The No. 7 Orange survives a scare against Rutgers.
WHAT HAPPENED: Not many people expected the Orange (9-2, 3-1) to be down five goals heading into the fourth quarter of Saturday’s matchup against Rutgers (2-11, 0-5). But that’s where SU found itself after a lackluster three quarters filled with unforced, sloppy errors and struggles at the face off X. Through the first three quarters, SU was just 4-for-17 and needed a fourth quarter spark from face off specialist Cal Paduda to get thing started.
The defense also stepped it up in crunch time. In the fourth, Megill and company forced eight Rutgers turnovers, allowing just one goal as the Orange went on to score seven. The defense also allowed just three shots during that time while the SU attack caught fire, taking 18 shots and peppering the Scarlet Knights goalkeeper with more than he could handle.
The Orange started the fourth quarter on a five-goal run to tie things up but Rutgers responded with a goal to retake the lead. It was Derek Maltz scoring the last two goals of the game to tie and then take the lead. SU didn’t lead the game until there were just ten seconds left in the fourth quarter, but that’s all it took to seal the victory.
WHAT IT MEANS: This could have been an extremely dangerous loss for the Orange. If Rutgers was able to hold on, SU would have been at risk of missing the Big East tournament with a tough Notre Dame team still ahead on the schedule.
STAR GAZING: Luke Cometti continued his hot scoring streak with six goals today, giving him ten goals in the last two games. A big reason for his success was the passing of JoJo Marasco, who finished the day with five assists.
“We almost expected a game like this after having three games in one week…” Coach Desko said. “The guys are a little bit tired.”
“It definitely felt like Villanova all over again,” Marasco said. “We came into the locker room at halftime and knew what we needed to do. It just shows that this team is a great team and we don’t give up.”
WHAT’S NEXT: Hobart comes to the Carrier Dome on Tuesday for Syracuse’s last home game of the year. Game time: 7:00 pm ET / TV: TWCS