Syracuse Survives Notre Dame 11-9

Syracuse Survives Notre Dame 11-9

Syracuse Survives Notre Dame 11-9

Syracuse Survives Notre Dame 11-9

ITHACA, N.Y. – The third-seeded Syracuse men’s lacrosse team (14-2) will make its 25th appearance in the national semifinals after a dramatic come-from-behind 11-9 win against sixth-seeded Notre Dame (14-3) in front of 6,121 fans at Cornell’s Schoellkopf Field on Sunday. The Orange rallied from three one-goal deficits in the second half, scoring the game’s final three goals en route to the victory. Junior midfielder Dan Hardy (Tully, N.Y.) paced the Orange attack with a team-high four points on three goals, including the game-winning score, and one assist.

Senior attackman Mike Leveille (Delmar, N.Y.) tallied one goal and two assists against Notre Dame, extending his consecutive points streak to 55 games which ranks fourth all-time in the Syracuse record books. He continues to climb the Orange career charts, moving into sole possession of 12th place all-time in goals (126) and 14th place all-time in points (205).

Senior midfielder Steven Brooks (Libertyville, Ill.) posted two points on two goals, including the contest’s final score with 3:14 remaining in the fourth quarter. Junior attackman Kenny Nims (Watertown, N.Y.) and junior midfielder Matt Abbott (Syracuse, N.Y.) collected two points apiece on one score and one helper each.

Senior Danny Brennan (Farmingdale, N.Y.), the nation’s top-ranked faceoff specialist with a .676 winning percentage entering Sunday, recorded an efficient 17-for-24 (.708) performance at the X against Notre Dame’s Taylor Clagett. Clagett ranked second nationally heading into the quarterfinal round with a .645 success rate.

Additionally, Brennan moved into second-place all-time in career faceoff wins (453) and career faceoff attempts (757). He also lists eighth all-time on the Orange single-season ledgers with 182 victories at the X.

Rookie netminder John Galloway (Syracuse, N.Y.) made 11 saves in the triumph, including five in the final stanza with the Orange mounting a rally. With Syracuse leading 11-9, Galloway stoned Notre Dame attackman Alex Wharton on the doorstep at the 1:29 mark, preserving the Orange’s two-goal edge and the eventual victory.

With the win, Syracuse advances to the NCAA semifinal round for the eighth time under 10th-year head coach John Desko. The veteran sideline general improved his career record to a flawless 8-0 in quarterfinal contests. With Desko at the helm, the Orange has won three national championships (2000, ‘02, ‘04).

The Orange led 3-1 following the first 15 minutes of play behind Brennan’s performance at the X and patient scoring opportunities. The veteran faceoff specialist posted a perfect 5-for-5 period, which included three procedure violations against Clagett. After Abbott tickled the twine from 12-yards out, the Orange tallied two extra-man goals from Hardy and rookie attackman Stephen Keogh (Toronto, Ontario) to take a two-goal margin in the second quarter.

Irish netminder Joey Kemp kept the Syracuse offense at bay, making several key stops in the first stanza. On the same possession, junior midfielder Pat Perritt (Holtsville, N.Y.) and Leveille were denied goals on the doorstep. Minutes later, Hardy’s streak from midfield and shot from five-yards out was stifled by Kemp. The Orange out-shot Notre Dame 19-6 in the opening period.

After nearly 10 minutes of offensive silence to begin the second quarter, Brooks broke the scoring stalemate with a goal at the 5:46 mark, beating Kemp high down the left alley. Hardy found the back of the cage 100 seconds later, catching a feed in front from Nims.

Notre Dame responded at the 3:00 mark, trimming the Orange lead to 5-2 after Michael Podgajny’s man-up goal. Syracuse wasted no time in rebuilding a four-goal advantage. After Brennan’s seventh faceoff win of the half, Abbott raced up field and found Nims, who locked, loaded and ripped a 12-yard attempt past Kemp at the 2:46 mark.

The Golden Domers emerged from the locker room and scored the second half’s first five goals, storming to a 7-6 advantage with just over five minutes remaining in the quarter. Podgajny ignited the run with his second score of the game on Notre Dame’s initial possession at the 14:34 mark. Midfielder Peter Christman handed the Irish its first lead of the game with a goal at the 5:02 mark.

The Orange rallied and evened the scoring with 1:59 remaining in the third following Greg Niewieroski’s (Watertown, N.Y.) score in front. Leveille created the chance after a rollout from behind the cage, finding Niewieroski alone in front of the crease. The junior attackman uncorked a low shot that beat Kemp five-hole.

However, Notre Dame carried a one-goal edge, 8-7, into the final period following attackman Alex Wharton’s second goal in a six-minute span with 31 ticks remaining.

Leveille erased the one-goal deficit and knotted the score at 8-8 after scooping up a rebound and depositing the equalizer past Kemp at the 13:26 mark of the fourth quarter. Following Notre Dame’s third and final retaliation score, Perritt tied the game at 9-9 after a spin move from 10-yards out created enough space for a quick left-hand release.

Hardy notched his third goal of the contest with 5:05 remaining, firing a left-handed missile past Kemp and providing Syracuse with a 10-9 edge.

Brooks provided the Orange with some much-needed breathing room, finding the back of the net from 10-yards out with just over three minutes remaining.

The Orange won the ground ball battle, 27-19, led by a team-high five from Nims. Brennan and rookie long-stick midfielder Joel White (Syracuse, N.Y.) each contributed four ground balls. Syracuse went a perfect 2-for-2 in man-up situations, scoring both goals in the opening period.

Kemp tallied a season-high 20 saves in between the pipes for the Irish. Wharton led all Notre Dame scorers with four points on two goals and two assists. Christman and Podgajny added three points on two scores and one helper. Clagett finished just 5-for-21 on faceoffs.

Sunday’s victory was SU’s 24 straight win when reaching the NCAA quarterfinals. It also improved SU’s all-time record against Notre Dame to 3-0.

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Orange vs Orange and Blue Vs Blue
    by (#162856) on 5/18/08 @6:52PM
Kinda weird that teams that are playing each other have the same colors.
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(no subject)
    by (#162856) on 5/18/08 @6:55PM
i mean in the final four
in hopkins vs duke both blue, black, and white
virginia vs syracuse both orange, white and blue
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Notre Dame Stayed Close..
    by (#184874) on 5/18/08 @8:28PM
For Notre Dame's second strong year in the tourny they did great. Only loosing to one of the tops teams in the country is a huge leap for them. I can't wait to see how they do next year once getting Yeatmen Back.
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    by (#17993) on 5/18/08 @9:33PM
Delivered a 22 performance when it counted...
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Same Boring teams every year
    by (#3709) on 5/18/08 @11:46PM

all we are missing is Princeton

this why it sucks to be a lacrosse fan.

It is the same teams every year, I am glad Duke is breaking through.

But honestly, how boring can you get!
same ole teams every single year.

Last year I got somewhat excited at the prospect of Delaware or Cornell,

but then low and behold, Hopkins again.

I watched the games this weekend and knew exactly who was going to win.

I have never won such easy money betting on sports.


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    by (#155398) on 5/19/08 @10:23AM
Congratulations are first in order to my school for showing great determination and composure in the 4th quarter to come back and get back into the final four. I was stressed beyond belief watching that third quarter.

If I could vote for any all-americans, my 1st team pick for goalie would be a no brainer, Joey Kemp was unreal in the biggest game of his life and did everything he could to keep his team in it. IMHO, without his performance in the 1st half, this game is over early, as the Orange shooters unleashed a barrage early and could have gone up by double digits if Kemp hadn't stood on his head. That said, I did feel like Notre Dame's D did a great job limiting a lot of the off ball looks to the crease that the orange like to throw, as well as clamping down on the screens Leveille and Nims like to run off behind. They played an excellent game but Cuse's depth on offense, leadership in the 4th, and Danny Brennan's stellar game ultimately booked their ticket to Foxborough.
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#1 vs. #2
    by (#155398) on 5/19/08 @12:47PM
ESPN showed a stat before the first draw that Dan Brennan is number one in the country in face off percentage and Notre Dame's guy, Taylor Clagget was number 2. Either it just wasn't Clagget's day, or Brennan is truly the most dominant faceoff guy in the nation this year. If he stays hot and healthy against a Virginia team that has been weak all season at the X, it could be the advantage Cuse needs to take it.
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Watch Out For Notre Dame In 2009!
    by (#136419) on 5/19/08 @1:24PM
Yes, they lose Goalie Kemp, but Yeatman will be back and they will have a lot of other great players back, too. In addition, they will be hungry to go AT LEAST one step further after getting so close to the Final Four this year. I wouldn't not be one bit surprised if Notre Dame makes a serious run for the National Title in 2009.
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Nappy,,...are you sure.....
    by (#78222) on 5/19/08 @6:21PM
about Yeatman's return? Past suspensions at ND usually morph into longer ones. GO GULLS
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That Is What I Heard
    by (#136419) on 5/19/08 @10:21PM
I heard a Notre Dame fan say that he would be back. But maybe that was just wishful thinking. But, either way, Notre Dame will have a darn good team next season.
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(no subject)
    by (#118964) on 5/19/08 @10:58PM
what was he suspended suspended for in the first place?
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(no subject)
    by (#167651) on 5/20/08 @7:36PM
DUI and "criminal recklessness" which i think is a bit of an overstatement. Apparently he was driving on a campus sidewalk with his headlights off at like 3:00am while drunk.
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The NCAA Tournament Began In 1971
    by (#136419) on 5/21/08 @12:10AM
Since that year, only seven different teams have won the NCAA DI Men's Lacrosse NCAA Title:
North Carolina
And, the last time a team won the title for the first time was in 1992, when Princetown beat Syracuse in the Title Game in double overtime.
So, IMHO, it would be great for the sport if, throughout the next 10 years, a few teams not on this list would win it. And, I say that, at least throughout the next 10 years, if any team wins it that is not on this list, here is who I say it will be. In other words, these are the programs that are closest to winning the National Title:

Georgetown-The Hoyas have been recruiting great for awhile, and, throughout the past few seasons, have been recruiting better than ever. And, before they didn't make the tournament in 2008, they had been to the Quarterfinals in 10 of the previous 11 seasons, including going to the Final Four in 1999. And their coach, Dave Urick, is an all-time great and led Hobart to 11 straight DIII Titles.

Duke-Since the early-90's, Duke has had a very solid program. They have recruited great, won ACC Titles, and advanced to the Final Four in 1997, 2005, 2007, and 2008. And, they have been so close to winning it all. In 1997, they would have gone to the Title Game if not for a miraculous Princeton comeback. And, in 2005 and 2007, they lost to Hopkins in the Title Game by one goal each time. In 2008, they have the most talented team and are favored by many to win it all. But, whether or not they win it all, expect them to be serious challengers for the crown in future years.

Notre Dame-Since the 90's, they have gotten some great players, been very competitive, and made the tournament many years. In 2001, they made the Final Four. And, it looks like they are becoming even more regularly competitive recently. They lost in the First Round in OT to Hopkins in 2007, and Hopkins went on to win it all. And, in 2008, they threw a huge scare into a great Syracuse team in the Quarterfinals.

Navy-The Midshipmen have made the NCAA Tournament many, many times throughout the years and had some awesome seasons. And, what is so amazing about their run is that Navy is not an easy sell for top talent due to requirements after graduation and a strict on-campus life. There is no doubt that Navy is the best example of a team in College Lacrosse that does more with less. And, since 2004, Navy Lacrosse has been taken even more seriously. They have made the NCAA Tournament every year since then, made the 2004 Title Game, and made the 2005 and 2008 Quarterfinals. And, this has led to them getting even better players.

UMBC-You had better believe it. Just like Richie Meade at Navy, Don Zimmerman has done a great job doing more with less. UMBC is not nearly as easy a sell for talent as some other schools. Nevertheless, Don Zimmerman has been brilliant working with the talent he has had. And the 2007 and 2008 seasons are probably the best examples of it. In 2007, with a good team but no big-named players, UMBC went to the Quarterfinals. And, in 2008, with a very young team, they went to the First Round and nearly beat a loaded Virginia team. Don Zimmerman, who won three titles at Hopkins, is one of the best coaches ever. In addition, look for him to get some even better players due to this recent success. Assuming this happens, UMBC could be very dangerous.

Delaware-Throughout the last 10 years, the Blue Hens have made the tournament several times and have been getting better players. They made the Quarterfinals in 1999 and made the Final Four in 2007. An additional reason Delaware is getting better players is probably because the University of Delaware is in the Mid-Atlantic and is so convenient to many lacrosse hotbeds.

Ohio State-You betcha! Buckeye lacrosse is in better shape than ever. They made the Quarterfinals in 2008, are recruiting great from all over, and lacrosse is getting bigger and bigger in Ohio.

Any other teams you think deserve consideration?

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