For the second week in a row, a dominant fourth quarter lifted the No. 13 Syracuse men’s lacrosse team (3-3) past a ranked opponent. This time, ‘Cuse overcame a pair of four-goal deficits to down No. 16 Rutgers (4-4), 18-14.
The Orange took their first lead on a goal by Griffin Cook with under-seven minutes to go in regulation, closing the game on an 8-1 run in the final 11:03. With leading 13-10 with 12 minutes to go, the Orange offense ignited. Cook and David Lipka each registered three points over the run to come in clutch and help ‘Cuse overcome a four-goal deficit for the second game in a row.
Syracuse led in nearly every statistical category, but a strong day by Rutgers’ Max Edelmann kept Syracuse from leading until the fourth quarter, as the netminder made 19 saves. Syracuse picked up more ground balls (50-34) and led in shots (57-37), but it was the X where ‘Cuse shined brightest. Danny Varello (12-of-16) and Jakob Phaup (15-of-20) combined for the Orange to win 75-percent of restarts. Jared Fernandez was a big reason why, collecting a career-high eight ground balls from the wing.
“A very good win for us today,” said head coach John Desko. “I think Rutgers came into the Carrier Dome ready to play and got up early. We looked up, knew we’d have to roll our sleeves up to get back into the game. My hats off to their goaltender, I thought he was superb, but I think we started to figure out who they were in the second half. We had to work hard for everything we got and made better decisions, especially in the fourth quarter and that was the difference.”
Nate Solomon (4-1) and Jamie Trimboli (4-1) each led the Orange scoring, while Bradley Voigt (3-1), Stephen Rehfuss (1-3), Brendan Curry (2-1), David Lipka (2-1) and Griffin Cook (2-1) all recorded multi-point days. Drake Porter made 11 saves, seven of which came after halftime, to help the Orange come back as well.
Syracuse found itself down quickly in the first half, with Rutgers going on a 4-0 run to start the game. The Orange cut the run at four with a goal from Jamie Trimboli to get SU on the board with 6:42 left in the first quarter.
Syracuse used the Trimboli goal to jumpstart a run of its own, scoring another two from the sticks of Brendan Curry and Nate Solomon to get right back in the game. Syracuse would ultimately end the first quarter down 6-4.
The teams traded blows in the second quarter. Rutgers’ Adam Charalambides scored his third of the afternoon to put Rutgers back up three. Charalambides would lead all scorers with eight points (6-2), but only one goal came in the game’s final 30 minutes.
However, less than a minute later Bradley Voigt scored his first of the afternoon to cut the lead back down to two with 11:38 left in the half. Rutgers responded by adding goals from Charalambides and David Sprock, but Solomon scored back-to-back goals at the end of the quarter to record his ninth career hattrick. The score at the half saw Rutgers in the lead 9-7.
Syracuse kept up momentum into the third quarter, as Voigt scored a goal 17 seconds in to cut the lead down to one. Another Voigt goal gave him a hattrick and tied the game for Syracuse with 8:47 left in the frame. After a pair of Rutgers goals, Curry found the back of the net once again with 26 ticks left in the period, sending the teams to the fourth with Rutgers leading 11-10.
Two quick goals from the Scarlett Knights in the fourth gave Rutgers a 13-10 lead with 11:55 to go in regulation play, but the 8-1 Orange run rallied the team from there. Trimboli, and Rehfuss scored 52 seconds apart to pull the Orange back to within one, before Lipka equalized things at 13 with 9:18 remaining.
A goal by Charalambides gave the Scarlett Knights’ the advantage once again, but back-to-back goals from Trimboli and Cook gave Syracuse its first lead of the day with 6:48 left. Lipka, Cook and Solomon would add one more apiece for good measure.
Syracuse is back in action next weekend against Duke. The No. 2 Blue Devils visit Syracuse for its second ACC matchup of the year. Faceoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. on ESPNU