Watching Syracuse and Penn warm up, it looked like it would be all Orangemen. But in D1, most teams can compete on any given day. Penn made this a game playing with heart and patience. Syracuse may have been looking past them at the beginning of the game, but when the whistle blew, they were in for a surprise.
The first quarter started with Syracuse winning the opening face. They fired away on Penn goalie John Carroll for a 2 minute possession. However, they could not break the ice. Penn's defense played tough and forced the Syracuse players into taking bad shots. Alternating possessions continued, and the score remained tied at zero until 4:52. Off a Penn turnover, Syracuse went on a fast break, moving the ball to Powell who forwarded the pill to Springer. Springer fired a canon that beat Carroll five hole and drew a murmur from the crowd. At this point one would think that Syracuse would open the floodgates. Not so. Penn responded 40 seconds later when middie Billy Reidy walked through the Syracuse defense for a 5 yard unassisted layup. At 1:42 in the 1st, Powell fed Springer again for a behind the back finish. Floodgates? Nope. Penn scored with :44 to go when Todd Minerly fed Peter Scott to make it 2-2.
The second quarter only had 2 goals. Playing the point-guard from behind, Powell found attackman Liam Banks for a one on one with the goalie to make it 3-2. The remainder of the quarter was riddled with penalities, but neither squad could take advantage. Penn tied it up at 2:55 when Todd Minerly scored unassisted.
Starting the second half tied at 3 with Penn is definitely not what the Orangemen expected. Penn's quick midfielders Mike Iannacone, Mike Kehoe and Billy Reidy controlled the offense for Penn. On the defensive end, Penn forced Syracuse to take poor shots. They hoped to continue this pace in the second half.
Syracuse opened the half with Springer's third goal off a feed from middie Josh Coffman. The penaly flags started to fly again, however, and Syracuse's inevitable run was put on hold. At 8:16, Powell muscled his way in front of the net, drew a double team and fed Liam Banks for his second of the game. A minute later, Powell went behind the back for his first goal off a feed from Matt Caione. 30 seconds later, Cuse tallied another when Springer loped to the goal with a defender on his back and dumped it over Carroll's head. The much anticipated run concluded at 4:51 left in the 3rd quarter when Powell found middie Spencer Wright to make it 8-3.
The 4th quarter was pretty much garbage time, as each team scored a goal, and went through the motions so they could get on the bus and go home. Syracuse's defense made adjustments to counter the quick Penn middies, making the second half an easy one for Cuse goalie Rob Mulligan. It was a game for a while, but everyone in the stadium knew they would have to wait for Sunday's matchup.
Pennsylvania vs. Syracuse