Virginia Takes Syracuse In 13-12 Thriller

Virginia Takes Syracuse In 13-12 Thriller

Virginia Takes Syracuse In 13-12 Thriller

Virginia Takes Syracuse In 13-12 Thriller

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – It was a crowd that reminded Orange coach John Desko of 1990, when Paul and Gary Gait played their final season on the Hill. That was a year where the Carrier Dome averaged 12,000 a game in attendance. This day fans sprawled from goal to goal on both sides of the field; they flooded into the upper deck. There were 16,595 in total, but most left unhappy. The top ranked Orange fell to top ranked Virginia, 13-12, Friday night.

“Quite honestly, the final result doesn’t matter a great deal,” UVa coach Dom Starsia said after. “Both of these teams, their goals probably don’t change a great deal, whether you win or lose.”

The game pitted the nation’s two number one teams against each other. Syracuse sits atop the coach’s poll while Virginia leads the pack in the media ranks. It was also another in a long line of close Orange-Wahoo games. The last three have now been one goal games, including a double-OT affair in last season’s final four.

“The statistics for this game are so mind boggling,” Starsia said. “That’s just another one I think. I’ve been asked a lot of questions about the vengeance part of this and it never entered into my mind at all. I heard a little buzz from the players about the end of the game in May.”

The win also gave UVa its third straight over SU at the Dome, something no other team has accomplished.

“This is the joy of it all,” Starsia said. “There have been so many great moments like that. I’m going to remember each and every one of these. Each one of these games has a life of its own. It’s really quite remarkable.”

What really made this meeting different was the crowd. It was a sea of blue and orange that ‘Cuse keeper John Galloway and Wahoo senior Danny Gladding were still struck by after the game.

“It was unbelievable, the amount of people that came out today,” Galloway, a Salt City native, said. “It was a big game and I never thought I’d see people in the upper deck, it’s a great experience to have. It was a playoff environment and we’re going to learn a lot from the game.”

“That’s the type of atmosphere you always hear about and always dream about,” Gladding said. “When you here older guys talk about playing in the Dome, they glorify it a lot. I don’t know how much exaggeration is put into their descriptions of playing here, but it totally fit.”

Starsia went as far as comparing that lore to another sport, saying that no matter what happens through much of the game, the deciding factor usually comes in the crunch.

“At practice on Wednesday coach compared the game to an NBA game, because it doesn’t matter who’s winning,” Gladding said. “All that matters is the last minute of the game. It doesn’t matter what happens…it always ends up being close. It’s kind of funny how it turned out that way.”

There was a tight first half. There was a quarter where each team dominated the scoring. There was running. There was transition offense. There was defense. There was great goalie play. There was one nearly three minute spurt in the second quarter where SU played defense – allowing not one goal and earning several thunderous applauses. Shamel Bratton took one shot that soared almost a cage too high, and the possession ended with a crease violation. Orange keeper John Galloway finished with 13 saves.

“I think I let the guys down a little bit in the first part of the first quarter by letting in those shots,” Galloway said. “I wanted to make a couple big stops for them in the second half. It was the first time I felt confident against a good Division I team and I’m excited to have that feeling.

But that feeling wasn’t something Galloway expected to have, especially after his 11 goal, nine save performance in the national semis last season.

“To be honest, I was real nervous,” the sophomore said. “It was the most nervous I’ve been in a while. I really showed it in the first quarter, especially after that first shot [a goal by Bratton]. After that quarter, I realized I needed to step it up or this team was going to run all over us. I just felt like I was seeing the ball really well against a good team."

Adam Ghitelman was equally as impressive on the Virginia side. The sophomore made 10 saves in his second outing against SU. Among those stops was a third quarter play when he stoned Kenny Nims after at least four doorstep fakes.

“That kind of play elevates the whole team,” Ghitelman said. “That’s kind of why you play the position of goalie. One play like that can get the team going to a whole new level. I don’t really think when those plays happen. I kind of just do what I can. Thank God I made the play.”

The biggest struggle for the Orange seemed to be turnovers, a stat Kenny Nims was thankful is not kept in college lacrosse. Especially down the stretch, Syracuse had pass after pass sail too far, just wide, or tick off a stick head.

“Regardless of what the number [of turnovers] was, the way we played was not acceptable or characteristic of our team,” Nims said. “Given that, we still had a chance to win the game. If we come out in practice this week and clean things up, we’re going to keep getting better every week as far as turnovers are concerned.” “We just didn’t take care of the ball like I think we can,” Coach Desko said. “We just had too many turnovers. Turnovers for our offense really hurt our team…We just need to play better for 60 minutes, especially at the offensive end of the field.”

UVa made its run in the third quarter. With both teams tied at four at the break, Viginia scored the first three goals of the second half in a two minute span. Gladding had two of those tallies. He finished with three goals, one more than his previous season total.

“He’s one of the best attackmen in the nation,” said SU defenseman John Lade. The sophomore had the task of covering Gladding. “I don’t want him to score on me, but he is the best. It might happen, but I just kept my head up high and kept playing and hopefully play harder the next time and learn from my mistakes.”

Bratton scored three of his four goals in the third quarter. It was a break-out performance for Shamel, who has dealt with high expectations since arriving in Charlottesville with his brother as the top two recruits in last year’s crop.

“You’ve got to step up when they put the poll on Brian [Carroll],” Bratton said. “He’s our big gun in the midfield. Someone’s got to step up and make plays offensively. They put a shorty on me. That’s what I had to do.”

Syracuse made an offensive run of its own in the fourth quarter, scoring the game’s last four goals. SU also had possession of the ball with 50 seconds left, but failed to convert.

Syracuse is next in action Saturday at future Big East foe Georgetown. Virginia travels to VMI Tuesday.

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(no subject)
    by (#118964) on 2/28/09 @9:05AM
I'd have pledged my first born son to be at that game...

Doesnt mean a thing though, they will meet post season for sure.

Go Hoos
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John Haldy
    by (#210743) on 2/28/09 @2:32PM
John Haldy is my coach for the Philly Fever (club team)
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Jammer would be the difference
    by (#126084) on 2/28/09 @10:31AM
I paid the 6.95 for Orange All Access and it was worth every penny.

The Question that has to be Asked:
Will Jammer be there in post-season?

If you ask me, and I realize no one did, difference was that the UVA attack was not reluctant to dodge against the Cuse D.

The Syracuse attack looked pretty reluctant to dodge go 1-1 with the UVA d-men. Someone (maybe Keough) took someone (maybe Kelly) to the rack but that is the only take that stands out.

Will Jammer be able to do better?
I think so.
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(no subject)
    by (#190904) on 2/28/09 @11:03AM
Overall, I thought this was an incredible game. The atmosphere in the Dome was electrifying; everyone was on their feet for the last 8 minutes or so in the fourth quarter. (To be honest, it reminded me a lot of the Colgate game last year...)

Nimmers is right: they didn't play as well as they could have. So to only lose by one goal, that's still quite impressive. He stepped up big time though, as a senior, an attackman, and a captain. I couldn't have asked for anymore from him.

Scott Kahoe had a hell of a performance too. His over the shoulder goal was amazing; I don't think anyone saw that coming, especially from Kahoe. I know we're all expecting big things from him as the season goes on. Next week's game against his old Hoya team should be interesting!

Kind of disappointed with Matt Abbott... I thought he'd have more of an impact. Don't get me wrong, he is a clearing machine, that's for sure.. but freshman Kevin Drew and sophomore Josh Amidon proved they could clear and had wheels as well...

Joel White's goal. Enough said :D

Let's go 'CUSEEEEE!!
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Dom Starsia & John Desko Coach The Game Right!
    by (#136419) on 2/28/09 @11:47AM
No question about it. They are very solid motivators, among the best recruiters ever, and good with Xs & Os. But, since they have so much talent, they coach the best way possible during games. That is, they let the players play. They often just leave them alone & let them run the show. And, that leads to great results and the most exciting games!
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Video?????? (nt)
    by (#199090) on 2/28/09 @3:31PM
(no text)
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(no subject)
    by (#209991) on 2/28/09 @5:13PM
I totally agree the game was absolutely shocking. They opened up the upper part of the dome and i had never ever been up there and I sat as high as possible. But on the way up i almost lost my balance because it was incredible being that high. Absolutly huge, biggest crowd since my uncle played with the Gait's. Can't wait for the hopkins game there. cuse is having there '90 championship team reunion and I get to go becuase like I said my uncle played there, pysched to meet gary and paul gait!
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Paul & Gary Gait Are Some Of The Nicest People!
    by (#136419) on 2/28/09 @8:19PM
You are lucky you are going to meet them! Not are they only the best ever, but they are great guys and so humble, considering what they have accomplished.
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Top teams
    by (#117375) on 3/01/09 @1:29AM
Cuse and Virginia seem to reload ever year and don't often miss a beat. This is kinda the revenge Virginia ws looking for after last years 2 looses to the hands of Cuse. This year it seems they are the teams to beat.
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one loss
    by (#118964) on 3/02/09 @9:38AM
they split wins last year
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I Wouldn't Be One Bit Surprised If........
    by (#136419) on 3/02/09 @10:38AM
1. Syracuse & UVA meet again-in either the Final Four or the Title Game.

2. They don't lose another game until they meet again.
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