Syracuse Orange: Comeback Kids beat Denver, Duke awaits
Go ahead, call it a comeback. For the second consecutive week, the Syracuse Orange men’s lacrosse team needed last minute heroics to overcome certain defeat against Yale and Denver, respectively. With their 9-8 win over the Denver Pioneers, the Orange will square off against future conference-mate, Duke, in the NCAA Division I Championship game on Monday. Yet for over 55 minutes on Saturday, it seemed that Denver fans’ Rocky Mountain High would continue on, instead it all came crashing down.
Less than a minute into the game, Denver’s Eric Adamson put the Pioneers on the scoreboard and would tack on 2 more before before Syracuse finally got on the board with less than a minute remaining in the 1st quarter.
Syracuse had more than it’s fair share of shots on goal, but the stellar play of Denver Goalie, Ryan LaPlante, made it look like it was going to be a long afternoon for the Orange.
LaPlante closed out the first half with 13 saves, and per the game plan was replaced by Jamie Faus in the cage. It was business as usual for Head Coach Tierney, and just minutes into the 3rd quarter, the Pioneers extended their lead to a comfortable 6-2.
But, as the Orange have proven this season, no lead is safe. And they slowly, but surely clawed back as Tewaaraton Finalist, Jojo Marasco, along with Dylan Donahue, Scott Loy, Luke Cometti, and Derek Maltz, all found the back of net and tied the game at 8-8 with just :58 seconds remaining.
Syracuse would regain control of the ball and call a Time Out with just 31.5 seconds left in regulation. After drawing-up a play, the Orange got a good shot on goal but had it blocked by Jamie Faus who was unable to control the rebound. Derek Maltz was able to clean it up and toss in the go-ahead goal with just :19 seconds left on the clock.
Despite winning the final face-off of the game, Denver’s last possession would come up short and Syracuse would prevail. Final: Syracuse Orange 9, Denver Pioneers 8.
Syracuse will stay in Philadelphia and face the #7 seeded Duke Blue Devils at 1pm on Monday for the NCAA Championship.
Duke fans, who are no strangers to last minute wins themselves, will know that the final score on Monday could be settled in the final seconds and that no lead is safe against the Orange.