Serenity Now! Serenity Now!
Following a tying goal from Nick Mariano, Danny Varello was able to win the faceoff off of a Joe Gillis GB with about two minutes remaining in the game. The Orange rotated the ball looking like the Orange were going to be trying to hold for another last second opportunity. But with just over a minute left, Sergio Salcido tried to get a pass through traffic to Brendan Bomberry in the center of the box. The pass, however, was knocked down and recovered by Army which went on to clear. The Black Knights took a timeout with 38 seconds to go in order to draw something up.
As the clock wound down, the SU defense clamped down around the net, but was unable to stop a David Symmes rocket with just 0.5 seconds to go that found its way to the back of the net. The Syracuse Orange would finish the game with a 13-14 loss to the Army Black Knights.
A heartbreaker of a loss.
The Orange played without Ben Williams in Saturday’s matchup as he was suffering from a shoulder injury. It’s unclear when he will be back. In his place, Cal Paduda and freshman Danny Varello. The SU faceoff crew struggled early against a talented Dan Grabher going just 5 of 16 through the first half. On the bright side, Varello battled back finishing at 10-17 while Paduda went 3-13 in the game. It looks like Varello may move up the depth chart to backup Williams when he comes back, or start in his absence.
The early sturggles at the faceoff X led to the defense playing an absurd amount of minutes with Evan Molloy forced to make seven saves in the first half.
Another note of concern was the groundball game. At one point, Army doubled up Syracuse in groundballs. The Orange eventually had some success but still finished with 24 groundballs compared to Army’s 31. Nevertheless, it seemed like Army snagged every big groundball battle.
Nick Mariano and Brendan Bomberry led the Orange in goals with three each, both putting up one assist as well. Bomberry had a crazy goal with 57 seconds to go in the half when AJ Barretto made a save on a Salcido shot but on the rebound there was a scrum in front of the net. It looked Bomberry was able to tip it in to pull the Orange within two. The Denver transfer continues to show how good he is around the crease.
Jordan Evans had a good game with two goals and two assists along with zero turnovers. The first goal of the game came from Brendan Bomberry but was assisted by Evans who came up around the crease and pulled a question mark move, giving him space from his defender and enough room to hit Bomberry just off the crease.
Overall, it is hard to ignore the faceoff issues in the first half, to me that was the difference in this game. Hopefully Williams will be back for this upcoming string of games which features four ranked teams in the next five games.
The Orange will take on Virginia next week at the Carrier Dome.