The Syracuse Orange captured the NCAA DI Championship on Monday afternoon with some last second heroics and a clutch overtime performance to top Cornell, 10-9.
FOXBORO, Mass. -- Syracuse scored the last four goals of the game, including the game-winner in overtime, and the Orange claimed its 11th NCAA Championship by defeating Cornell, 10-9, in overtime on Memorial Day at Gillette Stadium.
Senior Dan Hardy found Cody Jamieson in the extra session and Jamieson buried the game-winner for the Orange. Syracuse successfully defended its 2008 crown with the triumph.
"I'm a little bit at a loss for words," said SU Coach John Desko. "I can't tell you how happy I am for our group. I'm excited they've won the school's 11th national championship."
The title was Desko's fifth as head coach, putting him third on an exclusive list behind former SU mentor Roy Simmons Jr. and Princeton's Bill Tierney, who each accumulated six.
Syracuse trailed 9-6 after Cornell's Roy Lange scored with 5:31 left in regulation. SU Coach John Desko called timeout to settle his crew and review the situation they faced. The Orange got a glimmer of hope when Stephen Keogh scored his second of the game and 49th of the season on an assist from Hardy. The goal pulled SU within two, 9-7, with 3:37 on the clock.
Then Jamieson stepped up, securing a pass from Josh Amidon and beating Cornell netminder Jake Myers with 2:46 remaining to narrow the gap to 9-8.
The Orange had its opportunity but seemed to have run out of luck when Cornell secured possession in the final half minute. Syracuse rode the Big Red a forced a turnover. A loose ball emerged on the stick of Keogh, who threw behind-the-back to Matt Abbott. With two defenders checking him, Abbott threw a behind-the-back pass to Kenny Nims who tallied with four seconds left to force the extra session.
Cornell won the overtime faceoff and immediately went into Syracuse territory. SU's Sid Smith regained possession for the Orange to set up the dramatic finish.
"It's our time of year," said Nims in the postgame press conference, when asked about the connection between Syracuse lacrosse and Memorial Day. "This is why you go to Syracuse."
Nims was named the tournament's most outstanding player. Joining him on the all-tournament team were Abbott, Jamieson, Pat Perritt and Joel White.
Balanced scoring, an Orange characteristic all season, was front and center on Monday as well. Eight different players scored goals for SU with only Jamieson and Keogh scoring twice. Jamieson also had an assist, while Amidon and Hardy each had one goal and two assists.
The Orange won 12-of-22 faceoffs and Jake Moulton paced the effort by taking 10-of-17. SU also had the edge in ground balls, 30-28, thanks in part to six from White.
Syracuse found itself in a strange land during the contest-- playing from behind. The Big Red jumped out to a 2-0 lead and after the Orange tied things on goals from Chris Daniello (21st) and Greg Niewieroski (9th), Cornell tallied with 21 seconds left in the first period to go up 3-2. It marked only the third time all season that SU was behind after the opening session. It was also the first time Desko's club had trailed in the 2009 postseason.
The Orange tied the score twice in the second period. Keogh drove home his 48th to knot things at 3-3. Pat Perritt, who had four goals in the semifinal win against Duke, found the net for his 18th of the season off a pass from Abbott to tie things at 4-4. Cornell tallied the last two goals of the first half and went into intermission ahead, 6-4. It was the only the second time in 2009 that SU was behind at the break.
The squad's traded goals in the third. SU goalie John Galloway made two point-blank stops in the first few minutes after the break to keep it close and Amidon got on the board with his 14th of the campaign. Amidon's netfinder made it 6-5 Cornell with 8:24 remaining in the third. Cornell answered when John Glynn tallied his third goal of the contest and the Big Red remained in front at the end of the third, 7-5.
Syracuse closed the gap again in the fourth when Hardy took a pass on the crease from Jamieson and dumped in his 25th goal. Cornell responded after back-to-back penalities on the Orange when Max Seibald tallied a man-up goal with 7:20 left, making the score 8-6 Big Red.
The Orange, seeded second in the tournament, got into the championship game by defeating Duke in the seminfals, 17-7. Cornell, the fifth seed, ousted top-rated Virginia in the other semifinal, 15-6.
SU Notes: Syracuse won its fifth NCAA title of the decade (2000, 2002, 2004, 2008 and 2009) ... SU improved to 11-5 in championship games with the win ... The Orange's 11 titles tops the sport ... Desko's NCAA record improved to 28-5. . .His .844 tournament win percentage is the highest among coaches who have coached at least 10 postseason games ... Monday's game was the ninth title contest settled in overtime ... Syracuse (1989) was the last team to trail after three quarters and win the championship ... The Orange trailed Johns Hopkins 11-9 that year before claiming a 13-12 victory ... Cornell had been 12-0 this season when leading after three quarters ... The Big Red had won 39 straight contests when leading after the third period ... Syracuse had been 0-5 when trailing at halftime in championship games ... The 16th win of the season tied the SU record shared by the 1922 and 2008 squads ... Syracuse improved its advantage in the all-time series with Cornell to 60-33-1, including a 2-1 mark in the NCAA Tournament ... Syracuse is the first program since Princeton (1996-98) to win consecutive NCAA titles.
|Josh Amidon||(1, 2)|
|Dan Hardy||(1, 2)|
|Cody Jamieson||(2, 1)|
|Matt Abbott||(0, 2)|
|Stephen Keogh||(2, 0)|
|Pat Perritt||(1, 0)|
|Kenny Nims||(1, 0)|
|Jovan Miller||(0, 1)|
|Greg Niewieroski||(1, 0)|
|Chris Daniello||(1, 0)|
|John Galloway||10 (0.526)|