Tim Barber scored the go-ahead goal for Syracuse, and then almost gave it right back.
With under a minute to play and Syracuse clinging to a 9-8 lead, Barber received the ball and streaked across the field.
He was eventually met by a pair of Army defenders and coughed up the ball with 30 seconds left. Syracuse goalie Warren Hill barely got enough of the ensuing shot from Cole Johnson to knock it off the pipe and wide, preserving a Syracuse victory.
“When I heard it hit the pipe,” Hill said, “I got scared.”
But the moment was fleeting, as Syracuse clung to its one-goal lead after Barber had put them ahead with 3:27 remaining.
“The game went almost as expected,” Syracuse head coach John Desko said. “We probably got a little too comfortable with a four-goal lead and let them back into it.”
Desko was also full of praise for Army goalie A.J. Barretto, who finished with 11 saves, including three in the fourth quarter.
“For a freshman to come into the Carrier Dome and play like that is impressive.”
But he had trouble dealing with Syracuse midfielders Derek DeJoe and Sergio Salcido, who each notched two goals. For DeJoe, he has now scored five goals in his last two games.
“We are hoping that on any given day, someone steps up,” DeJoe said. “Today was my day and I stepped up.”
Desko was pleased with the team’s resilience though as they fought through a close game.
“Sure we made a bunch of mistakes, Army did too, but you can’t practice to get a game like this,” he said.
Syracuse overcame a sluggish start, scoring just the nine goals after scoring 17 goals in each of its first two games.
“They came in with a great gameplan,” Dylan Donahue said, crediting Army’s defense. “We played into their hands a bit, but that’s not to take credit away from them.”
Now the focus shifts to Friday, when Syracuse heads on the road for the first time. ACC rival and 10th ranked Virginia awaits. The game starts at 5:30.