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Syracuse 5, Johns Hopkins 4: The Cardiac Citrus

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Well, it's official. It's going to be THAT kind of season for the Syracuse Lacrosse team and its fans. Hope you've stocked up on Lipitor cause your heart can't handle too much more of this.

Dominated at the faceoff X the entire game, the top-ranked Syracuse University men’s lacrosse team got transition after winning the opening draw of the second sudden-death overtime period. Joel White picked up the groundball, flipped a pass to Jeremy Thompson, who raced toward the goal and dished to Stephen Keogh, who rifled a shot high into the net to propel the Orange to a 5-4 victory over No. 9 Johns Hopkins tonight before a crowd of 8,241 in the Carrier Dome.

All Stephen Keogh does is score overtime game-winners.

To say Hopkins wanted to slow down the game and limit the Orange offense is an understatement. It was the lowest scoring game in the Syracuse-Hopkins series since 1922 (a 3-1 SU win) and Syracuse's first win while scoring only five goals since 1982.

Hopkins' strategy was to deliberately stall offensively nearly every time it had the ball. Since they won most of the face-offs, that strategy almost worked, while setting the sport back fifty years.

The affair was a closely-contested defensive battle the entire way. The two teams combined for only 58 shots. Syracuse did not score more than one goal in any quarter. The only quarter that featured multiple goals by either team was the second with Hopkins outscoring the Orange, 2-1. Both teams went stretches of more than 20 minutes without goals. Hopkins held Syracuse scoreless for 27:02 during the first and second quarters. The Orange kept the Blue Jays off the scoreboard for the game’s final 22:22 following Zach Palmer’s goal with 3:07 to play in the third.

As for the Orange, they got another character-building win and proved themselves capable of withstanding yet another style of play from a quality opponent. Plus, they beat Hopkins for the fifth-straight time. They did it with the help of Tommy Palasek, the junior attackman who transferred from Hopkins.

"As personal of a game as it was for me, it’s just another game on the schedule. It’s nice to be 6-0. But to be honest, it’s even nice to win because now it’s behind me. I play for the Orange now. It’s nice to have that win already, and move on."

Palasek added two assists for the Orange while Keogh led them with three goals and Josh Amidon scored the other two.

Up next for the No. 1 Orange is a match-up with Villanova on Saturday at 7pm.