Syracuse meets Denver, Tierney in national semifinals

Syracuse continues its quest for its first national championship since 2009 when it plays Denver on Saturday.

IN SYRACUSE’S LAST GAME: Dylan Donahue capped a furious SU rally, beating Yale goalie Eric Natale with :13 left. Things looked bleak for SU as they trailed 6-4 with under 3 minutes remaining after they had been shut out for 43 minutes, spanning the entire second and third quarters. But Kevin Rice and Luke Cometti scored back-to-back goals within six seconds of each other and Dominic Lamolinara made a huge save on Conrad Oberbeck’s shot with 55 seconds left.

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Syracuse last met Denver in the 2011 season

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IN DENVER’S LAST GAME: Denver advanced to their second final four in three years with a come-from-behind 12-11 victory over No. 5 North Carolina. The Tar Heels led by as many as six goals in the first half, and went into halftime up 9-4. But it was all Denver in the second half, as the Pioneers went on an 8-2 run, including a 5-1 advantage in the fourth quarter. It was the largest deficit ever overcome in NCAA quarterfinals history. Eric Law led Denver with three goals and three assists.

SCOUTING THE PIONEERS: Syracuse will meet a familiar foe in the semifinals, as Denver is coached by Bill Tierney. You may remember Tierney from his run with Princeton, where he won six national championships (all with the Tigers) and currently is second in career NCAA postseason wins (35). Desko, with five titles to his name, has owned the all-time series between the two coaches, 13-5. Tierney has one of the top scorers in the NCAA in Law, who is 11th in the NCAA in points per game (4.17) and has 40 goals on the season.

HISTORICALLY SPEAKING: Syracuse last played Denver in the 2011 season opener, with the Orange winnning 13-7 at home. JoJo Marasco had a pair of goals and assists, and SU never trailed in the game. Syracuse is currently 3-0 in the all-time series against the Pioneers.

GAME INFORMATION: Saturday, May 25, 2013 at 5:00 p.m. in Philadelphia. TV: ESPN2.

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Wes Cheng

About Wes Cheng

Wes has worked for Rivals.com covering the New York Knicks, as well as for Scout.com covering Syracuse athletics. Wes has also worked for the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) and reported on the NBA and MLB for the New York Sportscene. A native of Long Island, New York, Wes graduated from Syracuse University in 2005. Follow him on Twitter @ChengWes.
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