Syracuse lacrosse improved to 2-1 after Sunday’s 10-8 win against Army. It was a back and forth contest and a defensive struggle. Here are three things we learned:
1. Great goaltending
It was a game where every point mattered and both goalies had to carry the burden of playing stout defense in the net. Syracuse’s goalie Drake Porter had 16 saves and Army’s AJ Barretto had an equally impressive 18.
Porter came up with a key save with 2:38 left and the Orange clinging to a 9-8 lead. Army’s Nicholas Garofano was stymied by Porter and Syracuse forced a turnover 15 seconds later.
After a clear, the Orange scored with 1:10 left from David Lipka, preserving the win.
“I think we got some great saves once again from [Porter],” Syracuse head coach John Desko said. “He did a very nice job in the goal and while we were catching up offensively into the second quarter our defensive played pretty well the whole game.”
2. SU wins the faceoff game
It wasn’t only Syracuse’s goalie play that gave them this important early win. The Orange had forced 18 turnovers, won the ground battle by 15, and won faceoffs 21-17.
The X was particularly key for the Orange, with Jakob Phaup (15 of 18) and Danny Varello (2 of 3) helping the Orange outshoot Army by four.
“I think that Coach Alberici has done a very nice job with his team as far as the style that they play to get as many goals as they can,” Desko said. “I thought we answered, especially with Phaup on the face-off. I think that he did an outstanding job. They threw the kitchen sink at him today.”
3. Syracuse overcomes injuries
Syracuse won despite not having starting close defender Tyson Bomberry and second-line midfielder Lucas Quinn. Both are out with injuries.
Bomberry will likely be back for the following game, while Quinn may be out for several more weeks.
“It was a pretty gritty effort for the boys today,” Porter said. “I think we really wore those guys down which is difficult to do because they’re super athletic. I was really proud at how the team played in that regard.”
Syracuse returns to action against Virginia on March 2 for a noon start at the Carrier Dome.