It took Syracuse four quarters and three overtimes, but the Orange prevailed 11-10 over Army after trailing by as many as five goals.
It was a tale of two halves.
After Nate Solomon of the Orange scored the first point of the game, it was all Army for the rest of the first half, scoring six straight points.
Syracuse remained calm, slowly chipping away at the lead that Navy had gained early through good defense an effective ball movement on offense.
“We had to play a lot of defense today,” Syracuse head coach John Desko said. “A little different story in the second half. I think we came alive both offensively, defensively we stayed pretty consistent. Dom [Madonna] has been playing very well for us…he’s been one of our strengths. Not only did we ask him to make all those saves but he had to get the assist on the winning goal.”
Madonna finished with seven saves including two very important ones in the first and second overtime. He was also key to Syracuse’s game-winning goal in the third overtime.
“Dom felt he had to find somebody opened deep and fortunately Ryan [Simmons] broke open just in time,” Desko said. “It was a great pass, a great catch and a great finish. A good day for the Orange, it was good to get that win, we grew up a lot today.”
Syracuse had little room for error after the disastrous second quarter, which took over four minutes to gain its first possession. They won only 9 of 26 faceoffs, though SU won all three in overtime.
“It’s very big […] to get those possessions and at least have the ball on our end of the field for an opportunity to score,” Desko said in regard to the faceoffs in overtime.
Syracuse outscored Army 10 to 4 in the second half and overtime thanks to excellent ball movement. In the second half, Syracuse had 5 consecutive goals off of assists.
“[Army’s] pretty quick, I think we’re quicker honestly…We just went out fast and that’s just our game, playing fast. Our only adjustment is to play faster and smarter,” Nate Solomon said. “Being down 6-1 you get a little sense of urgency but we felt pretty comfortable coming out. We knew we were going to get our shots, we just had to bury them. Everything fell into place.”
Syracuse scored six of their final 10 goals in the third. After Solomon scored the first goal of the game he then scored again in the fourth to give Syracuse its first lead since early in the first quarter.
“It’s always exciting to score a goal regardless, especially that one, putting us up, getting some fire under us,” he said. “I think it helped our team. Not just offensively, honestly defensively and just made everyone step up even more.”
After the win on Saturday Syracuse improves to 2-1. They travel to Virginia to take on the sixth-ranked Cavaliers on Sunday, March 4.