UNITED STATES MILITARY ACADEMY PRESS RELEASE:
Army Stuns Two-Time Defending Champion Syracuse In Double-Overtime, 9-8
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Army sophomore midfielder Devin Lynch took a feed from junior attackman Jeremy Boltus and scored the double-overtime game-winning goal as the Black Knights shocked two-time defending national Champion Syracuse, 9-8, Sunday night in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at the Carrier Dome.
Boltus drew an Orange double-team as he made a hard run to the left side of the goal, allowing the streaking Lynch to get free on the Syracuse crease. Lynch took an eight-yard pass in stride and stuffed the improbable tally in the top right corner of the net with 5.7 seconds left on the second-overtime clock as the Black Knights (11-5) outscored Syracuse 5-2 in the second half, including three unanswered goals to finish the contest.
It was Army's first NCAA Tournament victory since upsetting Maryland, 15-11, in 1993 as well as its first win over Syracuse in three tournament meetings. SU defeated the Black Knights, 8-7, in 1984 and 12-3 in 1996.
Junior midfielder Derek Sipperly won 11 of 17 faceoffs on the evening as the gritty Black Knights built a 36-32 advantage in ground balls against the same team that compiled a 38-20 edge in during the 12-7 defeat in the regular-season meeting at the Carrier Dome on Feb. 28. It was the only time Syracuse had been out-ground balled all season long.
Boltus, Lynch and freshman attackman Garrett Thul were each credited with two goals and an assist, while junior midfielder Rob McCallion was credited with a goal and two assists. Junior goalkeeper Tom Palesky made 13 saves, including five in the first quarter to keep Army in the game and preserve the win. ¬†
"This is a very proud moment for the Army lacrosse family, alumni and all the guys overseas that we say in the locker room we play for," said Army head coach Joe Alberici. "It's a hard thing to put your arms around if you're not in the program, how important this is to so many people beyond the guys here. It's just a little something for our guys over in Afghanistan and Iraq. I'm certainly proud of our guys and the effort they put forth, the belief they had in what we're doing and the plan, and how hard they played. It was great to see them get rewarded for the victory tonight."
Syracuse looked to put the game away early as senior attackman Cody Jamieson scored a pair of goals only 31 seconds apart to put the Orange up 2-0 with 12:02 on the clock. McCallion got the Army offense going with a 12-yards bouncer at 9:56, but three unanswered Syracuse goals over the next five minutes staked the home team to a 5-1 lead with 12:44 on the second quarter clock.
But momentum would slowly start to shift Army's way. Following a Syracuse slashing penalty, a man-up goal by senior attackman Tyler Seymour from close range off a McCallion pass at 11:47 started a 3-1 Army run to finish the half that made it a 6-4 game at intermission. While the Army defense was forcing six turnovers in the quarter and holding the potent Orange attack scoreless for over a 12-minutes span, Boltus' first tally came on a 15-yard rip off a Lynch feed at the 1:57 mark. Syracuse junior attackman Steven Keogh would score in transition with 32 second remaining, but Lynch would beet the halftime horn with a leaping goal with only :01 showing to pull Army back within two.
Jamieson opened the third quarter with his third goal of the game to put Syracuse back up by three, 7-4, with 9:04 on the clock, but Army would finish the game on a 5-1 run on its way to victory. O'Sullivan converted a man-up strike off the stick of Thul with 4:21 to play in the quarter, before Thul scored a goal of his own on a bounce shot from close range after running from behind the cage with 48 seconds left in the period to make it a one-goal affair.
Syracuse would cause an Army turnover and come up with a hard-fought ground ball that set up Keogh's second goal with 12:05 showing on the fourth-quarter clock, but it would prove to be the Orange's final tally of the contest as they were shutout for the final 20 minutes of the game. A goal by Thul at 9:39 and Boltus at 6:49 knotted the game, 8-8, to force extra time.
The Black Knights carried the momentum into the first overtime and had possession for nearly all of the first four-minute session. Army unleashed three shots in the first extra frame, but none found the mark. The Orange had the ball briefly twice in the period, but turned it over both times.
In the second OT, Sipperly won the faceoff to set up an offensive chance for junior midfielder Brendan Butler, but SU junior goalie John Galloway was there to deny Butler's attemp in front. However, the Orange turned the ball over again on the following possession and failed to back up a shot that Army junior defenseman Bill Henderson was able to get to first and set up the winning possession with a 1:12 left. The miscues set the stage for Boltus, who drove hard to the cage and dumped the ball to Lynch for the winner. It was the first and only time the Black Knights had led all evening.
BLACK KNIGHT NOTES: Making its 30th NCAA Tournament appearance, Syracuse had only lost one other NCAA playoff game in 23 previous contests in the friendly confines of the Carrier Dome, falling to North Carolina, 19-13, in the 1991 semifinals ...Army owns a 4-15 record in 16 all-time appearances in the NCAA Tournament, while Syracuse owns a 61-19 ledger in 30 NCAA Tournament showings ...Army entered the game ranked 57th nationally in faceoff percentage (.394) but won 12 of 19 (.632) in Sunday's win ... the game marked the second time this season Army came out on top after trailing heading into the fourth quarter. The Black Knights also trailed Bucknell in their regular-season matchup, 4-3, but came out on the right end of a 7-6 OT win ... Army's eight-game winning streak is its longest since putting together nine-consecutive wins in 2005 ... 11 wins is also the most since the 2005 squad finished 11-6 ... Syracuse entered the game leading the nation in scoring defense (7.29 gpg) and scoring margin (5.5) ... Army converted two of three man-up attempts while holding Syracuse scoreless on three extra-man opportunities ... both teams took 40 shots on the night ... Syracuse hadn't lost an overtime game since the 2008 season and had only been knocked out of the NCAA Tournament in the first round once before ... Army will take on Cornell in the NCAA quarterfinals next Sunday at 12:00 p.m. at Stony Brook. Cornell needed three overtimes to defeat Loyola, 11-10, in yesterday's other first-round action ... the Black Knights will look to avenge a tough 12-11 overtime road defeat earlier this season on March 6.
Photos by Charles Wainwright.
|Cody Jamieson||(3, 0)|
|Stephen Keogh||(2, 0)|
|Jovan Miller||(2, 0)|
|Joel White||(0, 1)|
|Tim Harder||(0, 1)|
|Chris Daniello||(0, 1)|
|Joe Coulter||(0, 1)|
|Kevin Drew||(1, 0)|
|John Galloway||16 (0.640)|