Syracuse led its early lead slip away, scoring just two second half goals in a 10-9 loss to Cornell in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.
Tucker Dordevic scored the first goal of the game to give Syracuse an early lead, and the Orange would not trail until 11:47 in the fourth quarter when Clarke Petterson’s unassisted goal gave the Big Red a 9-8 advantage.
But after after Brendan Bomberry tied the game less than three minutes later, Colton Rupp would score with 5:35 left on a man-up opportunity in what turned out to be the game-winning goal.
“Well it’s a tough one,” Syracuse coach John Desko said. “My hat’s off to Cornell, they played for 60 minutes and they won the game.”
It didn’t start that way for SU, who jumped out to a 7-4 lead after Nate Solomon’s goal midway through the second quarter. But Cornell stifled SU’s offense the rest of the way.
“[Cornell] threw a couple different looks at us,” Bomberry said. “We got some decent looks and we just didn’t capitalize on them. They did a great job on us and credit to their defense for sure.”
Syracuse dominated at the X, winning 16 of 24, but struggled elsewhere. The Orange was outshot on goal 22-17, committed 15 turnovers and went scoreless on three man-up chances.
“If you looked at the stats,” Desko said, “you would probably think we had won the game.”
Petterson scored five goals to lead Cornell, while three different Orange (Jamie Trimboli, Dordevic, Bomberry) each scored a pair of goals.
“We played a nice first half,” Desko said. “I thought we played a decent second half […] we had some opportunities to score and we didn’t. I have to give some credit to their defense and the goalies for making some saves.”
Cornell will play Maryland in Annapolis on Sunday in the quarterfinals.