A quick take on Syracuse’s crazy 14-8 win against Duke in the ACC championship, a game that was delayed almost three hours midway through the fourth quarter due to a lighting/rain delay that soaked the main stadium natural grass field at Fifth Third Bank Stadium in Kennesaw, Georgia, and necessitating the final 7:30 to be played on an adjacent turf field (“Turf Field 1”):
WHAT HAPPENED: In what figured to be a close game between two teams that have played four times the last two seasons, the ‘Cuse (10-4) won its second straight ACC title by scoring five goals after the long weather delay, controlling possession, and limiting the fourth best offense in the country to just eight goals, and none after the long delay. The automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament should mean a ‘Cuse first round tournament home game on Sun. evening May 15.
ANALYSIS: The long delay in play changed the dynamic of the game’s flow, especially for the Blue Devils (10-7), with SU holding the man-up advantage when play was suspended, but it didn’t bother the ‘Cuse, they came out firing. Dylan Donahue, Sergio Salcido, Derek DeJoe, Tim Barber, and Jordan Evans all scored after the delay to win running away, while the defense, highlighted by goalie Evan Molloy, kept Duke’s big guns Myles Jones and Deemer Class in check (a combined two goals) throughout. In all, seven Orange players scored in a balanced effort, and Ben Williams won 14 of 29 faceoffs.
HEROES: As he was sharp in Friday night’s semifinals, redshirt junior Molloy made key stops in the net at the most opportune times throughout, finishing with 13 saves and was named the tournament most outstanding player, joined on the all-tourny team by stout defenseman Brandon Mullins. and three other ‘Cuse players. Barber rifled home four shots for goals and added an assist.
ZERO: Overall, no one can control the weather, but with plenty on the line for postseason play for both teams, it certainly doesn’t look good by having to move the championship contest to an auxiliary turf field, (and without live TV coverage on ESPNU) due to the downpour of rain that soaked the natural grass and caused drainage issues on the main stadium field at Fifth Third Bank Stadium. On the field during earlier action, three unforced errors led to three of the Duke eight goals, but that’s nit picking when you hold an ACC team to single digit scores as SU did in both tournament games.
WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse finishes up its 100th regular season hosting upstate rival Colgate on Sat., May 7. The Raiders (4-9) are having a down season record-wise, so SU has to be on its toes against a team with nothing to lose (i.e. the OT loss at Cornell). SU won 9-7 at Hamilton last season. Game Time: 1:00 p.m. ET / TV-Digital: TWCS-ESPN3.