SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Senior attackman Brett Bucktooth tallied a career-high seven points (five goals, two assists) as fifth-seeded Syracuse (9-4) rolled to an 11-4 victory against Harvard in the first round of the NCAA Division I Men's Lacrosse Championship at the Carrier Dome. It was the Orange's eighth consecutive win and sets up a rematch with No. 4 Johns Hopkins (9-4) on Saturday, May 20, at Stony Brook in the quarterfinals. The Blue Jays won a 14-9 decision against Syracuse on March 18 in Baltimore.
SU jumped out to a 6-0 first-quarter lead. Bucktooth recorded the game's first three goals. He got his first on a man-up opportunity just three minutes into the contest. It was the 100th point of his career. Freshman midfielder Pat Perritt hit Bucktooth on a cut through a seam in the Harvard defense.
Bucktooth scored his second goal in an unsettled situation as senior Joe Yevoli rode goalie Evan O'Donnell behind the Crimson cage and helped cause a turnover that Bucktooth scooped up and tossed into an empty net. With 8:05 remaining in the first quarter, freshman midfielder Kenny Nims fed Bucktooth for his eighth hat trick of the season and seventh straight.
Freshman Dan Hardy bounced off a hit and shot low for his first NCAA Tournament goal at the 6:10 mark of the first quarter. Sophomore attackman Mike Leveille finished a pass from Bucktooth on the crease to make it 5-0 with 3:52 remaining in the opening period. Perritt netted SU's sixth goal with a quick dart along the crease with 2:45 on the clock.
Harvard's Tom Boylan got the Crimson on the scoreboard with 19 seconds remaining in the first quarter. Syracuse would not allow another Harvard goal until 11:49 of the third quarter.
The Orange led 8-1 at halftime. Leveille and senior midfielder Brian Crockett tallied goals in the second quarter.
The Crimson changed goalies at the start of the second period. Joe Pike played the next 44:01 of the contest. He registered 10 saves and allowed five goals.
Harvard cut the lead to five goals (8-3) after scoring back-to-back markers at the start of the third quarter. Greg Cohen finished a fast break off a Harvard steal and Brian Mahler netted his goal after throwing a roll dodge at his defender.
Bucktooth pushed it back to a six-goal lead with his fourth goal of the night with 7:10 remaining in the third. He registered his fifth goal four minutes later off a man-up pass from Crockett to make it 10-3. The five goals tied Bucktooth's career-high set earlier this season against Albany.
And he still was not finished. Forty-four seconds into the fourth quarter, Bucktooth threaded a pass to Leveille, who scored for the third time. It gave the Orange an 11-3 advantage.
Brandon Logigian threw in Harvard's fourth goal of the game with 8:58 remaining in the contest.
The four goals were fewest given up by the Syracuse defense this season. Goalie Peter Coluccini finished with 14 saves in his first NCAA playoff game.
Harvard finished its season with a 6-7 record.
The Orange's quarterfinal game against Johns Hopkins will be played at Stony Brook's Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium (8,136) in Long Island on May 20. Tickets for the quarterfinal round will go on sale at the Carrier Dome Box Office on Tuesday, May 16, from 12:00 - 2:00 p.m. for season ticket holders and Stickmen's Fund members. For everyone else, tickets will be available from 2:00 - 4:30 p.m. Tickets will also be on sale Wednesday, May 17, as long as they remain. All seating is general admission and tickets are good for both quarterfinal games. Adult ticket prices are $16, children (4-12) are $12 adn senior citizens (65+) are $12. There will also be a limited number of parking passes on sale for $10 each.
Syracuse vs. Harvard