ITHACA, NY – Syracuse trailed 19 seconds into Tuesday’s bout with Cornell, but instead of falling into a hole as it did last year, SU stormed back and buried the Big Red, 15-8, in front of 5,782 at Schoellkopf Field.
The revenge tour continues – No. 5 Cornell (8-2) the latest victim losing to the No.2/1 Orange (9-1) after handing the club one of eight losses in 2007.
Rocco Romero started the game with his 4th goal of the season just 19 seconds in. The junior would take one more shot on the evening, as SU scored seven of the next nine goals en route to a 7-3 halftime advantage.
Two of the Orange’s 1st half goals came on the EMO. Kenny Nims took and assist from Mike Leveille for a 2-1 lead SU would not relinquish. Steven Brooks tallied his only goal of the game on a feed from Brendan Loftus.
The Orange was 4-10 man-up for the game – capitalizing on 12 Cornell penalties (19 from both teams combined). Each squad got flagged three times in a stop-and-go second quarter.
“I don’t mind it at all and I don’t think a lot of guys on our team mind it,” said Orange senior defender Kyle Guadagnolo. “It kind of gets us fired up and we have fun with it. I think that’s a good opportunity for us to make things as hectic as possible.”
Syracuse roared through the third quarter as well, scoring four of the six goals in the period for an 11-5 lead. Mike Leveille led the push with two of his career-high tying 5 goals coming in the frame.
“Mike’s the kind of player that no matter how hard somebody tries to keep him down he’s gonna make huge plays – whether it’s goals or assists,” Orange attack Kenny Nims said. The junior had two goals and five assists himself. “Last week (vs. Princeton) he had a couple of assists but he had some of the plays that led to goals, and hustle plays. He’s such a great player you can’t keep him down for long.”
The Big Red didn’t go quietly. Cornell rallied in the fourth behind back-to-back John Glynn goals forced an 11-7, four goal game.
“I think we got a little bit cautious there,” head coach John Desko said. “I think we looked up and saw the lead, that it was a comfortable lead, and I think as a coaching staff we were thinking a little bit more about taking some time off the clock. I think we relaxed a little bit.”
“After the second goal,” Guadagnolo said, “Evan (Brady), Sid (Smith) and myself and John (Galloway) – we all just said, ‘It’s on us. We’ve got to tighten up now.’ Once they scored the second one we put it on our shoulders and held them for the rest.”
But that was as close as things got. Steven Keogh, Jovan Miller, Spence Van Schaack and Leveille rattled off a four goal run to seal the deal.
While the big guns for SU came out in full force, Cornell was left with a combined three goals from stars Ryan Hurley (1G), Chris Finn (Scorelss) and 2007 Tewaarton finalist Max Siebald (2G). Siebald was a main focus for the Orange defense – Evan Brady crediting the top-side defense to shutting him down and limiting his ability to dodge free.
While Cornell was on the backend of the final score, the Big Red did edge out the Orange at the face-off X. For the second time in three games, the nation’s No.1 face-off man Danny Brennan met his match. The senior won only 9-19 (47%) face-offs, SU winning only 12-of-27 (44%). John Carrozza and Jake Moulton also struggled at center X. The two went a combined 2-of-7. The main cause of the problems was Cornell’s Tommy Schmicker (11-of-19) – not the Big Red’s usual face-off man Glynn (4-of-8).
“He was a little quicker than we thought and he seemed to match up against Danny (Brennan),” Desko said. “We had a couple opportunities on the wings that we didn’t capitalize on. Fortunately in a game like Syracuse and Cornell it’s not as big a factor because both teams are running up and down the field and you get more opportunities. Other games where teams are playing more patient offensively the face-offs are more important.”
In goal, the Orange got a four save performance from rookie John Galloway. Cornell only challenged Galloway with 13 shots on goal. Those four saves helped Galloway move up the charts. The SU keeper passed Tom Nims for third most single season saves by a freshman. Galloway has 82 stops on the year.
Across the field, SU saw a familiar face in Cornell goalie Jake Myers. Originally an Orange, Myers transferred to Cornell after losing the SU starting job to Pete Coluccini in 2006. Myers made 14 saves against his old team and was replaced by freshmen Mat Martinez with under four minutes to play.
“(Knowing Jake helped) a little bit,” Leveille said about SU’s ability to beat Myers. “But he knows us just the same. It’s just like any other goalie. We’re looking to see where the open spots are and put the ball there.”
The Orange has a quick turnaround for this weekend. SU will take Wednesday off per NCAA rules, practice Thursday, make the trek to New Jersey Friday and play Rutgers Saturday.
“(Our) legs are going to get a little tired,” Nims said. “But we did it two weeks ago so I think we’ll be ready for it.”
SU won three games in a week earlier this season, knocking off Binghamton, Hobart and Loyola two weeks ago.
|John Glynn||(3, 2)|
|Max Seibald||(2, 1)|
|Kyle Doctor||(1, 0)|
|Rocco Romero||(1, 0)|
|Ryan Hurley||(1, 0)|
|Jake Myers||14 (0.483)|