The game got off to a fast and furious start with both squads putting up four goals in the opening period. The Hoos took a 3-1 lead but in the final five minutes SU went on a three goal run getting tallies from Brad Voigt, Tucker Dordevic, and Stephen Rehfuss.
The freshman midfielder Dordevic had a breakout game with four goals including the game winner on Sunday. His emergence could be key for this team as it looks to find a consistent offensive threat.
Speaking of emerging offensive threats, just 26 seconds into the second period SU broke up the tie on a Brett Kennedy clear. The long pole took it coast to coast, finding room to breath in the UVA offensive zone and took full advantage by burying it on Virginia’s Alex Rode. He would not be finished though as a little over three minutes later, again on the clear, Peter Dearth found Kennedy trailing into the box and he ripped another one to the back of the net. Two goals from the long pole and he had at least two more good opportunities on the day.
With the score 6-4 Syracuse, Dox Aitken from deep and unguarded got one to go on Dom Madonna with the flag down. It would be Virginia’s only goal of the second and third periods of which the SU defense smothered Virginia.
The Orange scored one more off the crosse of Dordevic as he used a screen to roll back at the top of the box and fired low on Rode giving SU the 7-5 halftime lead.
‘Cuse didn’t take its foot off the pedal in the second half, coming right out and giving Dordevic a hat trick 55 seconds into the third period. The only other score of the quarter came from Brad Voigt after getting a nice pass from Nate Solomon.
Dom Madonna had five saves in the quarter and a couple that were point blank. Overall he played extremely well and walked away with ten on the day. While he was impressive, it’s hard to beat freshman Alex Rode who looked like an experienced senior making big time saves all game.
Opening the fourth with a four goal lead, the Orange took advantage of a failed Virginia clear and it was Jamie Trimboli getting a step on his long pole just off the crease who made it a 10-5 SU score.
It felt like Virginia was done, but immediately off of the ensuing faceoff, a quick restart for Virginia behind the SU cage resulted in Mike D’Amario finding Ian Laviano on the wing who beat Madonna high with no defensive help. 33 seconds later Michael Kraus put one on the board after a late Syracuse slide to pull Virginia within three goals.
Suddenly the Cavaliers had some life in them. Syracuse got a man up goal with Brendan Bomberry sending a pass from behind cage to Trimboli as he cut down the alley to slow the bleeding. After another 33 seconds it was D’Amario again from the center of the box finding nylon and again cutting the lead to three. The senior attackman would have three straight goals in under four minutes to leave Syracuse up 11-10.
Finally, with 1:41 to go in the game Rode made a point blank save and cleared the ball to Jared Conners. The long pole took it right to the Syracuse goal to tie the game at 12. The long poles certainly had a day.
The Orange were able to secure a possession with under fifty seconds and David Lipka got a shot off that beat Rode and appeared to give SU the go ahead goal. However, not to make things too easy on his team, coach John Desko had actually called a timeout a moment prior to the goal and it was wiped off the board. While it felt like some bad mojo heading into the final half minute, Syracuse came out of the timeout and got the ball to Tucker Dordevic who dodged on his defender and was able to get his fourth of the game and the game winner with just 12.4 seconds on the clock.
Syracuse won the faceoff and tossed it downfield. The ball was caught by Rode who sent it sailing the other way as he was hit by Nate Solomon. The horn sounded, whistles blew, flags flew, and both teams got into a pushing match over Solomon’s final how do ya do. It was actually the second time in the game that the Georgia native had put Rode on the ground. After an NFL like delay, the referees explained to Desko and a very unhappy Tiffany that they would end the game. Quite the ending.
For about three quarters we saw the best defensive play that SU has put on all year and once again they did it without injured Tyson Bomberry. Syracuse played aggressively and forced 12 Virginia turnovers and hampered UVA ball carriers all day.
At the faceoff X, Danny Varrello had a day with 16 of 26 faceoff wins and three groundballs. He held UVA’s top FOGO, Justin Schwenk to eight wins on 21 attempts.
Enjoy this one because the schedule does not get any easier in the near future with dates against Johns Hopkins, Rutgers, Duke, and Notre Dame all looming.