Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/26/09
Syracuse scored the last four goals of the game, including the game-winner in overtime, and the Orange claimed its 11th NCAA Championship by defeating Cornell, 10-9, in overtime on Memorial Day at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.
Senior Dan Hardy found Cody Jamieson at the 2:40 mark of the extra session and Jamieson buried the game-winner for the Orange. Syracuse successfully defended its 2008 crown with the triumph.
“I’m a little bit at a loss for words,” said SU (16-2) coach John Desko. “I can’t tell you how happy I am for our group. I’m excited they’ve won the school’s 11th national championship.”
The title was Desko’s fifth as head coach, putting him third on an exclusive list behind former SU mentor Roy Simmons Jr. and Princeton’s Bill Tierney, who each have six.
Philadelphia was represented in the form of senior Scott Kahoe (Radnor), who transferred to Syracuse this year after four injury-riddled years at Georgetown. Kahoe, who had one year of eligibility because he missed a full year due to injury, was a key reserve at midfield all season and contributed two shots Monday. For the year, he had nine goals, seven assists and 18 groundballs.
For Cornell, first-team All-American defenseman Matt Moyer (Chadds Ford, Tower Hill, DE) saw his career end in heartbreaking style. Moyer had one groundball for the Big Red Sunday.
Syracuse trailed 9-6 after Cornell’s Roy Lange scored with 5:31 left in regulation. Desko called timeout to settle his crew and review the situation they faced. The Orange got a glimmer of hope when Stephen Keogh scored his second of the game and 49th of the season on an assist from Hardy. The goal pulled SU within two, 9-7, with 3:37 on the clock.
Then Jamieson stepped up, securing a pass from Josh Amidon and beating Cornell netminder Jake Myers with 2:46 remaining to narrow the gap to 9-8.
The Orange had its opportunity but seemed to have run out of luck when Cornell secured possession in the final half minute. Syracuse rode the Big Red and forced a turnover. A loose ball emerged on the stick of Keogh, who threw behind-the-back to Matt Abbott. With two defenders checking him, Abbott threw a behind-the-back pass to Kenny Nims who tallied with four seconds left to force the extra session.
Cornell won the overtime faceoff and immediately went into Syracuse territory. SU’s Sid Smith regained possession for the Orange to set up the dramatic finish.
“It’s our time of year,” said Nims in the postgame press conference, when asked about the connection between Syracuse lacrosse and Memorial Day. “This is why you go to Syracuse.”
Nims was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. Joining him on the all-tournament team were Abbott, Jamieson, Pat Perritt and Joel White.
Balanced scoring, an Orange characteristic all season, was front and center on Monday as well. Eight different players scored goals for SU with only Jamieson and Keogh scoring twice. Jamieson also had an assist, while Amidon and Hardy each had one goal and two assists.
The Orange won 12-of-22 faceoffs and Jake Moulton paced the effort by taking 10-of-17. SU also had the edge in ground balls, 30-28, thanks in part to six from White.
Syracuse found itself in a strange land during the contest– playing from behind. The Big Red jumped out to a 2-0 lead and after the Orange tied things on goals from Chris Daniello (21st) and Greg Niewieroski (9th), Cornell tallied with 21 seconds left in the first period to go up 3-2. It marked only the third time all season that SU was behind after the opening session. It was also the first time Desko’s club had trailed in the 2009 postseason.
The Orange tied the score twice in the second period. Keogh drove home his 48th to knot things at 3-3. Perritt, who had four goals in the semifinal win against Duke, found the net for his 18th of the season off a pass from Abbott to tie things at 4-4. Cornell tallied the last two goals of the first half and went into intermission ahead, 6-4. It was the only the second time in 2009 that SU was behind at the break.
The squad’s traded goals in the third. SU goalie John Galloway made two point-blank stops in the first few minutes after halftime to keep it close and Amidon got on the board with his 14th of the campaign. Amidon’s netfinder made it 6-5 Cornell with 8:24 remaining in the third. Cornell answered when John Glynn tallied his third goal of the contest and the Big Red remained in front at the end of the third, 7-5.
Syracuse closed the gap again in the fourth when Hardy took a pass on the crease from Jamieson and dumped in his 25th goal. Cornell responded after back-to-back penalities on the Orange when Max Seibald tallied a man-up goal with 7:20 left, making the score 8-6 Big Red and set the stage for the frantic finish.
The championship was SU’s fifth of the decade (2000, 2002, 2004, 2008, 2009) and Orange became the first program since Princeton (1996-98) to repeat as national champions.