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Syracuse 11 - Army 10 (3OT): Tale of two halves as SU comes back from down five for a triple OT victory

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The Syracuse Orange found itself nearly out of the game before springing back to life in the second half to win in a third sudden death period.

2013 NCAA Division I Men's Lacrosse Championships - Semifinals - Syracuse v Denver Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

Holy Cow. The Syracuse Orange took down the Army Black Knights in triple overtime in the Carrier Dome on Saturday in a game that brought back memories of last season’s multiple one-goal, heart attack inducing contests.

The first half could only be described as awful.

The Orange got killed in groundballs and faceoffs. Stupid penalties led to three extra man goals for Army and the clearing game was a mess. SU went into the half lucky to be down 6-1. It felt like the season was on the edge of implosion.

Coming out of the half however, it was a completely different story. SU opened the third on the man up with Jamie Trimboli capitalizing just 47 seconds into the period. Army’s Conor Glancey put the Black Knights back up by five at the 13:25 mark before Syracuse went on a five-goal run to trail by one. David Symmes ended the streak with a long snipe shot but with just nine seconds to go in the period Nate Solomon found David Lipka on the crease for an easy goal to send the Orange into the fourth quarter down by just one.

Four minutes in, it was Nate Jones from deep after finding himself wide open on an SU defensive breakdown and just like that Army was back up by two. Syracuse would not go away though. A little over two minutes later, Solomon, hung up behind the crease found a cutting Lipka for his second of the game, one of only two Syracuse players to have a multi-goal day.

Brendan Bomberry who was held scoreless last week had the equalizer, getting the pass from Solomon, Bomberry stood on the crease with his back to the goal and put it right through his own legs for a spectacular tally.

With the Orange possessing and only 6:13 to go in the game, Nate Solomon set a pick behind the cage and was absolutely leveled by Army’s top defender Johnny Surdick. The long pole went off for one minute on an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty during which time Trimboli was able to hit Solomon on the crease. Solomon got Army goalie AJ Barretto to bite on a high fake before sending it low and into the net to give the Orange it’s first lead in 45:13 minutes of play.

However the Black Knights would not allow Syracuse to walk out with a win in regulation. Less than a minute after Solomon’s second goal of the day, Connor Dewitt beat Madonna with a rocket, shooting while on the run from a dodge off the top bringing the game back into a tie at 10, and that is how we would finish the first four periods.

In the first two overtimes both goalies, but especially Dom Madonna, came up big. Just under three minutes to play in the third sudden death Madonna, bringing the ball up field, found a streaking Ryan Simmons with an incredible forty yard pass to put the midfielder about fifteen yards in front of the cage and five yards ahead of two trailing Army players. Simmons took it straight to the house with a low shot that beat Barretto and gave Syracuse an incredible come back win.

The first two periods, while absolutely abysmal, do not overshadow the heart that this team showed in cleaning up its game and fighting back from down five.

Tyson Bomberry did not play today, but you have to be impressed with his replacement Brett Kennedy who brought home five groundballs and caused two turnovers. Even with Bomberry out, I thought the long pole unit played well.

In net, Madonna at times stood on his head. He is the reason this team made it through the first two overtimes and his field vision is the reason for the game winner. Once again transfers stand out on this squad.

The faceoff situation. Oh the faceoff situation. I will say this, Danny Varello came up huge in the overtime periods, winning three straight to give his team a chance. Or more accurately, prevent an immediate goal from Army. Prior to overtime though, he had just two wins on 11 opportunities. Seth Delisle couldn’t muster much more as he went four of 12 on the day. Moving forward, it will be difficult to win if the faceoff game continues as is.

Syracuse will need this momentum as it moves through the next five games, an absolute who’s who of college lacrosse. Next up, Virginia in Charlottesville, VA.