Ward Shoots #7 Syracuse Past #4 Carolina in 2OT

Published 04/13 2014 12:01AM

Updated 04/13 2014 12:26AM

Lacrosse/MGN Online
Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - A blur.

That's how Orange senior midfielder Billy Ward described his game-winning goal in double overtime Saturday night, and the ensuing dog pile under which he found himself.

The C.W. Baker alum fired a shot from the right side against #4 North Carolina, propelling the 7th-ranked Orange (8-3, 2-3 in ACC play) to an 11-10 win and securing SU a berth in the ACC Tournament. Syracuse will be either the 3-or-4-seed in the conference playoffs, and will face Duke in the semifinals.

Ward's game-winner -- coming off an assist from OCC product Randy Staats -- closed the door on SU's fourth win in a row, and fifth this season over an opponent ranked in the top ten.

It nearly didn't happen.

The Tar Heels led 10-9 with just 23 seconds left to play, before head coach John Desko called timeout. On the restart, former Skaneateles star Kevin Rice used a question mark dodge to get free and tie the game with just 8 seconds left on the clock.

The Orange and Tar Heels traded shots in the first extra frame, with goaltenders Bobby Wardwell and Kieran Burke each making impressive saves to extend the contest. Ward's sudden death goal was his third score of the game. He also added an assist.

Rice led Syracuse with 3 goals and 3 assists, while Galasso had 2 tallies against his former club. Galasso spent two years in Chapel Hill, where he led UNC in scoring in 2011, en route to being named ACC Rookie of the Year.

SU face-off specialist Chris Daddio played arguably his best game in an Orange uniform, winning 18-of-26 draws. The senior was even better after halftime, winning 12 of the game's final 15 face-offs.

Jimmy Bitter led the Tar Heels with 4 goals.

The Orange will next travel to rival Hobart on Saturday, April 19th, for the annual battle for the Kraus-Simmons Trophy. The Statesmen upset #5 Syracuse inside the Carrier Dome last season, 13-12. Face-off in Geneva is set for 3:00pm.

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