FIGHTING BACK: After slow start, Syracuse’s offense breaks out in 13-12 win over Cornell

first_img Published on April 10, 2013 at 8:29 pm Contact Jacob: [email protected] | @Jacob_Klinger_ Connor Buczek buried Cornell’s fourth goal just more than five minutes into Wednesday night’s game.He shot from 15 yards away, right between the hashes. But two hours later, in the exact same spot, his teammates were left desperately leaping for a Brian Megill clear they never caught. Dylan Donahue did, though, and time expired five seconds later.Syracuse beat No. 2 Cornell 13-12 on Wednesday night in the Carrier Dome in front of an emotional and sharply divided 3,862 fans that included about 100 Cornell students and a traveling pep band. The No. 7 Orange stormed back from an early 4-0 gap, stifling the Big Red’s (10-2, 4-0 Ivy) high-powered offense and tearing into the visitors with its seemingly overpowering first midfield. The SU (8-2, 2-1 Big East) comeback set up a chaotic final two minutes when the Orange held onto its lead by a mere bounce off of the crossbar.“This is why you go to Cornell,” Big Red attack Rob Pannell said, “for an Upstate battle against Syracuse. There’s nothing like it.”For the opening five minutes, though, there was no battle. Doug Tesoriero won every faceoff and every ground ball. Cornell started picking apart the Orange.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe Cornell players were everywhere, popping up for goals from either side of Dominic Lamolinara’s cage.“We were just on the sideline trying to keep our legs warm, trying to cheer on our defense,” Syracuse midfielder JoJo Marasco said. “… And we tell each other on the sideline to, ‘When you get the ball, go to the net and try and win this game.’”It’s exactly how Henry Schoonmaker gave SU its first lead. With 6:15 remaining, he darted away from his man 20 yards from goal on the left hash marks and bounced the ball in before Cornell defender Jason Noble could even turn and help his burnt teammate.When SU awoke, the game fell into a duel of first midfield units. And with Megill frustrating Cornell’s leading assist man Pannell, the Big Red offense slowed down while Syracuse’s ran wild.“They’re athletic, they’re big, they play with both hands, they shoot the ball extremely well and they put a lot of pressure on defenses,” Cornell head coach Ben DeLuca said of SU’s midfield. “We didn’t respond the way we would’ve liked.”Pannell assisted on three of the Big Red’s first four goals. He didn’t have a single point in the last 54 minutes. Cornell scored six goals in the first quarter. It scored six goals the rest of the game.By the middle of the third quarter, momentum was building steadily for SU. Cornell led by just one.Syracuse scored 11 of its 13 goals with the first midfield line on. Kevin Rice scored one of the only goals without SU’s top midfielders with 5:10 remaining off of a defense-splitting, 20-yard diagonal cross from Ryan Barber that found Rice alone on the right side of the crease.With 27.1 seconds left in the game, SU led 13-12. The Syracuse players were divided into two huddles.In the larger huddle, on the right of the SU sideline, assistant coach Lelan Rogers and head coach John Desko warned their players of a play drawn up for Connor English.In the smaller huddle on the left, assistant coach Kevin Donahue simply told the attackers to kill off the clock if they got the ball.Out of the timeout, English beat Matt Pratt down the right hash marks and ran at Lamolinara wide open. Lamolinara came out, but English looped his shot over him.“I heard it hit something, so hopefully it was the pipe, but I didn’t know where it went, so that was really my big fear,” Lamolinara said. “I didn’t know if it bounced out front or behind.”The ball bounced inches beyond the crease. Steve Ianzito recovered and sprinted to the back of the SU defensive end zone before chucking it to Megill. The defender whipped the ball 50 yards downfield for Donahue to catch right where Buczek scored, and for Billy Ward to run toward the opposite end zone as the last five seconds ticked off of the clock as the Orange bench poured onto the field.Afterward, Megill said he was deaf to the electric atmosphere in the stands. He could only hear his teammates for most of the game.“But when you hear that sound, one minute remaining, and the Dome just erupts,” Megill said. “You feel it in your body.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more