John Desko waved his hands on the sidelines, searching for an answer that hadn’t revealed itself.“I kind of looked up and knew we were gonna have to roll our sleeves up to get back in the game,” Desko said. As it’s done many times this season, Syracuse’s midfield brought it back. Trimboli ripped a shot that bounced off Edelmann’s leg and in. Brendan Curry finished an unassisted strike with a fist pump and later sent a pass over-the-top of Rutgers’ top-ranked man-down defense to Nate Solomon who scored.Syracuse’s offense slowly solved Edelmann and inched its way back into the game. But Mullins and Adam Charalambides, who finished with six scores and two assists, responded in turn. By the time the first quarter buzzer sounded, Syracuse’s defense had allowed six goals — the most its conceded in a single frame this season.During the break, an adjustment wasn’t conjured. Charlambides charged the crease early in the second quarter and swooped a shot past Porter, capping the strike with a finger wag toward the Rutgers sideline. Chrome helmets jumped into each other as the majority of the Orange fans sat in silence. Soon SU was in another four-goal deficit. Most of their early shots, Desko said, were aimed at Edelmann’s stick. The redshirt-senior matched sticks and plucked easy attempts, building his confidence early. Individual performances willed SU back again. First it was Solomon. He scored his second goal off a stack-play. And minutes later, he skirted left, stopped and aimed past three bodies into the top corner. The senior attack turned to his bench with outstretched hands and sent the Orange to halftime trailing 9-7.“We did a little bit better in the second quarter,” Desko said. “…We were trying to get back in the game. Tie it up, or at least get the score close.” Coming out of the break, success in front of Edelmann’s cage swung momentum in Syracuse’s favor. As he did against Johns Hopkins a week ago, long stick midfielder Brett Kennedy charged into the offensive zone and dished a pass to Bradley Voigt. Voigt aimed low and beat Edelmann where he was stuffed thrice the quarter prior.After six minutes of no scores, Voigt shot low, again. And won, again.Rutgers persisted. Its offense strung passes together, drew slides and earned goals while shooting from distance. But SU’s attack didn’t waver. “Something’s going on,” Desko thought. The Orange had 50 shots, but still trailed.Then, on a similar play to his first goal, Curry bested Edelmann high after working toward the right side of the SU offense. The sophomore ran with outstretched hands in celebration and the momentum carried into the decisive fourth.“We made a lot better decisions, especially in the fourth quarter,” Desko said. “…We figured out how and where to shoot on him in the fourth quarter and that was a big difference.”After 39 shots through three quarters, SU started to aim to Edelmann’s right, the “off-side” for the lefty. Some bounce shots squeaked in and three-straight Orange goals — ending with a flip from a grounded Voigt to David Lipka who finished — tied the game with nine minutes left. The crowd roared with each score and each ensuing faceoff win. (Syracuse tripled RU’s wins at the X.) Each team traded scores. Mullins found Charalmbides and Lipka found Trimboli. And with 6:48 left, Solomon found Cook across SU’s offensive zone and the freshman gave the Orange its first lead of the game. Then came the ensuing daggers, the crowd cheers which scored the celebration, and another ranked team left Ernie Davis Legends Field without the fourth-quarter lead it had previously earned. “For us to adjust as the game went on, players getting more comfortable and getting the win like we did today,” Desko said.” We just wanna keep growing from that.” last_img