By James Boyle
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/25/13
Derek Maltz scored with 19.2 seconds left to cap a dramatic comeback as Syracuse defeated Dever, 9-8, tonight to advance to the finals of the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championships at Lincoln Financial Field.
Denver led nearly the entire game and held a 7-4 advantage after the third quarter. But, a 5-1 run in the fourth quarter, culminating in Maltz’s late winner, sent the Orange to a meeting with Duke Monday at 1 p.m. for the championship.
“The ball trickled off the goalie’s chest and I was just in the right spot at the right time,” said Maltz. “And I’m basically just thankful that the ball went into the back of the net and we’re moving on to Monday.”
Luke Cometti tied things up for Syracuse when JoJo Morasco found him in front of the Denver net with just under one minute left.
Cometti led Syracuse in scoring with three goals. Morasco had two goals and a team-high three assists and Maltz scored twice.
Denver was the superior team through the first half thanks in part to Ryan LaPlante, the Pioneers’ starting goalie, who stopped 13 shots and allowed just two goals.
But, Denver head coach Bill Tierney replaced LaPlante after the first half, something he did frequently during the regular season. Jamie Faus, Denver’s second-half starter in net made just four saves and allowed seven goals, including Maltz’s game-winner.
“Honestly we were thrilled with the way he was playing,” said Tierney. “But this is what we’ve done, and a week ago people were asking me why Ryan was in for so long, all of 10 minutes.
“You’ve got two great young men, two guys that are fantastic goalies. None of those goals were Jamie’s fault. I actually think that Ryan had another save. I thought one of the goals they gave them was a save, and so ‑‑ Jamie is our closer.”