You'd think after the Syracuse Orange basketball team finished their final four run we'd stop hearing "Syracuse" and "zone" in the same sentence. Sorry, but get those shot glasses back out because after the Orange's (No. 8 10-2) 13-12 comeback win against Cornell (No. 2 10-2), the zone will be the talk of Syracuse again.
The Orange struggled in the first six minutes of the game, giving up four straight to Cornell. The Big Red would go on to score four in the first quarter, forcing Coach Desko to make changes. The Orange switched a zone defense that slowed the Cornell offensive attack down and the boys from Ithaca "only" scored six more the rest of the way out.
The big defensive news had to be the shut down job on Rob Pannell. If you haven't heard, the fifth year senior is really really really good and should have "scoring goals" as his sole occupation in life. However, the Orange kept him to just four points and one goal, allowing Syracuse to never trail by more than the initial four goal deficit.
Syracuse's offense took a while to get going, but when it did it was effective. Luke Cometti led the way with four goals and none more timely than his then game tying goal to knot things up at 11 apiece with seven left in the game. JoJo Marasco tied the game at 10 just minutes before Cometti but the game winner went to Henry Schoonmaker with number 12 at the six minute mark. Kevin Rice would add 13 a minute later, proving to be the icing on the cake.
In case you didn't watch the game, it was everything Lacrosse is about: back and forth action, aggressive defense, traveling crowds (the Cornell group was very rowdy right below the press box) and a final minute of action that killed everyone's blood pressure. A late no call push (read: blown call) allowed Cornell to set up a final play off a timeout. Connor English beat his defender around the corner and literally looked Cuse goalie Dom Lamolinara right in the eyes as he flipped the ball over his head. To hit the top pipe. And that was the game.
Seriously amazing. The win should surely vault the Orange, who now have huge wins over Virginia, Johns Hopkins and Cornell, into the top five as they prepare for their Saturday game against Rutgers.
Syracuse Lacrosse Postgame vs Cornell April 10 (via Andrew Pregler)