Army Sunday afternoon in a defensive thriller that saw Syracuse narrowly escape in a 9-7 victory. Here are three takeaways from the top 10 matchup:
DRAKE PORTER STYMIES ARMY
Both Syracuse and Army put out an impressive showing on the defensive side. Neither offense could really get going, and SU forced Army to take shots from the outside.
Even when the Golden Knights were able to get inside, Drake Porter was waiting for them. Porter stopped 18 shots and the Orange was able to outshoot Army 47-32.
“I think that our defense played pretty well today,” Syracuse head coach coach John Desko said. “Certainly an important piece of that was Drake Porter, he really helped our defensive cause.”
TRIMBOLI KEEPS SYRACUSE CLOSE
Syracuse trailed for most of the game, and didn’t take the lead until there was 5:46 left in the fourth quarter. A big reason why they were in striking distance was midfielder and captain Jamie Trimboli, who led SU in scoring.
“Obviously Jamie, five of our nine goals is huge today,” Desko said. “He was shooting well.”
That was an understatement.
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Time and time again when the Golden Knights seemed poised to break the game open, Trimboli rescued the Orange with timely goals.
His first goal tied the game at 1 with 2:50 left in the first quarter, shaking the Orange from its doldrums. He then scored three straight goals out of halftime, the last of which tied the game at 5 after Syracuse had trailed 5-2 heading into halftime.
And the goal that put Syracuse ahead for good? You guessed it. Jamie Trimboli, who found the back of the net with 5:46 left in the fourth quarter to put the Orange ahead 8-7, drawing a loud roar from the 5,483 on hand at the Carrier Dome.
SYRACUSE DISPLAYS MOXIE
Syracuse breezed past its first two games, defeating Colgate and Binghamton by a combined 20 goals. But the Orange faced its toughest match of the season, and largest deficit, trailing by as many as four goals in the second quarter.
Despite the adversity, the Orange never appeared overly rattled, and calmly worked their way back into the game. Part of it was riding Trimboli’s hot hand to begin the second half, but Porter also notched two saves during Trimboli’s three-goal surge.
The schedule will only get tougher from here with games looming against Johns Hopkins, Duke and Notre Dame in March. But games like these will go a long way to strengthening Syracuse’s resolve.
“Fortunately we came out and had those goals early in the third quarter and I think they all started believing again,” Desko said.
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