Sergio Salcido got things going after grabbing a broken up pass ten yards off the crease and sending it past an unready Brandon Fowler (1-0 SU). It looked like Fowler thought the pass was going to Dylan Donahue and there was probably a screen, but Fowler did not expect the shot. Several minutes later it was Brad Smith for Duke with a deep rip, to tie the game up at one (1-1). The Syracuse defense was moving out to take Smith but the long-pole slipped on the grass. We saw players falling all over the field on Sunday after a Saturday storm soaked the field. With 6:33 left in the quarter, Donahue rolled up the crease from behind, drew the double and hit Tim Barber who sent a side arm shot past Fowler (2-1 SU). The Dukies were able to pull back into a tie with a goal from Matt Giampetroni who scored from deep, again the Syracuse defender slipped while trying to get to Giampetroni off the cross field pass (2-2). It was Giampetroni's second goal of the year.
Finally, with the seconds ticking down to the end of the first period, Evan Molloy grabbed a groundball just off the crease, and sent it directly to Donahue who took it into the box and fired with just 1.2 seconds left on the clock (3-2 SU). Duke had been trying to up the tempo and get on the fast break, unsettled situation when they lost the ball and caught off guard.
The goalie play from Evan Molloy was nothing short of superb on Sunday. Brandon Fowler played well too, but Molloy just out-shined him throughout the game. Molloy attacked the ball all day and was sharp in net making 13 saves.
Syracuse came into the second quarter with a 3-2 lead. In the opening minutes Molloy made a huge save on Jack Bruckner. Nick Mellen sent the clearing pass from behind cage to the top of the box but Duke intercepted the pass and got it back to Bruckner for an easy goal on the crease (3-3). On the ensuing faceoff, Duke picked up a slash call with the help of Ben Williams' acting job. SU was able to capitalize on the extra-man opportunity on a Nick Mariano goal (4-3 SU). Syracuse is one of the best man-up squads in the country but on Sunday they went 2-5 on the EMO. With Mellen on the sideline after taking a Deemer Class shot to the side of the head, Marcus Cunningham got his shot. While he is definitely a step behind Mellen he was able to break up a pass that led to a fast-break opportunity for ‘Cuse. On the break, Joe Gillis took it into the offensive zone, weaved between three Duke defenseman and got off a weak shot that beat Fowler (5-3 SU). Right off the faceoff, Kyle Rowe won the draw and took it into the box beating a long-pole. The slide didn't come and Rowe got his shot off and past Molloy for his third goal of the season (5-4 SU).
With under two minutes to go in the half, Syracuse was holding the ball on offense. Donahue took the ball to the alley and was doubled with physical play. Donahue got rid of the ball and it ended up in the crosse of Derek DeJoe who ripped a fast bouncer to put SU up by two (6-4 SU). It was just another example of Duke trying to go up tempo and getting burned by a Syracuse team that has been so good in unsettled situations.
We would not be done in the half however. Molloy saved a Myles Jones shot but the rebound came out in front of the cage. With Brandon Mullins and Jack Bruckner battling in front of the cage for the GB, Molloy was able to get his stick under Mullins and get the ball, but the long-pole stepped on Molly's stick sending the ball back out. Bruckner was able to snag it and dump it in for the final goal of the half with just six seconds remaining (6-5 SU).
The third quarter was dominated by poor offensive possessions for Syracuse. The Orange had trouble getting quality shots off. The refs who had previously been content to let the teams play, began calling everything. Finally with 11:45 to go in the period Mariano was able to get off a low-to-low shot that connected (7-5 SU). The Orange got a lucky bounce on the next goal. Donahue hit the pipe and it ricocheted right into Tim Barber's stick. Barber sent it to the back of the net with Fowler not having a chance (8-5 SU).
Myles Jones had been kept quiet all day by quick slides and good SU defense. That changed at 4:12 remaining the third quarter when he was able to get off an awkward lefty shot while being well guarded (8-6 SU). Duke picked up one more before the end of the quarter on a sweep by Brad Smith who fired from top of the box (8-7 SU).
Tim Barber picked up his second of the game at 13:30 off a cross-field pass from Salcido. It was an absolutely beautiful shot from Barber that had eyes for the back of the net (9-7 SU). Jones returned fire with his second of the game, getting it as close to the near-side corner as possible (9-8 SU).
With 7:30 left in the game and SU up 9-8 on Duke, the refs called a lighting delay with reported thunderstorms in the area. After nearly a three-hour delay with rain completely drenching the area, the game had to be moved to a nearby practice field due to the field not being playable. I don't think I've ever seen a lacrosse game moved to a different field, kind of an absurd situation.
Returning to the field after the extended delay, it was Syracuse that came out firing while Duke looked like they forget they had to finish the game. The Orange put up five straight goals to finish out the game on the practice field turf.
The Orange will now move on to play Colgate this week and await the NCAA Tournament Committee's announcement on Sunday. I would expect that Syracuse will pull in a home game after Sunday's dominant win.