Villanova vs. Syracuse
March 26, 2011
|Cj Small||(2, 0)|
|Michael Vigilante||(1, 1)|
|Kevin Cunningham||(1, 0)|
|Brian Karalunas||(0, 1)|
|Billy Hurley||4 (0.444)|
|go to Villanova page|
|Jojo Marasco||(2, 0)|
|Jovan Miller||(1, 1)|
|Kevin Drew||(1, 0)|
|Stephen Keogh||(1, 0)|
|Josh Amidon||(0, 1)|
|John Galloway||11 (0.733)|
|go to Syracuse page|
|The Game Story:|
|Radnor, Pa -- Radnor, Pa. – JoJo Marasco expected the ball to be in his stick. It wasn’t, and a one-goal lead was gone. Some 51 seconds Marasco did not expect the ball to be in his stick. It was, and the Syracuse University men’s lacrosse team had a dramatic 5-4 victory over Villanova courtesy of Marasco’s goal with 6.3 seconds to play tonight at Villanova Stadium.|
Talk about extremes. Marasco had his pocket picked by Villanova senior longstick midfielder Brian Karalunas (Jamesville-DeWitt), the nation’s best takeaway artist, with just over a minute to play and the Orange leading 4-3. Karalunas went the other way in transition and finding attackman Kevin Cunningham open for a low shot that eluded John Galloway and tied the score with 57 seconds left.
A school-record crowd of 6,289 went wild, as the Orange appeared ripe to finally pay for the numerous sins it had committed beforehand – chief among them 19 turnovers and a 4-for-12 performance at the faceoff X. Marasco, though, was considering no such possibility.
“I believe in our defense and believed we were going to get the ball again,” he said.
Sure enough, senior Jeremy Thompson won the critical draw following Cunningham’s goal and after one failed drive by Marasco retained possession on a Villanova push. John Desko directed senior midfielder Jovan Miller to make the final drive from behind the cage with 15 seconds left.
“I knew we had to go like right away,” Miller said. “I figured if I could just get my hands free somebody would get open. I was coming up right top side and saw JoJo flash open. I don’t even think he knew he was open.”
Marasco concurred, saying he thought his best option was to set a pick for Stephen Keogh, who had defeated Georgetown in overtime two weeks ago with a goal and duplicated the feat last week against Johns Hopkins.
“He’s been the hot one late in games,” Marasco said, “and I knew if I could get him open he would probably put the ball in the back of the net. My guy when I set the pick went with Keogh and I was just right there and Jovan put an unbelievable pass on my stick, and I was able to throw it on net.”
The left-handed shot whizzed past the noggin of Villanova goalie Billy Hurley, and the seesaw of last-minute emotions swung Syracuse’s way for keeps. The dramatic tally gave Syracuse its third one-goal victory of the season. Five of SU’s seven victories have come by a total of seven goals.
“I think it shows we’re a pretty good lacrosse team,” coach Mike Corrado said of the No. 7 Wildcats (7-2, 0-1), who had played SU twice in the last three years and lost by a combined score of 41-12.
It also showed that Syracuse is a team that while top-ranked and undefeated is far from invincible. For the third time in its last four games the senior-laden team failed to reach double digits in goals. Saturday it took only 25 shots, and it wasn’t because of any slow-down tactics by the Wildcats.
“It is (a concern),” coach John Desko said. “Everybody talks about our senior group out there . . . you’d think we’d be a little more composed.”
Instead, the Orange committed what Desko said were twice as many turnovers as he would like to see. Some were due to Villanova’s aggressive defense overall and especially Karalunas, who finished with six caused turnovers. Most were simply due to poor decisions. Luckily for Syracuse, John Galloway (11 saves) had a huge game in goal and the defense was rock solid in front of him.
“The last couple of games we’ve been talking a lot better, been watching a lot more film and coming a lot more prepared,” said senior close defender John Lade, who began his career at Villanova and anchored SU’s D vs. his former team.
Fortunately for Syracuse, Marasco was prepared when Miller’s pass came his way, even if he wasn’t expecting it.