The No. 8 Orange upsets No. 2 Cornell to take back control of the Upstate Rivalry.
WHAT HAPPENED: On a rainy Wednesday night in Syracuse, the Orange (8-2) started the game slowly, as if the team had been standing out in that rain for too long. Cornell (10-2) jumped out to an early 4-0 lead. SU couldn’t do anything right in the first period of play. The Big Red picked up 8-of-11 face offs and was dominating possession.
But this is the biggest rivalry in New York state lacrosse. The Orange wasn’t going to fall that easy. In the first quarter, Cornell star Rob Pannell had four points off of a goal and three assists. He was held without a point for the rest of the game. SU stormed back, keeping the game close for most of the game. But the Orange could never get that go-ahead goal.
In the fourth quarter, that goal finally came off the stick of Henry Schoonmaker. Cornell got one last chance to knot things up. Connor English had the ball with under 30-seconds to go. He darted to the net, making his way to the top of the crease. He took a shot and beat Dominic Lamolinara high but the shot ricocheted off the post and the Orange regained possession as the clock ran out.
WHAT IT MEANS: This gives the Orange two really big wins against top ten teams and proves that SU can play with the big boys. Cornell has looked great this season and continued to look great tonight in the Dome. The fact that Syracuse beat Cornell means that the Orange have a Final Four caliber team. The Big Red was the last real test before the season finale against Notre Dame. This team needs to keeping winning the games it should and if SU takes down the Irish on April 27th, the Orange could be a top seed headed into the NCAA Tournament.
STAR GAZING: Luke Cometti finally got on track after a slow start to his senior season, scoring four goals. Goalkeeper Dominic Lamolinara stepped up big late in the game, making some huge saves. He finished the day giving up 12 goals but he also made 12 saves.
“I’m really proud of these guys,” Coach Desko said. “We’ve been in a lot of games like this this year. We don’t really look at the scoreboard a lot, we just keep playing… very big win for us.”
“Rob [Pannell]’s a great player,” Brian Megill said. “He’s gonna get his points, and he did… I think we did a great job shutting him down in the second half.”
“We believe in our defense,” JoJo Marasco said. “They get us the ball a lot and when they get us the ball we’re taking good shots this year. We’re almost scoring on every possession.”
“Heck, Jim Boeheim has been doing it all year, we thought we might try it once or twice,” Coach Desko on switching to the zone defense.
WHAT’S NEXT: The Orange will continue its final Big East slate as it takes on Rutgers this Saturday. Game time: 1:00 pm ET / TV: TWCS